March 26, 2013

Photopalooza at Wiz Wigwam that Was Woz’s

As promised, today we’ve got pictures, pictures, pictures from our onsite visit to Steve Wozniak’s old digs. We’ve already featured this house three times, so we’ll just stick to what we found at the Open House this Sunday.  And of course, here’s the listing again.  Note that if you missed it, you have another chance to check it out. On Easter Sunday.

130323-wozhouse-redfin300 SANTA ROSA Dr
Los Gatos, CA 95032
$4,395,000

6 Beds
7 Baths
7,500 Sq. Ft.
$586 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1986
Lot Size: 1.19 Acres
On Redfin: 12 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: Tri-Level
Community: Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
MLS#: 81307599
Style: Modern/High Tech, Contemporary
View: Mountains, Canyon, Valley
County: Santa Clara

Originally built for Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, This exquisite 7500 sq/ft, 6 Bed, 8 Bath on 1.19 acres, minutes to Los Gatos Blvd, combines post-modern style with majestic natural views. It is a natural abode full of light and warmth Euro chefs kitchen, wraparound terraces. Recent major re-design and renovation, one of a kind indoor/outdoor kids play area, pool w/ waterfall, Koi Pond +++.

Upcoming Open Houses

Sunday, Mar 31: 1:00-4:30 pm

130325-wozon-sculp4saleAnd now for what we discovered!  First, the minute we walked in, we were stunned to see that the place was set up like an art gallery. This was a surprise for a couple of reasons. First, Open Houses are there to showcase the real estate, not the décor, and second, the comments on several of the stories we linked to on Sunday implied that the listing photos were a little, um, minimalist.  Which is a fancy way of saying lots of white paint and little else.

It turned out that not only were most of the sculpture and paintings in the house labeled as if we were in a gallery, they were for sale and the painter and her daughter were there to talk to any interested patrons. The sculptor was her mother (not present). The least we could do is link to their website and show a couple more works of art. Then we could remember that we’re a real estate site, not a fine arts portfolio. And then we could not say anything about the art as our readers excel at critical commentary.  Especially the critical part.

130325-wozon-painting4sale130325-wozon-painter

130325-wozon-music130325-wozon-doorwayYou can check out the listing photos if you want to see the major public rooms and some shots from the master suite. We’re going to show you what they didn’t.  On your left is detail from the music room, and we don’t think this is where they invited the string quartets to play Mozart.  Also the agent helpfully pointed out that this counts as a bedroom, as it has a closet.  The doorway on your right is off the music room and leads to one of a large number of baths.  We’ll get back to them later.

Those baths, the kids’ secret playspace, the cave, and much more await when you click on through!

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Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am






December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas! Here are some ornaments for your tree!

121224-xmas-agentAh, Christmas time.  The toys, the food, the eggnog, the family visits, the decorations, the lights, and of course, the tree.  We wanted to find a simple ornament with a house for sale representation to wish you all a Happy Holiday, but instead, we found the ornament at right.

Amazing, isn’t it?

Now, we will be the first to admit that there are indeed excellent and knowledgeable real estate agents out there.  This blog acknowledges that there would be fewer people buying and selling homes if all of them were completely incompetent.  But this blog more importantly notes that it’s the bottom percentiles of the “profession” that help keep us in top material.

121224-xmas-realtard-cafeNow, if you have a Special Agent who you think would appreciate these thoughts on their tree, we swear we did not make this up.  You can actually buy this round ceramic ornament at CafePress.  And it will cost you $12.50.  Plus shipping!  And you can also get it in red ink (perfect for the foreclosure specialist).

Being the inquisitive, fun-loving bunch that we are, we decided to see if this ornament could be, well, improved.  Took us a while, and since none of us went to design school, it didn’t have the panache or the braggadocio of the simple ornament above.  But ours has something better.  A logo.

A completely derivative yet 100% protected-from-trademark-infringement-lawsuits-by-the-fact-that-it’s-obviously-satirical-and-would-not-induce-confusion-in-anyone-other-than-a-Realtard logo.

We wish you and yours a very Wonderful Winter Whatever.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

December 15, 2012

UPDATED: Snout Housing: Threat or Menace?

Letters, oh we get letters… Here’s something to snuffle over from Burbed reader Kiki:

121214-snout-victoriaI would love to see some analysis on South Bay snout houses.  Why are there so many? It’s like mullets at Wal-Mart.

Do they sit on the market longer than other house styles? Is that a punishment? Do people actually like them or do they settle because of … ahem … “inventory” available?

I don’t think anyone has ever done a published, peer reviewed analysis on snout houses (because the people who would be interested in that sort of data sure don’t want to share it). I’m in Santa Clara – I know of one tract developed in the 1950s that’s almost ALL snout houses. It’s east of Lawrence & north of El Camino (yes, El Camino runs East-West in Santa Clara) and runs east to about Kiely. I’m not sure how far north the sprawl of snout goes but I can surf google earth later today.

thank you for your delightful daily snark. I love what you’re doing.

121214-snout-warburtonGiven the location, location, location that Kiki provided, we went to Redfin and saw what was available.  Answer: nothing you can buy that’s particularly snoutside, but looking at recent sales yielded a winner from 1954 on our first click.

And in that same general area, no snout about it, different from the first one yet so much the same, and also from that excellent year of 1954.

Asnout these homes… yes, they do seem to be clustered in this area.  But we’ve featured this style of home before, and they aren’t all in West Central Santa Clara.

121214-snout-bouveronFor example, here’s one we ran at the beginning of this year.  It’s all snout and nothing else to face.  It’s also not in Santa Clara, but in San Jose.  Such a delightful frontage, wonder why it took ten months to sell. No, it didn’t take ten months, it sold this October.  And also this June, so it’s a snout-flip.  (The June sale took 3 years to happen, and then sold for 1/3 less than the 2000 sale price.)  Wow, instant equity!

But there are all kinds of snout houses, just as there are all kinds of buyers and sellers.

121214-snout-kirkwall121214-snout-college

121214-snout-selbyF’rinstance, this lovely little luxury lulu in Milpitas (on the left, above) is better than the usual snout house, because it has bunus snout.  Contrariwise, on the right is a Mountain View maisonette, or as Burbed reader bmwman91 put it, a “single-nostril snout house.”

This delightful domicile à droit (that’s at right for the realtards following along from their home offices) looks like it could fit in a tract with any of the others up top, but this middle-class muzzle-mansion is in Atherton. Yes, it’s in the cheap-ass part that’s practically Redwood City, but it has an Atherton mailing address and more importantly, an Atherton property tax bill.

Let us know about snout houses you’ve seen, visited, or even lived in.  Or let us know about anything else you want, because it’s also time to get your schnozz into a Weekend Open Thread!

Update 10:07 PM: How could we forget this ode to snout housing from 1986? Put your hands together for David Byrne, who anticipated what endless expansion of exurbia would lead to.  This is a clip from True Stories.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

July 8, 2012

Open Thread and Game Time

While you’re waiting for the realtards to show up at any Open Houses this weekend, why not play a board game with your loved ones?

Burbedopoly

It’s a little difficult to make out the street names, so here’s the list.  See how many of the cities representing each color group you can identify!  And do let us know which streets  you would use instead of the ones we picked.

120707-monopoly-streets

120707-monopoly-chance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alas, we were not permitted to rename the utilities PG&E and SANTA CLARA VALLEY WATER DISTRICT.  Do you have any good ideas for some Chance and Community Chest cards?

And yes, this is also an Open Thread.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

May 28, 2012

Official Burbed Ballot Guide

120527-voters-guide-stickerNext Tuesday will be Primary Election Day in California.  Not only will voters get to select partisan candidates, there will also be some ballot measures to vote on.  Here are our recommendations on how to vote if you value living in the Real Bay Area.

Primary election procedure has changed this year.  Before Proposition 14, which passed in 2010, one winning candidate per party appeared on the November ballot. Now all primary elections are a free-for-all whittled down to the top two finishers, who will duke it out in November for the contested office.  Burbed officially disapproves of this method.  Instead, primary elections should be more like buying a house.  Whoever offers the most money with the fewest contingencies should be chosen as the winner, although a plate of chocolate cookies and a family photo may also do the trick.

Federal, State & Local Candidates

120527-voters-guide-white-housePresident: Does it matter?  Is the White House in the Real Bay Area?  No, it is not.  Is Barack Obama from the Real Bay Area?  No.  Is Mitt Romney?  No, and he owns enough houses that he should be!  Neither Ron Paul nor Gary Johnson qualify either.

Senate: Does it matter?  Is the Senate Building in the Real Bay Area?  No, it is not.  But wait, you may say.  While the Senate Building is in Washington, DC, many of the Senatorial candidates actually do live in the Real Bay Area.  To which we say, and?  You want to vote for someone who lives in the RBA and is willing to move to a job somewhere else?  This disqualifies them by definition!

House of Representatives: See Senate.

State and Local Offices: As none of them requested our endorsement, we offer no recommendations.  Then again, if anyone had requested our endorsement, that would disqualify by definition.  Who would ask for a real estate website’s endorsement?  Well, who other than Gary Miller?

State Propositions

120527-voters-guide-29Proposition 28: Term limit modification. Vote NO.  This does not affect property values, although it may lead to more turnover of Sacramento property.  Since Sacramento isn’t in the RBA, this won’t affect prices here. 

Proposition 29: Tobacco tax.  Vote YES.  Burbed is in favor of taxing things that are not housing in order to avoid unnecessarily raising property taxes instead.  Also we are opposed to any industry spending $40 million on misleading advertising.  Did you really think those actors in lab coats were actual scientists?

Santa Clara County Measures

120527-voters-guide-jailMeasure A: County Jail operations.  Vote NO.  This looks like an opportunity to let any number of agencies get their fingers in the jail pie, and by “opportunity” we actually mean “payola, corruption, and graft, oh my!”  Do we really need a County Jail anymore?  There are so many foreclosed homes in East San Jose we should just use them instead.

Measure B: San Jose pensions. Burbed does not have an official position on this, but has enjoyed the complete disconnect between how the SJ Mercury News has been covering this (Chuck Reed walks on water and raises the dead) versus NBC11 (Chuck Reed is a lying scumbag who eats babies for breakfast).  The truth is probably that there is nothing in the pension fund at all because it was all invested in that downtown condo tower that didn’t work out so well.

Various school bond measures (C, E, G, H): Vote YES, except for Measure E, because who do you think you’re fooling, Milpitas?  Better funded schools ensure your property values remain high (and if you live in Milpitas, this clearly does not apply).  If you’re a rentard, vote YES anyway.  Someday you’ll own.  (Keep believing that.)  You may object that we said above to vote for taxes for other things because we don’t want higher property taxes.  To which we reply, are you some kind of rentard idiot?  These are school BONDS, not school TAXES.  Bonds mean borrow and spend, not tax and spend.  Note: School bonds must receive 55% YES votes to pass.

Plenty more County Ballot Measures inside!  Click on through!

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Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

May 5, 2012

What I Really Do

actually

It’s Saturday.  Go look at some Open Houses and tell us what they’re really worth.  Oh yeah, Open Thread.  Go really wild.

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:18 am

April 1, 2012

New Directions: A Serious Post

While Burbed remains a highly valued and award-winning website, our readership levels have been dropping even faster than home prices in places outside the Real Bay Area.  Clearly it’s time to take some serious stock of what this site is for, what it’s trying to do, and whether to set some new goals.

120331-red-flagThe Problem: Burbed was created to show the insanely high housing prices for insanely poor quality homes in the Bay Area.  Today, as long as you’re not looking too close to Google, Facebook, or whatever neighborhood in San Francisco is trendy this week, you can find nicer properties at some of the most affordable prices since the 20th century ended.   Meeting our mission is difficult and increasingly irrelevant.

120331-green-checkThe Solution: People want guidance on how to buy or sell a home without any game playing.  What few readers we have left have learned to be wary of agents, but trust us completely.  Therefore, effective immediately, Burbed will stop pointing and laughing at badly marketed homes, when we could make a lot more money buying and selling them.

120331-univ-sonarThat’s right.  We are now, starting today, Open for Your Business!  That means we won’t be bad-mouthing real estate professionals, showing homes with poorly-maintained property or messy rooms, or cracking wise on unrealistic asking 120331-stjoseph-homesaleprices.  And in the current real estate market, the sky is the limit on asking prices, so who are we to object?

List your home with us and we’ll get it out to the customers who would otherwise never read real estate ads.  Hire our team of informed and lively agents to find you the perfect place to live in, while entertaining you during the drive from one house to another.  (Some of them even own vehicles with room for more than one other rider!)

120331-dranoPlease patronize all our brand new sponsors you see on this page.  You’ll be seeing a lot more ads for them and other exciting products and services, throughout the site as our new business 120331-ge-llight-bulbsmodel takes shape.  Things are going to get very exciting around here, so we may have to limit comments if there are any difficulties.

Thanks again for visiting Burbed.  Often.  And remember, Now is the Time to Buy or Sell a House!

WITH US.


Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:01 am

January 18, 2012

If You Can Read This, It Should Be Old

imageBurbed should have gone dark on Wednesday, January 18th, to join the SOPA protest.  And despite the presence of Google and Facebook and Twitter and everything that makes the Internet awesome here in our back yard, supposedly both our Senators are supporting this terrible bill.  I do hope you give them a piece of your mind.

Here’s what you had to wait a day to read due to our solidarity with the web-wide blackout.


What can you get in Silicon Valley for $579,803?

On Saturday, we heard from Greg Fielding on Case-Shiller tiers.  On Sunday, we saw some examples of just how much house qualified for the “upper” tier (the top third) in the counties that make up the SF index.  Now here’s what you could get if you bought a house that’s an easy commute distance to some major Silicon Valley employers.

image

1729 MORGAN St
Mountain View, CA 94043
$585,214, sold on 12/14/2011

3 BR/2 BA, 1,104 sf on a 5,300 sf lot

Built in 1955, and it shows, and what’s more, the house sold in a month above asking!  Doesn’t feature much other than its proximity to Google and LinkedIn, but every minute you don’t sit in traffic means you can enjoy more time in this spacious home.  Okay, it’s got hardwood floors, but still.

image

18770 PENDERGAST Ave
Cupertino, CA 95014
$591,700, sold on 12/29/2011

3 BR/1 BA, 1,134 sf on a 5,130 sf lot

This isn’t the least expensive sale in Cupertino within the last 3 months, but it is the least expensive house where they dared show a photo.  Who knows what kinds of problems lurk behind that fence?  Don’t complain.  It’s close to Apple.

Bring your decorator’s eye to this place, because the interior photos show you get a blank slate!  And of course it’s in Rancho Rinconada!

image

255 HEDGE Rd
Menlo Park, CA 94025
$625,000, sold on 11/2/2011

3 BR/1 BA, 1,190 sf on a 5,500 sf lot

Not only is it close to Facebook’s new location, it has Menlo Park schools!  And we had to jump into the $600s to even find this house, because there weren’t any SFH sales under $600K in Menlo Park or Palo Alto.

And for $625K, you get a house that backs up to US-101.  What do you think the upper tier means, Larry Ellison’s neighborhood?

image

3401 PARK Blvd
Palo Alto, CA 94306
$672,000, sold on 11/4/2011

2 BR/1 BA, 1,048 sf on a 5,500 sf lot

Speaking of Facebook, this is the least expensive SFH sale in Palo Alto and it isn’t too far from its current headquarters.  Better yet, it doesn’t back up to a freeway!  Instead, it backs up to CalTrain, but you can’t have everything.

But you can have the satisfaction of knowing that the sellers wanted $750K for this well-situated 66 year old house, and didn’t get it.

image

191 S PASTORIA Ave
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
$608,000, sold on 11/9/2011

3 BR/1 BA, 1,100 sf on a 5,550 sf lot

Sorry we had to jump all the way to the $600s, but there’s a big gap above $570K for the last quarter’s sales in Sunnyvale.  This house is in a decent part of town, although you will get plenty of traffic from nearby Washington Park (which has a swimming pool) and the library a few blocks further away.  But it’s a good commute distance to Lockheed, Yahoo! and even Intel.  And in an even better position to see how good the homes thrown up right after WWII ended are wearing their years.

image

1774 BRIARWOOD Dr
Santa Clara, CA 95051
$585,000, sold on 11/18/2011

3 BR/2 BA, 1,212 sf on a 9,454 sf lot

The further east you travel, the cheaper the houses get.  Palo Alto costs more than Mountain View, which costs more than Sunnyvale, which in turn costs more than Santa Clara.

That’s why this house may not look much more palatial than any of the others above, but it comes on a lot almost twice the size.  It’s a good commute to Intel.  And one of the fun things about the Silicon Valley market that people outside the area don’t get is that most of the cost of any existing property is the land, not the house.

Don’t get too excited about this place.  It’s near the intersection of Lawrence and El Camino, and was sold “as is.”  I wouldn’t expect much from the neighborhood, either, as the agent bragged it was a “regular sale.”

In the future we’ll see what you can get for a million dollars, but don’t expect any gold-plated bathroom fixtures.

Comments (1) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

January 15, 2012

Fun with Case and Shiller

imageYesterday, we had a guest post from Greg Fielding on Bay Area Case-Shiller tiered data.  In case you haven’t been reading any real estate sites ever, a Case-Shiller index tracks home values by comparing sales of the same homes over time.  The index is arbitrarily set at 100 at the first quarter of the year 2000, so watch out if you ever see a two-digit C-S index for this or any region.  There is also a national C-S index.  Monthly updates represent sales from two months previous.

The counties included in the “San Francisco” regional index are the aforementioned City and County of San Francisco, as well as Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, and San Mateo.  That’s right, it’s not a full Bay Area index and note the absence of Santa Clara County, that engine of high-paying job creation.

Today, we take a look at the magical cut-off point to qualify for the top tier.  According to Fielding, any house selling for more than $579,803 is in the top tier (there are three of them).  Let’s see what kind of palatial abodes you could have for this kind of money.  All homes shown today are at selling prices rather than the wishing ones.

image

2916 SOMBRERO Cir
San Ramon, CA 94583
$585,000, sold on 12/8/2011

If you’re looking in San Ramon, here’s a 3 bedroom, two and a half place for you. It’s not a new house, though, this was built in 1980.

The development it’s in sits hard against the freeway (and there’s only one in San Ramon, I-680), but the property itself does not. Instead it backs onto what is now open space.  Given how many new homes went up in San Ramon, the new owner will have some quiet over the back fence until the next bubble starts boiling up.

image

5205 MANILA Ave
Oakland, CA 94618
$580,000, sold on 12/24/2011

This cute little bungalow is in the Rockridge district, desired by hipsters and yuppies alike.  It’s a 2/1, but at over 1200 square feet it doesn’t qualify for the Burbed “cozy” tag.

There’s absolutely no information about previous sales on Redfin, but with a $43,000 assessment, this obviously wasn’t a flip.  The sellers went all-out with the staging and photography, so enjoy.

image

122 Crescent Rd
Corte Madera, CA 94925
$594,000, sold on 12/22/2011

Wow, what a home, complete with extra rooms the county obviously didn’t know about.  Listed as a 3/2.5, but recorded as a 2/1.  This place hiding in the woods of Marin County against a hill is going to be a contractor’s retirement fund.

Be sure to check out the sales history on this former REO puppy, it’s crap-tastic.

image

2051 SULLIVAN St
San Mateo, CA 94403
$585,000, sold on 11/30/2011

Everything in this price range in San Mateo is on the east side.  “Bunus:” This 3/2’s near the 101/92 cloverleaf, which is why it needs the doublepane windows.

This house sold for $795K in 2006, but at least it went for above asking this time around.

image

328 Monticello St
San Francisco, CA 94132
$583,000, sold on 10/19/2011

Amazingly, this Merced Heights house doesn’t directly touch walls with its neighbors.  And if you decide it isn’t for you, there are plenty of SF State students to rent it to.  Anyway, you or your tenants are going to have loads of fun with the tandem parking garage.

The house last changed hands in 1989, for $271K.  Quite the investment that doubles its value in 22 years.

We won’t bother with Santa Clara County, as it’s not in the Case-Shiller SF Index anyway.  If it were, that top tier would be a bit higher and way more Special.

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

November 27, 2011

Our Biggest Fan of This Series is Thrilled There’s Another Installment!

imagePoor Mr. Zip.  The United States Postal Service put him out to pasture in 1986, when they introduced the ZIP+4 postal codes.  But he was a familiar sight in the 1960s, urging everyone to include the new ZIP (Zone Improvement Plan) postal codes when sending mail.

Mr. Zip might not be around to nag you on addressing envelopes, because he’s in retirement.  Mr. Z writes to say he hopes this series will go on forever, because he can’t play Name That Code all the time.

imageToday we bring you yet another installment of all the Northern California cities on Forbes’ Most Expensive Zip Code list.  It features data crunched by local favorite Altos Research (and mangled by Forbes; you’d think after I’ve linked to them four different times and noted in each article that their data has a systematic error in every single entry, maybe somebody there would fix it, but NOOOOOOOO).  Anyway, here’s what you may have missed while writing code or hanging out on a sunny sidewalk waiting to collect a faceful of pepper spray.

imagePrevious Entries in the Most Expensive Zip Code Series:

imageNow, we’ll take the Fifth!  Fifth Tier, that is; the Top Half of the Bottom 200!

Let’s see which cities can still scrape together a property median wishing price just under $850K.  Remember, we correct the mistakes as we find them, and we added the comparison to last year’s list.  That’s the kind of original work you’ll only find done by obsessive-compulsive bloggers who think zip codes are fascinating.  Well, Mr. Zip certainly agrees!

image#304: San Mateo 94402

  • Median Home Price: $849,292
  • Median Price Change: NA
  • Average Days On Market: 200 114
  • Inventory: 114 81
  • Rank in 2010: 236 (-68 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $13 Million

Now I am beginning to think that the people at Forbes were just making stuff up for that “Most Expensive Home” field.  $13 million.  In San Mateo.  The most expensive place I could find sold for $3.3 mil in June, including the gated entryway.  It’s just like what you get in mid-level condoplexes, including calling itself an ESTATE (complete with the CAPITAL LETTERS).

Ah, but that living room does look spacious enough to hold a very small charity ball.  More goodness from Mr. Zip after the break!

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Comments (37) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am