January 15, 2013

(2)Lots (2)Custom Homes. (Sold Together)

Want to be a real estate mover and shaker? Start today by buying this property that features 2, yes (2) lots!  Think of all the ways you could take advantage of this amazing zoning opportunity.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for sending us this salubrious spread in Santa Clara!

130114-pruneridge-redfin2710 PRUNERIDGE Ave
Santa Clara, CA 95051
$1,575,000

4 Beds 
3 Baths 
2,254 Sq. Ft.
$699 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1961 
Lot Size: 10,270 Sq. Ft. 
On Redfin: 6 days
Status: Active
Property Type
Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81300520
Style: Ranch
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

(2)Lots for Sale With Building Plans for (2)Custom Homes. (Sold Together) Lot #1 APN 294-32-041: 4Br/5Ba, 2 Story Custom Home:3,454s. f. with (2)Car Garage. Lot Size: 8,614s. f. Cupertino Schools!! Lot #2 APN294-32-042: 4Br/5Ba, 2 Story Custom Home: 3,243s. f. with (2)Car Garage. Lot Size: 8,002s. f. Santa Clara Schools. (Lot Lines Adjusted per S. F. )Existing 4Br/3Ba Home Encroaches on New Property Line.

130114-pruneridge-lotlinesWow, was that listing copy written by an attorney who doesn’t want anyone to notice the details? Or perhaps a claustrophobic, because whoever typed that in is afraid of spaces.  Now let’s have a good look at this opportunity with an existing 52 year old house that encroaches on New Property Line.

The red line appears to be for Lot #1, the bigger 8614 sf parcel. As you can see it cuts through the east side of the existing house, but fortunately, it did not bring the cooties of Santa Clara Schools all the way to the front door.

Yes, we hope you noticed that Lot #1 is Cupertino Schools and Lot #2 isn’t.  But wait! There’s more!

130114-pruneridge-satellite

See those little words in the driveway?  Yes, technically your driveway is an actual city street that ends a few feet before the back fence.  Here’s another look at the neighborhood.

So not only do you have one house with several inches on the other lotline, you also have a named city street taking up most of it.

How are you going to design your way out of this configuration?  We assume one of the lots boasts a Portal to Hell for extra storage.

One other solution: Street Fair Every Day.  Now we’re talking Serious Opportunity!  Call up some of those Gourmet Food Trucks, have them kick back some of the take, and you’ll be paying this place off in no time. 

Bunus: Santa Clara Utilities for all!

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am






December 24, 2012

Great opportunity, fully furnish, for Christmas Eve!

While you’re busy getting your last-minute Christmas shopping and decoration and cooking done, think about celebrating the holiday with your extended family. Now think about what it means to turn home, hearth, family, and grandparents into that All-American concept of… making a buck off it.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader J.C. for showing us what the true spirit of the holidays is about.

121223-dunholme-redfin631 DUNHOLME Way
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
$1,395,000

6 Beds 
4 Baths 
2,852 Sq. Ft.
$489 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1976 
Lot Size: 10,176 Sq. Ft. 
On Redfin: 65 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: Sunnyvale
MLS#: 81238349
Style: Traditional
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

Great opportunity for business , Clean private residence, elderly care facility , fully furnish, with pool.

121223-dunholme-dho-tvHere’s what J.C. thought when sending us this listing:

Complete with pictures of elderly residents that come with the home!

A perfect purchase to ensure you won’t be lonely this Christmas!  Or New Years!

We may or may not be taking tomorrow off, but we’ll have some year-end closeout sales waiting when we return. 

If we return.  Because we could have been reading those stone disks all wrong and the world could end this week.

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

December 20, 2012

OMG We Forgot About Mountain View!

We’ve just been alerted that we’ve been neglecting Mountain View property, which we are contractually required to discuss every ten minutes.  And it’s been ten whole days! Fortunately, Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater sent us this beaut, which we promptly misplaced during the Black Friday Sales.  Consider this a “we found it in the back of the storeroom” slightly mussed listing. It’s both pending… and selling shortly!    

121219-whisman-redfin492 N WHISMAN Rd
Mountain View, CA 94043
$750,000

4 Beds 
2 Baths 
1,748 Sq. Ft.
$429 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1965 
Lot Size: 0.25 Acres 
On Redfin: 33 days
Status: Pending With Release
Stories: 1
Community: Whisman
MLS#: 81241148
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

Short Sale! Charming two unit property located in Whisman Area of Mountain View. Huff Elementary, Crittenden Middle and Mt View High. Live in one, rent the other or great investment opportunity! HUGE 10,890 sf corner Lot. R-2 zoning provides multiple use scenarios. Both units are 2 bed /1 bath w/ laundry, garage AND carport. Please DO NOT Disturb Occupants!

121219-whisman-kitchenIt’s a great investment opportunity!  That’s because the current owners are passing the savings along to you rather than the bank.  Yes, savings.  If you had bought this property in 2006, like these investors did, the RBA would have done its magic and increased it by more than half its value in just six years.  And if you were smart and leveraged yourself with a 20% down, 10% down, 5% down, or even ZERO DOWN, then your investment returns would be much, much higher! 

Let’s calculate them, shall we?

121219-whisman-history

So a little over a million dollars, put down 20%, looks like that investment… is now going to be someone else’s instant equity. So, bets on the over/under compared to 2003′s sale price?  Now that provides multiple use scenarios.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

December 2, 2012

UPDATED: Got an extra house or two taking up space in your portfolio?

Donate that unneeded realty to charity!  UCSF is ready to take that spare structure off your swollen asset list.  Thanks to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for passing this handy space-saving tip along.

121201-ucsf_1

Not only that, if you donate RBA real estate, you could get your picture in a newletter like this!  There’s more, too!  See, lots of people are giving it away! Don’t be the last on your block to give away your other block!

121201-ucsf_combined_2_3

Do you have any other ideas of what to do with your excess real estate?

Updated 17:53 — PG asked that you be given the privilege of actually reading this newsletter. A larger version of Page 1 is now available by clicking its image above, as well as a larger combined spread.  Here, separately, are Page 2 and Page 3.

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:20 am

December 1, 2012

Be Like Zuck! Buy a house and pay 3/4% interest

121130-margin-rates

The secret to being rich is to start off rich.  Don’t believe us?  It’s true, and it’s how Mark Zuckerberg bought his house in Palo Alto.  Let’s hear from Burbed reader nomadic, who alerted us to this excellent opportunity. To go bankrupt!

Here’s the letter I got in the mail offering super-low interest rates on a loan secured by a stock portfolio.  The beauty of it is that the interest rate goes down the higher the loan amount – the opposite of what working stiffs get when they want a super-jumbo loan to buy a house in the RBA.  (Then again, the larger the stock portfolio, the smaller the risk?)

This must be how Zuck got his ultra-low interest rate on his mortgage.  Interesting that they don’t mention a mortgage in their “average loan rates” example.

121130-margin-zuckerbergThe headline above doesn’t say pay three to four percent interest.  It says pay three quarters of a percent interest.  Let me repeat that.  You can buy a house at 0.76 percent interest.  All you need is a sufficiently healthy stock portfolio to borrow at least $3.5 million against. 

Whoops.  All you need is an investment portfolio at this particular online brokerage.  For loans under $50K, you need to have twice that in your brokerage account.  With this firm.  But!  Remember about rich people getting richer? The more you have, the more you save. The more you have, the more you 121130-margin-callcan borrow, too.  If you “qualify” and have an account over $100,000, you could borrow against 85% of your assets.

Remember how well things went when anyone who could fog a mirror could buy a house for nothing down? This is an even better idea! Borrow against your investments, and if the underlying value drops, then you have to pay some of the money back immediately, or sell assets to cover it. Good thing you’ll have a bunch of equity in your new house that you could borrow against to pay back your brokerage account you borrowed against in the first place.  This sounds like a perpetual equity motion machine.

Open your portfolio, open your wallet, open your eyes, and we’re opening this thread to any topic you wish.

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

November 29, 2012

Two words that don’t go together: Marin and Cheap

121122-blackfridayWe’re continuing our DEALS DEALS DEALS all week long!  As we work our way further and further from our usual comfort zone, we’ll be visiting the entire Bay Area, or at least every county. 

Today we stop off at the one with a serious diversity shortage.  Yes, we’re talking Marin County, where diversity means there’s a redhead in your kid’s class.  And we’ve found you the absolute cheapest house in Marin.

121128-ocean-redfin57 Ocean View Ave
Dillon Beach, CA 94929
$275,000

Price 
2
Beds 
1
Baths  680 Sq. Ft.
$404 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1927  Lot Size: 1,830 Sq. Ft.  On Redfin: 351 days Status: Active
Property Type
Residential, Detached, Single Family
Stories
1
County
Marin
Style
Cottage
Community
Dillon Beach
MLS#
21131349

One level, no stairs.

121128-ocean-frontFour pictures, no trash.

1,830 square foot lot. Wow. When someone said they weren’t making any more land, guess whoever owned this property said, “Nuh uh! I’m going to build a bunch of tiny shacks and sell them on 1/9 acre lots and I’ll be rich, rich!”

Now if you want to be rich, rich as well, you had better start buying up property in Marin now.  Because right now certain neighborhoods in San Francisco are ultra-hot with all those well-paid high-tech engineers and social media purveyors and game-engine optimizers.  Now what do you think is going to happen when these people get married and have kids?

121128-ocean-satelliteWell, nothing.  But what do you think is going to happen when their oldest kids start turning four? They’re going to be out the door to the land of Safe Public Schools in time to register for Kindergarten. Watch Marin values skyrocket then.  You read it here first.

Remember, a little of something is better than renting a lot of nothing.  And today’s Black Friday Deal is about as little as you can get.  But it’s a little sliver 600 feet from the beach… and a little less of a walk every day!

121128-ocean-beachfront

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

September 15, 2012

Buenas Noches for Buena Vista

We’ve dropped by the Buena Vista “Mobil Home Park,” the only trailer park in Palo Alto, a few times.  But Burbed reader Stefan alerts us that the much-maligned mobile mews may be moving on.  Thanks very much!

Burbed reader Real Estater also mentioned this article in comments.

Palo Alto mobile-home park faces redevelopment

Buena Vista residents could be forced out to make way for apartments

by Sue Dremann, Palo Alto Weekly Staff

120914-bvista-overviewBuena Vista, the only surviving mobile-home park in Palo Alto, could soon be history, according to city officials.

Residents in the 117-unit park located at 3980 El Camino Real received a letter from property owner/manager Joe Jisser last week informing them that his family is exploring redevelopment options.

The family has owned Buena Vista, located near Los Robles Avenue behind a strip mall, since 1986, Jisser said on Monday. They are working with Prometheus Real Estate Group in San Mateo.

Prometheus specializes in the acquisition, development and management of residential and commercial properties and builds apartments, according to its website. It also focuses on transit-oriented development in areas that are close to corporate campuses, such as Apple in Cupertino and Google in Mountain View.

You think 15 units per acre is too dense for Palo Alto?  Promethius Development has many more rent-paying people per parcel planned for what they’re putting in.  Try 40 units an acre.  If you’ve read this book, just imagine life in The Stacks (which are literally mobile homes stacked into slum towers).

120914-bvista-pride-of-ownershipWhy is the owner finally considering selling out, after owning the park since 1986?  Infrastructure.  Water pipes and electrical wires and transmission are nearing the end of their useful life, and state codes have changed.  It isn’t enough to replace them, they’d have to be upgrades.  Not only that, most of the mobile homes in the park are too old to handle new systems.  And not only has the electrical code changed.  So has the law on spacing the units themselves.  Keeping the park legally open is going to become very, very expensive.

Meanwhile, the City of Palo Alto has a plan for development, and that includes multifamily homes along El Camino Real.  So apartment blocks are looking pretty likely.  And the low-income folks living here may well be SOL.  There is a city law that says they should get moving-out money, but realistically, there aren’t a lot of places they can go.  Many of them will move out in advance of the paid relocation, simply to ensure finding subsidized housing elsewhere.

Be sure to check out the comments on this article.  Some posters are glad to see the park go, and some prefer it stay in favor of a denser apartmentplex.  Of course most of them are worried about all those extra kids moving into THEIR SCHOOLS.  Because anyone moving into an apartment isn’t a Real Palo Alto Resident and should never be allowed to enroll.  We can’t understand why the trailer trolls are allowed, either.

But fear not.  Even if the BV is scraped to the ground and a shiny new (and dense) apartment complex goes up in its place, there will always be mobile home living in Palo Alto.

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

August 23, 2012

How you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm?

…Once they’ve seen the bright lights of South San Jose?  This is a floor wax and a dessert topping, two mints in one, yes an actual farm in San Jose.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Abby Dow for this fantastic farmyard complete with funky photos and retail store pricing.

3630 KETTMANN RD
San Jose, CA 95121
$2,999,999

120822-kettman-estately

120822-kettmann-front3 beds
2 baths
1300 sqft
8 acres
1937 built
18 days on site
MLS# 81229181
Walk Score™ 48

Wow- Great Location and Potential. Developers, investors and owner builder; come see for yourself this one of a kind evergreen property, wonderfully located on 8+ acres.

120822-kettmann-outbuildingThe value must be in the land because the actual house doesn’t appear in the listing photos until you get to #4.  Our pal Abby seemed quite taken with the idea:

I’m sure this is priced for development, but it’s still strange to see a shabby looking little farm with a rundown house going on the market for $2,999,999 in San Jose.

It sure is.  8 acres?  It should be going for $3,999,999, especially with trash bins of this quality.  Plus you can be lord of the manor on that much property right in the middle of all this suburban sprawl.

 120822-kettmann-satellite

Except that big house we’re seeing on Streetview is someone else’s manor.

120822-kettmann-streetview

You’ll get to know them well, as it looks like you’ll be sharing that gated one-lane road.  That’s going to be awesome when you build you PUD zoned 12 homes to the acre.  Who needs Santa Cruz, you can play real bumper cars just trying to get in or out!

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

August 8, 2012

The units are unusually large

Who wants to make a small fortune in real estate?  You know what to do: start with a large fortune.  That is, unless you’re investing in Real Bay Area real estate.  Then all you have to do is let the checks roll in while the property appreciates every single minute!

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater for this bodacious apartment block in… of course!  Mountain View!  In case you haven’t already noticed, we’re giving Mountain View a lot of extra love for three days in a row.  Why?  Because we didn’t talk about them once last week!

1720 WRIGHT Ave
Mountain View, CA 94043
$2,200,000

120807-wright-redfin

120807-wright-toiletBEDS:  -
BATHS:  -
SQ. FT.:  8,120
$/SQ. FT.:  $271
LOT SIZE:  0.55 Acres
STORIES: 2
YEAR BUILT:  1969
COMMUNITY:  North Shoreline
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81228487
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  9 days

The units are unusually large, averaging 902 square feet. They offer private backyards and balconies that face an expansive green space protected by the city. Built on over half an acre the land offers the investor a very strong long-term investment as both a rental property or a for sale redevelopment opportunity. The property is less than a mile from a number of major Mountain View employers.

120807-wright-fenceEvery real estate purchase is an opportunity in the RBA, and this is a great example.  We particularly like the realtard’s 100% correct but absolutely useless claim that the units average 902 square feet. The listing info says the building has eight one-bedroom apartments, each 865 square feet, and one 2/1 apartment, weighing in at 1200 sf. 

Are you on the fence about buying this place?  So’s the math!  The Gross Rent Multiplier is 15.03, right in between buy versus rent.

And speaking of opportunity, check out the location!

120807-wright-satellite

Looks like you’ll have a front row seat on whatever’s going in that right-of-way!  Maybe if you’re really lucky that’s the alternate route for High Speed Rail!

 

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

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>

Questions:

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