September 30, 2012

Kittehz 4 Sale on ur haiwhey

Here’s a property coming on the market that you don’t see every day.  The Cats estate in Los Gatos is for sale.  It’s right off Highway 17 just a mile south of downtown Los Gatos, next to the The Cats Restaurant & Tavern.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Kir from Inside Los Gatos for passing this item along.


More info, and videos, are at the agent’s site.  The property is nine separate parcels consisting of over 75 acres of land, with three different originally built houses.  Views galore, of course.  It can be yours for $8,995,000.

120929-cats-platFacts and Features

Main House:

3985 Square Feet
Built in 1925
5 Bedrooms
4 Bathrooms
Remarkable Valley Views
Finished Basement-perfect for wine cellar
View Amphitheater
Terraced Courtyard
Famous collection of notable “attached” art work

Additional Buildings:

The Gatehouse
The Poet’s Cottage
The Ranch
The Geodesic Dome
The Teacher’s House

Additional Features:

Gated entry featuring the famous Stone Cats
Riding/biking trails
Poet’s Canyon
The secret benches
The round bench
Superb acreage for horses
Natural splendor, a photographer’s paradise
Natural springs
Suitable for vineyards
120929-cats-gatehouseMountain, valley and lake views

Chain of ownership:

Charles Erskine Scott Wood & Sara Bard Field
Fred G. Hampton
Ogilvie Family

Does nine million seem like the right price for a property like this?  Think of all the fun you’ll have with everyone who ever knew you in elementary school dropping by because “they were in the neighborhood.”

This is the gatehouse above right.  Below is the main house.


All these pictures were snagged from the videos on Duane Adam’s site.  Below left is a view inside the main house, and below right is the Poet’s Cottage.  The latter gives just a taste of the views from the property.  Plenty more in the videos, plus footage from the 1930s!


Watch the daughter of the current owner get all choked up over the property being sold.  She says whoever gets the property will be “very lucky,” so why didn’t they price it at $8,888,888?

One thing we did discover that isn’t on Adam’s site: the actual address.  If you bought the Cats Estate, you’ll be receiving your mail at 17525 Santa Cruz Hwy, Los Gatos, CA 95033

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

August 29, 2012

Dome, Dome on the (Coast) Range

120828-bear-microbusIt’s time to put on your hemp sandals and splash with a bit of patchouli oil, because we’re driving the VW Microbus up the long and winding road to a groovy getaway.  Thanks very much to mystic crystal hip chick and Burbed reader Tracy Tea House for this psychedelic shack in the Santa Cruz mountains!

21864 Bear Creek Road
Los Gatos CA 95033


120828-bear-houseBedrooms: 5 
Bathrooms: 3 full, 1 partial 
98 days on Trulia
Property type: Single-Family Home
Size: 4,426 sqft
Lot: Ask agent
Price/sqft: $226/sqft
Year built: 1983
MLS/ID: 81219243
Zip: 95033
Provided by:

This home appraised last March for $1,050,000! Want a “green” home? 120828-bear-livingYour geodesic dome has efficient wood heating, solar hot water, R30 insulation, PGandE bills of less than $60/month!! 164 acres feels like a kingdom. Great potential for horses, vineyards, hiking or just getting away to relax. Wonderful decks for entertaining. Outstanding views. Los Gatos Schools. Please do not drive-by.

The home may have a Los Gatos mailing address, but just like its 1960s architectural influence, it sits proudly on the Santa Cruz side of the County Line.  There is no doubt this is an authentic hippie pad, or at least that it could have been.  Too bad it was built in 1983.

Here’s what Tracy had to say about this geodesic goody.

120828-bear-low-ceilingI just love a good dome! This one features… Logging roads! Don’t drive by. In fact if this was my dome, I might never be able to leave. I’d get a few horses, some vineyards and watch the view. Working in the valley… forget about it. At 999 it’s a little high for a second mountain home, maybe when it gets down to 888???

120828-bear-bong-useA little high.  Snort.  Don’t bogie the bong.  Share.  Peace, man. 

Oh that sky, it’s, it’s, it’s… it’s the HDR processing that makes the blue so intense and the horizon so actinic.  Or maybe this is really bad acid.

Feels like a kingdom already.

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

May 3, 2012

A mini-San Simeon in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Do you love yourself some open space in the mountains?  I sure hope you do, because we just can’t stay away from them!  Today’s high-elevation, hard-to-get-to homesite is courtesy of Burbed reader wahnny.  Ready for a twisty drive?  Bring your Dramamine!

30465 Highland Way
unincorporated, CA 95033


SQ. FT.: –
COMMUNITY: santa cruz mtns
COUNTY: Santa Cruz
MLS#: 120010561
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 65 days

great views of monterey bay. Highland Way is paved, and this is a flag lot, with entry via a graded, gated, shared, dirt road that begins at Highland. Stunningly located between Uvas Canyon County Park and The Forest of Nisene Marks, a State Park. This 40-acre parcel actually contains a forest, which the buyers might wish to name after themselves. Incredible rock formations. Significant increase in elevation from paved road; ample selection of building sites & helo-ports. A "mini-San Simeon. "The property has a graded, dirt, loop road which allows the entire parcel to be viewed. Buyers might wish to install their own zip lines within the forest that comes with the property.

120502-highland-wtf-isthisHere’s an interesting property I came across last weekend.  The real estate agent promotes this gated, vacant land property as a "mini-San Simeon" with "incredible rock formations" and a small forest which "the buyers might wish to name after themselves".

In reality, the 40-acre flag lot (APN 106-521-09) looks pretty barren and difficult to access,


The property seems to have been damaged by the Summit Fire back in 2008.


Of course, no mention of this is found in the listing.  Only positive possibilities are presented (e.g., ample sites for buildings/heliopad, zip-line tours through the forest, etc.), all for the asking price of $2.5 million.


120502-highland-fogThis realtard is earning that 3% commission with all those pictures taken on a really foggy day, waiting minutes for a slice of Monterey Bay to show up.

And yet, he couldn’t put the most important thing about this property in the danged listing.  If you’re selling land, then wouldn’t a buyer want to know how much land are you selling?  I think that question is usually followed by where the fuck is it? 

So why wouldn’t he put these really key pieces of info in the little fill-in-the-listing-form fields? 

120502-highland-roadLook above.  The listing info is all blank, and check out the name of the city, too!  If you read through the really bizarre listing copy, there is a mention that it’s a 40 acre parcel in the Santa Cruz Mountains near some state park, but how many would-be buyers stopped reading when they got to the dirt road and flag lot?

And that’s too bad.  Several of you may well want your own private zip line in the forest you might wish to name after yourself.  Although if you expect this to be a mini-San Simeon, you’re going to need to import a herd of zebras.  Oh yeah, and build a castle.

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

November 20, 2011

Moo-ha-ha-ha! Burbed’s Most Loved Series EVER!

Yes, we’re back with Northern California places on the Forbes most expensive zip code list.  As you get ready for Thanksgiving, one thing you can give thanks for this Thursday is that this all-time favorite series (if by “favorite” I actually mean “causes excited readers to fling household appliances”) only runs on Sundays.  That means it’s at least another seven days until the next installment!  If you missed the last ones, you’ll want to catch up RIGHT AWAY so you are completely up on every aspect:

Also, beginning Friday will be Burbed’s Black Friday Sales!  That’s where we scour the Real Bay Area in search of the best bargains out there for you.  While you may not be able to afford the most expensive house in the most expensive zip codes, maybe you can afford one on the other extreme!

And now, the Top 100 of the Bottom 300 Most Expensive Zip Codes in the Country: This is Fourth Tier: Under a Million Median Means Middleclass Metroplex.  Or the shorter version: Forbes screwed up again.

#212: Redwood City 94062

  • Median Home Price: $998,975
  • Median Price Change: -11.9%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 118
  • Inventory: 118 76
  • Rank in 2010: #185 (-27 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $3.6 Million $3.45 Million (610 Edgewood Road)

imageOne of the few shared zips to survive Forbes and Altos Research’s data parsing, the most expensive zip in Redwood City is shared with tony Woodside, California.  But you won’t find movers and shakers like Larry Ellison in Redwood City.

What you will find is this house, complete with Mawbul Kawlums, at a Woodside Price on a busy arterial that feeds I-280!  The owners have been trying to sell it since 2009, no doubt because its neighborhood of “High School Acres” fails to evoke wealth, exclusivity, or prestige.  Maybe they should rename it “Prep School Prospects” and see if that does the trick.

More exciting Zip Code ZAwesomeness after the break!  More! More! More!


Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

October 22, 2011

Silicon Valley Luxury Real Estate’s Most Astonishing Webpage Ever

I read a lot of real estate sites in order to bring you Burbed-worthy features.  Recently, I found an agent’s special “Astonishing Homes” page that looked absolutely scrumptious.  Plenty of seven and even eight-figure high-end properties on acres of land with great schools.

Now I know absolutely nothing about this particular agent, but all these homes were on MLS. Member agents can detail any MLS listings in their region, and Sophia Delacotte put together a webpage with nicer luxury properties for people to get some real estate pr0n action.  But something was amiss when I took a closer look at the actual listings.


With ten different houses, that’s ten front facades and ten sets of details.  I have all that waiting for you inside, but before you join me, make your prediction how many of these ten estate properties:

  • Sold (pending within 7 days)
  • Sold (pending within 30 days)
  • Sold in a longer timeframe
  • Are still active on MLS
  • Had their listing withdrawn
  • Had a price reduction at some point

For “bunus” yucks, guess how many of these ten estate homes have marble columns.

Got your guesses ready?  Good.  Now, let’s see these Astonishing Homes and find out if you’re as Astonished as I was.


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

December 18, 2010

They’re Baaaaaaaaack!

The Cheapest House In… series is so popular, what could be more appropriate than bringing back another one? That other perennial Burbed series, Most Expensive Zip Codes: RBA Edition!  Well, what indeed, other than some of the commenters saying they hated it?  But that’s okay.  That was just one or two hot-heads.  We know all the rest of you can’t wait to find out when San Jose makes an appearance on that list!

If you missed the previous entries in the ZIP code series, feel free to check them out.  The 500 most expensive zips were chosen by Forbes magazine, working with Altos Research’s data.  All the mistakes were entirely Forbes’, of course.  We just take credit for finding them.

And now, Burbed proudly presents (okay, not so proudly, we did get some Debbie Downers who moaned about this) The Most Expensive Zip Codes in the RBA: The Six Digit Edition.

#201 – 94506 Danville

Median Home Price: $1,072,360
Median Price Change: NA
Average Days On Market: 96
Inventory: 84 properties
Median Household Income: $142,459
Ignored Because: In East Bay, plus Forbes can’t figure out where Danville actually is.  Remember that expensive Danville zip here at #59?  That was actually Pleasanton.

#202 – 93924 Carmel Valley

Median Home Price: $1,064,710
Median Price Change: 9%
Average Days On Market: 206
Inventory: 101 properties
Median Household Income: $71,053
Ignored Because: Another gazillion square mile zip full of nothing.

image#211 – 95014 Cupertino

Median Home Price: $1,042,581
Median Price Change: -4%
Average Days On Market: 69
Inventory: 155 properties
Median Household Income: $100,020
Finally,, a place we can call home; home to Apple, home to Hewlett-Packard – oops, not any more! But it is home to the world-famous Cupertino Union School District, where parents raised two million dollars to keep teachers from losing their jobs another year.  So if you move in, you know you’ll be hit up for even more next year!

The median price is still over a million, but not for long!  At least it has an eight in it.

image #212 – 94010 Burlingame

Median Home Price: $1,035,952
Median Price Change: -25%
Average Days On Market: 88
Inventory: 122 properties
Median Household Income: $82,188

Conveniently located at the nexus of US 101 and SFO, Burlingame has many advantages which I’ll leave to the imagination.  Just as Los Altos Hills has Los Altos pulling down the averages, Hillsborough will always have Burlingame.  And why not, when they share the same ZIP code?  And in an amazing coincidence, they also share the same median income.

Anyone who thinks the typical Hillsborough household income is $82K when the houses sell for $2.9 million, raise your polo mallet.

image #220 – 94115 San Francisco

Median Home Price: $1,018,459
Median Price Change: -21%
Average Days On Market: 93
Inventory: 99 properties
Median Household Income: $54,879

You ever see that movie, Pacific Heights, where the psycho tenant tries to drive the yuppie landlords out of their house?  This is where it supposedly took place.  (It actually took place at Texas and 19th Street, in Potrero Hill, but then the house wouldn’t have sold for $750,000 in the late eighties.) 

Pacific Heights: median home price, a million.  Median income, fifty thou.  Why was anyone surprised when an angry renter happened?  Disclaimer: I have actually lived in this zip code.  As a renter.

#227 – 94939 Larkspur

Median Home Price: $1,004,396
Median Price Change: -26%
Average Days On Market: 95
Inventory: 36 properties
Median Household Income: $75,747
Ignored Because: Location, location, location! Right next to San Quentin.

image #236 – 94402 San Mateo

Median Home Price: $982,903
Median Price Change: -10%
Average Days On Market: 103
Inventory: 103 properties
Median Household Income: $82,796

Whoa, look at that map!  This zip is cut into three different pieces!  Well seriously, if San Mateo gets to pick and choose separate parts that go to one zip, of course they can optimize it to get a couple of their zips onto the Top 500.  Place your bets which one we’ll see next, and when!

For this, 94402 is nominated for the Jerry Mander Prize for noncontiguousity.  But it’s still San Mateo so nobody is impressed.  Just the fact that we’re now under a million for the median home price tells us we’re not in Atherton anymore.

image #238 – 94118 San Francisco

Median Home Price: $976,434
Median Price Change: -8%
Average Days On Market: 71
Inventory: 86 properties
Median Household Income: $61,609

This zip contains Inner Richmond and Laurel Village, along with the nice places along the Presidio near Lake Street.  What’s surprising is how close the numbers are to Pacific Heights’ zip code.  Then again, zip codes were designed for postal workers, not real estate agents.

Then again, it includes 19th Avenue, and any house near there could be described as A Thoroughfare Runs Through It.

image #241 – 94127 San Francisco

Median Home Price: $969,776
Median Price Change: -8%
Average Days On Market: 103
Inventory: 50 properties
Median Household Income: $95,313

Remember what I was saying earlier about Portrero Hill?  Well, this isn’t it.  This is Mount Davidson, highest point in San Francisco (928 feet).  The neighborhood southwest of Mount Davidson is called Sherwood Forest.  Now all we need is a Robin Hood to steal from the people who live here (check out the median income).

This is also the site of the park scene with the cross in Dirty Harry, where Harry confronts serial killer Scorpio.

image #245 – 95120 San Jose

Median Home Price: $965,271
Median Price Change: -2%
Average Days On Market: 86
Inventory: 176 properties
Median Household Income: $120,117

San Jose?  No way.

Way, even San Jose finally cracks the list of Most Expensive Zip Codes, although #245 doesn’t exactly serve up bragging rights.  This part of town is on a hill like San Francisco above, but if you can name a movie shot at Calero Reservoir as notable as Dirty Harry (heck, our Governator said that movie influenced his acting career), go for it in the comments.

image #250 – 95033 Los Gatos

Median Home Price: $940,654
Median Price Change: 7%
Average Days On Market: 172
Inventory: 98 properties
Median Household Income: $106,675

Los Gatos’ third zip code squeaks under the wire at number 250, joining more chichi 95030 (#38) and 95032 (#199) in the list of Most Expensive Zip Codes in the United States.

This from the zip that provided the Cheapest House in Los Gatos earlier this week.  But it’s also got its tail cut off!  Did Mean old 95030 bite it when they were duking it out over Monte Sereno?

Next Installment: You’ll be on the edge of your seat wondering if Sunnyvale makes the next cut!  Only on Burbed!!!!

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

June 11, 2010

Contractors Special? More Like Contractors Special Olympiad

Today’s house, courtesy of burbed reader VC, reminds us that only the Best of the Best can make it in Silicon Valley.  Why should only software developers and chip designers have all the fun of healthy cut-throat competition and failure of market acceptance?  Builders need a challenge too. Anyone can throw up McMansions on flat land with city services already installed.  But this property is for only the most able, willing, daring, and liquid of contractors.  How would you like to live the dream?

23633 Schulties Road, Los Gatos Mtns 95033


SQ. FT.: 895
$/SQ. FT.: $553
LOT SIZE: 7.8 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE:  Detached Single Family
VIEW: Canyon, Valley
COMMUNITY: Los Gatos Mountains
COUNTY: Santa Cruz
MLS#: 80947132
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 251 days

Very nice piece of property with over 7 acres and Los Gatos Schools. This is a real contractor special, but wil a great upside potental. Current house is a small 2 bedroom home which could be fixed up nicely. Second home on property needs to be moved, then it would be a nice 3/2 with approximately 1900 sq. ft. The lot next door is also available. Total 13 acres for around 600K, great deal!!

You can’t go wrong on a place “wil a great upside potental,” can you?  Find out just how much work it is to fix up the current house!  It’s a small 2 bedroom home which could be fixed up nicely!  In fact it’s so small, part of the challenge is finding it in the picture above.  Once you do, see how nicely you can fix it up!  The sky’s the limit, along with your bank account.

But you might object, “What’s the excitement in remodeling a little cottage in the woods?”  Prefer a large 3/2 with approximately 1900 sq. ft.?  That second home is here somewhere on property, and all you have to do is move it.  And maybe fix it up at little.  Or a lot.  Perhaps once you do it expands, and it “would be a nice 3/2?”  That should be a quick and easy project, since there are no walls or exteriors to get in the way of the 16 forklifts you’re going to need.image

And once you remove all that scaffolding, it will move even quicker!  Maybe you can borrow the wheels off the pickup, which looks more stable than the structure behind it.

Wondering why the second home had to be moved?  Check out that geologic/flood report!  Meanwhile, a little birdie told me there’s a stipulation with Santa Cruz County to do some grading and retaining wall work.  I hear “some” could mean two hundred thousand worth, but that’s only a rumor.  Some could also mean zero!  Just how much upslope can a little driveway have?

image Now, this project is going to keep you driving to Home Depot a few thousand times, so you’d best buy in bulk.  In fact, the seller is way ahead of you, and is willing to supersize the deal by adding in the lot next door!  And just like those 167 Tool Specials, most of them are drill bits in sizes you already own or socket sets in shapes you don’t need.  In this case, the bonus 6 acre parcel has no improvements, no permits, can’t be subdivided, and doesn’t have a well, sewer line, or septic tank.  But it’s only “around $600K” for both!  If you enjoy bargaining, this is even more fun than buying 60 square feet of granite countertop and making sure it all matches.

Remember, this property thinks it can take you.  Are you going to let it get away with that?

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

January 11, 2008

17863 OGALLALA WARPATH, Los Gatos,CA,95033 – $779,000
2 Beds 1280 Sq.Ft. Aprx. Attached,Off Street Parking,RV or Boat Parking,2 o MLS#: 758528
2.0 Baths 16,988 Lot Size List Date: 2007-10-19


What’s new on MLS-2: Search by % Price Drop // Search by “MOTIVATED SELLERS”

Description – 17863 OGALLALA WARPATH, Los Gatos,CA,95033

Frankly there’s probably nothing terribly wrong with this house. It’s actually really nice looking on the inside, and I’m sure it’s 8 minutes to Downtown Los Gatos on Sundays at 11:30PM.

I posted it mostly because of the street name. OGALLALA WARPATH! OGALLALA WARPATH!

Comments (6) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:57 am

June 27, 2006

Cheapest House in Silicon Valley: $350,000 in Los Gatos!

Apparently, this is the cheapest house in Silicon Valley*

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 634105
Los Gatos, CA 95033
Nice home with a view, bright and sunny 14 minutes to downtown Los Gatos, 17 minutes to Santa Cruz, (GoogleMap) Home appears to be intact and in good condition. Landslide on lower part of property. Large retaining walls needed. Good opportunity for contractor or investor that has experience with retaining walls and Santa Cruz county. The extent of the slide needs to be determined. Sellers want to move on with their lives and are willing to take a loss. Before landslide, home was valued at $750K. Lenders will not lend on this property now. Best cash offer gets it. No contingencies, close escrow in 10 days or less. Offers reviewed on June 26 at 5PM. Home is vacant. Come out and take a look but be careful. Enter property at your own risk. Realtor’s keysafe is at property to enter the home. Listing agent can show. DIRECTIONS TO THE PROPERTY From downtown Los Gatos take Hwy 17 south. Go approx 1.5 mile past Summit Rd and exit Hwy 17 at Glenwood Dr. home is abut 3/4 mile, the third h

This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 634105 Approx Age: 31 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1661
Detached Single Family 2 Stories 3 Bedrooms

You can’t get a loan for this, you can’t go there without getting killed… but it is the cheapest house in Silicon Valley. Buy it today!

*My Silicon Valley = Santa Clara less Morgan Hill and Gilroy.

Click here to post a comment -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:09 am