September 26, 2013

Priced to Sell! In Crockett!

Why would any real estate professional use the phrase “priced to sell”? How many homes listed for sale are actually priced to not sell? Here’s one in Crockett that says the agent took the trouble to let you know about it so he could collect a commission… unlike every other house on the MLS.

130925-bay-redfin425 BAY St
Crockett, CA 94525
$249,900

4 Beds
2 Baths
1,368 Sq. Ft.
$183 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1932
Lot Size: 3,000 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 77 days
Status: Price Change-REO
Type: Detached
Stories: 2
County: Contra Costa
Style: Traditional
Community: Crockett Heights
MLS#: 40622629

With a little TLC this home could really shine. .. .. 4 bedroom home with 2 bathrooms in a split level style. Cozy and easy flowing with a 1 car garage and 2 parking pads. There is a nice yard and filtered views. Priced to sell!!

130925-bay-glowEasy flowing? There’s a leak in the bathroom?

While the house doesn’t merit the Burbed cozy tag (that’s for homes under 1,000 square feet), the land earned the tiny lot award (under 5,000 sf).

We have a theory why this house isn’t selling (77 days on Redfin) and it isn’t the lucky datestamp in the corner. No, it’s the dual poltergeists in the doorways.

Do you see a “Not Haunted” sign in front of this house? Well, do you?

We don’t even want to ask what “filtered views” are.  Filtered through all the ghosts?

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:07 am






September 8, 2013

Department of Duh: More House for Your Money in East Bay

And now we present yet another story about people having to move to the East Bay and insisting that it was a great idea.

Families flee S.F. for East Bay with cheaper homes

130907-flight-smithCarolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle
Updated 9:45 pm, Saturday, September 7, 2013

"Family flight" out of San Francisco is nothing new. But now, real estate prices in the city have risen so steeply – much more so than in the East Bay – that there’s an extra incentive for longtime San Francisco homeowners to cash out their equity and head across the bay seeking more house for less money.

After 20 years in San Francisco, John Perryand Rob Picciotto, along with their children, Ben and Louisa, and three dogs, transplanted themselves to Oakland. "I didn’t think we would ever leave San Francisco, but a convergence of things made us consider moving," said Perry.

In 1998, Perry and Picciotto had stretched to buy their Bernal Heights house and make it work as their family grew. In June it sold for more than triple what they’d paid, a windfall that allowed them to pay cash for a less expensive house in Oakland’s Leona Heights neighborhood in the hills above Mills College.

"We don’t have a mortgage anymore, which is awesome," Perry said. "We doubled our square footage on more than an acre of land, and have phenomenal neighbors. Oakland is so diverse; it’s a whole new world to learn and explore. There’s more space, more mix."

We’ve pointed out many times in the past that the East Bay was not part of the Real Bay Area because it hasn’t benefitted from the same batshit insane price increases found in places West of the Bay. Outmigration serves as a release valve on the price hikes. When SF gets too expensive compared to Oakland or Walnut Creek (two places mentioned as where SF sellers moved to), people will move East because they get more house for the money.

Three things of note from this article:

  1. Moving from SF to Silicon Valley will NOT gain you a damned thing.  The prices have gone up just as much in Googleville.  These bargains are only to be found in the Nickle and Dime or Nine and a Quarter area codes.
  2. The exact same newspaper has a another feature on how the batshit insane SF home prices are leveling off, which isn’t exactly demonstrated by this piece.
  3. San Francisco has fewer residents under 18, by percentage, than any other major city.  This really still remains as a Family Flight From ‘Frisco story. The only difference is more people moving to Montclair instead of Marin.

This is also your Weekend Open Thread. Are you considering moving further afield because trading up where you already live is too expensive?

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:06 am

August 29, 2013

Move-in, remodel or tear down and start over in Orinda

Sometimes our readers forget that we are a Northern California real estate blog, not just Silicon Valley. We realize with so little of the Real Bay Area outside Where Innovation Happens it’s easy to forget this. However, Burbed Win can be found almost anywhere. Today’s featured funhouse from Burbed reader edie takes us to the wild and uncivilized jungle of Orinda! (That’s in CoCoCo, in case you haven’t gone anywhere but Google via Google Bus in the last two years.)  But one thing this place has in common with so many other Burbed properties: Pending!

130828-linda-redfin6 LINDA Vis
Orinda, CA 94563
$499,000

2 Beds
2 Baths
1,219 Sq. Ft.
$409 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1939
Lot Size: 0.29 Acres
On Redfin: 21 days
Status: Pending
Type: Detached
Stories: 2
Community: Country Club
MLS#: 40626723
Style: Cottage
View: Hills, Wooded
County: Contra Costa

This charming cottage is on a great oak-studded . 28 acre lot in the Orinda Country Club area. It’s an idyllic setting! The house is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1200+ sf in two stories with a 2 car detached garage. Ready to move-in, remodel or tear down and start over.

130828-linda-kitchenHere’s why edie thought you’d want to venture out of your comfort zone and look at this place:

Check out the price history. The place went up by 200K in a year when it clearly hasn’t been touched in that time. (Unless "creepy backwoods cabin" is the new aesthetic among flippers.

Though pathetically, after going to yesterday’s open houses in the East Bay, this place doesn’t seem so bad to me. 

130828-linda-garageWe always wonder about listings where there are 3 times as many outside as inside pix, and it’s not like the outside shots are showing different parts of the grounds. We can only assume that the current owner has some secret Web 6.0 Electric Motor SuperDuperHyperUltraLoop High Speed mass transit project in those bedrooms that Cannot Be Photographed Upon Pain of Death or initialing every one of the 400 pages in the NDA.

Or, this being Orinda rather than Saratoga, it’s more likely a bunch of dead primates.

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:03 am

July 8, 2013

Not just a house, an adventure in Lafayette!

We hope you enjoyed your four day weekend. Of course, Burbed went to work every day, and you can read the last few days’ articles while you’re avoiding yours.  For today, we’ve got another example of East Bay Real Estate Win courtesy of Burbed reader J from Alameda.

130708-hillview-redfin3256 HILLVIEW Ln
Lafayette, CA 94549
$849,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,427 Sq. Ft.
$595 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1959
Lot Size: 9,963 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 21 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Contra Costa
Style: Ranch
Community: Lafayette
MLS#: 40619252

Fixer upper on private lane. Uncooperative tenant, eviction in process, no show at this time. Write offer subject to viewing.

Here’s why J ventured Off the Island to send this one in:

It’s all about the listing copy on this one. It’s simple. Just write an offer. No worries about the uncooperative tenant.

We like this listing. None of this namby-pamby open house, offers will be presented at 3 am a week from Tuesday nonsense. You want to see this house? Tough. The realtard couldn’t get inside and neither can you. If you dare to buy it, you get to find out what “uncooperative” means.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am

June 10, 2013

in-ground pool, custom tile entry way

It’s time for another week of Burbed win! You know what that means, right? Sure you do! Today’s fine featured fortress is brought to you by Burbed reader J from Alameda.  Yes, another bit of East Bay win today, in Walnut Creek!

And you know that by “win” we still mean the exact opposite of “win.”

130609-newell-redfin1764 NEWELL Ave
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
$734,900

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,977 Sq. Ft.
$372 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1948
Lot Size: 9,504 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 172 days
Status: Pend-REO
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Contra Costa
Style: Ranch
Community: Parkmead
MLS#: 40598733

This custom home has over 2000 sq ft of living space located in the heart of Parkmead. Home features an open floorplan, custom tile entry way, hardwood floors, sunroom (permits unknown) and updated master bath. The backyard has a in-ground pool. Call today for more information on this great home!!

130609-newell-open-planLet’s have J check in on why another East Bay property when there are so many deserving listings much closer to Google:

How about a nomination for most trips down Pending Lane? And a few price reductions thrown in for good measure.

Theories? Is it the pool? The unknown sunroom permits? Can’t be the freeway noise since it’s at least a block away. The house is on a busy 130609-newell-poolstreet but just doesn’t look so terrible. What am I missing?

Oh, sure, anyone can take a trip down Pending Lane if all you have to do is lounge around on the bank’s inventory.  And anyone can take multiple trips if the house isn’t in the Real Bay Area. RBA houses are in such demand that pushy buyers are known to force their way into bank VPs’ offices at gunpoint and demand they sell them the house at 10% over asking.

What, you think real bank robbers would hit a place like Cupertino?  And if they did, they sure as heck wouldn’t dare try Los Altos.

As to the house: 8 days too soon to call this an Old LIsting. Lot’s 496 feet too small to be “big.”  But, ah, the photos.  We’re talking win.

130609-newell-open-plan130609-newell-corner130609-newell-bedroom130609-newell-doorway130609-newell-kitchen

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

May 17, 2013

WOW! So many exclamation points in Walnut Creek all done with permits!

To finish out the workweek, let’s check out a place perfect for the athlete in us all. Thanks very much to Burbed reader J from Alameda for this well-sited wonder in Walnut Creek.  (You can laugh about our including yet another East Bay listing, but we have just one word to say about that. PENDING!)

130516-bonita-redfin1261 Bonita Ln
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
$649,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,356 Sq. Ft.
$479 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1948
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 15 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Contra Costa
Style: Contemporary
Community: Walnut Creek
MLS#: 40612878

WOW! Immaculate 3 bedroom/2 bathroom home in cul-de-sac location with separate 1 bedroom/1 bath cottage all done with permits! Gleaming hardwood floors, designer colors, and more. Nicely landscaped yards with Jacuzzi and lighted SPORTS COURT! Walk to Olympic in 2 minutes on nearby trail!

130516-bonita-sportscourtHere’s why J sent this house in:

This is a first: freeway noise wall in a listing photo! Granted its a photo of a cool basketball court but still. Cute house but what’s the air quality going to be like? Forget asking about noise issues. I’ve heard the freeway noise in these neighborhoods described as ‘a waterfall’, ‘white noise’, ‘rushing water’. Will it go over asking? Will it get multiple offers? Could a house with a freeway wall in the backyard ever sell in a market that is not red hot? Discuss.

130516-bonita-collectionsYou see a freeway wall, J. We see a lighted SPORTS COURT!

And note the Redfin Collections this house is part of. Is this a new category we’ve managed to miss until now? How can you even tell a property is subject to a bidding war unless you’re one of the people bidding on it?

Or was this one of those places where you had to wait in line to get into the Open House, where you felt obligated to submit an overbid when it was finally your turn to tour the interior?

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

May 15, 2013

Extreme privacy in Lafayette

Let’s see how the other half lives again.  No, not the have-nots versus the haves, the other half of the Bay Area! Yes, it’s time for another East Bay Extreme Edition!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Stefan in Lafayette for sending us this super siting story!

130514-hunsaker-redfin1571 Hunsaker Canyon Rd
Lafayette, CA 94549
$800,000

2 Beds
1 Baths
1,100 Sq. Ft.
$727 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1980
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 77 days
Property Type: Single-Family Home
View: Woods, Forest
County: Contra Costa
Style: Contemporary
Community: Walnut Creek/Lafayette
MLS#: 405200

OPEN HOUSE – SUNDAY 1 – 4. Extreme Privacy – Small house with wall-to-wall windows overlooking FOUR spectacular acres of trees, nature, peace and tranquility. Room for horses or 20+ cars. 2 or 3 bedrooms. Feels like a million miles away, yet only 15-minutes to the freeway. Road is paved from freeway to front door. Lafayette Schools are exceptional – some of the highest-ranked Public Schools in California. Also Open Houses on Saturday 03-02 and Sunday 03-03 from 1pm to 4pm. Please no drive-by’s on weekends during non-Open House hours or after 5pm. Offers reviewed Monday 03-04 at 3pm.

130514-hunsaker-frontPaging Stefan in Lafayette, white courtesy phone!

Here is a two bedroom house that has room for….um, two bedrooms? But on the bright side you can have up to 20 plus cars. But the date and time for reviews of the offers has passed…does that mean me and my 20 cars are out of luck? 

130514-hunsaker-laundryWow, so many numbers in this listing you’re going to need a CPA to audit it for you. FOUR acres, 20+ cars, 2 or 3 bedrooms, a million miles away yet only 15 minutes to the freeway.

Too bad the Open Houses were 60 days ago.  Wouldn’t have wanted to be at that agent’s desk Monday 03-04 at 3 pm!

Bunus: If you were thinking this street name sounded awfully familiar, you were right.  Can anyone find a murder at this house too, preferably San Jose Sharks-related?

Comments (1) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

May 10, 2013

Bay Area Bubble 4.0 Lands in… Walnut Creek!

All week we’ve been looking at examples of No Bubble Here, all over the San Francisco Bay Area. But today’s house shows otherwise.  Thanks very much to the Burbed reader who sent this in but wouldn’t make up a dorky nickname. (Warning: next time we make one up for you.)

130509-meadow-redfinUndisclosed Address
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
$550,000

4 Beds
2.5 Baths
2,213 Sq. Ft.
$249 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1947
Lot Size: 0.30 Acres
On Redfin: 14 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Contra Costa
Style: Ranch
Community: Walnut Creek
MLS#: 40612224

Great area of Walnut Creek, large level yard, needs lots of work bring your contractor NOT handyman!!

Here’s what Burbed reader Too Lazy To Even Try To Make Up My Own Nickname had to say about this listing:

I know inventory is tight where I’m looking but $550K????? For what?

Naming rights? Ahahahahaha!  Actually for $550K you also get the street name, which we will kindly provide to all our readers for absolutely nothing.  What better proof of a bubble is there than sellers who won’t tell you where the danged house is?

130509-meadow-movotoMeadow Rd,
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
$550,000

Loan Payment: $1,885/mo
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2&1/2
Size: 2,213 sqft
$/sqft: $248/sqft
Type: Single Family House
Year Built: 1947
Lot Size: 12,900
Days on Movoto: 14 days
MLS#: 40612224
Status: Pending

Great area of Walnut Creek, large level yard, needs lots of work bring your contractor NOT handyman!!

Oh, what’s this, you want a street number as well? Picky, picky. Some people are just so demanding.

130509-meadow-google-where

Estately’s listing doesn’t have the address anymore, so let’s hear it for latency in search engines!  Let’s also hear it for the great job Zillow did hiding that this place is for sale.

130509-meadow-zillow

Bring your contractor and CIA agent not handyman and GPS!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

April 4, 2013

Day Deal in Danville: Dollar Deluge for Doing Diddlysquat

BlogAtoZ-DWelcome back to Day #4 of the Danged blogging from A to Z challenge. Despite Dropout, we’re Determined to Drag our Dozen Dear readers through Daily Dumps!

Excuse us.  We’re got a Delightful Domicile for your to Drool on the Drapes! But Don’t Despair! We’re Driving a Distance to Danville for this Detached single family Dreck.

Drop any Disgust; the Day’s Display Deserves Decent Drama.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Kim from the East Bay for this Donation.

130403-ferncroft-redfin531 FERNCROFT Ct
Danville, CA 94526
Sold for $678,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,938 Sq. Ft.
$350 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1974
Lot Size: 9,963 Sq. Ft.
Sold On: Mar 27, 2013
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Contra Costa
Style: Ranch
Community: Danville
MLS#: 40604422

Wonderful ranch style home on a large, private lot. Vaulted ceilings in family room w/ wood burning fireplace. Dine in kitchen with newer appliances. Formal dining room and living room. Dual pane windows. Large parklike backyard with patio. Home needs some TLC.

130403-ferncroft-kitchenLet’s Dial in with Kim:

Look at the listing history:

Listed for $650 a mere 24 hours after being purchased for $565K (Feb 21-22) Closes on March 27 for $678

130403-ferncroft-dhoBUY NOW OR BE PRICED OUT FOREVER!!!

You can’t even call it a flip since he may as well just have used the same listing photos.. the only difference is the house is vacant. Not a bad profit for zero work.

Don’t Diss the Dealer! Why Do you Despise Democracy so much? Maybe you should Dig Ditches in Da Nang if you Don’t Declare Dittoes! Dude, we Direct you to the old Data.  The Dated Depictions are worth a Detour, as the Domicile is not only 130403-ferncroft-yardDecorated, we even found a Double-Double DHO (Dudettes Hanging Out) Distinction! (see left side mirror and its Doppelgangers).

Also the previous listing features lawn Décor from another Development, Different Date, Domain… it looks like a Disk from the Island of Yap.

Or a Demon-sized Donut.

D’oh!

The Detail:

130403-ferncroft-history

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

March 21, 2013

This is why The Real Bay Area is Awesome

We get some interesting comments from people who don’t agree with our definition of what the Real Bay Area (RBA) is. Many seem to think that if an area is wealthier than its surrounding community, that, in and of itself, is sufficient for RBAhood.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

The whole point of the RBA is that it is not only expensive, it is that you will pay a crapton of money to live there and the sellers can ask over three million yet treat you with complete and utter disdain. You will also end up with a house that isn’t even worth photographing. Today’s property illustrates this perfectly.

130320-waverly-redfin1801 WAVERLEY St
Palo Alto, CA 94301
$3,295,000

5 Beds
3.5 Baths
2,982 Sq. Ft.
$1,105 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1932
Lot Size: 9,000 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 7 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Community: Old Palo Alto
MLS#: 81307920
Style: Colonial
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

Upcoming Open Houses

Saturday, Mar 23: 1:30-4:30 pm
Sunday, Mar 24: 1:30-4:30 pm

Prime Old Palo Alto!Old world charm meets modern amenities! Lovely 5 bedroom, 3.5 bath home. 2 master suites; one on each floor. Large family room adjacent to spacious kitchen. This home features a huge 9000 +/- sf lot. It is perfect for large gatherings & extended family visits. Updated kitchen and baths with tile counters and newer appliances.

130320-waverly-streetviewYes, this is a vintage home (just slipping in under our definition to earn the “old house” tag) in a desirable part of Palo Alto, but it isn’t being marketed as a teardown. It’s just that the agent obviously has better things to do than pull out the iPhone and snap a dozen listing photos.

Good thing there’s Google Streetview!  Isn’t this place just fabulous?

130320-waverly-streetview2Guess you’ll never know unless you show up at the Open Houses this weekend.  Also, many sections of Streetview around this house have been blurred out. Perhaps this home is owned by a highly-placed Googler.  This view around the corner from Tennyson was the best we could do.

But you’ve seen plenty of properties on Burbed showcasing Palo Alto. (Heck, we’ve visited Waverley Street so often they ought to rename it Burbed Boulevard.)  We were trying to make a point about the difference between RBA and not-so-RBA.  Let’s see what you could get for pretty much the same amount of money over the Bay and through the Caldecott.

130320-oaks-redfin6 GREAT OAKS Cir
Orinda, CA 94563
$3,350,000

3 Beds
3.5 Baths
4,350 Sq. Ft.
$770 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1949
Lot Size: 2.32 Acres
On Redfin: 541 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
Community: Glorietta
MLS#: 40544806
Style: Contemporary
View: Other
County: Contra Costa

Original Frank Lloyd Wright designed home built in 1949. The stunning grounds were landscaped by Henry Matsutani who did the Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park. Incredible opportunity to own a bit of history/ a work of art. All showings subject to screening process. Call agents for details.

130320-oaks-diningThat’s right.  If you’re willing to spend the same amount in Orinda, you can own a house actually designed by Frank Lloyd fucking Wright. Not only that, the landscaping is by the same master gardener behind the Japanese I-shit-you-not Tea Garden.  In Golden goddamned Gate Park. Which we think even Silicon Valley software dweebs have heard of. Plus the Orinda house is on more than two acres.

It’s also been for sale for a year and a half and has had two major price reductions.

130320-oaks-statuesBut in Old Palo Alto, you get a house on nine thousand feet, and you will like it.  And if you don’t plenty of others will, because this house has only been on the market for a week, and after the Open House you know the sellers will be receiving all seventy-nine offers the following Tuesday, and decide which of the no-contingencies-extra-cash-please-with-homemade-brownies-and-a-Tesla-Model-S begging letters they will accept.

And THAT, my friends, is the Real difference between the Real Bay Area and the Rest.

Thanks to the fun folks at Redfin Forums for inspiring today’s article.

Comments (23) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am