August 14, 2012

Instagram makes anything better right?

898 TULLY Rd
San Jose, CA 95111


Do you love Instagram pictures? Do they help you make an emotional connection to the subject?

Guess what – now we can combine all the things you love! Realtor photos, soft focus, distortions, and other filters!

Just look at this photo above. What emotions does this evoke for you? Does it make you feel better about spending $765 per square foot for this house?

Comments (15) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:35 am

June 4, 2012

Why pay more in Silicon Valley? You can pay more anywhere!

Tired of high prices in Palo Alto and its environs?  Don’t lower your standards, broaden them! After all, with the return of the housing bubble, you can pay high prices all over the Bay Area!  And some sellers think you’ll be willing to pay high prices at the very edges of the Bay Area.  You’ll know housing insanity has returned when you see a house like this one for a price this, um, dreamy.

Many thanks to Burbed reader Tom Paine for passing along this super spread in Sebastopol!

2881 Scotts Right Of Way
Sebastopol, CA 95472


SQ. FT.: 2,567
$/SQ. FT.: $350
LOT SIZE: 1.82 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Residential, Detached, Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
VIEW: Golf Course, Greenbelt, Vineyard
COMMUNITY: Sebastopol
COUNTY: Sonoma
MLS#: 21101823
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 488 days

Unique property on almost 2.0 Acres. The home is located over looking the Sebastopol Golf Course to the South and grapes to the North. Horse facility for at least 5 horses, tack room, paddocks, stalls, and more. The backyard is landscaped and includes a beautiful pool and spa with a waterfall. Private driveway.

120523-scotts-fireplaceListed almost a year and a half ago for $998,500 and still on the market after a $100K reduction! Maybe it hasn’t sold yet because the right buyer hasn’t toured the house yet.  The kind of person who buys a house like this probably is cross-shopping Palo Alto.  The driveway (above) is just like what you get in fine Palo Alto houses, as is the excellent living room.

And just look at the kitchen!  Ready for your gourmet recipes, yum, yum, yum.  Then when you’re all cleaned up after dinner, well, lights out!


Plus a really memorable street name, if by “memorable” we actually mean “wow, that is incredibly stupid.”

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

April 25, 2012

Living not quite so large in Los Gatos

Let’s have another look at Los Gatos, as it’s one of those Real Bay Area cities.  You can tell it is when you see a property listed for twice as much as it sold for in the bubblicious days of 2005.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for this peerless property.

Los Gatos, CA 95032


BATHS: 2.5120424-red-arrow-hoa
SQ. FT.: 1,582
$/SQ. FT.: $561
HOA DUES: $85/month 
LOT SIZE: 3,484 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COMMUNITY: Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81211027
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 31 days

Beautiful 7 yr new home walking distance to Courtside, Netflix, LG trails, restaurants and shopping within Los Gatos school district. Regular sale, shows like a model, with high ceilings, recessed lights, granite kitchen & stainless appliances, hardwood floors in the family room/kitchen areas. Large, bright master with over sized tub and walk in closet. Private back yard and large 2 car garage.

120424-smithranch-insideNote the HOA fees prominently listed next to key features such as size of the house, size of the lot, and how many beds and baths.  When did Redfin start doing that?

Now here’s what nomadic had to say about the house.

Purchased two weeks ago at foreclosure (auction?) for $730k and now listed for a lucky $888k to cash in on $158k of instant 120424-smithranch-backyardequity!  It’s on a postage stamp lot that backs up to the 85 off ramp at Winchester.  The most recent sales on the street were in June 2010 for $460/sf, but those were about 1/3 larger – maybe the price isn’t as ridiculous as it seems…

Let’s see if Zillow agrees with “ridiculous.”


Um…whoa.  Those ZEstimates are all OVER the place.  And the “bunus” is the railroad tracks (shown as the dashed line) that run behind the homes across the street, the cherry on top of the awesome sauce that is Winchester plus the freeway ramp.

What do you think this home should sell for?  What do you think this home should sell now that you know it has “corporate ownership” plus “agent has financial interest”?  Usually corporate ownership means you’re looking at an REO, but in this case the place is owned by “Petwun LLC,” and the agent is the “manager” of said entity.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

April 17, 2012

UPDATED: Two Million Dollars for a Sunnyvale House. Good Luck with That.

Recently, we took a look at a house in Midtown Palo Alto that a number of commenters thought was overbuilt for the neighborhood.  That reminded me of a similarly situated structure in Sunnyvale, so I pulled it up for nostalgia’s sake.  What a delightful surprise to discover that it’s once again for sale!  It was relisted just in time for April Fool’s Day, and at the same attractive price as it was three years ago.

Sunnyvale, CA 94087


BATHS: 4.5
SQ. FT.: 4,790
$/SQ. FT.: $417
LOT SIZE: 8,000 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: French
STORIES: Tri-Level
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81211851
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 7 days

Extraordinary six-bedroom, four and one half-bath custom estate perfect for executive lifestyle of luxury and unmatched class. Within this showcase home you will find a remodeled ONE-OF-KIND gourmet kitchen featuring best-in-class appliances with close access to the formal dining room, casual family room and truly alluring outdoor venue that is perfect for entertainment.

120406-valcartier-kitchenThis time around, they’re not letting us see the inside.  And it would need a lot of pictures, because this property has a FAR of 0.60.  That can’t even be LEGAL in Sunnyvale. 

But, this is a Custom Bahl Home!  And if you haven’t heard of Bahl Homes, they built a few tracts around Silicon Valley, including some zero lot line curiosities and the snout-house “patio homes” just around the corner from this place. Now that they’re done with building tracts, they remain as a real estate company. Fortunately for us, today’s house has its own webpage on Bahl’s site, with pictures even!  We don’t know when these were taken, though, as it’s been listed and sold many times since its construction.  Have a look at those pictures and more, after the break.


Comments (68) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

April 11, 2012

$200K in upgrades means $304K markup!

Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer week continues, this time right in the heart of San Jose!  No, not downtown, silly.  Santa Row!  The Real San Jose!

334 SANTANA Row #300
San Jose, CA 95128


BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 2,042
$/SQ. FT.: $636
HOA DUES: $620/month
LOT SIZE: 435 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Condominium
STYLE: Modern/High Tech
STORIES: 1-3 (Low Rise)
VIEW: Neighborhood
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81202429
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 77 days

Santana Row Villa space at a great loft price! Over 2,000 sf on just 2 floors! ~$200k in upgrades, including, remodeled kitchen with high end all-European appliances, remodeled bathrooms with Japanese soaking tub, 3 parking spaces, and more.

120409-santana-kitchenBurbed has visited Santana Row before, and it was thanks to PG that we discovered something very exciting about the real estate over there: All of the Santana Row condos that sold new in 2005 and ‘06 have dropped around 40% in value since then.  That article last May featured twenty separate units for sale or recently sold, and all but one of them showed some homedebtors taking pretty serious haircuts.

120409-santana-bedroomAll but one.  This one.  Because this one is Special.  It’s so Special, you can still get it at the 2011 asking price!  How’s that for Special?  It’s so Special that despite selling new for $996,000 in the wild, heady, bubbly days of June, 2006, and despite the $200K in upgrades, it’s now worth more than $300K than it was six years ago!  Or at least this seller thinks that’s the best way to recover all those monthly $600 HOA fees.

This unit does come with three parking spaces, which is one thing in limited quantities here.  We suggest you snap this place up for that reason alone.  You’ll make your investment back within ten years just from renting out the spaces.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

November 11, 2011

Best offer will be considered

Today’s featured house and accompanying guest commentary is brought to you by Burbed reader AstroWallaby, profiling the always adventurous area of Alum Rock, San Jose!  This is a genuine go-to geographical golden goose for great Burbed goodness.

Want to see your name in lights (okay, in bold) like this?  Send in your listing wins, with (or without) your added valuable observations.  Operators are standing by!

And now, please give AstroWallaby a big, warm Real Bay Area welcome!

134 N WHITE Rd, San Jose, CA 95127


SQ. FT.: 999
$/SQ. FT.: $549
LOT SIZE: 6,500 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Neighborhood
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81129919
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 126 days

Large Lot with workshop in the back. Tile counters in Kitchen, Pergo Flooring. Fireplace in living room. Side yard access rear. Spacious Detached garage building. ~2,000 sq ft Side lawn, Fenced and Separate from the front house. Best offer will be considered.

Speaking of dreck, here’s another "optimistic" entry from East San Jose that might be worth a laugh, if you haven’t seen it yet.


The listing at least avoids ALL CAPS, although isn’t saying " Best offer will be considered" sort of redundant when selling a house? Clearly the realtor was impressed by the interior, judging by the two magnificent Quickcam-resolution interior shots they’ve included. It’s sort of disappointing that you can’t actually tell what it trying to escape from that cabinet drawer in the kitchen, but whatever it is I hope it succeeds. As for the imagefireplace… I’m not sure a provocative fandance really works to increase the sex appeal of inanimate objects but I’ll give it bonus points for trying.

The shot of the empty (down to the bare dirt) backyard is interesting. It *could* be an avant-garde artistic use of negative space, but I suspect it’s more likely a counterpoint to the satellite photo which shows no fewer than nine vehicles haphazardly arranged around the property. Nothing like the Pride of Ownership which comes along with owning your own former dirt parking lot. You might even qualify for Superfund money to pay for your landscaping!


And the suggested retail price for this V-J Day-vintage 999 square foot slice of heaven/White Road? A mere $548,000. Sure, it’s a good $200k higher than any reasonable comparable but that’s a small price to pay for a fireplace with a spot-on Sally Rand impersonation.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

November 10, 2011


Today’s listing is courtesy of Burbed reader Swan, who sends us a Sunnyvale spectacular.  That’s provided that by “spectacular” I really mean “OMG what a crapbox!”  Seriously, I have had my eye on this house for several years and have been waiting for it to get listed so I could share it here.


1035 W HOMESTEAD Rd, Sunnyvale, CA 94087


SQ. FT.: 1,890
$/SQ. FT.: $476
LOT SIZE: 7,171 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81146339
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 4 days

Very Nice Eichler with enclosed Attrium and Cupertino Schools, Spacious Living Room and Family Room w/ a gorgeous fireplce, Master Suite w/ Walk-In Closet, Tile, Attached 2 Car Garage, Large 7200sf lot with a Pool, Indoor Laundry, additional 500sf with enclosed Attrium not on MLS, West Valley Elementary, Cupertino Middle, Homestead High! This Home will sell fast, all offers considered. Needs TLC.

imageHere’s what Swan thought about this delightful domicile:

It’s on Homestead, right next to the entrance to the CMS [Cupertino Middle School] track.  My hubby and I have noticed this house for years as it becomes more and more run down.  I love how the agent says the home will sell fast.  I went by it on my bike the other day.  The house needs a new garage door, new fence, new roof, and who knows what else.  Though the agent did not go out of his way on the photos, he at least took them from an angle and from across the street to hide the poor condition of the home.

I agree that the price is insane. That home, especially the roof, has not been cared for in years. My husband is a contractor and every time we go by, he says, "That poor house."


imageI am just happy the owners listed this place while it was still standing upright.  I don’t know when the Streetview shot above was taken, but it could hardly have gotten much better.

But that asking price? On what planet will this pile “sell fast”?  Are there really people out there that eager desperate for Cupertino schools?

Remember this place?  At least it’s on a court (right off another busy street) and it isn’t moving for $30K less, with lucky 8s instead of 9s).

imageI also love that this place has an Attrium that has an additional 500 sf not on MLS.  Maybe the realtard made a spelling oops and is really saying this house is full of expensive rare earths like Yttrium!  It must be important, because the Attrium is mentioned twice, just like the Cupertino schools.  I SAID CUPERTINO SCHOOLS, EVERYBODY!

Now, everybody into the pool!  Ahhhhhh.

So who would buy this?  Somebody who really, really, really wants those schools.  Somebody who wants them enough to put up with a busy street near a freeway interchange, a house falling to pieces, and the delightful shrieks of children being forced to run the mile over and over.


Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

November 9, 2011

Burbed Returns to Rivermark

A couple of years ago, Burbed featured this fine Rivermark house at a rather startling price.  Unfortunately, nobody took advantage of this amazing offer, and the home was withdrawn from MLS at the end of 2009.


Fortunately, this listing is back and better than EVEH!  Ladies and gentlemen, Burbed proudly presents Rivermark 2011, The Sequel, now in living… um, what?

4160 RIVERMARK Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA 95054


BATHS: 3.5
SQ. FT.: 2,989
$/SQ. FT.: $383
LOT SIZE: 3,484 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Santa Clara
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81145878
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 6 days

Rivermark Promenade II Arcade Floor Plan; Prime lot; 10 foot ceilings; Downstairs den/office can be used as a bedroom; The back studio suite (approx. 515 sq ft over the garage with a full bath & private entrance) could be rental unit/game room/home office/guest quarters; Stainless steel appliances, granite slab counter island & beautiful maple cabinets, Jacuzzi, pre-wired speakers, 3-Zone AC/Heat.

imageWhat an amazingly versatile property!  The downstairs den/office, as if it doesn’t already promise dual-use, can also be used as a bedroom!  The back studio suite could be a rental unit, or a game room, or a home office (wait, don’t you already have a den or bedroom that could be an office?  Too many choices!!!) or even guest quarters!  Imagine what that granite slab counter island could be used for?  Maybe a butcher shop or a pathologist’s table?  Why, the possibilities are endless!

imageIt looks like the agent hired Alin Ciorta to photograph the exterior this time around.  Good move!  The previous cover shot said “Tract construction somewhere in California.”  This photo says “artistic impression representing the contradiction of permanence.”  Or maybe it says “Where’s the goddamned focus knob?”

Unfortunately, the rest of the 2009 pictures seem to have kicked the bit bucket, but as a consolation prize, the sellers have thrown in a completely unreadable floorplan.

Best of all, this house is at the same bargain 2009 price, minus the lucky 8s!  That’s because the sellers are passing on all the luck DIRECT TO YOU. 

If you had any doubt that the Bay Area was HOT, HOT, HOT, this should settle all doubts.  Rivermark is IT and you STILL aren’t good enough.

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

November 4, 2011


Remember when we took a good look at “Santa Row” to see how the prices were holding up?  The original oughties buyers probably weren’t too happy with their investments in San Jose’s answer to the Faubourg Saint-Honoré district.  (Paris’ response to that provocation is not printable.)

Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer has another Santana Row Spectacular for you today.  Thanks very much for finding this amazing listing at a seriously WTF price.


356 SANTANA Row #315, San Jose, CA 95128


BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 2,161
$/SQ. FT.: $613
LOT SIZE: 435 Sq. Ft.
STYLE: Contemporary, Mediterranean
STORIES: 4-8 (Mid Rise)
VIEW: Mountains, Neighborhood
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81104502
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 274 days


Here’s what PG thought about this LUXURIOUS TOWNHOME:

imageThey’re right about one thing: THIS IS AN AMAZING PRICE

Check out the sold prices for the entries on Santa Row then and now – Santana Row took a serious beating.

Yes, do check them out, and tell us what this seller is thinking?  Must be spending too much time at the bars conveniently just steps away!  But if the previous owner could make a profit buying in 2005 and selling in 2008 at a 20% markup, the current seller has correctly figured it imageout: This Place Is Special.  So Special that this bedroom at right can also function as an office and an exercise room!

And while you’re deciding whether you’d love to have the nightlife of San Jose combined with the traffic problems of living near the intersection of two major freeways, check out the $950 monthly HOA fees combined with needing court confirmation to buy this place.  And to really appreciate the location, location, location of this home, today’s listing is in the complex right above Borders.  Borders closed this Spring in advance of the whole chain shutting down.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

November 2, 2011

Goraeous Custom Built Home with Sodhisticated Stule and Eleaance

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Tuxxi for this find, adjacent to the “Holy crap, this place is full of armored personnel carriers with SWAT teams carrying assault rifles” neighborhood in Sunnyvale (formerly known as Birdland Neighbors).  Or is that Occupy Sunnyvale?


952 MARION Way, Sunnyvale, CA 94087


BATHS: 3.5
SQ. FT.: 3,600
$/SQ. FT.: $430
LOT SIZE: 9,424 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Sunnyvale
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81139592
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 27 days

Gorgeous Custom Built Home * Formal Living & Dining Area, High Ceiling, Gas Fireplace * Gourmet Kitchen w. Cherry Cabinets, Granite Counters, Large Island, Family Room * Office w. French Doors * Master Suite w. Jacuzzi Tub, Double Vanity, Walk In Closet * “Jack & Jill” Bedrooms & Den Upstairs * One Bed/Bath Downstairs * Cherry Hardwood Flrs * Crown Molding * Coffer Ceilings * Milgard Windows * Beautiful Attention to Detail!

There are two reasons Tuxxi sent this in to Burbed.  First, the neighborhood.  Serf hut next door, check!


Beautiful view across the street, check!


I even attempted a drive-by to find some reported appliances on a front lawn, but didn’t have any luck with that.  I did, however, find this “Persian Palace” a block away.


And by Persian Palace, I’m not saying the owners are from Iran; the term has come to mean an overdone (for the neighborhood) new home with unrelated design elements, the more, the “better.”  While this place doesn’t have mawbul kawlums, it was the fountain and the lions that made me notice it, and I don’t mean “notice” in a good way.  This is Beverly Hills flats wanna-be in a really hinky part of Sunnyvale.  Think Rancho Rinconada, but with lousier schools.

imageIn fact, the entire neighborhood is a complete mishmash of construction projects, McMansions, crapboxes, and “pride of ownership” fifties ranchers, so in some bizarre way the above house isn’t as awful as it could be.

But back to the featured house.  Tuxxi collected the flyer and it’s the second reason this place is on the front page today.


Take a good look at the tagline for this place:


imageThat attention to detail will is what you’re paying 6% of $1.5 million for.  Meanwhile, I’m wondering, a mil and a half for SUNNYVALE?  A mil and a half for SUNNYVALE with SANTA CLARA SCHOOLS?  A mil and a half for Sunnyvale with Santa Clara schools and NO SIDEWALKS?  A mil and a half for Sunnyvale with Santa Clara schools with no sidewalks OR CURBS?

I cannot wait to meet the buyer who thinks this is a DEAL, because I plan on doing a lot of business with whoever that is.  I don’t even know what kind of business, I just know it’s going to be very profitable for one of us.

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am