January 14, 2011

Biggest, Weirdest Reported Sale – Maybe Ever – Alameda County

I wanted to close out the week with one more property that could have made Zillow’s expensive home sales list (remember, not one RBA property on the list, the nerve!)  But there weren’t any over $10 million properties in Marin, and when I moved over to Alameda County… lookie here what I found.

1812 Bali Ter (Unable to map), San Leandro, CA 94578

Sold on 01/08/2011: $41,500,000

<img missing due to burbed’s terrible admin skills. working on restoring>

BEDS: 5
BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 2,192
$/SQ. FT.: $18,932
LOT SIZE: 2,543 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Contemporary
STORIES: 2
YEAR BUILT: 2009
COMMUNITY: San Leandro
COUNTY: Alameda
MLS#: 40492923
SOURCE: EBRD
STATUS: Sold

New Construction. .. Gated Community. No HOA. Many upgrades included. Great floor plan. Large kitchen island & pantry and gas stove. Huge master suite with jet tub, etc. Has 3-fireplaces. Seller says must sell bring offer!.

Guess this was the seller’s lucky day, huh?  Or maybe someone seriously fat-fingered that update?  From looking at that rather pedestrian kitchen (for $41 million, I want something that doesn’t scream 2005 at me), I suspect someone made a big mistake.  Let’s hope it wasn’t the FB fulfilled buyer.  So, have a look at the asking price.

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Whoa!  I’ve heard overbidding is everywhere, but… let’s see what the lucky homedebtor got for (cough) $41 million.  Fortunately, this site and several others had lots of pictures and information and even managed to come up with a map.  There were 10 homes in this new gated community.  It must be really posh!

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That’s some serious elbow room.  At least there should be some open space nearby, right?

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Plenty of room across Liberty Street!  Awesome!  Now, gated community, right? Let’s get a good gander at the gate!

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While a few security guards at an entry booth would be a touch more apropos, the riffraff won’t be crashing the cotillion!  In fact, don’t worry about the wrong element showing up uninvited to social events, because absolutely nobody will know where this house really is.  I’ll prove it.  Here’s where another Realtard site thinks it’s located:

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Who wouldn’t pay a hundred times the asking price for an undisclosed location and guaranteed privacy?  Not convinced? Here’s where Zillow thinks it is:

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And remember, Redfin didn’t even try to find the house.

Okay, I know you’re all laughing at this new construction in San Leandro (has Burbed ever been to San Leandro before?  Yes!) but it’s got 10 rooms!  The house yesterday had 14 (and zero bedrooms).  So there’s no reason why this house can’t sell for an eight digit price, too.  Plus you will avoid all that horrible traffic in The City.

Update 1/11/11: Well, dammit, Redfin now (as of 4 pm) says the house sold for $415,000.  I was so looking forward to watching this FB open the property tax bill, too.

Comments (26) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am






January 12, 2011

Most Expensive Sale 2010 – Santa Clara County

Yesterday we showcased the most expensive sale last year in San Mateo County, a $15M property in Woodside.  Can Santa Clara beat that?  Yes we can! But only if we count the sale of a mobile home park.  If we want to stick to single-family houses, the answer is NO WAY, SAN JOSE.

16331 Matilija Dr, Los Gatos, CA 95030

Sold on 06/15/2010: $10,000,000

<img missing due to burbed’s terrible admin skills. working on restoring>

BEDS: 6
BATHS: 7.5
FINISHED SQFT: 11,616
UNFINISHED SQFT: 3,075
TOTAL SQFT: 14,691
FLOORS: 2
LOT SIZE: 82,328
STYLE: Single Family Residential
YEAR BUILT: 2001
YEAR RENOVATED: 2001
COUNTY: Santa Clara County
APN: 51030027
LAST UPDATED: August 26, 2010

<img missing due to burbed’s terrible admin skills. working on restoring>

Alas, the original sales description and images are gone.  But check this out.  Looks like the asking price on this megamansion was once $14,900,000.  And it has the agent’s description (even if the pictures are gone), so let’s enjoy what they were so eager to hide:

MEDITERRANEAN INSPIRED VILLA BY MEHUS CONSTR-NEARLY 2 AC OF FORMAL HILLTOP LAWNS,TERRACES&COURTYARDS-BELOW REPLACEMENT COST-TRUE GRAND ESTATE VIEWS FROM SF TO SO. VALLEY-ARTESIAN WORKMANSHIP-NOTHING SPARRED-FINEST QUALITY-MUST SEE

Wow.  Artesian workmanship.  So there should be deep and narrow wells all over the property – or the construction crew came from France. And nothing was sparred.  Glad they weren’t fighting while installing all those tiles on the roof.  Although if the house was really “below replacement cost” at $14.9M, there was probably a lot of fighting when it sold for ten million with that 33% haircut.

Also I’m going to call shenanigans on “below replacement cost,” since tax records say additions are valued at $5.2 million. This house is ten years old, not a hundred. Maybe you can convert a garage into a couple of bedrooms without anyone noticing (until you try to sell the place), but there’s no way the FB put up a quarter acre worth of house and “forgot” to file construction permits.  That addition value shouldn’t be too far out of line with actual building costs.

If we ranked the homes on Sunday’s Zillow list by how much of a discount off original asking price they sold for, this Los Gatos hyperhouse that takes up more floor area than some strip malls would be tied for fifth place.  No question about it, Los Gatos has an insanely overpriced, oversized home smacked down by market forces.  Booyah!

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

January 11, 2011

Most Expensive Sale 2010 – San Mateo County

On Sunday, we took a look at some expensive home sales that Zillow Blog selected for their pricing and our amusement.  Now we’ll look at the Real Bay Area high-priced sales that went through this past year that they couldn’t be bothered to profile, even though many of them could have qualified for the list based on sale price.

Do you expect to see price reductions similar to what the other homes went through?  Let’s find out!

145 Josselyn Ln, Woodside, CA 94062

Sold on 10/28/2010: $15,400,000

<img missing due to burbed’s terrible admin skills. working on restoring>BEDS: 5
BATHS: 6
SQ. FT.: 9,472
$/SQ. FT.: $1,626
LOT SIZE: 4 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Traditional
STORIES: 2
YEAR BUILT: 1906
COMMUNITY: Central Woodside
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81035104
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Sold

ONE OF THE MOST SPECTACULAR ESTATES ON THE SF PENINSULA. A MASTERPIECE BY RENOWNED ARCHITECT, BERNARD MAYBECK, WHOSE MOST NOTABLE PROJECTS INCLUDE THE SAN FRANCISCO PALACE OF FINE ARTS. ITALIANESQUE VILLA ON OVER 4 ACRES. GRAND SCALE ROOMS & DESIRABLE FLOORPLAN, BASEMENT & WINE CELLAR. 2 BEDROOM GUEST HOUSE, 4 CAR GARAGE W/ MOTOR COURT, POOL & GARDENS. LOCATED MINUTES FROM THE VILLAGE OF WOODSIDE.

<img missing due to burbed’s terrible admin skills. working on restoring>Oooooh, I’m excited already.  This agent was selling a property that was going to net him a $450,000 commission, which is more than some houses in San Mateo county cost, and he couldn’t be bothered to turn off the CAPS LOCK key.  That’s either extreme confidence or extreme ineptitude.  Which do you think it is?

When the property description calls it a “possible horse property,” in a location known for drawing horse-lovers, I would lean toward the latter.  The place sits on four acres, so there should be enough room to keep a horse or two.

You know, if I were showing this place to clients, and I knew that some nominal percentage of people who want to live in Woodside would ask me if they could keep horses, and I knew that I could be making enough from this transaction to buy two houses in East Palo Alto outright, you bet your riding boots I’d have researched this beforehand.  I mean, what does it take?  Either, “Yes, you could put in a barn here, and here’s the closest set of trails,” or, “No, most of the property slopes 79% and I wouldn’t even recommend you put in a garden shed for fear of triggering a mudslide.”

Also whoever was selling this property didn’t want to deal with any arriviste social climbers.  All cash, no loans it says.  At least this one wasn’t sitting on the market too long.  Listed in June for $17,500,000 and sold by October at a 12% markdown.  Just 12%!  That’s better than nine out of the ten non-Bay Area properties.

We told you it was Special here.

Comments (30) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

January 9, 2011

We Wuz Robbed Again

Zillow Blog recently had a post covering “Some of 2010’s Top Real Estate Sales.”  Yet not one of them was in the Bay Area, let alone the Real Bay Area.  The ten featured home sales were mostly in Southern California, with one at Pebble Beach, one in Manhattan, and three in Florida.

Something has got to be wrong with those statistics.  The most expensive home in the article was a Bel Air beast, and another Bel Air battlement checked in at #5.  There were also two from Malibu, the aforementioned Pebble Beach, plus Santa Barbara.  Florida had disasters in Delray Beach, Naples, and Highland Beach.  (No wonder Florida real estate is hurting even more than California, at least we know how to spell del Rey over here.)

I was able to find several properties that sold in 2010 over $10 million in the Real Bay Area, and we’ll talk about those places another time.  Instead, there’s something more of interest about this Zillow piece:  How bad were the haircuts on each of these houses?  When the seller thought they could get $20 million, how much did they actually get?  Are we talking five percent?  Ten?  Fifteen?  Zillow didn’t feel this information was all that important, but we at Burbed know that watching the sellers chase the market down is the biggest part of the fun.

image

#1. Le Belvedere – Bel Air, CA

Original Price: $85 Million (February 2009)

Reduced Price: $72 Million (November 2009)

Sale Price: $50 Million (June 2010)

Haircut: -43%

This house leads to all kind of speculation since nobody is sure exactly who owns it.  It has since been sold to 2 limited liability corporations.  The 11 BR/14 BA 48,000 sf home (yes, 48,000 square feet) requires a staff of 15 and is on a 2.2 acre lot.  You can pick up this Bel Air listing for $53 million (9 BR/21 BA) if looking at this picture is making you think, “You know what?  I really want an insanely large and expensive home in Southern California.”

Redfin had this listing for a 7 BA/15 BA 35,000 sf house on 2+ acres, which Zillow says is the same one, but key details differ.  A 10/15 did sell for $18 million last January, but it was less than half the size of La Belvedere.

image

#2. Carbon Beach Gem – Malibu, CA

Original Price: $57 Million (March 2010)

Reduced Price: $47 Million (June 2010)

Sale Price: $36,969,000 (October 2010)

Haircut: -35%

This 8 BR/12 BA is 12,785 sf and has a mere 3/4 acre lot.  However, that lot includes 180 feet of Malibu beachfront.  Plenty of instant equity, this place has a Zestimate of $39,733,000!  While the first house write-up above freely speculated over who the owner is, not a peep as to who bought or sold a home on “Billionaire’s Beach,” where “you could run into celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston and David Geffen.” Or in this case, older ladies who go to lots of fundraisers.  Property Shark didn’t indicate who the new owner was.

image#3. Malibu Colony Beach House – Malibu, CA

Original Price: $23,950,000 (April 2010)

Sale Price: $21,475,000 (September 2010)

Haircut: -10.3%

Zillow points out that this house is only 5,000 sf, so we’re talking $4,295 a foot.  A half acre lot but only 60 feet of beachfront, and that’s 60 more feet than any house in Silicon Valley will have until the Pacific and the Bay rise a couple dozen feet.  The property has not one but two guest suites and a gym, separate from the main building.  Given that exterior has all the charm of a Santa Cruz 8-plex motel, that’s an improvement.  Plus, you might run into Tom Hanks, Bill Murray, and other celebrities even older than I am.

Property Shark doesn’t have the most recent sale record, but the seller lived in Tiburon.

image#4. Pebble Beach Jewel – Pebble Beach, CA

Original Price: $25 Million (March 2010)

Sale Price: $18.75 Million (May 2010)

Haircut: -25%

Almost twice as large as the last beach house, this 6 BR/4.5 bath on 1.3 acres has all the charm of a Presidential library, minus the historical documents or the gravitas.  Unlike Malibu Beach, here you have “Out one set of windows is the surf crashing along Pebble Beach’s craggy coast where harbor seals come to visit.”  Evidently out the back windows is some golf club or something.  Guess any celebrities worth running into would be out there clubbing the seals.

Seriously, does Zillow think nothing in the RBA has sold for more than $10 million last year?  Or just that they weren’t trying very hard?  I found this place in San Francisco that went for $15.5 million, and this one in Woodside.  Someday we’ll talk about those…

image#5. Bel Air Mediterranean – Bel Air, CA

Original Price: $24,500,000 (February 2009)

Reduced Price: $19,750,000 (July 2009), $18,950,000 (February 2010)

Sale Price: $16,250,000 (May 2010)

Haircut: -34%

Want it?  It’s for sale again, showing that flipping houses hasn’t gone out of style in some places.  Listed for $19.5M this October, only 5 months after it sold for $16.25M, the price was cut a whopping 3.8% to $18.75M a month later.  This is a 13,000 sf 7 BR/11 BA behemoth on 0.85 acre, plus the listing agent is married to a Real Housewife of Beverly Hills.  I swear I am not making this up.

Given that the listing doesn’t mention a speck of improvement that the new owner put in, anyone want to predict their exit price point?

Bonus feature: The property was foreclosed on during bubblicious 2004 for $700,000, before the current structure was put in.

image#6. Dramatic Delray – Delray Beach, FL

Original Price: $24,900,000 (July 2008)

Reduced Prices: $21,900,000 (November 2008), $18,950,000 (June 2009), $21,500,000 (July 2009), $18,950,000 (September 2009), $18,975,000 (February 2010)

Sale Price: $12,650,000 (April 2010)

Haircut: -49%

Nothing says dramatic real estate crash like Florida real estate, and here’s a spectacular example.  Best of all, it’s up for sale again at $19.5M with the exact same agent, showing some people are very slow learners.  At least they have over 14,500 sf of house to learn slowly in, with 6 bedrooms and a WTF 7.3 bathrooms on 2.13 acres.  Florida real estate is definitely different than anywhere in the US.  Where else would a 16 foot elevation be described as “commanding”?  Features 160 feet of “frontage” but onto what isn’t clear.  Perhaps the 16 foot towering precipice above the Atlantic.

image#7. Upper East Side – New York, NY

Original Price: $17,000,000 (September 2009)

Reduced Price: $15,900,000 (January 2010)

Sale Price: $13,150,000 (September 2010)

Haircut: -23%

Gordon Gekko might have said that “Greed is good,” but in New York City, stock market traders have another slogan about making money: “Bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered.”  And this “grand 20-foot wide mansion” sold for $10.5M in March, 2008.  Yes, you too can pay eight digits for a five story house that literally has the breadth of a double garage, and it doesn’t even come with one!  Boasting 6 bedrooms, 6 baths, 8000 square feet and a lot size of (get ready) 2000 sf (0.05 acres), and around the corner from an actual Park Avenue address.

The current owner is now a floplord, looking for a tenant for 109 E 69th St.  The rent?  $48,000 a month.  Hope they don’t expect three months’ security up front.

In case you’re interested, that makes this property have a rent ratio of 22.8.  Typical rent ratio for Manhattan is well over 30, which suggests some pig is about to get slaughtered again.

image#8. Santa Barbara Villa – Santa Barbara, CA

Original Price: $19.5 million (August 2008)

Reduced Price: $16 million (March 2009)

Sale Price: $13 million (September 2010)

Haircut: -33%

Whew!  That was too long outside of California.  Between the old people of Florida and the New York cabbies who enjoy speeding up to love-tap pedestrians in crosswalks, that was a definite dollop of cognitive dissonance.  Face it, high prices should stay in California where they belong.  Why would anyone pay lots of money to live in a city where 16 inches of snow shuts the whole place down?

No doubt the Zillow blogger who put this piece together was so relieved to cover a California property that s/he neglected to notice the original (and much higher) list price for this house.  Maybe this one item was farmed out to Tech Gal, the Peninsula real estate agent notorious for her sales to listing price ratios based on reduced asking prices.

Speaking of the house… This 8592 sf home thinks of itself as a Tuscan villa, but it’s got a modern tax bill to greet you.  A 5 BR/6.5 BA main house plus a 1 BR/1 BA guest home on the 3.4 acre grounds guarantee you’ll keep a gardening staff busy all year.

image#9 Gulf Coast Grace – Naples, FL

Original Price: $16.5 million (May 2009)

Reduced Price: $15.9 million (July 2009)

Sale Price: $13 million (January 2010)

Haircut: -21%

This over 9000 sf house on Naples Bay is situated on 3/4 of an acre but is still in the sinkhole of Florida real estate.  Even Zillow looks at last year�
��s sales figure and comes up with a Zestimate of $11,013,000, suggesting that this palatial estate lost another 15% of its value merely by spending all of 2010 in Florida.  Once more, the Zillow blogger missed the original price, misunderestimating the amount a Florida property can plummet.

image#10. Living the High Life – Highland Beach, FL

Original Price: $18,900,000 (May 2009)

Reduced Price: $15,950,000 (July 2009)

Sale Price: $12,650,000 (January 2010)

Haircut: -33%

If a second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience, then buying a 12,000 sf house on 0.95 acres of Florida real estate for 67% of the original asking price is the knifecatcher’s exhilaration.  This brain-damaged fool has put the place back on the market for $14,950,000, just six months after taking delivery.  Given that Zillow has depreciated the previous property by 15%, I would calculate that this Adventure in Real Estate is going to lead to another 28% trip down Equity Burn Esplanade.

Comments (49) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am