September 10, 2013

Look beyond the surface in Sunnyvale

Okay, back to properties! There’s only so many times we can talk about commuting, or gentrification, or rising rents, or Facebook stock options. Instead, let’s have a look at this honey of a house that Burbed reader mtv-renter espied in Sunnyvale!  Oops, missing in action on Redfin… hellooooooo, Movoto!  Who says it’s still Active, even though Redfin says it went Pending Do Not Show ten days ago!

130909-remington-movoto693 W Remington Dr
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
$799,999

Loan Payment: $3,148/mo
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2&1/2
Size: 2,015 sqft
$/sqft: $397/sqft
Type: Single Family House
Year Built: 1966
Lot Size: 6,000
Days on Movoto: 21 days
Neighborhood: Sunnyvale
MLS#: 81330762
Status: Active

Look beyond the surface and you will see that this property has a ton of potential. Large deck off kitchen overlooks what can be a lovely backyard. Separate dining and family rooms both with sliding patio doors to the backyard area. Walk to shopping and Las Palmas park * Cumberland Elementary, Sunnyvale Middle schools

130909-remington-floorBut let’s hear more from mtv-renter.

I thought this place might be burbed-worthy. I love the Realtor ™ description.

Yup, you definitely have to look beneath the surface – a surface of dust, dirt, grime, and age. Despite all that surface, though, it’s a wonderful $800k diamond in the rough on a crappy intersection in a crappy part of Sunnyvale. These days, anything under $1M is a bargain!

Not just a bargain, a ton of potential!  Let’s examine several pounds of it.

130909-remington-good-housekeeping

Did we mention this house is on a busy street? So many people will admire your new home every day!  We had some follow-up conversation with mtv-renter on the house and hood:

Yeah, you’re right, it’s not that crappy of a part of sunnyvale. I exaggerate about Sunnyvale because I don’t like it much after looking at a lot of houses there; few neighborhoods are walkable to anything but your car, and the downtown area, despite much development, feels kind of dead.

130909-remington-streetview

Also, check out the street view image for this house. The realtor used every trick in the book to make the house look like it’s a palace on a large lot: wide angle lens and a very low point of view to make the bushes up front seem like they’re hiding a large house far in the distance. In reality, that long walkway up to the entry-way is just a crooked asphalt footpath, and your neighbors are close enough to smell them on a hot day, which probably happens a lot given the lack of insulation in these places :)

Comments (1) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:04 am






September 4, 2013

She’s a Brick …House …in Los Gatos

Ready for some housing win? Sure you are.  Burbed reader nomadic has just what we need: great photos and an even greater price. Plus, Redfin says it’s not for sale and Movoto says it certainly is!

130903-englewood-movoto16600 Englewood Ave
Los Gatos, CA 95032

$1,600,000
Loan Payment: $6,204/mo
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 1
Size: 1,264 sqft
$/sqft: $1,265/sqft
Type: Single Family House
Year Built: 1947
Lot Size: 12,752
Days on Movoto: 59 days
MLS#: 81324091
Status: Active

Location, Location, Location, A beautiful, flat, corner 12,752SF site in a prime neighborhood of Los Gatos, close to downtown, schools, and all conveniences. Build new or remodel existing property which can be lived in or rented while obtaining permits and plans for your new home. House is being sold as is…

130903-englewood-kitchenBuild new or remodel. Guess “turnkey” is the wrong word for this listing. Let’s listen to nomadic’s words instead.

The listing agent forgot to put “value is in the land” in the description, because this is a prime teardown candidate.  However, at $1.6M it’s priced about $600k too high for just the land.  Look at the weird construction.  The interior walls all show the brick.  Does this house really not have any insulation?  The bricks are large too, adding a certain cinder block (non)appeal.

We especially like this paired photo set. Can you tell if you’re looking at the same room or not?

130903-englewood-room1130903-englewood-room2

Google Streetview reveals that the driveway gave up halfway from the house.

130903-englewood-streetview

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:06 am

August 27, 2013

Thirteen Forty Seven: Diamond in the rough part of Old Palo Alto

Yesterday’s house didn’t seem to do it for our readers, or at least the readers who enjoy commenting about properties featured on our site. So today we’re going back to a tried but true perennial: the Palo Alto crapbox, with bunus WTF pricing.  And no, we don’t mean that the way you think we do.

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater for sending in today’s house. Oh yeah, one more thing.  PENDING!

130826-alma-movoto1347 Alma St
Palo Alto, CA 94301
$625,000

Loan Payment: $2,423/mo
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
Size: 848 sqft
$/sqft: $737/sqft
Type: Single Family House
Year Built: 1925
Lot Size: 1,100
Days on Movoto: 8 days
Neighborhood: Old Palo Alto
MLS#: 81329852
Status: Pending – Do Not Show

Diamond in the rough! Contractor special for a property that needs cosmetic and some possible structural intervention. Price reflects condition. Many possibilities! Don’t miss this great opportunity!

130826-alma-framingDid you say possible structural intervention? Say no more! Nothing like a real challenge to whet the appetite on a Tuesday morning, because the usual shortcomings of a busy street and Elon Musk’s Hyperloop right across from it aren’t sufficient. And if you think that would scare anyone away, think again! How many other properties on 1100 square foot lots went pending in 8 days?

We were sure than lot size was a typo until we took a look at the aerial view.

130826-alma-satellite

This is a one-story house, 848 square feet. Looks like a similarly-sized house shares the lot. 1100 could well be correct. But, seriously, is any price too high for your own quarter of a tenth of an acre in Palo Alto?

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:09 am

August 12, 2013

UPDATED: Real Estate Portal Roulette in Mountain View, featuring large bedrooms

Updated 12:30 pm: Added listing screenshots, copy and more writeup from the other 3 non-Redfin portals.  All after the (added) break.  Enjoy.

One of the fun things about running a real estate blog is seeing how differently each of the major realty portals handles the exact same listing. We’ve had several examples of a house switching to Pending/Do Not Show status (usually about ten seconds after it’s listed), and then Redfin will disavow all knowledge of the property ever having been for sale. Zillow will usually lose the photos but manage to hold onto the listing copy. Trulia might do the same as Zillow – or the opposite. And there’s always Movoto, the place to go if you want to see the photos every other site took down.

Today’s prime property, sent in by Burbed reader LomaLuvr, shows the differences in action.  First, we’ll check in with our default site of Redfin.

130811-sanpierre-redfin935 SAN PIERRE Way
Mountain View, CA 94043
Sold for $840,000

4 Beds
2 Baths
1,576 Sq. Ft.
$533 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1964 Lot
Size: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
Sold On: Aug 6, 2010
Status: Sold
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: North Shoreline
MLS#: 81031181
Style: Ranch
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

Beautifully updated & ready to move right in! Open floor plan with hardwood floors in the LR, hall & bedrooms, granite slab countertops in kitchen & baths, dual pane windows, stucco outside. Formal living room, eat in kitchen & separate family room. Great location, close to major companies, walking trails, schools & downtown. Easy access for commuters, close to Cal-Train/Light-rail & the freeways.

We immediately knew something was wrong, because LL asked about “large bedrooms” (in the listing copy). That didn’t any make sense because there’s nothing in this copy about them.  Do these bedrooms look large?  Here are some listing photos, in actual size.

130811-sanpierre-bedroom130811-sanpierre-entry130811-sanpierre-kitchen130811-sanpierre-family

Only one of the listing photos even was of a bedroom.  Much more on what we found on the other portals, after the break.

(more…)

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:06 am

May 10, 2013

Bay Area Bubble 4.0 Lands in… Walnut Creek!

All week we’ve been looking at examples of No Bubble Here, all over the San Francisco Bay Area. But today’s house shows otherwise.  Thanks very much to the Burbed reader who sent this in but wouldn’t make up a dorky nickname. (Warning: next time we make one up for you.)

130509-meadow-redfinUndisclosed Address
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
$550,000

4 Beds
2.5 Baths
2,213 Sq. Ft.
$249 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1947
Lot Size: 0.30 Acres
On Redfin: 14 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
County: Contra Costa
Style: Ranch
Community: Walnut Creek
MLS#: 40612224

Great area of Walnut Creek, large level yard, needs lots of work bring your contractor NOT handyman!!

Here’s what Burbed reader Too Lazy To Even Try To Make Up My Own Nickname had to say about this listing:

I know inventory is tight where I’m looking but $550K????? For what?

Naming rights? Ahahahahaha!  Actually for $550K you also get the street name, which we will kindly provide to all our readers for absolutely nothing.  What better proof of a bubble is there than sellers who won’t tell you where the danged house is?

130509-meadow-movotoMeadow Rd,
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
$550,000

Loan Payment: $1,885/mo
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2&1/2
Size: 2,213 sqft
$/sqft: $248/sqft
Type: Single Family House
Year Built: 1947
Lot Size: 12,900
Days on Movoto: 14 days
MLS#: 40612224
Status: Pending

Great area of Walnut Creek, large level yard, needs lots of work bring your contractor NOT handyman!!

Oh, what’s this, you want a street number as well? Picky, picky. Some people are just so demanding.

130509-meadow-google-where

Estately’s listing doesn’t have the address anymore, so let’s hear it for latency in search engines!  Let’s also hear it for the great job Zillow did hiding that this place is for sale.

130509-meadow-zillow

Bring your contractor and CIA agent not handyman and GPS!

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

March 8, 2013

Super Fun site in Mountain View, Perfect for entertaining!

Let’s finish out the week with a double dose of Mountain View Bubble 4.0: this house is a floor wax and a dessert topping. Today’s featured property was brought to you courtesy of Burbed reader bublidoo.  Thanks very much for a listing so aerated that we had to go to four different sites until we found a photo of the actual house as it exists today.  Yep, pending in a week!

130307-whisman-movoto460 N Whisman Rd
Mountain View, CA 94043
$1,149,000

Loan Payment: $4,000/mo
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3&1/2
Size: 1,999 sqft
$/Sqft: $574/sqft
Type: Single Family House
Year Built: 2013
Lot Size: 4,960
Days on Movoto: 9 days
Neighborhood: Whisman
MLS#: 81305578
Status: Pending – Do Not Show

Stunning newly constructed custom 4/3.5 Craftsman located on a great lot close to downtown MV, Google and easy commute routes! This gorgeous open floor plan inc. 2 master suites, one 1st floor, 3.5 designer baths, gourmet chef?s kitchen with granite counter tops & stainless steel appliances, large island w/counter seating & sliding doors to patio. Perfect for entertaining! Close to top MV schools!

130307-whisman-kitchenSo why is this house nominated for a big ol’ Burbed hug? Let’s check in with our reader whose very name implies Bubble 4.0.

wanted to point out this stunning, newly constructed custom craftsman to you. If it was near good schools or downtown Mountain View (the description claims both … but not sure about "near"), perhaps the price could be justified. But what we’re looking at here …

130307-whisman-yardis an asking price well over a million bucks for a single family house (yes, stunning, I forgot, sorry …) on a small lot within the vapor intrusion study area. And the listing comes on the heels of super fun coverage by burbed, the local TV channel, and the Mountain View Voice. One has to wonder why the agent didn’t include "Buyer to attend meetings on toxic vapors. Walk to Google Offices!"

130307-whisman-redfin-pdnsPerhaps there’s been too much super fun coverage already? In that case, no pressure … and hope you had a chuckle.

Cheers!

Oh no, bublidoo, you can never, ever, ever have too much Super Fun.  Want some more?  Let’s look at this house over on Redfin, where’ they’ve pulled down the listing and are featuring the before photo (singular) and listing copy. 

Did we mention how much we love Pending/Do Not Show?  It’s like an extra set of presents we completely missed behind the Christmas tree!  And speaking of extra presents, look what we found on Zillow.  This is like finding out we’re celebrating Chanukah too, as an added extended family holiday, with bunus presents!

130307-whisman-zillow

Wow, who knew that side of the family was so artsy?  (Or too klutzy to use a camera?)  Must be because of those good schools.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

February 28, 2013

Who Ya Gonna Call in Los Gatos?

Properties featured on Burbed can be one of several things.  They can be the classic ridiculously high-priced crapbox, which is our bread, butter, and without so much rat in it.  There’s your basic eye-popping completely-overdone-for-the-neighborhood McMansion.  There’s your that’s-not-eclectic-that’s-just-WTF white elephant that doubles as a falling knife.

Today’s property seems to fit into that third category. Thanks very much to longtime Burbed reader sonarrat, back with more Bay Area Real Estate Win!  And speaking of Realty Win, today’s winner is also Movoto because Redfin is on the blink and wouldn’t load this listing up.  (Or maybe they blocked us because they’re sick of our whining about those trackbacks.)

130227-blackberry-movoto15950 Blackberry Hill Rd
Los Gatos, CA 95030
$4,095,888

Loan Payment: $14,260/mo
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 4&1/2
Size: 5,700 sqft
$/Sqft: $718/sqft
Type: Single Family House
Year Built: 2010
Lot Size: 1
Days on Movoto: 44 days
MLS#: 81301292
Status: Active

CUSTOM GATED ESTATE. NEWER CONSTRUCTION. NEVER LIVED IN. MAIN HOUSE: 4,500 SF. 1,033 GUEST HSE. HIGH-END FINISHES. SMART HOUSE; DIGITAL EVERYTHING. VEGAS STYLE PEBBLE TEC POOL W/LED LIGHTS & H20FALLS! AMAZING UNOBSTRUCTED VIEWS: SF TO SJ FOOTHILLS. CHEF’S KITCHEN, VIKING APLS. HIGH CEILINGS. 3 CAR GARAGE. RESORT PROPERTY. *AMPLE* FLAT; MORE FLAT LAND THAN YOU THINK! 1.5 MILES TO DWNTWN. LG SCHOOLS

And here’s why sonarrat checks in with this property:

130227-blackberry-dhoLos Gatos – $4 million, Ghostbusters pool.  Built in 2010, never lived in. Is it any wonder?

Is the house also infested with ectoplasmic residue, or is all telekinetic activity confined to the pool?  Also for some reason Movoto doesn’t provide the lot size.  Per Zillow, it’s 87,120 sq ft, sufficient to snag an acreage tag.

BUNUS: Dude Hanging Out (DHO) in listing photo #20, admiring *AMPLE* FLAT; MORE FLAT LAND THAN YOU THINK!

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

February 25, 2013

FOCUS-LIVE-ENDURE! In San Carlos! Again!

Okay, vacation’s over. Time to get back to work, and that means heading over to real estate sites to plan on where you really want to live.  Boss has the door shut, so fire up those listing websites! And today’s listing was sent (during coffee break) by Burbed reader Divasm.

130224-belle-zillow1959 Belle Ave
San Carlos, CA 94070
$2,100,000 (Listing removed 2/8/13)

Zestimate®: $1,957,700
Est. Mortgage: $1,883/mo
Bedrooms:4 beds
Bathrooms:5 baths
Single Family:3,532 sq ft
Lot:5,227 sq ft
Year Built:2012
Last Sold:Mar 2012 for $525,000
Heating Type:Forced air

Description

130224-belle-elevations” Tuscan Villa” – Centrally situated, within walking distance to Award winning “Brittan Acres” & “Central” schools. South Bay views from Master bedroom. Construction to start summer ’10 built by luxury home builder The Armanini Group (TAG) Builders, Inc. This home consists of six large bedrooms, den, five full baths, Family room boosting stone fireplace, extra-large eat in Kitchen with breakfast bar & nook open to Family room, Living room with single-beamed ceilings, 130224-belle-elevations2panelled ceiling in Dining room and attached two Car Garage / shop. Anderson wood windows, (full bullnose) granite countertops in Kitchen, travertine stone in Master bath, designer ceramic tiles in auxiliary baths, Kohler plumbing fixtures, custom hand-made cabinetry throughout by local craftsman, Thermador appliances, 3/4″ distressed hardwood flooring, 14 seer-rated air conditioning units, high energy efficient multi-zoned forced-air central heating, tank-less 130224-belle-siteplan(space saving) insta-hot water heater, wireless computer network, smart home electronics for computer programming your lighting, heating & air conditioning, audio, video & irrigation and extensive millwork throughout the entire home. Not all features mentioned. For a personal showing of this magnificent home in San Carlos, please call Michael or Genna Armanini at (cell) 650.218.5123 or email us at michael@armaniniproperties.com PRICE, TERMS AND MATERIALS UTILIZED SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE, CONTACT YOUR REAL ESTATE BROKER FOR CURRENT PRICING & TERMS. CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS “NEW CONSTRUCTION RESIDENTIAL PURCHASE AGREEMENT AND JOINT ESCROW INSTRUCTIONS” CONTRACT TO BE UTILIZED IN THE PURCHASE OF SUBJECT PROPERTY. FOCUS-LIVE-ENDURE!

No photos, just plans. Inappropriate use of quotation marks. A BUNCH OF ALL CAPS TEXT AT THE END. Best of all, construction promised the summer of… three years ago.  Oh, this is going to be good.  Let’s check in with Big D.

130224-belle-sketch-movotoI was browsing listings in San Carlos and came across this $2.1mil gem. It sounds terrific on paper, and I guess I can see why it’s so expensive, San Carlos, 4/4.5, 3500 square feet, built in 2012. But was it really?

The pic shows a sketch, and the satellite view shows a big dirt lot. Perhaps since then a house has popped up for which they offer to show you the plans, but then why not show a pic? Is it because you’re buying a lot and approved plans for $2.1mil? And look at the history, it’s all over the place. If I had any time I’d drive by myself and check it out…but it certainly must have some reason it’s been on the market for 138 days.

130224-belle-redfin-notforsaleHmm, plans on Zillow, sketch on Movoto, along with this description:

Off market until construction complete approximately mid-May. New quality construction. Plans available to view. Go to: www.johnshroyer.com, Click on “My Featured Listings”, scroll to photo of property, disclosures

Mid-May of what year? We’re starting a pool.  And who is John Shroyer? What happened to Michael or Genna Armanini? Does their cell phone still work? Did they pay their Summer 2010 bill?  How did that FOCUS-LIVE-ENDURE! thing work out for them?

Meanwhile, this construction site gave us some serious déjà vu, and for good reason.  Find out why, after the break.

(more…)

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

February 22, 2013

Let’s Return to what matters: Mountain View!

We’re happy to report the first Monta Loma sighting of the year. Thanks very much to Burbed reader LomaLuvr for alerting us to this awesome opportunity!  And once more we’re using Movoto, because they understand the difference between Pending – Do Not Show The House To Lookie-Loos Who Want To Tramp Through The Place and Pending – Do Not Show Photos.  *cough * Redfin *cough*

130221-jane-movoto2348 Jane Ln
Mountain View, CA 94043
$719,000

Loan Payment: $2,543/mo
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Size: 1,392 sqft
$/Sqft: $516/sqft
Type: Single Family House
Year Built: 1955
Lot Size: 5,400
Days on Movoto: 10 days
Neighborhood: Thompson
MLS#: 81303400
Status: Pending – Do Not Show

3BR/2BA 1392 sf Eichler-style home with 5400 sf lot in great Mountain View neighborhood. Additional office/possible 4th bedroom. Close to Shoreline and Google. Fixer-upper with possibilities!

As opposed to all those fixer-uppers with no possibilities, merely potential.

130221-jane-redfin-agent

130221-jane-backdoorsPossibilities, indeed!  Adding on a room to the side of a house when the lot is only 5400 square feet is an architectural challenge indeed! Plus that gives the bedroom plenty more fresh air, to make up for the lack of natural light in the back.

Also, we think we solved the mystery why the back of the house doesn’t get as much light as the front.  We think it’s the patio shade.  Don’t tell the agents, though.  We wouldn’t want to ruin it for them.

Here’s the other two pictures.

130221-jane-front130221-jane-fireplace

All that perfectly good sky cut out.  Speaking of cutting out, here’s some perfectly good listing copy cut out from both Zillow and Trulia:

As Is probate fixer. Contact Broker at (707) 693-0400 with any questions.

Nothing like a Broker who specializes in the neighborhood you want to buy into.  You may want to double-check if the property really is Close To Google after all.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

November 22, 2012

It’s Thanksgiving, and Here’s Your Turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Sorry today’s house is late, as we were up all night prepping for a Burbed Feast.  Did you know how difficult it is to cut up the Real Bay Area into Census districts of half inch cubes without crossing any zip codes?

Now on to our entree. Today’s house was sent in by one of its former owners, a Burbed reader who wishes to remain anonymous.  Can’t imagine why!

121122-ardis-movoto361 Ardis Ave
San Jose, CA 95117 
Price:  $555,000

Loan Payment:  $1,902/mo
Bedrooms:  4
Bathrooms:  3
Size:  2,943 sqft
$/Sqft:  $188/sqft
Type:  Single Family House
Year Built:  1951
Lot Size:  9,424
Days on Movoto:  547 days
Sold Date:  05/31/11
MLS#:  81123441
Status:  Sold for $535,000

Contractors special-Huge Lot w/ Unlimited Potential. Build your Dream Home near Santana Row/Valley Fair.

121122-ardis-kitchenHere’s what our unnamed fan has to say about today’s main course:

The house that keeps on giving.. Yes I was one of the people who lost money on this West Valley Brigadoon. The person who bought it from me, never did one thing he said, just held it and turned it for my profit… This wreck has been untouched through 4 sales…

Will the next buyer be able to rehab this behemoth???

121122-ardis-tile-roomBad houses happen to good people :-0

This house was sent in just a week and a half ago, but the usually suspect real estate sites have it marked as sold already.  Either our correspondent just noticed his/her old place changed hands after almost two years on the market, or there’s a more recent listing we’re not finding.

Hey, Redfin, pass the white meat!  Click on through if you’re joining us from the front page.  The table is groaning.

(more…)

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 11:56 am