January 14, 2014

Rare Find in Palo Alto!

Every area in life has The Three Words.  In relationships, it’s “I love you,” in business, “It’s a deal,” in math, “Quod erat demonstratum,” and in Latin, “Igpay Atlinlay Erehay.”  We’re sure you can also name The Three Words of Real Estate.

202 EMERSON St140113-pa-location-redfin.jpg
Palo Alto, CA 94301

2 Beds
2 Baths
1,154 Sq. Ft.
$867 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1910
Lot Size: 2,775 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 36 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: Santa Clara
Style: Cabin
Community: Downtown
MLS#: 81342791

Location, Location, Location! Charming home downtown Palo Alto near Stanford University. This is a rare find in this area. Home is in need of some repairs and it is being sold "AS-IS" Perfect for an Investor looking to remodel or a builder . Seller has also listed adjacent home at 170 Hawthorne.

Yes, The Three Words of Real Estate are “Sold AS-IS.”  Unless it’s “Palo Alto million.”  Perfect for investor.

Comments (22) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:08 am

October 4, 2013

Are you green with envy about this green house in Redwood City?

102 POPLAR Ave
Redwood City, CA 94061


Being green is all the rage these days. And I don’t think there’s a greener house than this!

Lime green? No not quite. Pea soup green? Hm. Guac green? Sinus green?

But let’s look at the opportunity to grow!


I see… so if you expand the back of the house to touch the detached garages… uh… I mean mancaves and media center…. then you’d have a super house. Your house could fill the lot edge to edge! Neat!

What I’m really surprised at is how the realtor left out the convenience factor!


My goodness! This house is literally in the crossroads of the world… or Redwood City. Easy access to Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Harry’s Hofbrau, Woodside, El Camino Real, Main Street, car repair shops – the opportunities are endless.

I don’t understand why no one has snapped up this jewel today.

How will you spend the weekend? And will it involve visiting this house?

Comments (3) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:28 am

September 20, 2012

Lost Horizon: Now Playing in Mountain View

When a market is as hot, hot, HOT as Mountain View, it pays to look at what won’t sell.  Take a gander at this gorgeous gatehouse and let us know why you think it’s still without a prom date.


Mountain View, CA 94043
$899,900; raised from $879,900 on 8/24/12

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,419 Sq. Ft.
$634 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1970
Lot Size: 6,100 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 38 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Community: North Shoreline
MLS#: 81230153
Stories: 1
County: Santa Clara

LOCATION!LOCATION!LOCATION! Beautiful home in downtown MtView! Mostly dual pane windows/doors; gleaming hardwood flr, plantation miniblind/shutters, skylight, mirror closet drs, newer roof, newer landscaping. Relax in leafy backyrd. close to everywhere–downtown restaurants, light rail and train station, high tech companies/google/facebook. .Ready to move in!

120919-horizon-dhoYet another house in Mountain View, but this one has a “bunus”!  It’s right here in Picture #21.  We had to use a different Red Arrow, because while we were busy finding housing fail, Aviary went and dumped its Advanced Suite of Red Arrow Drawing Tools.

Yes, we found a real Dude Hanging Out, plus flash in the mirror.

Maybe if the agent goes back and takes this picture again, from an angle with no DHO and no flash, the house will go Pending in a day.  After all, LOCATION!LOCATION!LOCATION!


Gosh, they raised the price two weeks after listing it, too!  Doing everything right like this should make this house as popular as Bill Clinton at a haiku convention.

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

June 13, 2011

“Price Reduction” in Redwood City. New lower “price”. And more quotes.



Beds: 3
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 1,890
$/Sq. Ft.: $489
Lot Size: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1980
Community: High School Acres
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81115802
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active





On Redfin: 49 days

Thanks to Burbed Reader Overheard in San Carlos for this find!

Wow… a price reduction? In this booming economy? What’s going on!


Oh… it’s one of those price reductions. A “nudge nudge wink wink” kind of price reductions.

But what really caught the attention of O.S.C. was the comment about walking distance. According to Google Maps, this is a .8 mile walk to the Redwood City Caltrain station. It requires a pleasant walk down bucolic and peaceful streets like Broadway and, the street of royalty, El Camino Real.

Is this considered walking distance by your standards?


Comments (22) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:59 am

August 17, 2010

Location, Location, Location, At Last

This occasional series has looked at several listings on the same street.  First there was the English Garden Shed, then the Vampire Frat House, and our latest Lincoln link was Limestone and Marble and Rock, Oh My! (the one with MAGICAL GARDENS near a busy street).  We’ve run through three neighborhoods: Community Center, Professorville, and Crescent Park; and three building styles: English Cottage, Craftsman, and Spanish. 

Today’s featured property finishes us right back where we started: English Country in Community Center.  The house is still for sale, but the price is a mite higher.

750 Lincoln Avenue, Palo Alto, CA  94301


Beds: 5
Baths: 4.5
Sq. Ft.: 3,321
$/Sq. Ft.: $828
Lot Size: 5,625 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Country English
Stories: 2
Year Built: 1998
Community: Community Center
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81034935
Source:  MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 8 days

PICTURE PERFECT & TRADITIONAL with stone exterior covered in Boston Ivy * High ceilings, detailed moldings, quality finishes * Full basement w/ recreation room * Romantic English garden for sweet indoor/outdoor living * Great neighborhood with lots of family action in walking distance: Community Center (park/libraries/theater/clubs/special events); Schools(Addison/Jordan/Paly); & alluring Downtown

Now that’s a new real estate term for today: Family Action.  I’ve heard “Fun for the whole family isn’t,” so maybe “Family Action” has them each running for a different neighborhood feature.  But at least this house isn’t hiding any extra floors on railroad tracks, the agent was kind enough to spell out most of the ad copy, and even threw in a few asterisks to show us how exciting Family Action can be!  The garden may not be MAGICAL but at least it’s sweet.  And no sign of vampires, with or without a Stanford degree.

Why hasn’t this PICTURE PERFECT & TRADITIONAL house sold yet?  It’s got Boston Ivy!  That means Harvard!!! 

Look, you can hardly see that dreadful lemon line in the lower left corner.  Wow, what’s with that funny orientation of the lots on this block?


Perhaps it’s the neighbors?  Or the neighbors’ vehicles?  This is right across the street, but as bad vehicles go it’s pretty innocuous.


It’s certainly easier on the eye than the house directly across the street:


Wow.  Looks secure.  Maybe it’s an extraordinary rendition center.  Hope they soundproofed the interior walls!  On the plus side, no chance of parking RVs on the lawn.

Update: The house still on the market after 30 days.  No doubt it’s in “Soon Pending” status!  So what if it sold for $2.3 million just 5 years ago?  If it will be double in ten years, it should be up by half now!  Remember, to get Real Bay Area price, all you need is one Real Buyer!  Preferably a Real Buyer who doesn’t know Real Issue about which side of 94301 is the best location.

Comments (134) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 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


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


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:


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.


No second floor here…

Where could it be?


Perhaps it is at the end of these railroad tracks:




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?


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


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

July 27, 2010

Location, Loocation, Looocation – Part II

In a previous post, I asked whether location was all there was to pricing real estate.  Looking at several homes on the same street, their position, and their list prices would help answer this question.  The first home was a small 2/1 in a “fantastic location” for just under a million.  Let’s see what’s on the same street but on the Other Side of that cruel boundary between sort of good and Real Good: Middlefield Road.

365 Lincoln Ave Palo Alto, CA 94301


Beds: 8
Baths: 4.5
Sq. Ft.: 5,505
$/Sq. Ft.:$1,452
Lot Size: 0.72 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 3
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1907
Community: Professorville
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81024865
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: 62 days

Special Opportunity to own one of Professorville’s largest lots & historic homes. Built in 1903 by Stanford Professor Leander Hoskins, this graceful craftsman style home is 5,511 sq ft & has 8 bedroooms & 4 bathroooms on a 31,500 sq ft lot. Fine example original craftsman woodwork. A broad inviting veranda welcomes visitors. Walk to Downtown & Stanford University. Please do not disturb occupants

That photo looks a bit… threatening.  Lights are on but it’s still daytime… but not for long!  The house seems like it’s crouching down low, preparing to spring onto your chest, knock you down, rip out your throat and force you to sign an eight million dollar real estate offer without contingencies.  And no eights in the price, yet!  But it’s a “Special Opportunity.”  It’s so special, the “bedroooms” and “bathroooms” are pre-stocked with extra haunting ooos.

It’s sooo special, that you’d better be able to handle the cognitive dissonance of a “broad inviting veranda” that “welcomes visitors,” except you’re not supposed to “disturb the occupants.”  Guess that broad inviting veranda is off-limits, eh?  But ask yourself, what kind of occupants would there be in an 8/4.5 near a major university?

Two words.  Frat house.  With extra ooos.  Take a look at the photo above, again.  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

Vampire frat house.

While you put on your carbon-fiber neck protector, savor this lot.  Look how it takes up the space of more than four tall or two grande properties, and just lolls onto both Lincoln and Waverly like a well-played Tetris piece… without actually being on the corner!


Heh.  I said loll.  And lolling is what you get to do when you live on the Better Side of Middlefield.  Too bad you can’t buy the Vampire Frat House, though.  It’s pending, and loooks like it was delisted a month ago, probably when someone walked in and said “Ooo!  8 bedroooms and 4 bathroooms!  Sooold!”  Loooks like you’re priced out forever, but the ooout-of-tooown sellers are making the city very happy.  The old tax valuation was (ooo!) $175,246.

To be fair, I went up and down the street loooking for unsightly vehicles, but this was the worst to be found.  The next worst was the Post Office truck.  But I do like how this photo shows the hired help gazing longingly at a house he wishes he could live in.


You see, this is the Better Side (even if you have to leave garlic on each windowsill)!  The neighbors keep their cars tucked behind hedges and trees, so only the transient workers’ jalopies remain.  Next time, we’ll Return to the Dark Side. Be there or be a Tetris piece!

Comments (33) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

May 14, 2010

Drought? What drought? Wash your car twice!



Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,406
$/Sq. Ft.: $640
Lot Size: 6,254 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1961
Community: Cupertino
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81020758
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 11 days
Gorgeous home in nice neighborhood- Upgraded kitchen w/ maple cabinets, grantnite slab counters, and built-in microwave oven. Recessed lightings. Copper pipes. Dual pane windows & sliding door. Hardwood flooring in living room, Laminate flooring in kitchen & dinning room. Fire Place in living room. Updated all doors. Top Cupertino schools Homestead/Cupertino/West Valley. Easy access to 85/101/280.

Thanks to Burbed reader Madhaus for this guest post. Take it away, Madhaus!

Drought?  What drought?  Wash your car twice!
Admittedly, this is not the year Northern Californians are worrying about water conservation, but it’s only a matter of time before the reservoirs are 20% full and we’ll be calling out Southern California again for stealing our water.  What’s felt like a rainy year is merely 116% of normal San Jose rainfall, and most of our reservoirs are below capacity.

So if you’re worried about buying a new house just for the privilege of watering your own lawn, and then not being allowed to use any water, here is the perfect home for you.

clip_image001You’re probably wondering where the house is in the photo above.  No problem, here’s the “cover photo.”  I just wanted you to admire all that greenery and wonder how you’d keep it that way if we have another low rainfall year.  You could do some “hardscaping” and cover the front lawn with low-maintenance asphalt.  It will look a lot like the photo anyway, since this Realtard wouldn’t invest in a wide-angle lens and took the photo from the sidewalk across the street.
Or, you could take advantage of a terrific feature not called out in the property listing.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, the place has a shower over tub, a dishwasher, sprinklers — although those sprinklers won’t do a lot of good if your water gets rationed.  Are those Real Cupertino Schools going to make up for an eyesore like a dead lawn?
A number of people are going to drive over to check out this property, and most of them are going drive away even faster.  This house has “Easy access to 85/101/280.”  And by easy access, they mean just steps away from 85 and 280!  Just steps!  Close your eyes and pretend you’re hearing the seashore!  And the part about 101?  Well we all know Realtards like to stretch the truth a few miles.
Okay, okay, so there’s a few too many freeway ramps near the property.  But do you see those big white circles?  Those are WATER TANKS.  A humongous water tank right across the street from you!  Plus a spare!  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  Are you handy with tools?
Plus, think of all the shade you’ll get on those hot summer afternoons!

Comments (29) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:24 am