February 8, 2013

A very not-RBA listing in an almost-RBA town

Burbed just doesn’t give the East Bay enough love, so we’re always delighted when our readers send us something from Alameda or Contra Costa County.  Today’s featured listing is from one of the more rarified regions of CCC, but you’ll see that there’s nothing Real about this Bay Area bonanza.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Kim in the East Bay for this Danville domicile!

130207-lagonda-redfin898 La Gonda Way
Danville, CA 94526
$619,500

3 Beds
1 Baths
1,112 Sq. Ft.
$557 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1953
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 67 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Single-Family Home
County: Contra Costa
Community: Danville/San Ramon |
MLS#: 403322

Single family home on large level lot with 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, living room with fireplace, dining area, large kitchen, huge yard, 2 car garage parking.

 

130207-lagonda-kitchenAre we lost? This looks like something not from Danville, but maybe Connecticut.  Bricks, autumn foliage, and what could pass for aluminum siding; all we need are some shooting ranges in those woods over the back fence.  And that spare prose is pure Yankee, other than the outburst about the huge yard.  So huge the lot size isn’t even provided (9583 sf, even that’s more East Coast than East Bay).

Maybe we’re not lost but this house is. The price has been reduced twice, and the agent couldn’t be bothered to clean up before taking the listing pix.  Even the dog carrier stays.

130207-lagonda-satellite

Did we mention location, location, location?

Comments (38) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am






January 20, 2013

More Bubbly Brewing: Line-ups & Lotteries

New houses selling like they’re going out of style. In San Ramon, where they actually are making more land.

Hundreds of hopeful San Ramon buyers line up for new construction lotto

Posted By: Jenny Pisillo | San Francisco Chronicle | January 18 at 4:00 am

Back in August, local East Bay Redfin real estate agents forwarded us a picture of hopeful homebuyers camping out – yes, spending the night (some up to 1 month) – to be one of the first to have the opportunity to buy a new construction home in the Shapell Homes Solaire development of San Ramon’s Gale Ranch community.

Fast forward to January – only the 4 model homes are left. Knowing that there would be high demand and wanting to avoid the cluttered look of tents, Shapell decided to have a lottery system to release the homes. Tickets were given out last Saturday morning at 10, and the lucky drawing was an hour later at 11am.

These people in the photo aren’t lining up for a chance to buy a new release of homes. They’re in line to get one of four tickets in a lottery to buy the four remaining model homes. And they will cost $50-90,000 more than they did just five months ago. As is. Penalty if not purchased by 2/28.

Which leads to this weekend Open Thread. How long are lines at the open houses? Are they having lotteries for who gets the glossy fliers?

 

Comments (29) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

November 27, 2012

Low Prices? Nobody beats us for low prices: Contra Costa Edition

121122-blackfridayYesterday’s house seems to be a disappointment to some of you. There were some critics calling out the neighborhood, or maybe the neighbors. Maybe you don’t understand what we’re doing here.  We said we would find you the cheapest house in every county.  We are then doing that. If the neighborhood isn’t la-di-dah enough for you sip-your-tea-with-a-raised-pinky types, just keep your jodhpurs on. We’ll include some Real Bay Area cities in our Black Friday Deals.

Just… not yet!  Today, the cheapest house in all of Contra Costa County! Behold!

121126-cutting-redfin2819 CUTTING Blvd
Richmond, CA 94804
$49,950

1 Beds 
1 Baths
694 Sq. Ft.
$72 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1940 
Lot Size: 2,500 Sq. Ft. 
On Redfin: 48 days
Status: Active
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Contra Costa
Style: Bungalow
Community: South Richmond
MLS#: 40592250

Must See To Appreciate

This is the house. You want it? Must See to Appreciate. No lookie, no value go up.  Simple.  Boom.  But only one photo. Can’t really see it. And you must see it. You must to appreciate.

121126-cutting-satellite

Think writing a listing like this is easy? Sure. Writing listings is easy. You just sit down by an MLS terminal and bleed.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

October 5, 2012

UPDATEDx2 with a MURDER: WOW! Sunrise and Sunset included! PRICED TO SELL !!!

9:50 AM: See end for update.  It’s worth it.
12:09 PM: Another update on the other murder.

It’s time to play Build a Ginormous House Somewhere Not As Expensive As The Real Bay Area and then try to find a buyer! Ready?  It’s Burbed reader J from Alameda‘s turn with this lovely Lafayette listing.

121004-hunsaker-redfin1901 HUNSAKER CANYON Rd
Lafayette, CA 94549
$1,998,000

4 Beds
3.5 Baths
6,200 Sq. Ft.
$322 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2003
Lot Size: 13.50 Acres
On Redfin: 39 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 3+
Community: Burton Valley
MLS#: 40587017
Style: Other
View: Canyon, Carquinez, City Lights, Forest, Hills, Mountains, Mt. Diablo, Valley
County: Contra Costa

WOW! $1+M price reduction! What a buy!! 13+- acres. Gated 360% View! Italian Villa/ stone, hardwood fls, custom & antique lighting. Finest materials including stone, hardwood, beautiful moldings and mllwork. Sunrise and Sunset included ! Rm for pool tennis/guest house/vineyard. PRICED TO SELL !!!

121004-hunsaker-kawlums-archHere’s why J from A sent this in:

As promised, a lovely chateau – in the Lafayette hills. Of note: a million dollar price reduction, a reasonable $322 a square foot and lots of columns.

Somehow it seems that 3.5 bathrooms spread across 6,200 sq feet of living space is not quite the usual ratio – a new way to measure houses – bathrooms per square feet? I am sure the buyer will be happy to have an elevator to navigate all those stories. Enjoy!

121004-hunsaker-kawlums-balconyYou’re right, J. We’ve noted the business of beaucoup bathrooms in ginormous houses for people with too much money and not enough taste. No wonder this place had a million dollar price reduction.  According to the LA Times, this house needs at minimum 8 rooms for waste disposal and sluicing.

Good thing it was PRICED TO SELL !!! We’ve seen enough houses that were priced to stay empty or priced to sit on the listing service for years and years.

Like, um, this house:

121004-hunsaker-listing-history

Even Zillow thinks the house is worth $2,169,784. Instant equity!  Ka-ching!

Update 9:50 AM: Burbed reader magdalena alerts us to this 2005 SF Chronicle article that specifically mentions the house.  In a this-would-never-be-believed-as-fiction tragedy, the wife of criminal defense lawyer Daniel Horowitz was murdered in “the entryway of the home.” Wikipedia says she was murdered in a mobile home on the property while their “dream house” was being completed.  The murder occurred four days after the beginning of a high-profile trial where Horowitz was defending Susan Polk, accused of killing her husband in their Orinda home. Horowitz had taken the case after Polk had fired her previous lawyers for encouraging her to plead insanity.

This led to a mistrial, but as Horowitz prepared for Polk’s second trial, she fired him, convinced that he had something to do with his wife’s murder.  16 year old Scott Dyleski was convicted of the murder; supposedly he intended to kill a neighbor who had run over his dog and went to the wrong house.  Polk’s story manages to get even more bizarre after Horowitz was fired (this Dateline NBC link confirms the mobile home claim from Wikipedia).

WOW!  Sunrise and sunset is just the entryway of what’s included with this house!

Update 12:09 PM: Murder kills home values as well as people.  Check out Susan Polk’s house.  We found a listing e-flyer, and Redfin has the price history:

 

 

Comments (29) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

August 30, 2012

Non-RBA property for (don’t laugh) $2,583 a square foot

Today’s house is absolutely, positively, we promise and pinky swear, really, truly NOT IN MOUNTAIN VIEW.  It isn’t even in Palo Alto.  Today, we are headed up to Contra Costa County, where Burbed reader J from Alameda has a little real estate riddle for us.

Meanwhile, are you someone who doesn’t live in or look at houses in Mountain View or Palo Alto?  If you find one that’s #winning, send it on over!  Heck, send us more houses in Mountain View and Palo Alto too.  We’re willing to point and laugh at almost anything.

30 QUAIL Xing
Moraga, CA 94556
$3,100,000

120829-quail-redfin

120829-quail-living$3,100,000 Price
1 Beds
1 Baths
1,200 Sq. Ft.
$2,583 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2010
Lot Size: 53.71 Acres
On Redfin: 258 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
Community: Rancho Moraga
MLS#: 40554737
Style: Ranch
View: Hills
County: Contra Costa

120829-quail-frontNewer 1200 SF Guest Cottage sits on 4.35± acres w/ flat building pad for a 5700± SF home, 6 stall Castlebrook barn, sport court & 360 degree view. 2nd parcel of 49± Agric. zoned acres has 2.5± acres planted w/ 3100 vines & expansion to 20+ acres possible. Abuts EBMUD open space and trails.

Here’s why J sent this in:

Over the hills and through the woods….I just had to send this in (not going anywhere fast) its just 120829-quail-far-awaysuch an incredible RBA price per square foot – $2583 – but not in the RBA. Now you get a lovely barn, sport court and ‘guest house’ with one bedroom and one bath….some teeny tiny grape vines – and yes, that lovely cement pad just waiting for its 5,700 sf, give or take – house. What, by the way is sport court? And, it’s not even in the RBA! It’s a long way down the hill(s) to get on Orinda Bart (yes, Bart) to get to RBA land. Or the other hill into the backside of Oakland.

And the 120829-quail-sportcourtrealator was nice enough to note – those 40 some odd acres are zoned agricultural – meaning, I imagine, no subdividing. What, exactly, was the original buyer thinking? Spec guest house? Forget to leave some money in the budget for the house?

Ps – out looking at houses on Sunday and drove by the half finished house – the one with the lovely garbage can shot on Olympic (Lafayette?) – I recognized the plywood. Looks about the same.

Wait, wait, you left out the best part.  The street name is half English, half Mandarin!  We can’t figure out if it’s named for where the quail are run over by vehicles or merely shot by Dick Cheney.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

April 23, 2012

Trespassing Squatters Occupying Short Sale Property File TRO Against the Selling Agent. Yes You Read That Correctly.

Happy Monday!  We’ve got another exciting story for you, about some riveting residents who really respect realtards.  Read on!

Squatters issue restraining order against real estate agent

120421-antioch-squattersKTVU Channel 2,
Posted: 9:49 p.m. Friday, April 20, 2012

ANTIOCH, Calif. —  A Bay Area real estate agent said she’s being taken to court by squatters in Antioch who have taken over a house she’s trying to sell.

As many as three people have been living in the Concord home since December. Even though the owner never gave them permission to move in, they’re apparently not moving out without a fight.

Real estate agent Melissa Case said she can’t get too close to the four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom home she’s listed for sale in Antioch because the unauthorized residents took her to court.

“I have a temporary restraining order against me right now,” Case said. “I cannot come within 50 yards of the home, which was filed by the squatters.”

Case is definitely a Real Estate Professional.  You can tell from the way she talks, because it reads just like listing copy we see every day here.  The home was filed by the squatters,  Got it.  So you’re going to love this next quote from Ms. Case:

“Actually the police came out and verified that their… rental agreement? [air quotes]… was false and full of misspellings.”

Because nothing says Real Estate Professional like an example of their work product written up full of misspellings.

Here’s the house, and it was not easy to find.  Case described it as a “four bedroom two and a half bath” but Redfin listed it as a 4/3.  Also just to really mess with our minds, the article also said it was in Concord (see the second paragraph above).  Do you have any idea how many freaking short sales there are in Antioch? Or Concord?  Let’s just say I have a feeling we’re not in Los Altos anymore.

5116 THISTLEWOOD Ct
Antioch, CA 94531
$149,000

120421-thistlewood-redfin

BEDS: 4
BATHS: 3
SQ. FT.: 1,873
$/SQ. FT.: $80
LOT SIZE: 5,900 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Traditional
STORIES: 2
YEAR BUILT: 1991
COMMUNITY: Antioch
COUNTY: Contra Costa
MLS#: 40568008
SOURCE: EBRD
STATUS: Pending
ON REDFIN: 23 days

End of Court Location and Across the street from the neighborhood park!! This home needs TLC.

End of Court!  Get it?  Get it?  Because the agent got taken to court!  Ahahahahahaha!

And speaking of short sales, the “homeowner in Berkeley” picked up this winner of a house for $460,000.  In 2004.  The current asking price is 23% less than what the house sold for, new, in 1992.  Perhaps “needs TLC” means “Teardown, Level and Condemn.”

Comments (18) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

February 9, 2012

Are having a hard time finding the perfect home?

Today we return to the Not Real Bay Area, for a very special home despite the location.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader J from Alameda for this listing, which we join already in progress.

2431 Olympic Blvd
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
$389,000

120208-olympic-redfin

BEDS: 4
BATHS:  4
SQ. FT.:  2,741
$/SQ. FT.:  $142
LOT SIZE:  9,100 Sq. Ft.
TYPE:  Detached
STYLE:  Contemporary
STORIES:  1
YEAR BUILT:  2009
COMMUNITY:  Saranap
COUNTY:  Contra Costa
MLS#:  40555341
SOURCE:  EBRD
STATUS:  Active
ON REDFIN:  48 days

Are having a hard time finding the perfect home? then this is a must see! You could finish this home and customize it to fit your needs. 4 bedroom 4 bath with a pool.

120208-olympic-trashbinsHere’s what J had to say about this fine find:

Burbed fan here – this is the first listing I have found that is Burbed worthy….the photo of the trash bins has to be unique. Zillow has a photo that appears to be a small hole in the ground…..

Oh dear, if J from Alameda thinks a photo of a trash bin or two in a home listing is unique, then clearly we 120208-olympic-interioraren’t doing our job that well.  There’s now a trash bins tag so everyone who enjoys comparing bins around the Bay Area can peruse them at their leisure.  We just had a bunch of them featured earlier this week.

But while this home isn’t unique in featuring photos of where to put your garbage and recycling, it sure lets you know what an absolute blast you’ll have sprucing the place up.  120208-olympic-yardThat is, if by “blast” we are actually referring to the effect it will have on your finances.

Anyone have any luck locating the promised pool?  Do you think this is it?

Or is it hidden under the unique trash bins?

120208-olympic-holeNo luck looking on Zillow.  They don’t have any pictures of this house at all, other than the default birds-eye shot.  That could be because the listing was removed on February 4th.

But this must be the picture J was thinking of, courtesy of Trulia.  Trulia has a different set of pictures than Redfin for this home.  This could very well be the pool.  Or it could be the Portal to Hell.

Customize it to fit your needs.

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

January 27, 2012

This house blue me away

What’s this, another find from the East Bay?  Yes, we’re back in El Cerrito, courtesy of Burbed reader Becca.  This may not be the Real Bay Area, but the house is definitely Burbed-worthy.  Read on to find out why.

1120 Lawrence Ct
El Cerrito, CA 94530
$405,900

120126-lawrence-redfin

BEDS: 4
BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 1,992
$/SQ. FT.: $204
LOT SIZE: 4,200 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Contemporary, Fixer/Handyman Special
STORIES: 2
YEAR BUILT: 1969
COMMUNITY: El Cerrito
COUNTY: Contra Costa
MLS#: 40554395
SOURCE: EBRD
STATUS: Pending
ON REDFIN: 44 days

Submit all offers- seller wants this sold NOW!! Large home on quiet court. This home has lots of potential with great floor plan. Some finsh work and updating will really make this shine. Buyer responsible for all compliance issues- property sold "As-Is". $75 buyer doc fee at COE.

120126-lawrence-livroomHere’s why Becca thought this house was worth looking into:

I’ve been reading Burbed for a while, and I was happy to see that you featured something in my neck of the woods today.  If you care to show another house in El Cerrito, this one has some interesting attributes:

This one was listed earlier this spring for ~$600k, cash only, and the description of the house mentioned that it had been a "pot house".  I don’t know if the hideous blue color all over everything helps the plants grow faster.

No luck recovering a cached version of the one hit I got for this address and “pot house.”

120126-google-pothouse

120126-lawrence-backyardLooks like the back yard would suit just fine.  Although it’s what’s behind the back yard that made this place so well-suited for its former function.

Remember that house we just featured in San Mateo?  What’s a bug for a residence is a feature for a grow house! 

Feast your eyes on the satellite shot!  There’s no way this blue beauty is subject to any power outages!

120126-lawrence-satellite

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:51 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

December 10, 2011

Cannonball! Not in the pool, through your house!

Here’s another problem to worry about while you’re househunting.  You already knew about busy streets, railroad tracks, airports, and high-voltage power lines.  Did you also check to make sure that Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters production crew isn’t firing cannonballs on a nearby artillery range? 

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Real Alex for alerting us to this unique location fail.

Mythbusters Accidentally Shoot House

The cannonball that caused the damage came from the popular show "Mythbusters."

By Mathew Luschek, |  Wednesday, Dec 7, 2011  |  Updated 9:11 AM PST

A projectile from an Alameda County firing range in Dublin  accidentally missed its intended target, said JD Nelson, the public information officer for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. Instead, the object blasted through the wall of a home near Tassajara Road and Somerset Lane.

The projectile reportedly entered the home through one wall and exited through another. It also damaged a vehicle in the neighborhood.

According to the Alameda Sheriff, the cannonball "took a few unfortunate bounces" during a "Mythbusters" experiment gone awry.

image

The softball-sized cannonball was fired off at the Alameda County Sheriff’s office bomb disposal range in Dublin, on a US Army Combat range next to Santa Rita Jail.  The ball should have hit a row of barrels full of water, which would have reduced its momentum. 

Instead, the cannon misfired, the 30 pound shot missed the barrels and bounced off the hillside surrounding the firing range.  This launched it toward homes in the Tassajara Creek neighborhood 700 yards away.

image

The blasted ball traveled right through this Cassata Place house (shown by the blue pin on the map above), smashing through the front door, internal walls, and out the back.  Note that despite the front door entry, the peripatetic plus-sized pellet propelled itself UP THE STAIRS and departed from the second floor. 

image

image

image

Residents of the house slept through the whole thing, woken by the settling plaster dust.

From there the pitiless projectile propagated across six-lane Tassajara Road, repeatedly bounced off Ming Jiang’s tiled roof on Bellevue Circle (shown by the red pin in the map above), then went through the window of Jasbir Gill’s minivan on Springvale Drive (green pin), smashed the dashboard and came to rest inside.  Gill had been in the Toyota Sienna with his 13 year old son just ten minutes before the incident.  The County Sheriff’s office took both minivan and cannonball as evidence.

image

Homes in this neighborhood are valued from $550K to $680K and are about ten years old.  ZEstimates suggest that they are currently worth what they were selling for when they were built in 2000 and 2001, with peak ZEstimates at an even million back in December, 2005.  This Streetview picture of Gill’s Springvale Drive home also caught the doomed Toyota Sienna, long before its cannonball contact.

image

imageAs of this writing, nobody from Mythbusters would return calls to media.   Host Adam Savage hung up on a San Francisco Chronicle reporter.

Meanwhile, a tweet sent on Tuesday by Mythbusters co-host Grant Imahara (photo at right), mentioning the planned cannon experiments, was scrubbed along with the photo it had linked to.

Mythbusters has been using the firing range/bomb disposal area for the past eight years without incident.  While the show is San Francisco-based, their artillery experiments are not.  Just one more reason to stick to the Real Bay Area when looking for a house!

image

imageUpdate: Looks like the Mythbusters stars, hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, visited the neighborhood in person and promised to make repairs to all affected properties.  They also promised not to fire any more cannonballs at the firing range, saying they would use a range in the Gold Country for their “can a cannonball breach a castle wall” experiments.  The Dublin range is shut while the County Sheriff’s office reviews the incident.

Given that these are Bay Area castles, the answer to whether a cannonball can breach a castle wall is obviously yes.  Myth confirmed!

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am