May 23, 2012

Nine million dollar house, kitchen needs updating

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Wendie for this palatial pad in Palo Alto!  And unlike almost every other property in Palo Alto, this one’s still for sale despite this my sitting on it since April.  Remember, there is nothing wrong with any house that price cannot fix.  And by those standards, this house is definitely a fixer.

1870 UNIVERSITY Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301
$8,995,000

120522-university-redfin[4]

BEDS: 6
BATHS: 6
SQ. FT.: 9,319
$/SQ. FT.: $965
LOT SIZE: 1.97 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Spanish
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT: 1929
COMMUNITY: Crescent Park
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81211470
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 55 days

One of PA’s largest lots! GardnerDailey’s classic Monterey Colonial style of architecture. The interior is classic and stylish featuring a lavish master suite w/ spa inspired bathroom, and 5 additional bedrooms, 3 with en suite baths. Additional 1 bedroom apartment above a 3 car detached garage completes the generous accommodations totaling over 9,300 sf. Park like 86k sf lot in Crescent Park.

120522-university-countersHere’s what Wendie had to say about this house:

What an awful kitchen! 

For a 9M dollar house, couldn’t they have AT LEAST upgraded the kitchen counter tops? Amazingly crappy kitchen for 9M!
120522-university-kitchenNo, no, no, Wendie, this is an amazing vintage kitchen for 9M!  After all, this is Palo Alto.  What would be a problem in any other listing just automagically converts that bug into a feature.  Weird countertops?  More awesomeness.

And talk about convenience!  Look where this house is located!

120522-university-satellite

Right next to East Palo Alto!  This home is guaranteed to be the very first place those delightful scamps will visit for a few good-natured pranks when hijinks ensue!

Comments (30) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am






December 8, 2011

This is what Two and a Half Million looks like

We’ve been having such a whirlwind tour of the Bay Area that we forgot about one of our favorite places!  And just because the seller took this sky-high priced listing off the market doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it.  Anyone could contact the agent with the right price to make this sale happen.  Remember, it only takes ONE buyer.  One really misinformed buyer.

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Wendie for this eye-popping palace in Palo Alto!

405 MARLOWE St, Palo Alto, CA 94301
OFF-MARKET ($2,495,000, Reduced to $2,370,000)

image

BEDS: 4
BATHS: 3
SQ. FT.: 3,108
$/SQ. FT.: $660
LOT SIZE: 10,000 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT: 1960
COMMUNITY: Crescent Park
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80656322
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Sold

Price Reduced Again! Execellent location in Crescent Park. Square 10,419 lot Designed for easy living. Sep guest qrts or recreation room. Very light inside House Sq Ft are approximate. .. Remodel or Build . .Not in Special Flood Zone

imageHere’s what Wendie had to say about this big lot with location, location, location!

2.4 for an Eichler.

For 2.4 million, you can have your own carport AND hear the travel up and down University! And boy, does this glorified Eichler have some curb appeal!!  Look at that driveway, circa 1957.

So much curb appeal the agent didn’t dare put the front of the house as the first listing photo.  Potential buyers might expire on the spot from the awesomeness of this place with an opening like that.  Execellent!

But Burbed has you covered!  All FOUR of the pictures of this 3100 square foot house are here for your viewing pleasure (two inside, two out!), just in case the MLS copy and pix get yanked.

imageimage

“Bunus”: it’s NOT in a Special Flood Zone, which is a real shame.  For this kind of money, everything about the house ought to be Special.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

July 25, 2011

Red Skies at Morning, Buyer Take Warning

It’s been far too long since we featured a house from one of our favorite zip codes.  Let’s return to Palo Alto, where red ink flows everywhere.

1293 MARTIN Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301
$3,195,000

image

BEDS: 5
BATHS: 3
SQ. FT.: 3,420
$/SQ. FT.: $934
LOT SIZE: 0.26 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Traditional
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT: 1938
COMMUNITY: Crescent Park
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81127805
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 29 days

Traditionally inspired classic home in the heart of the Crescent Park. 5BR, 3BA on a spacious 11,000+ sf lot. 3,420 square foot floor plan includes formal living/dining rooms, and spacious kitchen/great room. French doors lead to a trellised deck, and spacious back yard. There is also an expansive brick patio perfect for outside dining and entertaining, as well as a detached two-car garage.

What would you call those angry red windows, zombie or werewolf?  Even the walkway is pretty steamed!

Well, once you take a look inside, you’ll figure this is a house for an Alzheimer’s patient.  This place reminds me of a house we had in Sunnyvale a few months ago.  With this kind of paint scheme, you’ll always know where you are, or at least which room you’re in.

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imageimage

imageimage

This house is just perfect for the “everything in its place” type of person, although the mismatched dining room chairs in photo #6 would probably drive you to strong drink.  Just write out a nice check above the demand price, and everything will be taken care of.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

May 7, 2011

Mark Zuckerberg Done with Renting

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg buys house in Palo Alto

By Mike Swift and Pete Carey, SJ Mercury News
Posted: 05/05/2011 07:30:35 AM PDT, Updated: 05/05/2011 07:30:42 AM PDT

imageLong after he became a billionaire, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg still rented modest digs. But now one of Silicon Valley’s top tech celebrities has become a first-time homeowner, recently buying a large house in Palo Alto that is a 10-minute drive from what will soon be Facebook’s new corporate campus in Menlo Park.

Zuckerberg has lived in Palo Alto almost continuously since he moved Facebook to Silicon Valley straight from his Harvard dorm room in 2004. Now, with the fast-growing company preparing for a widely expected initial public stock offering and a move into its first permanent home in the former Sun Microsystems campus, Zuckerberg also appears to be settling down.

While the subject of the Hollywood hit "The Social Network" isn’t expected to move in for several months, his new home in a leafy and affluent Palo Alto neighborhood has more than 5,000 square feet, with a saltwater pool, a music alcove and five bedrooms for when friends and family of the Facebook founder come to visit.

Sources close to Facebook confirmed that Zuckerberg bought a house in Palo Alto, but declined to say which one. The real estate transaction did not close under Zuckerberg’s name. However, public records requests revealed a trail of clues leading to a property purchased for $7 million.

This newspaper is not printing the address because of concerns for the privacy of the sellers, who still live there, and Zuckerberg.

image

Don’t worry, this blog wouldn’t let a little thing like privacy stop us from Liking Mark’s new Mansion.  Or at least Friending it.  So, since the Merc was kind enough to give us a few details, such as more than 5000 sf, 17,000 sf lot and a $7 million dollar purchase price, it wasn’t that difficult to find:

1456 Edgewood Dr, Palo Alto, CA  94301
$7,000,000

image

BEDS: 5
BATHS: 5.5
FINISHED SQFT: 5,617
UNFINISHED SQFT: 3,394
TOTAL SQFT: 9,011
FLOORS: 2
LOT SIZE: 16,995
STYLE: Single Family Residential
YEAR BUILT: 1903
YEAR RENOVATED: 1990
COUNTY: Santa Clara County
APN: 00311038
LAST UPDATED: April 14, 2011

Nobody would ever have suspected that “1456 EDGEWOOD DR HOLDINGS LLC” was actually the Facebook Dude.  Free Clue: Next time you buy a house, name your holding corporation after some people.

Here’s something fascinating, the house was listed for $5,850,000, which means the Zuckster overbid on this hot property down the street from the Beautiful Eichler with Poo!  Here’s what the GoogleCam has on this house:

image

We can give you a better view than that.  Whoever set up 1456edgewooddrive.com forgot to take all their pages down!

image

There’s page after page of house pr0n on this fact sheet, but just a look at the master bedroom suite description makes me wonder if this is really the ZuckerFriend we’re talking about:

  • Double interior French doors open to this personal retreat complete with crown molding, built-in speakers and a pocket door accessing the walk-in closet with custom built-ins
  • The light-filled spa-inspired master bath is opulently finished with Carrera marble flooring and slab countertops; marble slab baseboards are set beneath paneled wainscoting; two windows over the deep soaking tub with exposed nickel features welcome floods of natural light; additional appointments include Nuheat® electric heated floors, his and hers sink vanities with built-in mirrored medicine cabinets flanked by two wall sconces, a tremendous Carrera marble lined stall shower with dual showerheads and hexagonal tile flooring & a separately enclosed commode with skylight 

image

Bonus: Thrilling history of the property document has the address wrong on starting on the second page!

Update: Literally right after I uploaded this, Burbed reader San Matean shared this post from the Chronicle, with more pictures.  That’s the downside of a one article a day kind of blog.  However, the Chron in turn quotes the LA Times, which has this terrific description of the area from one of Mark’s new neighbors-to-be.

[The neighbor] described a neighborhood that is friendly but not that friendly. "Generally people do know who lives next door and across the street and say hello, but that’s about it," [he] said. He recalled that the most recent block party was held in 1976. "Everyone agreed we’d have to do it again," he said.

Palo Alto Online has the story too.  Honest, we had all this two days ago!

Comments (43) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

April 6, 2011

Substandard but buildable lot! no value/no foundation no reports AS IS-WHERE IS (not guaranteed) No no no with restrictions

Thanks to Burbed reader Real Estater who shared this house in comments, and calls this “Unbeatable value in 94301.”  I think he misspelled “Uninhabitable.”

434 FULTON St, Palo Alto, CA 94301
$599,950

image

BEDS: 1
BATHS: 1
SQ. FT.: 1,224
$/SQ. FT.: $490
LOT SIZE: 3,936 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT: 1912
COMMUNITY: Crescent Park
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81113725
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 1 day
NEW LISTING (24 HOURS)

Strictly Land Value! Substandard but buildable lot! Existing structure no value/no foundation. No reports. AS IS-WHERE IS for house, systems, any pers. prop. Buyers to do all due diligence in advance. Per City PA (not guaranteed. Buyer to independently investigate/confirm) No 2nd story or basement allowed. New Requires 1 covered + 1 uncovered parking. .45% FAR with restrictions.

imageAnother refreshing entry!  How many homes for sale in Palo Alto have the word “substandard” in the listing or say the house has no value or foundation?  Too few!  And no reports.  And no 2nd story or basement.  Remember, you may deserve a Yes in San Jose, but all you’re getting in Palo Alto is a bunch of No no no no no (buyer to independently investigate/confirm).

As to the .45% FAR;  It does say POINT four five percent above, right?  Decimal point and a percentage. Math class is tough! 

That means 0.0045 of the land can be built on.  So, .0045 times 3936, carry the three, um… you can build a 17.712 square foot structure on this lot.  Yes, under eighteen square feet.  Here is something that is 18 square feet, the kitchen on the right.

imageOh, wait, the rotating kitchen uses up 18 square feet.  We need something that shows how much room you have if your living space is 18 square feet. How about this half-bath plan!

So, the realtard can’t do math and clearly slept through fifth grade when decimals and percentages were covered. Just the trained professional you want representing you in a $600,000 transaction involving lots and lots of minutiae like building codes and escrow balance sheets.  He really meant 45% or .45 FAR.  Palo Alto would never restrict you to an eighteen square foot house when tearing down a 99 year old scraper.  (Piedmont would.)

That means you can build up to a 1771.2 sf house on the substandard lot, whoops, you need a covered parking space plus an uncovered one, guess you better take 200 feet off for the mandatory one-car garage.  Still, a 1571 sf house is bigger than what’s there now.  Plus it will have the added advantage of having luxurious extras such as a foundation. And value.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

December 7, 2010

Black Friday Sale: Cheapest House in 94301

There are several properties in Palo Alto’s most self-satisfied zip code going for ROCK-BOTTOM price, so we’ll just focus on the Special One.  In this case Special means without a view of the railroad tracks.

1185 Lincoln Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301
$849,000

image

Beds: 2
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 770
$/Sq. Ft.: $1,103
Lot Size: 2,450 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1926
Community: Crescent Park
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81050167
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 51 days

One of the most sought after courts in Palo Alto. Family oriented, social and friendly neighbors. Quiet, private and safe environment. Newly painted and refreshed home inside and out. Wonderful curb appeal, plenty of natural light, hard wood floors, flagstone front and back yard. Great expansion potential. Walking distance to down town and parks; easy access to 101 and Stanford. Got to see it!

Family-oriented, social and friendly neighbors?  Sure they’re social, if they all live in 770 sf homes; they don’t want to be cooped up indoors with the walls closing in.  But family-oriented?  If you’re living in a house that has less room than some Winnebagos, it’s not like any of your neighbors are offering to invite all the kids over for an indoor game of tag.

image

Face it, you want a DEAL, so here is the DEAL.  A tiny house on a tiny lot, or you can live on a busy street and next to the high speed rail.  If you expected an RBA bargain, you came to the wrong zip code.

Comments (27) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

July 29, 2010

Location*3, Part III

In our previous installments, we saw a very small house priced under a million, and a very large house priced (and in contract within a month) under eight of those millions.  Since the first home was a 2/1, and the second was an 8/4.5, we can surmise that getting four times the rooms should probably cost four times the cash.  But it didn’t.  It cost eight times as much.  Why?

One of these homes was not like the other, one of these homes doesn’t belong, can you guess which house was not like the other, because its location was wrong!  Yes, the house that’s one eighth instead of one fourth the asking price is on the wrong side of the great divide better known as Middlefield Road.

Or is it?  Let’s take a look at today’s house, on the same side (but not the same neighborhood) as the garden shed.  It’s not too big or too small, but is it just right?

1270 LINCOLN Ave Palo Alto, CA 94301
$2,568,000

image

Beds: 4
Baths: 4
Sq. Ft.: 3,040
$/Sq. Ft.: $845
Lot Size: 9,711 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Spanish
Stories: 2
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1985
Community: Crescent Park
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81015526
Source: MLSListings
Status: Pending Without Release This listing is in escrow, past inspections and waiting for loan funding. "Without Release" indicates that the current buyer doesn’t need to sell a home to buy the new home.
On Redfin: 111 days

GORGEOUS SPANISH STYLE HOME ON A LG PRIVATE LOT IN PREMIER CRESCENT PK NR DNTOWN. COURTYARD ENTRY & SPECTACULAR SETTING IS W/ MAGICAL GARDENS, PATIOS & FOUNTAINS. SPACIOUS LIGHT-FILLED FLR PLAN OFFERS APPR 3000SF, HDWD FLRS THRUOUT, HI CEILINGS, CROWN MOLDINGS, SPACIOUS RMS, EXTENSIVE USE OF LIMESTONE, MARBLE, GRANITE. LG ATTACHED 2-CAR ATTACHED GARAGE. EACH BDRM HAS ITS OWN PRIVATE BATH

I wish the realtard would stop SHOUTING at me!  Even the agent for the broom closet had the courtesy to use lower case.  And for two and a half mil, don’t you think they could spring for spelling out all the words?  No, I do not want to say “hi” to the ceilings or find out what’s in that flour plan.  Wondering how spacious the rams are.  Or are they rums?  Maybe it belonged to a chip designer and they’re ROMs. At least the $8M house had “roooms” so I could guess what they rly wr.  But good move spelling out “LIMESTONE, MARBLE, GRANITE.”  PRIORITIES.  How does Limestone and Marble and Rock, Oh My! sound for this listing?

One more thing.  Do you think the GARAGE is ATTACHED?  I want to b sr.

Now, this property is taking a price hit for several reasons.  First, it’s extremely close to a rather busy street:

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Next, we already have the ideal formula for bedroooms to bathroooms from our previous two homes: 2 br for each ba.  This house violates the golden realty ratio by having excess ba, so twice as many toilets to scrub.

These two flaws could easily knock twenty or thirty percent off the price of a home.  Another oddity could pull it down some more: the home is advertised as a two story, but the second one is very well hidden.  So well hidden it may be apocryphal, legendary, or really creative marketing (a fancy term for “lying”).  As in: the second story is telling you the house has two floors.

image

No second floor here…

Where could it be?

Not in the COURTYARD ENTRY & SPECTACULAR SETTING IS W/ MAGICAL GARDENS, PATIOS & FOUNTAINS. image

Perhaps it is at the end of these railroad tracks:

 image 

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No sign of a staircase inside, either.  Is this place really two stories?  Better take another ten percent off our appraisal just to be sure.

So why is this house about a third the asking price of the Vampire Frat House when it’s 60% the size?  The corrections above don’t add up to 67% off.  I’ll tell you.  Location, location, location.  This house is in Crescent Park, which is simply on the Wrong Side.

One last apples-to-apples comparison.  In the other neighborhoods, find the worst vehicles nearby.  Here’s what passes for hillbilly in Crescent Park:

It’s a toss up between this, which is mitigated by being parked in front of the house being sold. So maybe the sellers will take it away.  What the heck is it, a Lada?  A Trabant?

image

Two-stroke engine mystery
vehicle versus… the horror of public transportation on this very street!

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So much for a beautiful day in the neighborhood!  Stay tuned for the next installment of Wrong Side Right City.

Comments (37) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

June 19, 2009

Palo Alto is now Value Alto – house on University Ave for sale

1625 UNIVERSITY Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301 | MLS# 80922662
1625 UNIVERSITY Ave Palo Alto, CA 94301
Price: $1,175,000

467411464-1625
Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,344
$/Sq. Ft.: $874
Lot Size: 6,175 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1952
Community: Crescent Park
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80922662
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 31 days
CRESCENT PARK! Beautifully updated chef’s kitchen with granite countertops and new stainless steel GE Profile appliances. Remodled bathroom with all new fixtures. Gleaming oak flooring throughout with new beautiful kitchen and bathroom limestone tile floors. Laundry room with stackable GE washer & dryer. Sunny breakfast nook with view of the grounds. Stone-finished wood-burning fireplace.

Hey Palo Alto,

Sorry to be a downer on a Friday, but Burbed reader sonarrat brought this to my attention. What’s up with this? Just $874 per square foot on University Ave? I’m ashamed. I’m embarassed. And so should you.

Now, I know there are some mitigating factors – like how this house has stackable GE washer & dryer. And GE profile appliances in the kitchen.

But still, it’s on University Ave. Everyday, thousands of commuters will pass this house at the speed limit of 5 mph. And they’ll be passing this house. Wondering whose it is. Think of the pride of ownership! That’s gotta be worth at least $500,000 extra.

Please adjust your price accordingly. Even if this is a ploy to get people interested, it’s not cool.

Thanks.

-The Real Bay Area

Comments (228) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:10 am

June 18, 2009

$1.8 mil for a 1br/1ba in tear down condition

1382 FOREST Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301 | MLS# 80924296
1382 FOREST Ave Palo Alto, CA 94301

Price: $1,795,000

Beds: 1
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 2,071

1382

$/Sq. Ft.: $867
Lot Size: 8,292 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1941
Community: Crescent Park
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80924296
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 27 days
DRIVE-BY ONLY. SOLD FOR LAND VALUE ONLY – HOME IS UNINHABITABLE HOME SOLD AS-IS. BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME IN PREMIER CRESCENT PARK NEIGHBORHOOD. LARGE 8,292 /- SF LOT(PER CITY OF PALO ALTO). ADJACENT ELEGANT HOME AT 1398 FOREST AVENUE MLS #80924286 ALSO FOR SALE $3,795,000.PRIME CRESCENT PARK LOCATION JUST MINUTES TO DOWNTOWN PALO ALTO SHOPPING & DINING, PARKS, TOP PALO ALTO SCHOOLS & STANFORD UNIVERISTY

Thanks to Burbed reader Pralay for this find.

Talking perking things up. Wow. $867 for a 1br/1ba in Palo Alto. In tear down condition.

What I’m a bit curious about is why this listing also lists the neighboring home. Is the point of this that you can buy the next door house as well, tear it down, and pull a Steve Jobs by combining lots and building an apricot orchard?

Or is it that if you buy enough properties on this street, you can then build houses, then hotels… oh wait, that’s monopoly.

Regardless, thanks to Pralay for this find. It’s always comforting to know that Palo Alto continues to be the vanguard of the Real Bay Area.

Comments (202) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:53 am