September 5, 2012

NOT for the faint of heart in San Mateo

Sometimes, we receive a submission that tells us to drop everything else in the reader queue and post it at once.  Today’s real estate ruh-roh is from Burbed reader TB.  Once you see the pictures, you’ll see why those initials are so apt.

120904-fallon-realtor732 Fallon Ave
San Mateo, CA 94401

Beds: 3 bed 
Baths: 1 bath
House Size: Not Available 
Lot Size: 0.11 Acres
Price/sqft: Not Available
Property Type: Single Family Home
Year Built: 1950
Neighborhood: Not Available 
Style: Fixer-Handyman Special
Stories: 1 
Garage: 1
Status: Active
County: San Mateo
Area: San Mateo County Approximately 1000 acre(s)
120904-fallon-garage1 total full bath
5 total rooms
1 stories
Type: Detached
1 car garage
Attached parking
Lot size is 20 or more acres
Utilities present: Sewer System Public, Water Public

We don’t often link to, and the missing info coupled with the conflicting info may be why.  They don’t know how big this house is.  The lot is 0.11 acres.  The lot is approximately a thousand acres.  The lot is at least 20 acres.  Close enough!

Let’s see if Redfin is any help.


732 Fallon Ave
San Mateo, CA 94401
$299,000; reduced from $425,000 on 8/31/12

3 Beds 
1 Baths 
— Sq. Ft.
Built: 1950 
Lot Size: 5,000 Sq. Ft. 
On Redfin: 9 days
Type: Detached
Stories: 1
Community: San Mateo
MLS#: 40586991
Style: Fixer/Handyman Special
View: Other
County: San Mateo

NOT for the faint of heart. Major fixer, needs everything including foundation work. All offers will be considered.

Moving over to Redfin has provided way more information than the Official Site of the National Association of REALTARDS®.  We now know how old the listing is, we have the previous price, we have a lot size in a more useful measurement, we now know this is a short sale and that the listing is out-of-area, we have a Double Dog Dare Description of this property, and we have one of the first listings on Burbed ever to have a View of Other.  What could Other be when the default of “Neighborhood” really means “No view from this house.”  This suggests this home has something worse than no view.

No wonder all offers will be considered!  TB observes:

the photos probably don’t do the place justice.

They certainly don’t!  Have a look at them after the break!


Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

January 11, 2012

Do not go direct to San Mateo

imageOne of the interesting things about reading so many real estate listings is noticing just how few agents have a decent command of the English language.  When the market was red-hot back in the mid-oughties, listing copy was slapdash because the homes, RBA or not, essentially sold themselves.  And now that market action is found at the very high and very low ends, nothing says low-end like a listing that doesn’t even try to scan.

Today’s housing horror, from Burbed reader MS, is a good example of this.  The copy sounds like a Monopoly instruction.  The only question is whether this property is in the Dark Purples (now Browns) or the Light Blues, because it sure as heck isn’t Boardwalk.


San Mateo, CA 94401


BATHS: 5.5
SQ. FT.: 1,804
$/SQ. FT.: $277
LOT SIZE: 5,610 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COMMUNITY: North Shoreview/Dore Cavanaugh
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81148666
STATUS: Pending With Release
ON REDFIN: 42 days

Tenant occupied. Two large dogs. Do Not Go Direct. As Is Sale, No Seller Warranty, Additions may or may not have permits

imageHere’s what MS had to say about this fantastic find:

All tenant-occupied places mean you have to call agent for appointment. . Just to get the point across about how real this short is,  these tenants have TWO LARGE DOGS that make showings even more difficult, not that you planned to! And then there’s the unpermitted additions. What are they in a 3/5.5?
How’d they add onto it, to get that configuration?
I’m stumped. I’ll go if someone goes with me.

Have a look.  It seems like they just kept moving on back.


Whoah.  Come for the “may or may not have permits” additions, stay for the high-voltage transmission lines.  And if you’re ever worried about not having enough power to run your flatscreen television collection, just tap in behind your fence.


“Bunus”: Golf course right across the street means random broken windows!

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

December 26, 2011

House in San Mateo–great for interrogations!

San Mateo, CA 94401



It looks like the art of writing great real estate copy has been lost in this new decade. Just look at the primary photo! Doesn’t this call for some reference to the enormous parking opportunities that this house has to offer? Just look at all the vans and suv’s that can fit in that driveway.

You know what this house really is right? It’s a safe house. Yep. Part of the CIA’s “black site” network. (Or CTU – you never know.) Those vans and suvs in the driveway? Disguised.

Let me show you where they use enhanced interrogation techniques:

15 S NORFOLK St, San Mateo, CA 94401

This house is what’s keeping freedom and liberty alive in America. You’re welcome, citizens.

Comments (12) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:45 am

December 12, 2011

Exciting San Mateo Neighborhood Features Storied History!

Today’s find is from Burbed reader MS, bringing you another scrumptious sampling of Superb San Mateo!  Here’s a house that combines the luxury of a detached single family house in bucolic suburbia with the exciting night life of the nearby big city!  Okay, I didn’t say which city.

What could possibly go wrong with a one-two combo like that?

200 N KINGSTON St, San Mateo, CA 94401


SQ. FT.: 1,610
$/SQ. FT.: $276
LOT SIZE: 5,148 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COMMUNITY: North Shoreview/Dore Cavanaugh
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81145428
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 44 days

Great home for first time buyers or investors! Spacious with large eat-in kitchen, formal living room and dining area plus a den. All with fresh paint and new carpet. Detached garage (partially converted) all on a corner lot.

Here’s what MS has to say about why this home deserves your attention.

imageHome was is occupied/partied in by relative’s sometimes violent descendants for years and years. The sheriff brought numerous backup units to evict "struggling family" terrorizing the neighborhood through October.

If you’re a potential owner-occupier, there are some of the best neighbors in North Shoreview right there. Change the locks, you should be good to go.




imageThere’s more excitement right at the corner of Mount Diablo. Yes, where the house is. Not enough? How about this friendly block party?

Plus, the garage is only partially converted, so you’ll only need obtain a partial permit to partially fix things with the city.

Best of all, you won’t be dealing with those troublesome relatives. All you have to do is convince the bank you want the house more than they do!

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

October 12, 2011

Drive way on the side of the property

Today’s listing was sent in by Burbed reader MS.  Thanks very much for this MUST SEE NOW in San Mateo!


1235 TERMINAL Pl, San Mateo, CA 94401


SQ. FT.: 1,040
$/SQ. FT.: $433
LOT SIZE: 4,050 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Traditional
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: North Shoreview/Dore Cavanaugh
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81114350
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 189 days

MUST SEE NOW! Completely remodeled 3 BR 2 full baths including a new roof, double pane windows, new kitchens cabinet, granite counter top and new stainless steel appliances. Pergo floor throughout the house, recessed lighting throughout the house, new interior, exterior paints. Detached two car garage. Drive way on the side of the property.

imageHere’s what MS had to say about this home:

This house is Really for Sale. It has really not sold in 170 days.

Actually it took a while to run this, so now it’s more than 190 days.

The house foreclosed at $260K, came BOM at $500K, and has been stuck at $450K for going on three months.  It is not selling because the flippers did not fix the obvious and did not take into account what could not be fixed.

  1. It’s very close to the 101 retaining wall.image
  2. The garage is an unpermitted conversion from a one-car to a two-car, is sagging, and backs right up to an alley shared with an chain-linked parking gate for a not-nice apartment building.image
  3. The crawl space goes about halfway through the house. How you get to the other half is unknown.
  4. The water heater and w/d hookups are in exposed enclosures outside.
  5. The neighbor across the street has an 18-foot junk mountain behind his fence with “beware of dog” sign. A mattress is perched at the apex.



I agree it’s never a good sign when the lead picture on MLS isn’t the front of the house.  But surprisingly, the front exterior is not the picture of most concern.  Here’s a look at the side and that unpermitted garage.


Hmmm.  The Redfin agent toured it four times and concluded:


imageAnd we haven’t even started looking inside yet!

The seller just isn’t thinking BIG enough.  Close to SF, close to Silicon Valley, close to biotech jobs, and really, really, really close to 101.

There’s a garage (with no access for a car) which you can instead use for the next Web 3.0 startup incubator opportunity.  Now all that’s needed is a Web 3.0 price and a reminder to drive way on the side of the property.  Way, way on the side.

I’m thinking… $995K.  Who’s in?

Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

July 27, 2011

This house is for “sale.” Honest.

It’s been far too long since we visited San Mateo, county seat of San Mateo County (we got that obvious tidbit from the Department of Redundancy Department, thank you Captain Obvious!)  Today’s Guest Blogger is Burbed reader MS, who has found a whole new definition of maximizing revenues.

Please give MS a warm, Real Bay Area welcome with today’s takedown of a San Mateo charmer!

1406 MONTE DIABLO Ave, San Mateo, CA 94401


SQ. FT.: 1,320
$/SQ. FT.: $356
LOT SIZE: 5,500 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: North Shoreview/Dore Cavanaugh
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81127572
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 34 days

Great home in San Mateo. Close to transportation, main freeways and schools. Three bedrooms, two bath, good size Master Bedroom and walking closet. Home is in good condition and at a great price!!!Open House Sunday, June 26 1-4pm

This 3/2 in Shoreview is priced attractively. Getting in to look at the whole property isn’t so easy. The main house has three separate tenants in it who cracked open their doors and left their rooms a sty. The garage houses at least another person who wouldn’t come out. The back-yard in-law houses yet two more who waved us away.

imageEach tenant in the main house pays 700 x 3 = 2100.

The couple who thought we were ICE = 1200.

The garage guys = 600.

Total in rent = 3900. My realtor and the listing agent were just shaking their heads. They’ve seen it a lot around here.

If there’s $3900 in rent coming in from five sources, why would someone short sell?

Why? Perhaps, theoretically, the time it buys a home “owner” to stop making payments and skate off the $4000/month in income he’s getting, all while whining about how the banks ripped off the little guy with the ’06 mortgage he took out.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am