July 29, 2012

A request for information

We get all kinds of mail at Burbed.  Here’s one that asks us for some advice.  Instead of our just sending our answer, wouldn’t it be awesome if we sent several responses?  Our readers are a fairly high-powered bunch, so let’s go!

Dear Burbed.com,

My name is Darren and I am a business student at <school not in the Real Bay Area>.  I’m taking part in a summer business incubator program in <city not in the RBA> where students create startup companies.  I believe the best businesses begin by solving a problem and I’m interested in building my business around helping real estate investors since this has always been an area of interest for me. 

I was wondering if you could take a few minutes to answer some of my informational interview questions below?  I am trying to determine what problems/inefficiencies real estate investors encounter that I could solve through developing a software solution.

I appreciate your help.

Thank you,

Darren <last name goes here>


1.)    What is the biggest hassle real estate investors have to deal with?

2.)    If you could wave a magic wand and change something about what you do, what would it be?

Here are our answers for Darren.  What are yours?

120729-ugly-house1.) The biggest hassle for real estate investors is buying a property and subsequently discovering that it wasn’t in the RBA after all.  Usually this is revealed right after the comps drop.

The second biggest hassle is when business students ask anyone running a website even remotely related to one of the topic terms to do their homework for them.

2.) What would we change?  We would find a way to monetize this site using advertisers who would pay us $1000 per pageview.  Also, we’d implement better email tools to direct these sort of blast requests directly to our readers who are here to help.  Plus we’d give ourself super powers.  No way are we letting go of this magic wand.  We may throw it open to our readership to suggest how to use it on people like Darren.  We’re debating between “sic a high-pressure real estate investment salesman on him” and “replace his computer with a motivational book.”

We’ll be sure Darren sees your answers.  Hopefully he’ll also answer some of our questions.  Our first one is “If you could be any kind of house, what kind of house would you be?”

This is also your Weekend Open Thread.  Feel free to tell us what kind of Open House you’d be as well.  If you could wave a magic wand and change something about the house, what would it be?

Comments (17) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

March 5, 2011

A Million to Live in a Below Average Tract

Many neighborhoods have mailing lists organized to keep everyone informed.  When this message was sent beyond the original in-group, I found the name of the ‘hood intriguing enough to check out the house.

Subject: Fw: [subparcoop] Friends interested in buying in SubPar?

From one of my neighbors.  I can attest that my neighborhood is a special place for families!  Houses don’t last long on the market.

Hi Neighbors,
Often times I see emails from people who have friends who are interested in buying a house in our wonderful neighborhood, so I wanted to reach out to let you know our house (15 Greenwood Place- 3 bed/1 bath) is on the market and will be open this weekend. We’ve found another house (close by!) that we’re hoping to buy (that will better fit our growing family), so we’re looking for eager Suburban Park lovers who are ready to buy. If you know someone who might be interested, please have them (or their realtor) reach out to our agent for details ASAP: Sharon Walz 650-279-4652

There it is in the subject line: are you interested in buying in SubPar?  SubPar? That’s a, um, er, fascinating nickname for the Suburban Park area of Menlo Park. Have a look and see what you get in this special place where houses don’t last long on the market.  (Including this one, it sold in a week.  But no overbidding.)

15 Greenwood Pl, Menlo Park, CA 94025


SQ. FT.: 1,210
$/SQ. FT.: $825
LOT SIZE: 6,820 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch, Traditional
COMMUNITY: Flood Park Area
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81105961
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 4 days

Coveted Suburban Park remodeled and updated jewel. Fabulous kitchen w/ granite counters, viking range, stainless steel top appliances. New windows, plantation shutters crown moldings and baseboards, receessed lighting, high end interior and exterior doors. Newer air conditioning and forced air. Garage is amazing playroom with heat and air. Amazing family neighborhood w Menlo Schools. A real 10+

imageYes, it might be SubPar, but it’s still a real 10+!  And the garage is an amazing playroom with heat and air.  That’s amazing alright.  Most of the houses I’ve looked at didn’t have to call out that they had a breathable gas mix.  Maybe in Menlo Park the atmosphere is so rarefied you had better verify before submitting an offer.  Perhaps that’s why the lighting is receessed.

You do realize that they’re saying this house is much too valuable to waste any space for parking cars.  Let’s see, viking range (small v), check, stainless steel appliances, check, granite counters, check, what’s missing?  Pergo?  Hummer on the driveway?  Letter from a would-be buyer?  5% first mortgage and 15% second, with no out-of-pocket?  How about what the 2004 sellers pulled off, listing the place for $795K and selling it for $904K?  Is this place worth more now than it was then?  Remember, the garage is an amazing playroom and it’s in an amazing family neighborhood. With schools, even.  That’s almost as amazing as the heat and air.

Comments (23) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:55 am