February 11, 2012

Happy Birthday to Us!

Did you know that Burbed turned six last week?  Our very first post was on February 4th, 2006.  Here’s a peek:


What’s really great about the very first house on Burbed is it’s a castle on Buckingham Avenue!  That’s like finding a ski chalet on Zermatt Street, or a tilt-up industrial building on Technology Drive!

If you look up the listing history on Redfin, we can see just how good a job the agent did with that $555K asking price.


What do you think this house would sell for in today’s fever-pitched market?  Close to Facebook… I would say $888K FTW!


Any suggestions for celebrating six years of Burbed content?  This is an open thread.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

January 30, 2012

Save 40% in Redwood City… Oops, too late!

Redwood City is always full of delightful surprises!  Today, Burbed reader Mole Man has one to share with all of you.  Unfortunately, it’s pending, but let’s enjoy it anyway.  Oh wait… they pulled the listing.  WTF?

1363 Gordon St
Redwood City, CA 94061
Sold on 4/21/2006 for $760,000


Fortunately, Burbed will stop at nothing to scour teh internets to find you photos, listing history, prices, anything we can, no matter how slimy the rock it’s under or how icky the bits in that old cache are.  Let’s see if we can come up with anything.

Ding! Ding! Ding!  Look what we found on Sawbuck!  Six photos and some listing lusciousness!


Bedrooms : 2
Bathrooms : 1
Lot Size : 0.18 ac
Finished Sq Ft : 840 sq. ft.
Type : Detached Single Family
Year Built : 1946
Subdivision : Central Park Etc.
Stories : 1
MLS# : 81145133
WalkScore™ : 66 (Somewhat Walkable)

BANK-OWNED! Adorable starter home in move-in condition; hardwood floors throughout; updated bath; 6-car garage in the backyard perfect for car collectors. Hurry this won’t last! Sold AS IS! Bank of America Prequalification REQUIRED on all offers! Plus Proof of Funds! "Cash transactions are subject to special deed restrictions."

120126-gordon-kitchenHere’s why Mole Man thought this property belonged on the front page:

Check this redwood city gold mine out:

  • Sold for $760k in 2006
  • Now listed at $467,850
  • You save nearly 40%!

And don’t worry about the flood zone stuff– it’s been years since there was high water around there.

120126-gordon-garage-wtfUm… what flood zone stuff?  Is that why they pulled a pending listing?  And it looks like the price was cut some more, to $450,000, after Mole Man sent it in.  Somebody sure wanted a new house for the New Year, going into contract on December 30th.

Plus a six car garage?  Let’s say that again, an 840 square foot house with a SIX CAR GARAGE.  That means the garage is bigger than the house, as a two-car garage is 400 sf.

When I first saw this photo, I thought I was looking at a barn, and wondered where the riding tack was.

120126-gordon-bathAs you admire the rest of the photos (not available on most other sites!), remember, they really knew how to build them in 1946.  Look at those hardwood floors, and those hardwood floors!

And yet another Home Depot Bathroom Sink Special right up against the bathtub.  You can’t great design like this just anywhere.

Hurry, this won’t last.  That’s why it’s being sold as-is.



Any idea what the “special deed restrictions” might be for all-cash transactions?  At least they’re saying this place is Special.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

January 19, 2012

It’s Baaaaaaaaaaack!

Today we have a guest post from Burbed reader A Lewis.  Burbed tends to spend too much time in Silicon Valley, so it’s good we’ve got a frequent contributor to remind us that there’s listings full of Burbed Win all over the Bay Area, not just within three miles of Google.

Please give A a big, warm, Real Bay Area welcome as today’s guest blogger, revisiting his very first Burbed posting.

One of my favorite features on Burbed is follow-up stories from previous listings.

Cast your mind waaaaaaay back to the dim past of March, 2011 (just think how much the Republican primary field has changed since then! And who would have bet the 49ers would have clinched their division?) and this thread:


We actually ended up with a pretty good conversation full of East Bay Love (TM)!

Well, I’m sure you will be as excited as I am that 8190 Terrace was not snapped up by an ordinary buyer who intended to live in it for years…No, it was clearly a flipper who has renovated it and is ready to pass the instant equity on to you at the low low price of $849K $799K! 

Have a look inside to see what they did!


Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

December 14, 2011

20 foot vaulted ceilings and 81 sf “bedroom”

We have another Guest Post for you today, this time from all the way across the Bay!  Yes, live, from El Cerrito, it’s Burbed reader A Lewis!  A (he says I can still call him A) is a big fan of Burbed because we love the East Bay so much.  And there’s so much to love, if by “love” we really mean “POINT AND LAUGH!”

So share the love, enjoy today’s visit to the East Bay, and give A Lewis a big, warm, Real Bay Area welcome as today’s Guest Blogger!

6601 Gatto Ave, El Cerrito, CA 94530


SQ. FT.: 1,279
$/SQ. FT.: $281
LOT SIZE: 3,534 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Bay, Bay Bridge, City Lights, Panoramic, San Francisco
COMMUNITY: Junction Heights
COUNTY: Contra Costa
MLS#: 40547115
STATUS: Pending – Subject to Lender Approval
ON REDFIN: 62 days

Sweeping panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay seen through the walls of glass in this beautifully modern home in the El Cerrito hills. Beautifully remodeled two bedroom, two bath plus home office features 20 foot vaulted ceilings in the living room and kitchen. Master bedroom w/ walk in closet.

"Distinctive" Staging, the ladder to nowhere, and a listing history only a mother could love!

It’s time for some East Bay goodness – here’s a local favorite I’ve been watching struggle since Aug. 2010.  So many fun things happening with this listing. First, the interior layout:


Yes, it does have a great view, but only if you can tear your eyes from the 100% carpeted stairs jutting diagonally into the dining/living combo. That metal railing – oooh, shivers of delight. And what better place for those intake vents then the stairs? I have got to talk to the architect!


Fortunately for the realtor, these bizarre stairs give you the opportunity for a ‘make it look way bigger than it actually is’ picture of the kitchen & nook. Which I actually kind of like, except for that gigantic free standing cabinet jutting out of the wall. It looks like an alien artifact posed to open a portal from another dimension and unleash demons into our world. But maybe that’s just me. Don’t miss the awesome view of the gravel roof of your neighbor’s house only 18 inches away from the kitchen sink! But wait, there are MORE pictures of this room taken from the top of the stairs!


Mmmm, close up view of that metal railing on the stairs – and nice detail visible on the non-vacuumed carpet. Oh the color of that carpet is just so….so….help me out here. Is this thing staged or is this how they live in it? Let’s move on to the best room in the house:


The only thing to say about this ‘special’ room is WTF. One 90-degree angle is all you need to enjoy 81 square feet of dim crampedness. Looks like the non-permitted 3rd bedroom I’ve been dreaming of! Not seeing a closet. But now we know this thing MUST be staged. A ladder to nowhere? That’s the true gem in this listing. I LOVE this ladder. I come back to this listing time and again just to gaze at that ladder. It gets my vote for best-attempt-by-an-overpaid-stager-to-turn-a-sub-100-square-foot-room-into-the-idea-of-a-massive-library-via-use-of-a-ladder! (I admit, we do get very few entries in this category each year). But c’mon, people, put your hands together for that shiny black ladder! It matches the desk!

On to the location:


It’s not just a corner lot – it’s an almost 180-degree turn! With absolutely no yard space! Look at that efficient use of a lot that should never have been developed! At least it’s on awkward, hilly terrain – who wants a level lot these days, anyways?

If that isn’t enough for you, let’s sit back and enjoy the listing history, shall we?

From Redfin:


That’s what we like to see – put ingredients into Redfin listing on ‘low’, add a "not an arm’s length transaction" into the pot to pique the curiosity, and stir occasionally every month while adding nothing of value or taste. Step 3 = ????. Step 4 = Profit! It’s pending! For the 4th time!

Let’s pop over to Zillow for the full price history, shall we?


imageAw, it’s not all here! My faint recollection says they started at $600k in 2010. But after a few slaps in the face, they were willing to bite the bullet and move to a lower asking price than what they paid of $499,900 starting in April of 2011. Tried the old ‘make it new again!’ trick of pulling it off Redfin for 20 minutes and re-listing trick a few times. How’d that work out for you? Looks like it only cost you ANOTHER $140k so far! And they’ve been willing to switch between the incredible services of "J. Rockcliff Realtors" and "Distinctive Home Tours" not once, but three times! The competitive marketplace of real estate in action. I bet "Distinctive" paid for the staging and pictures the first time, and J. Rockcliff has just been coasting on their hard work ever since.

How will the story end? Wonder what that pending offer is…I’ll let you know if it sells! Thanks for joining me in this distinctive jaunt over to the East Bay!

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

December 12, 2011

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS: Cheapest House in Fremont!

Fremont doesn’t get anywhere near enough attention from Burbed, but today we take a step toward correcting that oversight.  This is a DEAL, DEAL, DEAL that should make anyone happy. 

Fremont: Close enough to Silicon Valley that commuting is in the realm of possibility, yet with all the quality features we’ve come to expect from close-in areas such as Redwood City, East Palo Alto, or Alum Rock!

57 Sycamore St, Fremont, CA 94536


SQ. FT.: 845
$/SQ. FT.: $174
LOT SIZE: 4,237 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Fixer/Handyman Special
COUNTY: Alameda
MLS#: 40551215
STATUS: Pending
ON REDFIN: 27 days

View of Creek Hills, Trees, View of Niles River directly behind property, Very Scenic Location. Dual Pane Windows, Walk to Park. Sold in AS-IS condition.

Walk to Park.  Well, I’m sold!  Although I would love to see the inside.  How did they fit 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in 845 square feet?  Did they leave out the living room and the kitchen?

The house has plenty of history, too.  Plenty of listing history.  BUY NOW!!!!!!

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:09 am

November 24, 2011

Something to be Thankful for Today

Happy Thanksgiving from Burbed!  And one thing to be thankful for is we’re not taking today off.  We are also thankful for our many wonderful readers, without whom we would never be able to bring you Real Bay Area Real Estate, House Price and Mortgage Insanity on a regular basis.

Speaking of wonderful readers, here’s a momentous mansion in Mountain View from Burbed reader dollarbin!

2178 LELAND Ave, Mountain View, CA 94040


SQ. FT.: 1,920
$/SQ. FT.: $378
LOT SIZE: 4,947 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COMMUNITY: San Antonio
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81129200
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 144 days

Maybe the Final Price Reduction before it goes to auction! Take a second look! Enjoy this stunning 4 year old well maintained home with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths, 1920 sf of living area, wrap around porch, granite kitchen, granite faced fireplace in living room, 4 spacious bedrooms including downstairs master suite. This home sits in a 4791 SF lot in a well sought after Mountain View area.

imageHere’s what dollarbin was thinking when sending us today’s Thanksgiving Turkey.

I swear this has been on Burbed before, if not it might spark some discussion. I don’t know if this house has ever actually been occupied, the sales history suggests it hasn’t. Mere inches from the Caltrain tracks, you can shop at Mi Pueblo in your slippers too.

If this house has been on Burbed, it was hiding under a different address.  And it has quite a history, too.  Take a look at this!


And if you think that’s interesting, then look what Zillow has to say about this place!  But none of those missing listings from 2007-08 are there.


imageHere’s the link to Auction.com in case you want to bid on this house.  I really like the exterior shot they’re using instead of the one above on Redfin (sorry about their annoying little banner there).  Arty!  Too bad the other 4 photos are the same as before.

$725,000 really was the final price before the auction after all.  Take a second look, since you’ll be eating today’s meal a few more times too.  This house and its history can make you feel thankful for so many things.  Why not share them in comments?

Remember to get up extra early tomorrow as we begin our Black Friday Sales!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:26 am

October 3, 2011

Two Houses for the Price of One!

Thanks very much to Burbed reader AstroWallaby for this absolutely amazing listing from the garlic fields of Gilroy!  Remember, drive a little, save a lot!


7256 CHURCH St, Gilroy, CA 95020



SQ. FT.: 2,193
$/SQ. FT.: $196
LOT SIZE: 9,800 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Victorian
COMMUNITY: Morgan Hill/Gilroy/San Martin
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81139389
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 9 days

Two homes for the price of one(almost). Large two story home with 5 bedrooms and 2 baths. 2nd home was built in 2006 has modern amenities and has ally access. There is some work to be done, but this is the definition of sweat equity.

imageHere’s what AstroWallaby had to say about this property:

Oooh, as an aside, check out this nearby neighbor of the Gilroy house:

In particular, the aerial view. Take a nice old Victorian on a reasonably roomy lot, maybe spruce it up a bit… and then fill the entire backyard with another house. Brilliant! That’s down-south country-style livin’ for you.

Let’s have a look, then.


imageWow.  Just, wow.  If only San Jose were as forward-looking as Gilroy and did away with that silly zoning code.  Not only would we have in-law units in our back-yards, we’d have apartment houses in our back yards.  Ka-ching!

But this is not the definition of sweat equity.  This is the definition of “previous owner ran out of borrowed money.”  Maybe the agent meant “the banker is breaking into a sweat over what happened to all its equity.”

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

September 26, 2011

Incredible Opportunity: Walk to Stanford for half a mil!

Here’s another amazing find by Burbed reader SEA for you today.  Thanks very much for letting us know that not all is style and charm in our favorite city.  There’s also value!


455 GRANT Ave #12, Palo Alto, CA 94306


SQ. FT.: 906
$/SQ. FT.: $579
LOT SIZE: 943 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Condominium
STORIES: 1-3 (Low Rise)
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81136262
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 33 days

Open 8/20 8/21 2nd floor overlooking sparkling pool Huge36ftx6ft Patio Balcony Granite kitchen, granite floor, Brand new bathrooms, Loads of light, Excellent Palo Alto School District, Vacant, Close to CalTrain, El Camino California Ave. Walk to Stanford. Very bright unit with Atrium on one side and pool on the other side.

Here’s what SEA has to say about this, um, well-situated find.

At first I thought it was some sort of prison, but then I realized that it was ‘not a lot of money’ more than not a lot of money.

Prison? Don’t be ridiculous.  This is a highly secure storehouse for your hard-earned savings!  Just look at all these different places you could keep them in while they multiply, and all you have to do is live here.


Now check out how much the previous owners were all able to accomplish in putting their money to work:


See? These transactions are Special, just like you’ll be when you take advantage of this amazing offer to “Walk to Stanford.” It’s a beautiful 1.6 mile walk to Memorial Hall, on the Road of Kings, even! If I were you, I’d get walking to that agent’s office right now.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:13 am

September 14, 2011

Well Maintan, move-in ready home. With dude.

Here’s a great find from comments by Burbed reader Swan!  Thanks for keeping Burbed to its low-priced roots with this San Jose charmer that’s selling shortly, now listed for less than it sold for nine years ago.  At least it should probably maintain its value well above when it was first sold in 1950.


2495 WALNUT GROVE Ave, San Jose, CA 95128


SQ. FT.: 1,040
$/SQ. FT.: $423
LOT SIZE: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Santa Clara
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81137964
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 3 days

Well Maintan, move-in ready home. Walking distance to SANTANA ROW AND VALLY FAIR MALL. CLOSE TO FREEWAY 880-280

Props to the agent who, despite mangling Valley Fair, managed to miss the “Santa Row” goof.  Also I do not consider this place “close to freeway.”  This house is more my idea of “close to freeway.”

imageHere’s what Swan had to say about this listing:

I don’t know what the Dudes are up to these days, but this house has a dude who could use a friend. Check out the pic of one of the bedrooms. You can only see his knee, but it’s still a DHO! The realtard’s write up and the other pics are worth a look and a laugh too. When you are ready for another laugh, head to Zillow and check out the price history.

My friend went to one of the many open houses and told me that the realtard is the owner’s sister.  The owners always have a garage sale before it hits the market, after a long time a "Sale Pending" sign goes up, that stays up a long time, they have another garage sale, and then the sign comes down.  imageRinse and repeat.  The house is on the corner of Winchester Blvd., and is located near senior housing, a convalescent hospital, The Casket Store, and a cemetery.  I thought, "I’ll never have to leave a 1/2 mile radius from my home!" Oh, and the church directly across the street recently put a cell phone tower up in its front yard!

Let’s see those other pictures, then, because I thought the exterior shot of the house was actually pretty nice!  Remember, we are looking at a “The Contemporary” model from “Orchard Park,” and the original floor plan is a whopping 1034 square foot 3/1.  Looks like they gained 6 feet somehow.



What’s the expression?  Oh yeah, “needs updating.”  But like I said, the grounds are well-kept.



So well-kept, the house is irrelevant really.  What do you want for under half a million, anyway?  A fountain that isn’t in the way of the basketball court?

Here’s some more comments from Swan about this house.

imageWe went to the open house on Walnut Grove yesterday.  The interior is much different from the pictures online.  The turquoise room (the one with the Dude) is now a dark green with a hand painted mural on the wall.  The gold wallpaper, purple bedspread, and scarves above the bed are gone too.  The walls are just white now.  No dude hanging out watching TV either. 

imageHowever, the realtor and her niece were surfing the internet in the dining room.  The house is horribly full of clutter – furniture, boxes, knick-nacks, you name it.  There was even a goldfish in a bowl on the kitchen counter and a dog sleeping in a bed on the patio! 

Basically, it violates EVERY show I’ve watched on HGTV.

I didn’t take any pics though I wanted to.  There was sooo much much clutter I didn’t know where to start with photos.  The goldfish was great, the mural so tacky, the shiny gold chairs all over the living room…it was overwhelming!

Finally, Swan asked us to check out the price history on Zillow:


Tsk, tsk.  Pending twice.  It’s almost as if the bank would rather keep the house.  And the dude.

Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

September 8, 2011

This Peacock is Looking a Little Less Proud

Today’s listing is courtesy of Burbed reader rotoiti, who alerts us to a frequently featured fiasco in Mountain View!


1755 PEACOCK Ave, Mountain View, CA 94043


SQ. FT.: –
LOT SIZE: 6,200 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Residential Land (Single Family)
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: North Shoreline
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81138265
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 1 day

Huge price reduction! Motivated seller! Price includes approved plans and permits from the city of Mountain View.

imageHere’s what rotoiti had to say about this place:

$1,380,000 for an empty lot, but with a pretty house … painting. List price reflects home being built by owner – what does it even mean? I have to pay 3x going price for the land in the area and then I have to pay for the house? Ugh, no.

Now when rotoiti first sent me this listing, this lovely illustration was indeed part of it, along with that insane $1.38M wishing price. (You can still find that withdrawn listing on a few places, like on Trulia.)

The painting’s been since pulled, and for that matter, so was the listing. But it’s back, and it’s better than EVEH! Without the painting, you save $652,000!  That’s so much instant equity you’re going to need to build an extra house to keep it in!  Good thing the lot is cleared for takeoff!


But that isn’t the best part. Burbed has featured this property not once but twice already!  Let’s fire up the ol’ Wayback Machine and have a look.  First, we ran this vacant lot amazing opportunity just seven months ago!


Only back then, the seller assured us there was a 4 bedroom 3 bath house on the place, or at least the price reflected that there was GOING to be one.  Even though the plans were approved, they’re not in the February listing, which was remarkably short on photos.

But this place has been on and off the market for much longer than that!  Try another year back!


Just how many times was this property listed, anyway?


And if we head over to Zillow, we can fill in some of those missing asking prices.


imageimageWow, my head hurts!  Either the seller was a couple who couldn’t agree on a pricing strategy (and went around behind each other’s backs signing listing agreements as well as hiring architects), or they were very suggestible and had a manic-depressive agent who couldn’t decide if this was a peacock or a pee pot.


Net result: Seven different listings (6 MLS and one FSBO on oodle.com) at wildly fluctuating prices since Summer, 2008, for a place that sold for only $674,000 at the peak of the Bubble.  No wonder, even at a reduced price, it’s still clearly worth an extra $54,000 for all their time and trouble.

Shake out your tailfeathers, strut on down, and pick up this display property today!

Comments (31) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:11 am