February 2, 2011

Please DO NOT disturb next door neighbor (pink house behind subject)



Beds: 3
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 2,352
$/Sq. Ft.: $162
Lot Size: 1.63 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Contemporary
Stories: 1
View: Valley
Year Built: 1925
Community: Alum Rock
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81036177
Source: MLSListings
Status: ActiveThis listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 173 days
Property is on a hill, which provides a great view of the city and the valley. Off Mt. Hamilton Rd. country styled area, modern home on a flag lot. Plenty of room to roam around. Home has been newly rebuilt in the recent years. Unique floor plan. MUST SEE! SELLER LOOKING FOR AS-IS OFFERS. Please DO NOT disturb next door neighbor (pink house behind subject).

Hm… what do we have going on here? A recently rebuilt house with…


mismatching appliances…


… and columns to make it classsssy. How peculiar!

Fortunately, Burbed reader T has the inside scoop on this house! Take it away T!

Hi Burbed, I have been house hunting every day for 7 months and been
involved in two short sales so far… so I read Burbed and I love your
blog…And,  I keep seeing this house

10495 CROTHERS RD San Jose – Other, CA 95127 ( Mt Hamilton, Alum rock)
Which I have gone to see. If you ever need a house that has so many
complications and its price is about 1/3 of what it started at… This is
it. Bizarre story included, which is not listed in the agent copy. I got it
from the son of the sister.

Brother and sister split a lot there were two small 1940s houses on it. They
share utilities…Brother remodeled front house ( by himself) kind of a
“bury the old house.” His house is a Persian palace style, including palm
trees. He did nothing about the old foundation which the house fell off of.
He did not have the money to remedy.They may have other complications like
sharing more then utilities, driveway and yard.

When I first started looking it was listed near $800,000 I think.  Of course by this point, everyone probably has looked at this house that is looking in the East Hills! I am sure your readership is very broad though, and it is an interesting story of a house gone wrong. Of course the story is hearsay at this point.

It is for sale for $380. Now… foreclosed. A good deal?

Wow talk about a soap opera. Personally, I think this is a great deal in that you could buy it and turn it into the next Winchester Mystery House (ignoring the fact this house is one of the 101 Places Not To See Before You Die [alongside with BART]).

Come on, it’s got columns! This has got to be a good deal!

Comments (11) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:01 am

August 24, 2010

Lonely Spec House Needs Care, Decor, and Your Bank Account

Here’s a house that’s been on the market almost half a year.  Not only is nobody living in it now, nobody’s lived in it ever. burbed agents worked hard to find out why,

26462 Purissima Rd, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022


Beds: 6
Baths: 7.5
Sq. Ft.: 11,000
$/Sq. Ft.: $808
Lot Size: 2.03 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Year Built: 2010
Community: Los Altos Hills
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81010120
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 173 days

This extraordinary new estate is adorned w/ Old World Roman architecture. Spanning 2 levels, the approx. 10,000+/- sq ft main house offers 4 bedrooms, 2 offices, theatre room, & fitness room. Guest house includes 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, & full kitchen. Other amenities include 7 fireplaces, waterfall, pool w/ spa, sauna, wine bar, optional elevator, & room for tennis court. Excellent Palo Alto schools

purissima1You know what Old World Roman architecture means, don’t you?  If you don’t, I’ll give you a hint.  Dat’s right!  MAWBUL CAHLLUMS.  I think this property might set a burbed record for its sheer columnosity.  These pictures were lovingly borrowed from the property website and should give you the idea.  Just look for the helpful red arrows so you can count how many columns are in each picture.

Go ahead, count the arrows.  I definitely agree this new estate is extraordinary, but then again, things can be extraordinary without necessarily being good.  Like extraordinary rendition.


purissima4 purissima5



No, you aren’t seeing things.  There are columns in the MUD ROOM above.  Why a house in a semi-arid region like Northern California needs a mud room is something for you to ponder on while you check your bank account.

purissima9 purissima10

purissima11 purissima12

Had enough of that magnificent stairway?  Let’s check out the back yard.  Column WIN!  The structure in the center of the first picture below is the guest house.  Only 4 columns.  Not even as much as the decorative set of arches by the pool.

purissima14 purissima15

purissima16 purissima17

But… problems in paradise: there were cracks forming on the paving under that big balcony in that last picture above.  The house was finished this spring.  Should have used real marble!  That’s a waterfall in front of the guest house (columns foreground).  It was a great idea, but not for the reason you may think.


That’s the guest house on the left (above).  So, you thought the mud room was a funny place to put marble columns?  How about taking Mike’s advice and put some in your kitchen!  Or your bathroom!  Oooh-la-la!

purissima7 purissima13

Unfortunately, those MAWBUL CAHLLUMS not only weren’t sold by Fred Armison personally, they aren’t even made of marble!  They’re hollow tubes of concrete!  You’d think for almost nine million dollars the builder would spring for the real stuff?

You’d also think for that many big ones they’d spend a little bit to stage this place properly?  You’d think wrong.  This is what you see when you view each bedroom:


Nothing says, “I’ve got money and power” like a completely empty room.  And when I say empty, I mean there isn’t even a thumbtack on the inside of a closet door.  This house just reeks of empty, as you can see from playing Debbie Does Doric above.  There’s even empty spaces where the builder couldn’t figure out what to do with them, so he turned them into randomly shaped closets in unexpected places.  It’s like those tiny balconies on the second floor of the front of the house.  Those balconies were barely a foot deep.  So you have a room with no window, just a french door to a decorative balcony.

Oh yes, the waterfall.  The waterfall is there to deal with the reality of the lot:


Not quite easy freeway access, but almost!  The waterfall is there so you won’t hear the gentle susurrations of Interstate 280.

In summary, I think this house is still empty because it looks like it was designed by someone who grew up poor and thinks this is how rich people live.  You know, as many faux marble columns as possible.  Faux!  That’s French!  That’s good, rich people speak French!  Heck, call it a faux mansion!

But there is one fantastic feature the agent forgot to mention.  Since nobody ever lived in this house, nobody ever died in it either.  It’s guaranteed to be ghost-free!

Comments (67) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

July 28, 2010

A house in Fremont with a lucky price, and lucky marble columns


46890 RANCHO HIGUERA Rd Fremont, CA 94539


Beds: 6
Baths: 5
Sq. Ft.: 6,100
$/Sq. Ft.: $473
Lot Size: 0.88 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Tudor, Contemporary
Stories: 1
View: Green Belt
Year Built: 2001
Community: Alameda County
County: Alameda
MLS#: 81033347
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 5 days
Stunning custom one story home. One of a kind. Well-known Italian architect. East ing/ west wing floor plan. Hollywood-style Driveway. Grand entrance. Ideal for social events. Gourmet kitchen with butler station and octagonal skylight. High ceiling with special lighting throught out. Radiant floor heating. In-law set up. 2 sets of gargages. Media room and Library too. Private back yard and garden.
Thanks to Burbed reader G for this find!
Who will be the owner of this lucky house with the lucky price and the beautiful mawble… um… I mean, marble columns? Will it be this one, or that one? This one or that one?
This house is clearly meant for the jet set living in the east bay. Lindsey? Mel? Maybe it’s time for a change of scenery! Try chillaxing here in the Bay Area – it might do you some good!
Comments (8) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:24 am

July 12, 2010

Florentine? Isn’t that a Restaurant on De Anza?

So, what should it be today, overpriced teardown or overpriced prestige listing?  That’s the beauty of the Real Bay Area, plenty of both!

5050 ALPINE Rd  Portola Valley, CA 94028


Beds: 7
Baths: 6
Sq. Ft.: 16,000
$/Sq. Ft.: $1,250
Lot Size: 20.93 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 3
View: Bay, Canyon, Valley, City Lights
Year Built: 1920
Community: Central Portola Valley
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81032274
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 5 days

One of the nation���s finest private residences, the hand-crafted Villa Lauriston is incomparable and unique. Commissioned in the 1920���s, this 20 room Florentine Villa features the finest historic materials and artifacts from San Francisco mansions and European palaces and churches. This architectural jewel is set in a private 28.4 acre park-like parcel, surrounded by 1,000 acres dedicated as open

image When you’re looking for a house and you find a listing that has a name instead of an address, you know you’re not in Milpitas anymore.  When it’s offered for sale by Sotheby’s International instead of RE/MAX, that’s a hint this is no crapbox in Campbell.  Why bother putting on pretty photos on Redfin?  Heck, they didn’t even care enough to remove those unprintable characters above.  So what?  This is an “incomparable and unique” Florentine Villa in Portola Valley.  A Florentine Villa!  Wow!  That means there’s spinach on top.

And this “incomparable and unique” property has “materials and artifacts from European palaces and churches”?  In some circumstances, that could be due to art theft, or looting.  I hope these were paid for, as last time I checked out European palaces and churches, there weren’t any price tags on the fine historic materials and artifacts, just a few knock-offs in the gift shop.  And they called the house an “architectural jewel” too!  Remember the diamond in the rough a couple of weeks ago?  What does that make this place, the Hope on the putting green?

Speaking of golf metaphors, there is no golf course on the grounds.  (Hmpf, even a spread in Cupertino had two holes for golf!)  But you do get tennis courts, a pool and spa, an historic pool (which means it isn’t usable and they didn’t feel like taking it out), and a reflecting pool.  Let the website tell you all about it (for twenty million dollars, this place had better have its own website):

The property includes the main residence, a cottage or caretaker’s house, four car garage, and a estate landscape featuring a one acre main meadow with dolphin fountain and two river god sculptures, reflecting pond, conservatory/sunken garden with fountain, old swimming pool/stage, two acre 600-vine vineyard, vegetable garden and cutting flower beds, tennis court, picnic area with arbor, natural waterfall and stream, bee hives, lavender/Italian cypress path, and much more.

image Lavender?  Forget it.  For $20 million they should have put in a danged saffron crocus field.  Saffron grows in Mediterranean climates (like this place is trying to pretend it’s from) and sells for up to $11,000 a kilogram.  If you had one of those, you could afford to put in some more MAWBUL CAWLUMS.

Be sure to spend some time perusing the property website.  I’m still trying to figure out where they store the “riding lawn mores” and what the heck a “Hebraic wood splitter” is.  Does it clip off the branch tip first?

Villa Lauriston is both a grand estate and an expression of one man’s personal vision.  The 13,000-square-foot, 20-room Villa and the surrounding acres of formal gardens, ponds and pools was the creation of the English-born entrepreneur Herbert Edward Law. Law was a businessman, a real estate magnate, a connoisseur and a man of the arts.  Law is perhaps best known for having purchased, with his brother, San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel just days before the great earthquake of 1906.

Quick!  Follow in the footsteps of Herb Law!  Hurry up and buy this place so we can get The Big One over with.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

June 25, 2010

What is Dat? Da Playboy Mansion? It’s Ridiculous!

Today’s house is another in our continuing series of seven-digit properties, but the location is a bit of a surprise.  Let’s just say it’s not exactly Real Bay Area.  Thanks to burbed reader sonarrat for this find!

41752 Vargas Rd,  Fremont, CA 94539


Beds: 4
Baths: 3
Sq. Ft.: 5,237
$/Sq. Ft.: $549
Lot Size: 5 Acres
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Colonial
STORIES: Tri-Level
VIEW: Greenbelt, Hills, Mountains, Panoramic, Valley
Year Built: 1996
Community: Mission
County: Alameda
MLS#: 40461526
Source: EBRD
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 70 days

Stand out Panoramic view, warm and inviting house for any family, huge and usable completely fenced lot with retreat house, gazebo and plenty parking. 2 parcels in one. Automatic gates. 1.2 miles to Mission High. Potential for livestock or horses. http://yefimraysbergrealtor. shutterfly. com

imageFinally!  An expensive house that knows how to say “I got money and power!”  That’s right!  MAWBUL CAWLUMS!  Elegant, stoidy, and boisting with class!  Put them in your living room!  Your kitchen!  Your bathroom!  Your bedroom!  Your driveway!  What you wanna bet the car pullin’ up to dat driveway is a Rolls-Royce?

Hey, lookit dis one!  It’s in da hallway!  How crazy is dat?  Who lives here, da Pope?  Dis place looks like a PALACE!

Imagine going up to your house and seein’ dese and goin’, "Oh, my God! I live here!"

And notice what’s in the dining room?  A Chandelier! Delicate, sparkling, and boisting with CLASS! Nothing says "I’m loaded!" like a CHANDELIER!


Look! Are you kiddin’ me? If you had one of dese in your house, you could look like a millionaire! Like da King of England! Like da King of France, or somethin’.  We got one in every room in da house, and yes, dat does include da GARAGE!

If da King of France, or somethin’, lived in Fremont.

Imagine how crazy it would be to say I LIVE HERE!  It seems the agent had a little trouble visualizing it:

image image

imageThe panoramic view and the retreat house look a little bit blurry.  Maybe that’s from drinking all that wine under the chandelier, but look at DIS ONE!  Dere is no excuse for DIS ONE on da right being blurry! 

Notice something in dis room?  Dat’s right!  CAWLUM!

For 2.75 really really big ones, dey could make sure we can see da MAWBUL CAWLUM in da picture!  Ya think?

‘Cause nothin’ sez “I got money and power” like a photo of a MAWBUL CAWLUM.  You can stick dese dings EVERYWHERE!  Can you believe it?  It’s ridiculous!

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

April 21, 2010

Lava field or yard in San Mateo

Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 920
$/Sq. Ft.: $847
Lot Size: 5,740 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Spanish
Stories: 2
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1927
Community: Beresford Manor
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81016043
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 5 days
Fantastic Opportunitty for a Big Family , 2 extras Bonus Room, and very nice Garden.
Thanks to Burbed reader Jeff for this find. Here’s what Jeff had to say:

From the description, “Fantastic Opportunitty for a Big Family , 2 extras Bonus Room, and very nice Garden.”

So I guess that would be 3 bedrooms and two bonus rooms in the 920sq ft house?

Pic 5 is either a garden or a lava field.

Let’s take a look at that pic:
Oh my. Oh my indeed.
That said, check it out! There’s faux-columns in the front! That’s got to count for something!
Comments (103) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:18 am

March 1, 2010

If you like columns, you’ll like this Campbell house

Beds: 5
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,900
$/Sq. Ft.: $276
Lot Size: 6,720 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1961
Community: Campbell
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80949841
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active This listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 119 days
Great Oppertunity to own a spacious home in quite neighborhood. Main level has 3 bed, 1 bath, living room and seperate dinning. Basement: lower level has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath plus extra family room space. dual pane windows. Large yard with space for boat/RV

Wow… check out how classy those columns make this house look. It almost hides the fact that the wall might be coming apart. But as we all know, it’s all about curb appeal!

Who lives there? The pope? The president? Nope… it could be you!

And look! It’s even got bedrooms in the basement! Just look at the funky window! Great for guests or for renting out!

And let’s check out that back yard:


Hm. Not sure what’s going on there, but that is certainly pretty funky. Maybe someone is building a skateboard park there?

Not that it matters – those columns on the front simply make this house an amazing buy in Campbell!

Comments (18) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:50 am

November 11, 2009

What does $5.5 million buy in Milpitas?

1000 COUNTRY CLUB Dr, Milpitas, CA 95035 | MLS# 80917953
1000 COUNTRY CLUB Dr Milpitas, CA 95035
Price: $5,500,000

Beds: 6
Baths: 7
Sq. Ft.: 15,705
$/Sq. Ft.: $350
Lot Size: 4.02 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: Tri-Level
View: Bay, City Lights, Golf Course
Year Built: 2009
Community: Milpitas
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80917953
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 206 days

Thanks to Burbed reader mike w for this find.

Mike thought that the proper description for this house should be:

Contractor’s special.
Perfect for investor or first time home buyer .
Needs a little TLC.


Personally, I when I saw this house, I thought… “Who lives here? Saddam Hussein? Saddam Hussein of Milpitas?”


Let’s face it, all the time people are looking for the unique house… Just think, you could live like a dictator… in Milpitas! Just think of all the weapons of mass destruction you can pretend to own and hide in the house. And remember, this is not a short sale and not an REO.

Personally, the first thing I’d do with this house is replace the carousel style morning room with an actual carousel. How awesome would that be? There’d be a line of people waiting to check it out. And you know what that kind of scarcity means – that’s right! Cha-ching!

So go buy this house. Heck, don’t even finish it all at once. Keep at it. Eventually, this could be called the Gaudi of Milpitas!

Comments (13) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:04 am

October 28, 2009

Who lives in this San Jose house? The Pope?

Sorry, before you read this entry, you must watch this video clip – Mike’s Marbleopolis.

6456 GUADALUPE MINES Rd, San Jose, CA 95120 | MLS# 80947514
6456 GUADALUPE MINES Rd San Jose, CA 95120
Price: $1,688,800

Beds: 5
Baths: 4
Sq. Ft.: 3,857
$/Sq. Ft.: $438
Lot Size: 1.36 Acres
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Mediterranean
Stories: 2
View: Green Belt, Mountains
Year Built: 1996
Community: Almaden Valley
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 80947514
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 15 days
WOW!!! Fabulous Mediterranean Villa surrounded by mature Valley Oak trees. Expansive lawn plus areas to practice golf, a vineyard with 300 vines of premium cabernet grapes, & a regulation size volleyball court. Private setting with scenic landscaping. You will fall in love with this very unique home! Great for entertaining! Los Gatos Schools! Open House: Oct. 18 2:00-4:00

Thanks to Burbed reader Nomadic for this find.

Wow. Who lives here? The Pope? Just look at those columns. Ooh la la! Look how elegant that staircase looks as a result. Is this house shipped over from Italy?

But wait… there’s more! There’s this one:


And that one!

With columns like those in the bedroom, you won’t need any help because… heck… you’ve got columns!

So now you too can live in the San Jose Whitehouse. All you need are these columns.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:57 am

October 1, 2009

If you like columns, and you like San Carlos…

9 CAMBRIDGE St, San Carlos, CA 94070 | MLS# 80935850
9 CAMBRIDGE St San Carlos, CA 94070
Price: $914,500

Beds: 3
Baths: 2.5
Sq. Ft.: 1,450
$/Sq. Ft.: $631
Lot Size: 4,095 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1947
Community: Beverly Terrace
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80935850
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 44 days
Completely remodeled, 500 square feet added. .. inluding new master bedroom and bath. .. kitchen with new cabinents and granite counters, all new windows, hardwood floors. .. .new landscaping. .. .seller will install french door from master bedroom to back yard. .. open house sunday august 2nd, 1-4

Uh oh! I feel a marble columns post coming on!

Nothing says money and power quite like marble columns, and this house has columns. I love how they support the window… like an eye keeping watch over the neighborhood, and the soaring values of sleepy little San Carlos.

And what’s this? 500 square added. Wosers!

But… what fascinates me is “seller will install french door from master bedroom to back yard”.

Uh. What’s going on here? Can anyone explain?

Comments (9) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:13 am