November 6, 2013

Waterfront Lifestyle in (okay, next to) Silicon Valley

Have you ever wanted to live right on the water, like some homes we’ve featured in Alameda, but thought to yourself, “Dang it, I don’t want a killer commute like that! I have to live near major employers and be able to hang out with my friends in downtown Palo Alto if we ever get any time away from work! Oh yeah, and I don’t want to pay a million dollars for the location! Plus I want a property listing that acknowledges how creative I am.” Now you can have it all!

131106-maple-redfin1548 Maple Street #82
Redwood City, CA 94063
$265,000

2 Beds
2 Baths
890 Sq. Ft.
$298 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1996
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 31 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Other (See Remarks)
County: San Mateo
Community: Lenolt
MLS#: 81336823

This charming 2BR 2BA floating home features unobstructed Redwood City water views. The two level home is an entertainer dream home with open flr plan, modern Kitchen, expansive decks, and a two person hot tub. Bonus work room/ workshop makes this home a dream come true to every person who enjoys the outdoors, entertainment and being creative.

Yup, nothing screams “I am being creative” more than a houseboat in Redwood City, unless it’s a schoolbus in the Santa Cruz Mountains. And the houseboat not only has an open flr plan, it’s much closer to Facebook.

Bunus: Absolutely NO public info on this place except the fact it’s a mobile home. A floating mobile home. Speaking of sunk costs…

Comments (20) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 8:59 am






September 2, 2013

San Francisco Microapartments: Hipster Stacks

File this one under the “Serious, we had absolutely no flipping idea about this” file.

According to The Epoch Times, a San Francisco apartment building recently featured on Burbed is not quite what it seems.  We thought it was just a series of very, very tiny places to live, allowing somebody to be a micro-slumlord over this warren of micro-rentals. But, whoa! Look what this place really is!  (Warnng: links to site are PDFs)

130901-harriet-frontageModular Building Creating Affordability in San Francisco

BY CATHERINE YANG, EPOCH TIMES STAFF

For developers in San Francisco, “it’s the best of times, and it’s the worst of times,” says Panoramic Interests CEO Patrick Kennedy.
130901-harriet-pod

If you’ve just put a building on the currently under-supplied market, it’s a really good time. But if you’re in the earlier stages of a project, everything is getting expensive.

“Land’s expensive, the construction trade’s expensive, the entitlement process is expensive,” Kennedy said. Of course, the cost is passed on to renters and buyers.

“If you want to bring down the cost of housing, you have to be more dense—simple matter,” Kennedy said. “Land is expensive in San Francisco, and to the extent that you can provide more units on any given piece of land, you can lower the cost of the housing.”

38 Harriet is nothing but a bloody trailer park stacked up and stuccoed over.

Ernest Cline’s SF/teen/gamer novel Ready Player One proposed this concept in post-apocalyptic living two years ago: trailer homes stacked 20 pods high.  And this building, as you can see from these this article and another linked below, is the exact same thing.  Then again, the stacked units in the novel were considered low-income misery living outside Oklahoma City rather than SF hipster destination paradise.

Here’s a related article on the next page, which sings the praises of “offsite modular construction.”  Don’t let the terminology fool you. These pictures confirms that this apartment building is a high-end trailer park Habitrail.

130901-harriet-building

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am

August 17, 2013

Palo Alto still clinging to its one and only trailer park

The owner of the Buena Vista Mobile Home Park wants out of the business, the units are vintage architectural treasures, and the residents love the value they get in the high-priced city. In this installment of As The Park Blights, the City hits the property owner with yet another stalling tactic. 

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for sending this important update to our attention.

Application to close Palo Alto mobile home park deemed incomplete — again

By Jason Green, Daily News Staff Writer
POSTED:   08/10/2013 01:52:55 PM PDT | UPDATED:   7 DAYS AGO

PALO ALTO — For a second time, an application to close the city’s sole mobile home park was rejected as incomplete this week.

Toufic Jisser, the owner of Buena Vista Mobile Home Park, is required by Palo Alto’s municipal code to follow a specific process to shutter the decades-old facility. It includes completing a "resident impact report" that spells out how displaced residents would be compensated.

That report is still missing critical information, according to a letter Grant Kolling, senior assistant city attorney, sent to Jisser’s attorney, Margaret Nanda, on Thursday. Nanda, for her part, has said the report meets all legal and technical requirements, as well as the spirit of the municipal code.

While the owner jumps through more hoops to get the park ready for the bulldozers, you’re probably out touring as many Open Houses as you can. Let us know if you find anything affordable this weekend, especially if it’s in a community like this one. 

This is your weekend Open Thread!

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:11 am

July 12, 2013

Wire for Cable in Alviso

Time to wrap up the workweek, so let’s break out of the usual Eichler-lite Close to Google. Have you considered buying in Alviso? Maybe this home courtesy of Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater will convince you that the sky is the limit for Alviso.  Or is that the smell starts at the limits of Alviso?

130711-gold-redfin2052 Gold St #204
San Jose, CA 95002
$99,900

2 Beds
2 Baths
1,440 Sq. Ft.
$69 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1977
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 101 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Mobile Home (Double Wide)
County: Santa Clara
Community: Alviso (Santa Clara County)
MLS#: 81310420

Cozy 2Bed/2Ba Home!Serial#:A/B27032. Living room w/ carpet & wire for cable. Family room w/ carpet & wire for cable. Dining w/ display cabinet & wire for cabinet. Kitchen w/ linoleum, refrigerator, disposal, dishwasher, ceiling light. Guest bed w/ carpet & wire for cable & phone. Guest bath w/ standing shower. Master bed w/ walk in closet & wire for cable. Master bath w/ medicine cabinet & tub. Space rent:$850.00

130711-gold-curvesPerhaps you might think that featuring a mobile home from Alviso is kicking a listing while it’s down. We just think there’s win, and then there’s Burbed win.  Kind of like how there’s property, and then there’s Alviso property. 

And then there’s Alviso property shot with a fish-eye lens. Or else this home is more than a few bubbles off plumb. But, there is carpet, and wire for cable.

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:04 am

July 4, 2013

Declare your Independence… from your home

Here’s another Housing Bubble of a sort to pay attention to: RV sales are up, too.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for alerting us to this alarming threat to vacation home prices.

RV-buying boom a sign of consumer confidence

By Dan Nakaso, San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   05/29/2013 05:43:55 AM PDT; Updated:   05/29/2013 10:36:14 AM PDT

130703-rv-sweetThe number of recreational vehicles delivered to dealers’ lots is expected to reach a six-year high in 2013 as fledgling RV buyers such as Karen and Jim Smith, of San Jose, shake off the economic slumber of the past few years and prepare to hit the road this summer.

"There are just so many things to see that we’ve never seen before: Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Lookout Mountain in Tennessee," Karen Smith said after writing a $21,000 check for her 18-foot 2014 White Water Retro Travel Trailer that came stocked with a queen-size bed, separate refrigerator and freezer, two-burner stove, microwave, full-size bath, shower and beds for three more people.

The Smiths represent new hope for a U.S. RV industry that sustained a series of body blows beginning with the 2008 recession but now appears to be rebounding in the Bay Area and beyond.

The industry has not seen more than 300,000 RVs shipped to dealers around the country since 2007, the year before the recession took hold. But deliveries this year were up 11 percent in the first quarter and the RV industry now expects to see a total of 307,300 deliveries of motor homes and tow-able RVs. Tow-ables make up the overwhelming majority of RV sales in the U.S.

Read the whole article. You will learn that yes, RV sales are up even in the Bay Area, despite this place being so awesome nobody would ever need a vacation from it. You’ll also learn that the #1 RV dealer in Northern California is in Gilroy and started up in 2008, right in time for the financial collapse that took out all its competition. Finally, just like there’s the RBA and everywhere else, it turns out there are different degrees of #winning with RVs.

130703-rv-fireworksThe cheapest kind are the ones that get towed, and that’s 90% of all sales. Think of it as the East Bay of Recreational Vehicles. And enjoy your recreation today, because it’s, in theory a holiday. We know that you’re actually hard at work since there are always new End of Quarter Goals now that you didn’t make your old ones.

Speaking of the East Bay, most Walmarts allow RVs to park in their lots, and there are more Walmarts in the East Bay so… just sayin’.

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:02 am

January 10, 2013

This floating home features wains coating and stain glass

Here’s a very Bay Area solution to the often noted challenge that “they’re not making any more land.”  Build your house on  water!  Sound like a plan to you?  Let’s swim on up to WaterWorld, courtesy of Burbed reader J from Alameda

Note: this is a Bay Area solution, but definitely not a REAL Bay Area fix.  RBA houses are in the RBA in the first place because they have land they aren’t making any more of.

130109-mariner-redfin2394 Mariner Square C3
Alameda, CA 94501
Sold 11/9/10 for $335,000

2 Beds 
1 Baths 
1,296 Sq. Ft.
$258 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1972 
Lot Size: — 
Sold On: Nov 9, 2010
Status: Sold
Type: Detached
Stories: 2
Community: Barnhill Marina
MLS#: 40489839
Style: Contemporary
View: City Lights, Marina, San Francisco, Water
County: Alameda

This beautifully remodeled 2 bed 1 bath floating home features estuary and SF views, hardwood floors, new paint, wains coating, vaulted ceiling with exposed wood beams, new appliances, stain glass windows, three decks, and skylights. Close to BART, ferry, train, and Fwy.

130109-mariner-satelliteHere’s what J floated over with the house:

And this would be cheapest SFR/Floating. Also should get a prize for longest price history….

Unfortunately, would you believe this property was delisted, we swear we are not making this up, the very day we head off to Redfin to write it up?  Which means we don’t know how many days it was on the market for but about two years.  We’ve already done a property that was sitting on MLS for four years!  And this one for more than three!

But while you may be at sea here, the agent says it’s close to everything: BART, ferry, train, and Fwy. It’s even closer to the Posey (underground) tube.  The map clearly shows it runs right underneath you.

Meanwhile, we looked high (Zillow) and low (Sawbuck) for the newly pulled listing without much success.  Here’s what we found in Google cache, but it appears to be a completely different floating house, despite the listing history lining up perfectly.

130109-mariner-cached2394 Mariner Square Drive E6
Alameda, CA 94501
$229,000

1 Beds 
1 Baths 
— Sq. Ft.
Built: 1968
Lot Size: —
On Redfin: 537 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 2
Community: Barnhill Marina
MLS#: 40533694
Style: Contemporary
View: City Lights, Downtown, Marina, Water
County: Alameda

Floating Home. Open plan for kitchen/living room and den; upper level suite for bedroom and sitting area. 360 degree view from upper deck; elegant tiled first floor. New carpet in upper level bedroom suite.

130109-mariner-viewOne bedroom, two bedrooms, so what? No square feet, 1300 square feet, big deal.  Blue trim, green trim, doesn’t mean anything.  C3, E6, you sunk my battleship!

Now, here’s one of the 360 degrees of views you can enjoy from the upper deck.  Also check out this delightful photo of the house and environs from homes.com!

Bunus: Sold in 2007 for $448K.

Another bunus: This old listing (with old paint job) says there’s a $523 a month berth fee.  But that’s nothing.  Trulia says this place is a mobile/manufactured home.  They’re the only site that says so, which means they could be wrong.  But what could possibly be better than a trailer house in a trailer flotilla?

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

November 23, 2012

Day After Thanksgiving? Time for Black Friday Sales!

121122-blackfridayIf you haven’t already gotten up at 5 a.m. to start shopping for holiday bargains, you’ve still come to the right place!  Thanksgiving is over, so get on your steel-toed cyber boots, the better to kick your fellow shoppers out of your way!  Yes, it’s time for Burbed‘s Black Friday Sales, where we find the absolute rock-bottom in housing prices all around the Bay!  And we’re opening an hour early just for you!

Here’s how Black Friday Sales will work this year. We’ll again feature the cheapest properties in each county all around the Bay Area, plus some of our favorite cities.  But we won’t forget that our readers are sending in listings as well, so you just never know if each day will be a Sale Property or something else entirely.  You’ll just have to tune in every day to find out.

Let’s begin our sales in Silicon Valley, because even Googlers like to bargain-hunt.  Here we go, the absolutely cheapest house in all of Santa Clara County!  Ready?

121122-murray-redfin8282 Murray Ave #97
Gilroy, CA 95020
$18,000

1 Beds 
1 Baths 
542 Sq. Ft.
$33 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1966 
Lot Size: — 
On Redfin: 38 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Mobile Home (Single Wide), Mobile Home (Expando)
County: Santa Clara
Community: Morgan Hill/Gilroy/San Martin
MLS#: 81237950

Pre-owned, 1966 Kit, 1 bedroom/ 1 bath Single-wide mobile home in a senior park (one owner must be at least 55 years of age). Includes refrigerator, washer & dryer and window air conditioner. Low space rent!

Oh, not what you had in mind?  Even with a low space rent of $560 (which will probably double as soon as you finish signing those papers at the title company)?  Even with 15 pictures?

If you insist, there’s this.

121122-carryback-redfin5591 CARRYBACK Ave
San Jose, CA 95111
$245,000

2 Beds
2 Baths
1,121 Sq. Ft.
$219 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1989
Lot Size: 2,184 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 265 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Attached Single Family
Community South San Jose
MLS# 81208122
Stories: 2
County Santa Clara

Good home conveniently located. This is a short sale. Please do not disturb occupants.

Whatever developer named this street sure has a twisted sense of humor, because it’s a short sale.  There ought to be a Piggyback Lane here too.  Be sure to check out the listing history, because this place has gone pending four different times in the last three years, plus it sold in 2000, yes, twelve years ago, for $247K.

What? You want a detached house?  Okay, but this is your very last chance.

121122-huran-redfin2138 HURAN Dr
San Jose, CA 95122
$248,000

3 Beds
1 Baths
912 Sq. Ft.
$272 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1960
Lot Size: 5,150 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 16 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Neighborhood
County Santa Clara
Stories: 1
Community Alum Rock
MLS# 81240311

Another opportunity to own this 3 bedroom 1 bathroom single Family home located in San Jose. Very close to shopping centers, mall, and schools. Easy access to freeway 101. Sell is an “AS IS “ condition. Some dual Pane windows. Garage converted but permits unknown.

Oh, we’ve got a winner here! This one has everything! It’s also selling shortly, plus questionable permits and for sale as-is.  The listing copy mentioned the “easy access” to 101, but they didn’t mention the just as easy access to Reid-Hillview Airport. Hope you like the sound of takeoffs and landings!

And remember, more Black Friday Sales to come!

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:01 am

October 5, 2012

UPDATEDx2 with a MURDER: WOW! Sunrise and Sunset included! PRICED TO SELL !!!

9:50 AM: See end for update.  It’s worth it.
12:09 PM: Another update on the other murder.

It’s time to play Build a Ginormous House Somewhere Not As Expensive As The Real Bay Area and then try to find a buyer! Ready?  It’s Burbed reader J from Alameda‘s turn with this lovely Lafayette listing.

121004-hunsaker-redfin1901 HUNSAKER CANYON Rd
Lafayette, CA 94549
$1,998,000

4 Beds
3.5 Baths
6,200 Sq. Ft.
$322 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2003
Lot Size: 13.50 Acres
On Redfin: 39 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 3+
Community: Burton Valley
MLS#: 40587017
Style: Other
View: Canyon, Carquinez, City Lights, Forest, Hills, Mountains, Mt. Diablo, Valley
County: Contra Costa

WOW! $1+M price reduction! What a buy!! 13+- acres. Gated 360% View! Italian Villa/ stone, hardwood fls, custom & antique lighting. Finest materials including stone, hardwood, beautiful moldings and mllwork. Sunrise and Sunset included ! Rm for pool tennis/guest house/vineyard. PRICED TO SELL !!!

121004-hunsaker-kawlums-archHere’s why J from A sent this in:

As promised, a lovely chateau – in the Lafayette hills. Of note: a million dollar price reduction, a reasonable $322 a square foot and lots of columns.

Somehow it seems that 3.5 bathrooms spread across 6,200 sq feet of living space is not quite the usual ratio – a new way to measure houses – bathrooms per square feet? I am sure the buyer will be happy to have an elevator to navigate all those stories. Enjoy!

121004-hunsaker-kawlums-balconyYou’re right, J. We’ve noted the business of beaucoup bathrooms in ginormous houses for people with too much money and not enough taste. No wonder this place had a million dollar price reduction.  According to the LA Times, this house needs at minimum 8 rooms for waste disposal and sluicing.

Good thing it was PRICED TO SELL !!! We’ve seen enough houses that were priced to stay empty or priced to sit on the listing service for years and years.

Like, um, this house:

121004-hunsaker-listing-history

Even Zillow thinks the house is worth $2,169,784. Instant equity!  Ka-ching!

Update 9:50 AM: Burbed reader magdalena alerts us to this 2005 SF Chronicle article that specifically mentions the house.  In a this-would-never-be-believed-as-fiction tragedy, the wife of criminal defense lawyer Daniel Horowitz was murdered in “the entryway of the home.” Wikipedia says she was murdered in a mobile home on the property while their “dream house” was being completed.  The murder occurred four days after the beginning of a high-profile trial where Horowitz was defending Susan Polk, accused of killing her husband in their Orinda home. Horowitz had taken the case after Polk had fired her previous lawyers for encouraging her to plead insanity.

This led to a mistrial, but as Horowitz prepared for Polk’s second trial, she fired him, convinced that he had something to do with his wife’s murder.  16 year old Scott Dyleski was convicted of the murder; supposedly he intended to kill a neighbor who had run over his dog and went to the wrong house.  Polk’s story manages to get even more bizarre after Horowitz was fired (this Dateline NBC link confirms the mobile home claim from Wikipedia).

WOW!  Sunrise and sunset is just the entryway of what’s included with this house!

Update 12:09 PM: Murder kills home values as well as people.  Check out Susan Polk’s house.  We found a listing e-flyer, and Redfin has the price history:

 

 

Comments (29) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 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 27, 2012

Million dollar education in a five and dime neighborhood

Good morning, and welcome back to another exciting Real Estate Week of Win here on Burbed!  Let’s get right to today’s spotlighted spectacular in the palatial premises of Palo Alto!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for the drive-by!

3980 El Cmaino Real #13
Palo Alto, CA 94306
$20,000

120826-elcmaino-redfin

120826-elcmaino-interiorProperty Type: Mobile Home (Single Wide)
County: Santa Clara
Community: Barron Park
MLS#: 81230106

Palo Alto Schools for a rental cost of $675/month! By renting in this park, children eligible to attend Palo Alto Schools. Family of 4 with children attending Palo Alto Schools moving so now you can enjoy a million dollar education without the million dollar home purchase price! Laundry facilities in park. Good family park with good neighbors all getting along. Walk to Elementary school.

120826-elcmaino-bathroomWait, you can still buy a home in Palo Alto for a million?  Who knew?  Let us know if you have any success finding one.

And if you can’t, there’s always today’s featured home!  This property shows the benefits of jaw-dropping listing copy coupled with a misspelled street address, photos with plenty of clutter,  the mandatory crapper-cam with the lid fully raised  and proudly proclaiming its crappertude, and most important of all, good neighbors all getting along.  All this at an unbelievably affordable buy-in price and a monthly space rent that will no doubt be ratcheted up the split second you finish signing over that escrow.

But this is a good family park.  It says so, right in the listing.  And it must be, because we’ve featured this park on Burbed before.

Want to see how good this neighborhood is?  Well then, why not meet a couple of your new neighbors?  We’re sure they can’t wait to make the acquaintance of you, and especially the rest of your family. 

120826-elcmaino-offender-41120826-elcmaino-offender-42

Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am