January 30, 2013

Only $1.5 million in Portola Valley? No Way (side)

Today we have a real purty property in Portola Valley.  You know how we love expensive crap? Just crossing into this high-falutiin’ district will make your wallet squirm.  It’s expensive here even if the land doesn’t have a house.  So for this low (for PV) price, you know today’s feature will be good.  That is, if by “good” we mean something not so good.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for this find.

130129-redfin-wayside211 WAYSIDE Rd
Portola Valley, CA 94028
$1,499,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
2,340 Sq. Ft.
$641 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1925
Lot Size: 0.41 Acres
On Redfin: 190 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Community: Santa Maria/Russell Area
MLS#: 81227542
Style: Contemporary
View: Neighborhood
County: San Mateo

There are no remarks available.

Take it away, PG:

No wonder people outside the Bay Area think we are insane. Even with a Ferrari in the garage (picture #18), I can’t see the value in that one.

130129-wayside-kitchen130129-wayside-mbr130129-wayside-gym130129-wayside-garage

Sometimes, when life hands a real estate agent lemons, it’s best to keep one’s mouth shut. The eager buyer will bring the water, sugar and ice — then beg to be sold lemonade.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am






January 25, 2013

What the Hecking Heall in Healdsburg

It’s time for the weekend, so let’s end the workweek with one more whomp of Housing Win.  Burbed reader Tom Paine has a serious case of Whisky Tango Foxtrot for you to Foxtrot off with.

130124-big-redfin2150 big ridge Rd
Healdsburg, CA 95448
$925,000

0 Beds
1 Baths
— Sq. Ft.
Built: —
Lot Size: 80 Acres
On Redfin: 472 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Residential, Detached, Single Family
Stories: 1
County: Sonoma
Style: Other
Community: Healdsburg
MLS#: 21126715

NET ZERO – OFF THE GRID This 80 acres of pristine land with the ultimate view across Dry Creek Valley. This stunning virgin land awaits for the building of your ideal home with several buildling sites. A unique 1200 sq ft living structure with a 680 sq ft bedroom / mezanne.

When he sent this in, Tom observed:

It has a Mezanne! wHiCH Is LikE, waaaAY COOL!

Too bad it doesn’t have a bedroom.  Are we supposed to sleep on one of the buildling sites instead?  The mezanne doesn’t look comfortable.

130124-big-curvy130124-big-living130124-big-breadbox130124-big-trees

You can’t fool us.  This house is actually a giant-ass aluminum toaster.  Too bad it’s off the grid.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 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

December 5, 2012

Far from the maddening crowds [sic] in Napa County. Rural Napa County.

121122-blackfridayYou thought we forgot about our Black Friday Deals Deals DEALS? Of course not!  We’ll be throwing in our rock-bottom sale items whenever the mood strikes us, and right now, the mood slapped us silly while saying, “Hey, how about you find another Cheapest In The Whole County” item?  We’ve only got two counties in the Bay Area left, so today we’re headed up to the Whine Country!

Warning: This is definitely not The Real Bay Area.

121204-lariat-redfin205 LARIAT St
CA 94567
$89,900

3 Beds 
2.5 Baths 
2,504 Sq. Ft.
$36 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1993 
Lot Size: 0.74 Acres 
On Redfin: 181 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Residential, Single Family
View: Canyon, Hills, Mountain, Valley
MLS#: Lc12071394
Style: Two Level
County: Napa

Far from the maddening crowds. .. your own private sanctuary located in Berryessa Estates! This home features parquet flooring in the dining area and living room. The living room has a fireplace with bench seating, two decks on either side while offering open access to the dining area right off the kitchen. The Master is located on the main floor and also 121204-lariat-kitchenoffers access to one of the two decks. Master bath features jetted tub to chase the cares of the day away. Downstairs is an oasis with a large family room with pellet stove and 2 additional bedrooms, bath, laundry room and the patio. Decks overlook the valley, what a great way to unwind! True there is work to be done but if you’re seeking seclusion, put this property on your list and take advantage of this great price reduction!

True there is work to be done.  Maybe it could start with rounding up this home a city to go with its street address.

121204-lariat-stairsWhat else needs to be on your list?  That is, aside from the bills from Cal Fire, the problems with the water and sewer services, and the growing number of foreclosures in the area due to residents unable to pay the huge water and sewer service bills. And bonds.  And fines for sewage spills.

Looks like if you move here, you’ll be tied up with all these exciting challenges!  But not as challenging as the previous owners who bought it in 2004 for $355K and were lassoed into foreclosure seven years later! 

Now when we said this place was rural, we weren’t kidding. You’ll be getting along your little dogie for a spell finding the place.


View Larger Map

Now will someone give this realtard a copy of the Hardy novel

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

November 29, 2012

Two words that don’t go together: Marin and Cheap

121122-blackfridayWe’re continuing our DEALS DEALS DEALS all week long!  As we work our way further and further from our usual comfort zone, we’ll be visiting the entire Bay Area, or at least every county. 

Today we stop off at the one with a serious diversity shortage.  Yes, we’re talking Marin County, where diversity means there’s a redhead in your kid’s class.  And we’ve found you the absolute cheapest house in Marin.

121128-ocean-redfin57 Ocean View Ave
Dillon Beach, CA 94929
$275,000

Price 
2
Beds 
1
Baths  680 Sq. Ft.
$404 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1927  Lot Size: 1,830 Sq. Ft.  On Redfin: 351 days Status: Active
Property Type
Residential, Detached, Single Family
Stories
1
County
Marin
Style
Cottage
Community
Dillon Beach
MLS#
21131349

One level, no stairs.

121128-ocean-frontFour pictures, no trash.

1,830 square foot lot. Wow. When someone said they weren’t making any more land, guess whoever owned this property said, “Nuh uh! I’m going to build a bunch of tiny shacks and sell them on 1/9 acre lots and I’ll be rich, rich!”

Now if you want to be rich, rich as well, you had better start buying up property in Marin now.  Because right now certain neighborhoods in San Francisco are ultra-hot with all those well-paid high-tech engineers and social media purveyors and game-engine optimizers.  Now what do you think is going to happen when these people get married and have kids?

121128-ocean-satelliteWell, nothing.  But what do you think is going to happen when their oldest kids start turning four? They’re going to be out the door to the land of Safe Public Schools in time to register for Kindergarten. Watch Marin values skyrocket then.  You read it here first.

Remember, a little of something is better than renting a lot of nothing.  And today’s Black Friday Deal is about as little as you can get.  But it’s a little sliver 600 feet from the beach… and a little less of a walk every day!

121128-ocean-beachfront

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

October 17, 2012

RV Access Parking is a PLUS!

Today’s featured home was sent in by Burbed reader waiting_for_the_fall.  We’re delighted to receive it, not only because this is the first contribution from this long-time regular we’ve seen in a while (or maybe even ever), but also because it’s from a part of the Bay Area we don’t cover as often as Silicon Valley.  This house is in the East Bay, and a part we don’t get too many nominations for, and best of all, it’s selling for less than not a lot of money.

Remember, if a house is in Northern California, it too can be Burbable!  Send your favorites on in to one of the email addresses in the upper right corner.

121016-briarwood-zillow8633 Briarwood Ln
Dublin, CA 94568
$425,000

Zestimate® $406,121
Est. Mortgage $1,489/mo
Beds: 4
Baths: 2
Sqft: 1,338
Lot: 7,649 sq ft / 0.18 acres
Type: Single Family
Year built: 1963
On Zillow: 1030 days
MLS #: 40562786
View Virtual Tour (opens new tab)

This is a four bedroom/two bathroom home with 1338 sq. ft. The roof is approximately nine years old and Dual Pane Windows throughout. Plus Converted garage into a large beautiful family room w/storage. The living room has a gas burning fireplace. Huge private backyard with a large patio and tall trees. RV Access Parking is a PLUS!

121016-briarwood-livingHere’s what wftf said when sending us this place:

Will you please check out the price fluctuations on this craptastic house?  It made me dizzy reading the wild price gyrations on zillow.
And it is pending!

I give up.  The banks are winning.

Did you know you can’t spell wftf without wtf?  Because wtf is definitely the best reaction to the price gyrations on Zillow.

121016-briarwood-price-history

121016-briarwood-bedroomSo is this house in the Real Bay Area or isn’t it?  It more than doubled in the ten years between 1996 and 2005, but then… not so much.  Since buying this house for 630 big ones, the current owner has tried listing it at $674K just two years later, and then started throwing prices at the wall seeing if any of them would stick.  Not sticking in addition to $674K were just under $600K (with lucky 8s!!!), reducing it to $429K (just 3 months later). 

Price goes down, price goes up.  Plus at least four different agents, at four different brokers.  It all adds up to an eyepopping over thousand day old listing!

Then again, perhaps this lovely room is what’s keeping the buyers away, since it appears to have girl cooties.

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:11 am

September 4, 2012

An awesome opportunity to own this terrific value, 75% complete sold AS-IS

Welcome back from your three-day weekend!  That’s assuming you didn’t work all three days because you’re up against some arbitrary deadline.  And if you did, maybe you’re thinking you really need a vacation.  Today’s property is for you!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Dr. Jim for this superb bivouac in Big Sur!

120903-partington-redfin51422 PARTINGTON RIDGE Rd
Big Sur, CA 93920
$799,000

3 Beds 
3.5 Baths 
3,203 Sq. Ft.
$249 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2003 
Lot Size: 2.03 Acres 
On Redfin: 483 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Green Belt, Mountains, Canyon, Ocean
County: Monterey
Stories: 2
Community: North Big Sur Coast
MLS#: 81120578

The essence of Big Sur, an awesome opportunity, to own an amazing Big Sur retreat property. A private & serene location, on 2+ acres with dramatic vistas of the Pacific Ocean, along with the green and gold flowered hills of the rugged Big Sur Coast. This diamond in the rough, a terrific value, property being sold AS-IS. 2728 s. f. main house, is 75% complete, & a separate 480 s. f. cottage.

120903-partington-ocean-viewAnd here’s why Dr. Jim took the time to share this with you:

Just found your web site – love it!
What’s going on with this one?  The property history is bizarre.

Property history?  What about the tiny little pictures that don’t show the 25% of the house that isn’t complete?  Talk about an awesome opportunity… to take on someone else’s money pit!

120903-partington-exposed-beamBut Dr. Jim is right.  Head over to the Redfin link and check out that property history.  We’d include it here, but it goes on for so long that we literally cannot copy it into one screenshot. Instead we’ll send you over there to have a scavenger hunt, where you have to find the not-an-arms-length transaction, the foreclosure, the sale at more than twice the above asking price, and count the exact number of times it went pending.

And then there’s this, back when the property was sold 9 years ago (for more than today’s asking price), when those plans for a “2800 SQ FT DREAM HOME MOSTLY FLAT” hadn’t been acted on yet.

120903-partington-redfin-old-listing$940,000 Last Sold Price 
0 Beds 
1 Baths 
500 Sq. Ft.
$1,880 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1999 
Lot Size: 2 Sq. Ft. 
Sold On: Feb 25, 2004
HOA Dues: $655/month
Style: Cabin
View: Mountains, Canyon, Ocean
County: Monterey
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: North Big Sur Coast
MLS#: 80340955

PRIVACY, OCEAN AND CANYON VIEWS WITH THE COMFORT OF PAVED AND GATED ACCESS GARDENS BLOOM WITH FLOWERS ON 2.1 AC. APPROVED PLANS FOR 2800 SQ FT DREAM HOME MOSTLY FLAT. VIEWS OF THE OCEAN AND A NATIONAL PRESERVE WILL GUARANTEE YOU

Will guarantee you what?  Argh, this is like reading a mystery and someone tore the last page out of the book!  Maybe it’s “If you build it, the foreclosure will come.”

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

August 6, 2012

Our Peacock laid an Egg. On his face.

Here’s the denouement of a Burbed perennial, and best of all, it’s even in Mountain View!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader mabel du for giving this turkey one more roast with this fine guest post.

And speaking of birds, soon we’re going to have to talk Mountain View and Chik-Fil-A, but we did enough politics yesterday next door in Los Altos.  So please give mabel du a real, warm, RBA welcome as today’s Guest Blogger!


1755 PEACOCK Ave
Mountain View, CA 94043
Sold for $475,000 on 4/13/2012

120806-peacock-redfin

BEDS:  -
BATHS:  -
SQ. FT.:  -
LOT SIZE:  6,200 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Residential Land (Single Family)
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY:  North Shoreline
COUNTY:  Santa Clara
MLS#:  81138265
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Sold

Sale price includes building plans for 4 bedroom 3 bath home

Do you prefer a bath or a shower?

This flipper-to-be sure took a bath in his bubblicious real estate gamble.  A fun bubble bath?    Not so much.

Plans to feather his nest ran afowl when he ate more than $200k to unload this rotten egg, and that ain’t chicken scratch.   Buyers didn’t flock in as hoped, so after hovering for years on a wing and a prayer he finally ended the drag and landed a buyer.

Purchased for in 2007 for $674K, dropped more cash to remove the previous crapshack, finally sold for $475 in 2012.  I don’t think that’s how RE investments are supposed to work, certainly not in the RBA.

To wax nostalgic on this oldie but goodie, let’s revisit previous Burbed entries for this 4H fowl failure:

Sept 8, 2011: This Peacock is looking a little less proud

120806-peacock-reprise-110908

 Click to see the other entries:  (more…)

Comments (3) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

June 21, 2012

Auction Ends Last Week… or BUY IT NOW

You’ve heard of eBay, right?  If you have something to sell, you can put a picture or five of your item on eBay and wait for the overbids to start racking up.  But sometimes, you just want to have the silly thing sold without the annoyance of setting a minimum bid or being sued for someone sniping someone else’s bid, or finding out your high bidder is expecting you to ship 100 jigsaw puzzles to Estonia for the $8 shipping fee you cleverly padded onto the final asking price.

We’ve covered houses going up for auction before, but this is the first one we’ve seen with another eBay feature.  Thanks very much to Michael Boltonestater for this wonderful wealthsink in Woodside.

320 HARCROSS Rd
Woodside, CA 94062
$12,950,000

120619-harcross-redfin

120620-harcross-facadeBEDS: 7
BATHS: 8
SQ. FT.: 10,010
$/SQ. FT.: $1,294
LOT SIZE: 5 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: French
120620-harcross-overheadSTORIES: 3
VIEW: Bay, Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT: 1929
COMMUNITY: Woodside Hills
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81124548
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
120620-harcross-gardenON REDFIN: 383 days

AUCTION June 14 Starting Bid $7.9M Buy It Now for $12,950M “Le Soleil” a spectacular, c1920′s French Chateau, majestically set on 5+/- acres of exquisitely-landscaped grounds within sought-after-Woodside in the heart of Silicon Valley. Restored and renovated w/ modern amenities the estate features 7BDS, 7BATHS expansive terraces, tennis court, pool/spa and vineyards. Near 2 international airports

120619-harcross-buyitnowYes, you did read that correctly.  “Buy it now for $12,950M”  Funny, “Mary & Brent” doesn’t sound particularly French.

But the price in the listing copy isn’t the only thing French about “Le Soleil.”  Because it’s just as French to not particularly care if the auction went ahead last week, or got delayed until October.  Remember, the French word for mañana is lendemain, but it doesn’t have quite the same sense of urgency.

120620-harcross-concierge-auction

120620-harcross-facade-2120620-harcross-poolThis has got to be the first “Was $21M” house we’ve ever seen with postage-stamp-sized MLS photos.  Every single exterior shot is under 200 pixels.  Maybe they are postage stamps and we’ll be seeing them on wedding invitations all summer.

As to real property that you can Buy it Now on eBay?  Here’s something we swear we are not making up.

120619-nevada-ebay

Okay, you can put this one on your American Express card, but is it near 2 International airports?

Comments (22) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

June 4, 2012

Why pay more in Silicon Valley? You can pay more anywhere!

Tired of high prices in Palo Alto and its environs?  Don’t lower your standards, broaden them! After all, with the return of the housing bubble, you can pay high prices all over the Bay Area!  And some sellers think you’ll be willing to pay high prices at the very edges of the Bay Area.  You’ll know housing insanity has returned when you see a house like this one for a price this, um, dreamy.

Many thanks to Burbed reader Tom Paine for passing along this super spread in Sebastopol!

2881 Scotts Right Of Way
Sebastopol, CA 95472
$898,500

120523-scotts-redfin

BEDS: 3
BATHS: 3
SQ. FT.: 2,567
$/SQ. FT.: $350
LOT SIZE: 1.82 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Residential, Detached, Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Golf Course, Greenbelt, Vineyard
YEAR BUILT: 1974
COMMUNITY: Sebastopol
COUNTY: Sonoma
MLS#: 21101823
SOURCE: BAREIS
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 488 days

Unique property on almost 2.0 Acres. The home is located over looking the Sebastopol Golf Course to the South and grapes to the North. Horse facility for at least 5 horses, tack room, paddocks, stalls, and more. The backyard is landscaped and includes a beautiful pool and spa with a waterfall. Private driveway.

120523-scotts-fireplaceListed almost a year and a half ago for $998,500 and still on the market after a $100K reduction! Maybe it hasn’t sold yet because the right buyer hasn’t toured the house yet.  The kind of person who buys a house like this probably is cross-shopping Palo Alto.  The driveway (above) is just like what you get in fine Palo Alto houses, as is the excellent living room.

And just look at the kitchen!  Ready for your gourmet recipes, yum, yum, yum.  Then when you’re all cleaned up after dinner, well, lights out!

120523-scotts-kitchen120523-scotts-bedroom

Plus a really memorable street name, if by “memorable” we actually mean “wow, that is incredibly stupid.”

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am