September 16, 2012

Catch current conspicuous country house consumption craze: countless crappers

Today’s story deserves a good long sit and read, followed by a good long sit and think.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for wafting this one in.

Wealthy home buyers demand bathrooms; lots of bathrooms

Some mansions have nearly as many toilets as entire blocks in less regal neighborhoods

By Lauren Beale, Los Angeles Times, March 2, 2012, 6:34 p.m.

120915-bathrooms-center-tubHere’s another way the rich are different: They have more bathrooms.

Real estate brokers who cater to the moneyed say their clients typically want homes that have at least two bathrooms for every bedroom. And with spacious tubs, floor lamps, dressing areas and seating, some bathrooms rival bedrooms in size.

“The bathroom has become the dressing room,” said Bob Ray Offenhauser, a Studio City-based residential architect who routinely encloses the shower and toilet in their own rooms within a room. “They really don’t look much like bathrooms anymore.”

Some mansions have nearly as many commodes as entire blocks in less regal neighborhoods.

Pickfair, the Beverly Hills estate of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, was outfitted with 30 bathrooms in a later overhaul. But the record locally may be the 41 bathrooms boasted by an 18,400-square-foot Mediterranean-style home in Bel-Air that was recently on the market for $40 million, real estate agents say.

120915-bathrooms-swiss-army-toiletThis is an alarming trend coming out of SoCal.  Why would ginormous Southland estates need more bathrooms than the San Jose Convention Center?  Do they all need to do coke privately, but simultaneously?  Is this high-pressure trend going to affect estates in the Real Bay Area?

Discuss.  You may refer to Facebook stock prices to support your conclusion.

This is also your Weekend Open Thread, so feel free to mention any Open Houses you visited, or whatever else you feel like arguing about today.

Just keep the door shut until you’re done.

Comments (19) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am






September 13, 2012

Hedge your bets in Sunnyvale

Do you want a house with trees in the front yard, but don’t want to deal with all those tree troubles?  Do you hate raking leaves?  Do you get angry tripping over roots?  How about falling branches?  Well, have we a house for you today, courtesy of Burbed reader nomadic, guaranteed to minimize those arboreal obstacles.

120912-remington-redfin601 W REMINGTON Dr
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
$950,000

4 Beds
2 Baths
1,660 Sq. Ft.
$572 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1959
Lot Size: 7,245 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 36 days
Status: Pending Without Release
Pending Without Release
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: Sunnyvale
MLS#: 81229511
Style: Contemporary
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

This beautiful Eichler is full of light with a slate atrium courtyard. Inside you will find new bamboo floors with radiant heat and a remodeled gourmet kitchen. The kitchen features quartz counters, alder wood cabinets and GE Cafe appliances. Enjoy the open living room and spacious dining area. You will truly enjoy this home and its location near Las Palmas Park and Cumberland Elementary.

120912-remington-kitchenNew bamboo floors inside?  It’s the outside you need to be taking a good look at.  That hedge along the front wall will satisfy your need for tree-like objects without any objectionable tree-like behaviors.

Plus the backsplash design in the kitchen will wake you up every time you enter the room.  It’s not that the colors are particularly objectionable; we’re just not sure that design goes with the alder, the bamboo, the quartz and the stainless.

We haven’t even gotten into the slate.

So, nice open Eichler plan, recent remodel of a 50 year old house.  Ready to plop down almost a mil for the second best elementary in the Sunnyvale school district?  Maybe you should first check the location, location, location.

120912-remington-streetview

Because living on the corner of a secondary arterial and the route to a park and tennis center means the whole city will have many opportunities to admire your hedge!  No wonder it went pending — BOOM!

“Bunus”: Here’s what Google Streetview shows when you give this address:

120912-remington-streetview-spinosa

This may be the first house on Burbed to score so many roadblocks in one place.

Comments (18) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

September 7, 2012

Excellent Los Gatos and San Jose Public & Private Schools

And we’ll finish up this shortened week of accommodation awesomeness with some new construction in Los Gatos!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for yet another example of Truth in Real Estate!

120906-panorama-redfin116 PANORAMA Way
Los Gatos, CA 95032
$1,999,000

4 Beds 
3.5 Baths 
3,000 Sq. Ft.
$666 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2012 
Lot Size: 10,100 Sq. Ft. 
On Redfin: 126 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Community: Los Gatos/Monte Sereno
MLS#: 81216707
Style: French, Mediterranean
View: Mountains
County: Santa Clara

New Construction. Excellent Floor Plan; Gourmet Kitchen with Custom paint & glazed Cabinets with Professional grade Bosch Appliances; Walk-in Pantry; Alarmed Security Systems; Smart Wired for CATV/HDTV & custom audio system; Laundry with custom built Cabinets with Granite Countertops & skylight.

120906-panorama-tubNot another one of those backwards houses!  And by backwards we mean a “luxury” type McMansion that has an impressive address, but forgot to bring the school district along for the ride.  Let nomadic explain:

New construction for a premium in the slums of Los Gatos!

I’m calling them out because on the “features” tab it says: “Excellent Los Gatos and San Jose Public & Private Schools.”  They must be referring to private schools in Los Gatos, because the public schools (while quite good) are in the Union Elementary and Campbell Union High School districts.

120906-panorama-virtual-tour-features

120906-panorama-streetview-from-unionRedfin has the location all wrong for these houses on the Google map, which makes me think they’re taking liberties with the lot sizes too.  If you look on the map and pan down Union Avenue to just north of Leewood Court, you can see the two of them nuzzled together on the construction site. 

Wow, it looks AWFUL on the satellite view – worse than the view from Union. 

120906-panorama-redmap

The better-looking but much too close companion chateau finally went Pending a couple of weeks ago.  And given how lovey-dovey these two homes are, who wants to guess that the lot size of 10,500 is for both of them?  (Lot size of 117 is conveniently provided in acres to make comparisons quick and easy!  That’s 11,326 sf.  You’re welcome.)

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

August 28, 2012

Loaded with CHARM! in New Almaden! Needs many newer updates! And more exclamation points!

We’re heading south today, for a look at this New Almaden NODder. Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for keeping an eye on what’s in shadow inventory, and what’s trying to stay in the sunshine.  Let’s see how shortly this spread will be selling.

20891 ALMADEN Rd
San Jose, CA 95120
$975,500

120827-almaden-redfin

120827-almaden-carport$975,500 Price
4 Beds
3 Baths
2,888 Sq. Ft.
$338 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1920
Lot Size: 1 Acre
On Redfin: 161 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Canyon
County: Santa Clara
Stories: 1
Community: Almaden Valley120827-almaden-porch
MLS#: 81210207

Magical one-of-a-kind Historic Home in New Almaden! Unique historic home is loaded with CHARM! Huge porch, formal living/dining room, family room, 4 bed/3 bath (2 master suites) w/ an updated country kitchen and a workshop on a 1 acre lot. Needs a tiny bit of TLC and many newer updates! MUST SEE! Get more info: TEXT “71699″ to 79564

Get more info by texting!  Because there’s only so much info you can fit on the internet.  But text messaging?  Hope you’re on the unlimited plan.

Why did nomadic send this place in?  Let’s find out!

120827-almaden-wtf-is-thisThe listing history might inspire you.  They took an interesting approach to getting RBA returns – just HELOC it out and do a short sale for 2x the purchase price after 13 years – I wonder how much they sucked out. (After all, they won’t actually get the purchase value back out.)  I remember them trying to sell at the peak prices just after the real estate crash and thinking “good luck with that.”

What’s this?  Something about an inspiring listing history?  Redfin doesn’t have much on the old pricing, so Zillow to the rescue!

120827-almaden-price-history-zillow

120827-almaden-horsiesUh, yeah.  Good luck with that.  But on the upside, if you’ve always wanted a pony, this place is horsie-ready should your magical fairy godmother ever come through with those wishes.

Anyone have any idea why Zillow has reasonably-sized pictures and Redfin doesn’t for this property? Does it have anything to do with the agent who relisted it in July?  (See the EBRD listing in Redfin, the pictures look fine there.)  Does Zillow indicating the place isn’t for sale anymore have anything to do with that?

So many questions.  So many horsies.  So much historical mortgage equity withdrawal.  MUST SEE!

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

August 21, 2012

Major fixer upper in San Carlos. You’ll need the uppers.

Today’s featured home is a San Carlos scraper brought to you by Burbed reader nomadic.  This low-hanging lemon has been overripening on the Redfin vine, and was spotted on a fruitful locale for Burbed bounty: the Redfin forums.  Thanks very much for the harvest! 

437 HILLCREST Rd
San Carlos, CA 94070
$850,000; was $875,000; was $899,000; was $910,000

120820-hillcrest-redfin

120820-hillcrest-streetview2 Beds 
1.5 Baths
1,120 Sq. Ft.
$759 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1941 
Lot Size: 7,644 Sq. Ft. 
On Redfin: 130 days
Status: Active
Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: San Mateo
Style: Contemporary
Community: Cordes
MLS#: 81213411

Great westside location, this home is a major fixer upper bring your contractor with you large level lot perfect for building your dream home building plans and engineering reports have been submitted to the city for approval

120820-hillcrest-satelliteHere’s what nomadic had to say about this perplexing property:

Check this out, from the Redfin forums:

  I lived in this home, as the flippers who bought it in 2011, rented it to me so they could get the permits in place.  Long story short, is that they thought they had the permits in place in February of 2012 so they asked me to move.  Turns out just more paper shuffling by the city, and things are still moving slow.  The house is in bad disrepair.  The son of the original owners (since 1941) died and the family sold it.  All the plumbing was shot, and a poorly constructed addition was slapped on the porch in the back.  The chiminey was falling off the side of the house, and there was quite a fair amount of landscaping growing out of the roof.

  Shortly after I moved out, a bunch of  vagrants ransacked the place, stole all the copper, and broke most of the windows.  Permits are still pending for the tear down and rebuild.  As I was browsing the listings, I found it funny that it was relisted at $910k basically a year after they bought it for $622, and its now no longer livable.

120820-hillcrest-streetview-2The asking price is now $850k.  When did San Carlos wedge itself into the RBA?

Hmmm, this comment doesn’t seem to be on the thread anymore, but this reply references part of the above.  So nomadic was not hallucinating the post.  Perhaps Redfin is getting a little gun-shy about actual discussion of houses rather than oh-so-postive realtardese.  Talk that way for too long and you won’t even need to take any uppers.

Bunus: Trash bag and abandoned monitor in Streetview shots, plus extra bin at neighbor’s.

 

 

Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

August 4, 2012

Does Your Refrigerator Match Your Smartphone?

If it doesn’t, it’s time to chuck your fridge.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for passing along this fascinating article.

So Long, Stainless: Whirlpool Introduces a New Finish For Premium Kitchens

 

By Keith Barry, July 18, 2012, Refrigerator Info

120803-fridge-white-iceThe stainless steel appliance hegemony has ended.

On Monday, Whirlpool introduced a new premium exterior finish that they call “White Ice.” With clean lines, silver accents and streamlined controls, the new collection’s refrigerator, range, dishwasher, and microwave are a departure from the flash and glitz of stainless steel and its many lookalikes. In fact, the combination of a white finish, stainless handles and mirrored glass appear to have a lot in common with Apple’s popular design language.

The streamlined new look combines with simplified features that Whirlpool says will make the appliances easier to use. “In addition to the intuitive technology, the line takes a fresh look at appliance design and features flawless exteriors that add beauty to any home,” said Pat Schiavone, Whirlpool’s VP of Global Consumer Design.

120803-fridge-apple-storeHere’s why nomadic sent along a clipping from Refrigerator Info (and I do not want to ask why any Burbed reader would also be checking out that site).

You can be the first real estate blog to report the death of stainless!  No more pergranisteel…

And the inspiration is coming from Silicon Valley!

Yes, this is going to look just great in all those new white kitchens with the emphasis on wood rather than a wall of stainless steel.  Because if your kitchen doesn’t look like a foodie version of an Apple Store, then you’re obviously still living in 2001.

Which is when the first Apple Store opened.

Update: The Sunday piece is a thinky one, so deposit your open thread comments here.

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

July 6, 2012

Seller will finance w/ NO qual.

Here’s a little something to consider while another weekend is coming!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for this luscious listing in Los Altos Hills.

11195 HOOPER Ln
Los Altos Hills, CA 94024
$4,099,000

120705-hooper-redfin

120705-hooper-frontBEDS:  4
BATHS:  4
SQ. FT.:  4,700
$/SQ. FT.:  $872
LOT SIZE:  1.86 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
STORIES: 2
YEAR BUILT:  1957
COMMUNITY:  Los Altos Hills
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81217362
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  57 days

Seller will finance w/ NO qual. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: Private, Secure, Quiet, Serene, with City and Bay Views, and proximity to town are UNIQUE and RARE in this wooded ~2 Acres property. Update or rebuild the existing Comtemp. Style home in this Executive Estate. Detached cottage w/ Full Kitchen is ideal for backyard living/entertain w/ no direct visuals to any neighbors.

120705-hooper-kitchenAnd you thought the market was hot, hot, HOT?  Then what’s with this seller financing deal, w/ NO qual.  That’s probably short for “quality.”  Plus you can “update or rebuild” which means the “existing Contemp. Style home” isn’t exactly turnkey.  More like turkey.

There’s a virtual tour, if you really want to see how a 1957 house can be Contemp. Style.  Maybe that stands for the “contempt” the sellers must have, as they’ve been trying to get out from under this place since 2007.  Here’s the listing history, courtesy of Zillow.

Price History

Date Description Price Change $/sqft Source  
05/11/2012 Listed for sale $4,099,000 -14.6% $872 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage – Los Altos
08/07/2011 Listing removed $4,798,000 $1,020 Keller Williams Realty
05/06/2011 Listed for sale $4,798,000 -8.6% $1,020 Keller Williams Realty
08/14/2009 Listing removed $5,250,000 $1,117 NRT California
02/25/2009 Listed for sale $5,250,000 $1,117 NRT California
11/15/2008 Listing removed $5,250,000 $1,117 TourFactory
09/20/2008 Listed for sale $5,250,000 $1,117 TourFactory
06/13/2008 Listing removed $5,250,000 $1,117 TourFactory
06/01/2008 Listed for sale $5,250,000 -0.8% $1,117 TourFactory
01/04/2008 Listing removed $5,294,000 $1,126
08/26/2007 Listed for sale $5,294,000 521% $1,126 Agent
10/08/1996 Sold $852,000 1.4% $181 Public Record   
08/19/1994 Sold $840,000 $178 Public Record

Wrap that up with a ZEstimate range of $2.68 to $4.09 M and maybe some Facebook millionaire will take it off their hands by 2015.

 

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

June 22, 2012

Wouldn’t It Be Waverley?

Let’s finish out the first weekend of summer with another Two for One Special.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for this Palo Alto find.

1936 WAVERLEY St
Palo Alto, CA 94301
$8,988,000

 

BEDS: 2
BATHS: 1
SQ. FT.: 1,020
$/SQ. FT.: $8,812
LOT SIZE: 7,000 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT: 1926
COMMUNITY: Old Palo Alto
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81222806
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active

ON REDFIN: 4 days

Price includes 1934(front) and 1936(back) Waverley St. These 2 properties are in the prime location of Old Palo Alto and are to be sold together. It’s a rare opportunity to own a 2 lots together in Old PA. #1934 has 3/2.5 + 2 car garage, with serene back yard. #1936 has 2/1 old ranch + 1 detached garage. City shows larger lot area. Buyer to varify with city planning dept for lot size and FAR
Yes, it’s just like the pair of homes we ran on Tuesday, except these have 8s in the price.  And 8s in the price per square foot, too!
Be sure to check out the other house.
Comments (27) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

June 17, 2012

Who says nothing ever happens in Novato?

Bet you’ll never think about the northern Marin city of Novato in the same way after you read this.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for this noteworthy news item from the North Bay!

Picasso lithograph stolen from Novato mansion recovered

KTVU.com and Wires, Monday June 11th, 2012

120616-obertz-satelliteNOVATO, Calif. — A Pablo Picasso lithograph worth $30,000 that was stolen from a Novato mansion owned by former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko was recovered Sunday morning, a Novato police sergeant said.

The framed lithograph, titled "Femme au Chignon," was found around 8:20 a.m. propped against a fence along a curb on Burning Tree Drive by neighbors who were driving to a hiking trail, Sgt. Jennifer Welch said.

"It was placed there to be found," Welch said.

The lithograph is believed to have been taken from the furnished but unoccupied residence at 100 Obertz Lane that is owned by Lazarenko, who was serving time in a federal prison in Los Angeles for conspiracy and money laundering.

What a great story!  Stolen art, a foreigner with suitcases full of cash, and he’s in jail for not doing a better job hiding the suitcases.  Out of control teenfest!  But most important: Show-off mansion!

120616-obertz-redfin

120616-obertz-satellite[4]Holy crap, this HOUSE has almost a half acre of living space!  The tag “ginormous” we use for homes over five thousand square feet simply doesn’t do this one justice.  And while Redfin thinks you want the lot size in square feet, Zillow has the sense to translate it into acres: 11.21 of them.

ZEstimate: $5,052,500.  Rent ZEstimate: $7,045 a month.  That’s a little more house than you can get for that amount in Palo Alto.

Just how many suitcases did the former prime minister have with him?  It better have been worth the nine years in prison.

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

June 8, 2012

Live-in, remodel to suit, or build anew

Let’s finish up the week with a visit to the wonderful world of Woodside.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for this rococo residence that may have you ralphing.

110 KENMORE Way
Woodside, CA 94062
$1,699,000

120607-kenmore-redfin

120607-kenmore-doorknobBEDS: 3
BATHS: 3.5
SQ. FT.: 3,460
$/SQ. FT.: $491
LOT SIZE: 1.04 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Mountains
YEAR BUILT: 1955
COMMUNITY: Woodside Hills
120607-kenmore-libraryCOUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81218775
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 21 days

Enjoy this spacious, single-level, View Contemporary features 3 Bedrooms, 3.5 Bath plus formal Library/Study, on a quiet, private cul-du-sac in the highly sought-after Woodside Hills community. Live-in, remodel to suit, or build anew to take advantage of this huge 1.04 * acre lot with sweeping western hill views. The home at its prime was featured in Architectural Digest and Gentry Magazine.

120607-kenmore-too-much-furnitureThat first sentence doesn’t scan at all.  It starts off telling you to enjoy the house but gets lost in panting over the features.  Just because you’re spending over a million on a house doesn’t mean you should expect a realtard capable of proofing his own copy.  Anyway, here’s why nomadic sent this property in:

This house isn’t that bad, but a phrase in the 120607-kenmore-laundrycopy is amusing: “the home at its prime was featured in Architectural Digest and Gentry Magazine.  When?  I’d guess around 1960.  Hmm, according to their website, Gentry Magazine (apparently a pretentious publication) was established in 1993.  That hardly seems possible!

120607-kenmore-gentry

120607-kenmore-kawlums1993?  Then what’s with the mermaid on the website?  Splash came out in 1984, and even The Little Mermaid beat the 90s by a month and a half.  But if you read the current issue online, page 5 has a much pricier place in Woodside with the same high-falutin’ terms as eBay.  Yup, a minimum bid and a Buy it Now price.

120607-kenmore-mantleOkay, back to this house.  “The house isn’t that bad”?  How could it be bad?  It has mawbul kawlums!  Some of the other photos, though, suggest someone with too much money and no understanding of the term “less is more.”  Because when it comes to the photos of this house, more is definitely not more.  Maybe someone should tell the agent that plastering his name prominently across every single listing photo only adds to that “gilding the gold-plated fixtures” feeling.

120607-kenmore-little-gentryAnd that doesn’t include the utterly pedestrian street name.  Look, if you have enough wealth to buy in Woodside, you do not want to live on a street that reminds you of your mother’s crappy dishwasher.  Maybe you could make a donation to the Mayor’s favorite charity in return for a declaration renaming the street Miele Manor or Bosch Boulevard.  If you need inspiration, start leafing through Gentry Magazine.

Coming soon!  We can’t wait!

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am