September 22, 2013

Post some comments or else… Part Deux

20130921-dog-gunYou enjoy this site? Well, then, this requires your assistance. Good content needs good comments to keep more good content coming.

Yesterday we threatened a stock photo of a house if we didn’t see more comments pronto. Today, we up the ante.

Remember this iconic image?

And if you’re too young to remember it, well, you can read it, can’t you?

Thought you could.

We don’t think we have to spell it out, now, do we?

Fine. We’ll spell it out. Post some more comments or the dog gets it.

And don’t give us any crap about this dog probably being dead already since the magazine cover was from January, 1973. He’s been brought back to life… in Bucharest.

This is also your Weekend Open Thread, not that that ever made any difference.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:09 am






September 21, 2013

Post some comments… or we burn this house down

130920-arson-commentAlright, so the site’s been having some access and downtime issues. We know, but we can’t do anything about it. Do you see us complaining?

Well, yes. Yes, you do.

Too many of you are giving up instead of pressing Reload over and over and over until the 502 Bad Gateway error goes away. So, it’s come to this. Make some comments so we know you’re reading… or this innocent stock photo of a house, who hasn’t hurt anyone at all except for the Photoshopper who get second degree burns adding the extra flames… gets it.

And think of all the other innocent houses who will have an even worse fate. That’s right, if you don’t speak up in comments, thousands and thousands of houses will never get a chance to appear on the front page of Burbed ever. Now think about it, that means your house may never appear, even if you wanted it to be famous!

Reload, respond, and refresh.  Not just a good idea. It will keep the houses posted.  And at room temperature.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:07 am

March 31, 2013

Easter Eggstra: What’s in Your RBA Easter Basket?

130331-easter-failbasketHappy Easter! This means NOW is the time for Spring Real Estate selling season to begin Bouncing in earnest. We’ve been telling you about Bay Area Bubble 4.0, so just imagine how much win Real Bay Area home prices will have starting tomorrow!

That’s not all the Easter Eggs we’ve found under our bedecked and bowtied basket! Here’s a few more the Burbed Bunny brought to beaucoup browsers.

 

130331-easter-failpricesWe appreciate all our readers who send us awesome listings (and you know by awesome, we mean something that is exactly the opposite of awesome). If you have a great example of Real Estate Fail, send it to one of our email contacts in the upper right corner.

Best of all is when you visit an Open House and take some photos of things that the agent didn’t think best reflected the property’s best features. Yes, we love your photos too!

We also love our readers’ comments. Please be sure to stop by and show each listing as much love as it deserves.

Finally, we’re going to be part of another Big Blog Bonanza. Tomorrow begins a new month, and we’re going to be joining the fun with over 1700 other blogs in the April 2013 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For many bloggers, the difficulty of merely writing one post every day brings anxiety, fear, or wrestling with the dreaded blogger’s block. We’ve been putting out an article pretty much every day for seven years, but having topics line up with the alphabet will give us an interesting tour of the Bay Area.  Feel free anytime to nominate some suggestions for letters to come!  We’re still wondering just what to do with that pesky letter X.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:03 pm

March 25, 2013

A few odds and ends, mostly odds

130324-odds-poleWe did make it over to the old Wozniak place during yesterday’s Open House. And we took pictures.  Lots and lots of pictures. We can assure you that some of the notable improvements to the property, such as the fireman’s pole, the cave, and the twisty little maze of passages, all different, are still there.  Here’s just a taste of the photoblog to come.

You may have also noticed that we’ve been moving the furniture back and forth on our pages. Some of the new additions seem good, and some just aren’t working out quite as well as we’d like. Notice that little Redfin sign where it says “location, location, location?” That links to our growing photo Collections over there.  Please check it out.  Another thing to check out is our twitter feed (and yes, we know we should be posting the feed right to the site. A site redesign first would help. We’re working on it, really. Why do you think we keep moving the furniture?)  The sharing options don’t seem to work as advertised, f’rinstance. Anyone want us to try the thumbs up/down again? We kind of miss them. (This allowed you to vote yea or nay on both posts and comments.)

Blog Blitz BadgeFinally, we joined into a Blogtacular scheme called the Blog Blitz. We think it’s a good idea, and if you write your own blog, you can also be part of it. By joining the group, you agree that when DL Hammons, who started it all, says “Everyone Blitz this Blog!” you will head over to the chosen site on the appointed day and post some helpful or encouraging comment there. It’s true, people who write blogs love it when their readers post something useful.

Now, in the case of Burbed, “helpful or encouraging” does not necessarily mean “I love your blog and read it every single day and twice on Sundays!” (although we don’t object 130324-odds-wozroutersto such fawningly overdone praise either). Useful would be either informing us about the property of the day or sharing something related to it or making a snarkilicious observation. All this goes to say if you join us in signing up for Blog Blitz, please read whatever blog you’re asked to post in before chiming in with “Me too! All the way!”

We’ve listed the participants below (if this LinkyTools code works properly) and you can join in right here. If you don’t see any blog list (we’re #127, which is 2^7-1, perfect for a Silicon Valley-based site), then obviously the script stopped working, so head over to DL’s site and sign up there.  Who knows, maybe someday we’ll be blitzed and for one delightful day, we’ll be back to the glory days of a 150+ comment thread.

Or you all could start talking more.

Blog list after the break.

(more…)

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

February 3, 2013

They Like Us! They really, really Like Us!

130202-fb-calloutNotice something new in the right-side column?

At long last, we’ve set up a Facebook Page, and we’re collecting Likes.  We’re not really sure what we’re going to do with them.  Maybe there’s a Mortgage Equity Withdrawal program out there who wants every one of your names.  But more likely we’ll just wonder which Facebook Name goes with some of the more interesting handles our commenters have used.

Anyway, please click that Like button if you have a Facebook account, because right now we’re still in single digit territory, and Patrick.net is threatening to beat us up behind the gym.

This is also your opportunity to grouse about Facebook, or its policies, or its stock price, if you don’t find the housing-related piece today to your taste.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: madhaus @ 8:06 am

December 31, 2012

Last post of 2012

Today is the last day of the year.  What was your favorite property of all the ones we pointed and laughed at this year?  Here are some for your discussion.

Top High End Properties

Belvedere Design House doesn’t sell, going up for auction

Unbelvble Gorgeous French Style Masterpiece Estate in Saratoga

Lafayette Mansion of Murders

Los Gatos house parks 7

Unbelievable New Millbrae House

Burlingame Mystery House

Los Altos Hills for only $20M

Sunnyvale Freedom is Slavery Inverse House

$4.2M Belvedere teardown

Woodside auction (never sold)

Live across the street from Steve Jobs, except you can’t cuz he’s dead

Brutalist Sebastopol spread

$9M house with meh kitchen

Saratoga red arrow spectacular

Insanely expensive PA house with Kawlums in the bathroom really

Too-big-for-the-hood Sunnyvale Spectacular, with Bunus Buyer in comments

Los Gatos luxury home plus HDR lesson

New and ugly house in Mountain View!

Top Not So High End Properties

8.5 foot wide lot in Alameda

Bayview Bargain

Santa Cruz Mountain High

Saught after PA street

Every Burbed cliche in Sunnyvale

Realtard goes there: Alameda bathroom flaunts all

San Mateo Photo Spectacular

I say, I say, I say in Mountain View

Instagram for Redfin

Mountain View house with free pets

Million dollar meth lab

Dead animal decor

Redwood City or Abbottabad?

Pair of houses across from psych ward

Adorable pink house in PA under a mil

This Castro Valley house is going places

Saratoga home for living!

Truly manificent, with angry commenter defending this neighborhood’s honor

Palo Alto! But deplorable condition

This one’s worse

Kids not included with house

House with themed rooms in Fremont

Perfect home in Walnut Creek

Good housekeeping in Menlo Park

Close to Santana Row!

Top Filler Pieces Not About Actual Houses for Sale

Lucky numbers in asking prices

Snout Housing of the South Bay

Worst. Ad. Ever.

Los Gatos family scamming school district?

(November) 2012 Proposition Voters Guide

New Luxury Trend: Tons ‘o Toilets

Make more money not selling houses than selling houses

Charter school lawsuit lunacy in Los Altos school district

Business student asks us to do his homework

Palo Alto is so awesome people live in their cars and park there

Spot the Meth Lab

NAR creates utterly useless stats, Movoto derives useless infographic, we uselessly point ‘n laff

Free Tesla with non-RBA house (cheaper w/o Tesla)

The other Official Burbed Ballot Guide to Everything (June 2012 election)

Facebook effect on SF (yes, SF) real estate prices

Deconstructing the WSJ’s doubleplusgood view of the housing implosion

Squatters sue Realtard

Painter of Light Kinkade switched off

Now is the Time to Buy or Sell a House. With Us.

Spot the Grow House

San Jose House found under Hoarder’s hoard

A dozen tenants in a SAn Jose McMansion

Silicon Valley high-flying homeowners who lost everything

Under $2K fine for house thievery

Secrets of Contracting Cheap

See if our 2012 predictions came to pass

Did we leave out your favorite Burbed house or article?  Which piece was your least favorite and why?  What would you like to see us cover more of in 2013?

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 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

December 1, 2012

Be Like Zuck! Buy a house and pay 3/4% interest

121130-margin-rates

The secret to being rich is to start off rich.  Don’t believe us?  It’s true, and it’s how Mark Zuckerberg bought his house in Palo Alto.  Let’s hear from Burbed reader nomadic, who alerted us to this excellent opportunity. To go bankrupt!

Here’s the letter I got in the mail offering super-low interest rates on a loan secured by a stock portfolio.  The beauty of it is that the interest rate goes down the higher the loan amount – the opposite of what working stiffs get when they want a super-jumbo loan to buy a house in the RBA.  (Then again, the larger the stock portfolio, the smaller the risk?)

This must be how Zuck got his ultra-low interest rate on his mortgage.  Interesting that they don’t mention a mortgage in their “average loan rates” example.

121130-margin-zuckerbergThe headline above doesn’t say pay three to four percent interest.  It says pay three quarters of a percent interest.  Let me repeat that.  You can buy a house at 0.76 percent interest.  All you need is a sufficiently healthy stock portfolio to borrow at least $3.5 million against. 

Whoops.  All you need is an investment portfolio at this particular online brokerage.  For loans under $50K, you need to have twice that in your brokerage account.  With this firm.  But!  Remember about rich people getting richer? The more you have, the more you save. The more you have, the more you 121130-margin-callcan borrow, too.  If you “qualify” and have an account over $100,000, you could borrow against 85% of your assets.

Remember how well things went when anyone who could fog a mirror could buy a house for nothing down? This is an even better idea! Borrow against your investments, and if the underlying value drops, then you have to pay some of the money back immediately, or sell assets to cover it. Good thing you’ll have a bunch of equity in your new house that you could borrow against to pay back your brokerage account you borrowed against in the first place.  This sounds like a perpetual equity motion machine.

Open your portfolio, open your wallet, open your eyes, and we’re opening this thread to any topic you wish.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

October 13, 2012

What do you think about all the spamlicious selling stuff?

121010-spam-wallBurbed, like most blogs, gets its share of spam in the comments.  We use some spam-blocking tools to keep those to a minimum, but no tool is perfect. And sometimes some of your legitimate posts end up in the spam bin, where our hardworking staff has to rescue them by sorting through hundreds of offers of gay porn and Louis Vuitton ripoffs.  That means some of your comments sit alone, in the dark, with nothing but dozens of identical posts in Portuguese to keep them company until we dig them out them days later.

We’ve been dealing with some of the odder contributions by posting them without whatever sites they linked back to, as a Moment of Zen feature.  We’d like to know if you find these interesting or if this is wasted effort on our part, when we could be out looking at Open Houses to not write up.

Here are some of the latest additions to comments that really did belong in the spambucket, but are now standing on an equal footing with your own contributions. Please let us know if you think we’re taking the right approach toward responding to these. Do you enjoy them or should we just have left them in the spam Portal to Hell? It’s the hope of finding a #winning entry that keeps us checking the queue while rescuing those of you unfairly discarded with the Xbox cheat codes for only $49. The earnest, badly spelled, improper use of English while selling services on another continent comments are a “bunus,” but do let us know if these are worth our trouble.  Remember, these tend to released after most of you are done with the thread they sought out.

Or complain about something else.  This is an open thread, you know.  Post away. Attempts to sell us something are subject to further scathing editorial commentary.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:12 am