April 11, 2012

$200K in upgrades means $304K markup!

Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer week continues, this time right in the heart of San Jose!  No, not downtown, silly.  Santa Row!  The Real San Jose!

334 SANTANA Row #300
San Jose, CA 95128


BATHS: 2.5
SQ. FT.: 2,042
$/SQ. FT.: $636
HOA DUES: $620/month
LOT SIZE: 435 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Condominium
STYLE: Modern/High Tech
STORIES: 1-3 (Low Rise)
VIEW: Neighborhood
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81202429
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 77 days

Santana Row Villa space at a great loft price! Over 2,000 sf on just 2 floors! ~$200k in upgrades, including, remodeled kitchen with high end all-European appliances, remodeled bathrooms with Japanese soaking tub, 3 parking spaces, and more.

120409-santana-kitchenBurbed has visited Santana Row before, and it was thanks to PG that we discovered something very exciting about the real estate over there: All of the Santana Row condos that sold new in 2005 and ‘06 have dropped around 40% in value since then.  That article last May featured twenty separate units for sale or recently sold, and all but one of them showed some homedebtors taking pretty serious haircuts.

120409-santana-bedroomAll but one.  This one.  Because this one is Special.  It’s so Special, you can still get it at the 2011 asking price!  How’s that for Special?  It’s so Special that despite selling new for $996,000 in the wild, heady, bubbly days of June, 2006, and despite the $200K in upgrades, it’s now worth more than $300K than it was six years ago!  Or at least this seller thinks that’s the best way to recover all those monthly $600 HOA fees.

This unit does come with three parking spaces, which is one thing in limited quantities here.  We suggest you snap this place up for that reason alone.  You’ll make your investment back within ten years just from renting out the spaces.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

April 10, 2012

You’ll appreciate the lower cost Santa Clara-owned utilities

Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer week continues, now featuring this fine find in superb Santa Clara! Who needs to drive all the way to San Francisco for overpriced property when you can do that in your own backyard?  But it’s hot, hot, HOT in the Valley too!  This is place not only went pending in five days, the listing photos were yanked down everywhere I looked.

Thank Woz for Movoto!

3086 Arthur Ct
Santa Clara, CA 95051 


Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Size: 1,104 sqft
Type: Single Family House
Year Built: 1954
Lot Size: 5,148
Days on Movoto: 14 days
Neighborhood: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81210711
Status: Off Market
Views: 58

This contemporary-style hm on a cul-de-sac has ample natural lighting w/many windows&skylights*warm wood ceilings in the living rm&kitchen add to the ambiance*fully fencedyard(incl front)offers privacy&outdoor areas to use*you’ll appreciate the lower cost Santa Clara-owned utilities & award-winning Cupertino schools*convenient location for freeways,shopping&parks*Shows nicely too!

120405-arthur-livingroomPoor Movoto.  Seems all they’re good for is for finding expired listings that everyone else dutifully removed when asked.  Burbed readers send in links to housing finds using Redfin, Zillow, Trulia, ZipRealty, even Realtor.com. 

It’s been a long, long time since a contribution linked to Movoto, and they once were the Official Burbed Listing Link.  Does anyone use them? This poor house only had 58 views, and 54 of them were probably from our putting today’s feature together.

Anyway, the listing copy demonstrates the usual proof that real estate agents are highly-esteemed professionals.  And while you’re trying to decipher that copy, enjoy these photos, after the break.  Someone associated with this house may be asking Movoto to take them down real soon now.


Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

April 9, 2012

A perfect pied-a-terre, if you only stand on one foot

San Francisco continues to be hot hot HOT, with just about everything getting offers no matter what the problem may be.  That’s bad news for buyers but great news for Burbed readers.  Agents will put anything on the MLS figuring they can sell it!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for this find in the Civic Center area!  In fact, we’d like to thank Petsmart Groomer so much for so many quality submissions. With the official opening of the Spring Selling Season, this is going to be Petsmart Groomer WEEK.

83 McAllister St #305
San Francisco, CA 94102


SQ. FT.: 252
$/SQ. FT.: $853
HOA DUES: $285/month
PROPERTY TYPE: Condominium, Studio
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: City Lights
COMMUNITY: Van Ness/Civic Center
COUNTY: San Francisco
MLS#: 393741
SOURCE: San Francisco MLS
STATUS: Pending
ON REDFIN: 52 days

A beautifully restored landmark in the heart of the City’s evolving cultural, arts & entertainment district; built in 1908 & completely remodeled in 2006, The Book Concern Bldg blends classic architecture w/ contemporary loft-style living, featuring anopen interior, artful decor & high ceilings. This corner unit boasts lg windows, fantastic urban outlooks, hdwd flooring, Murphy Bed & stainless steel counter & sink. Laundry facility & fitness center in bldg. Secured bldg w/ electronic access to entry & elevator. Perfect pied-a-terre in the city! Enjoy city living just a few blocks from Union Square, transportation & world-class restaurants & shopping all at your fingertips!

120405-mcallister-bigroomLet’s review some of this listing copy, shall we?

in the heart of the City’s evolving cultural, arts & entertainment district:

The key word here is “evolving,” which means in the realtard’s wildest dreams, this building fronts onto Union Square or the Opera House, but in reality it’s much closer to the stripper bars.

120405-mcallister-sinkbuilt in 1908 & complete remodeled in 2006

This is an overly creative use of the “YEAR BUILT” field in MLS.  And by “overly creative” I actually mean “pants on fire.”

blends classic architecture w/contemporary loft-style living

Really old building with high ceilings and even higher prices

120405-mcallister-windowanopen interior, artful décor & high ceilings

You thought I was joking about the high ceilings?  They just mean it will cost you a fortune to heat or cool the place.

This corner unit

Traffic from TWO different streets!

boasts lg windows, fantastic urban outlooks,

This is the neighborhood for urban outlooks.  Panhandlers, hookers, pimps, drunken bar hoppers, it’s all here!

120405-mcallister-bathroomhdwd flooring, Murphy Bed & stainless steel counter & sink.

Be the star of your own zany movie!

Secured bldg w/ electronic access to entry & elevator.

It’s got locks and a keycard.

Perfect pied-a-terre in the city!

All 252 square feet!  It sure isn’t a pieds-a-terre!

120405-mcallister-fakeskyEnjoy city living just a few blocks from Union Square,

A few very important blocks.

transportation & world-class restaurants

If you can walk there safely at night, because the cabs won’t stop here.

& shopping all at your fingertips!

If you have an internet connection, you have shopping all at your fingertips, but don’t let that rain on the Market Street Parade you’re facing in the wrong direction to see from this tiny studio.

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

April 3, 2012

Palo Alto duplex home is 2 units $1950 each or maybe $1500

Real estate is a great investment that can pay you to live in your house.  That is, it pays you to live in your house if you rent some of it out.  Here’s an investment opportunity too good to miss from Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer.

3799 PARK Blvd
Palo Alto, CA 94306


SQ. FT.: 2,236
$/SQ. FT.: $514
LOT SIZE: 6,930 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81207935
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 30 days

Duplex home set up as a two separate units of 1,100sq feet each rents for $1,950. 1 level is a 2 bedrooms/2 baths and the other unit is a 1 bedroom/1 bath rents for $1,500 on a month to month. 1 car garage is rented for $100 a month. Home can be shown by appt only every TuesdayRight fence to be fixed before close of escrow.

imageThe market is hot, hot, HOT here at Ground Zero of the Google-Facebook Nexus.  I don’t understand why this one hasn’t been snatched up yet.

Any ideas why some dot.com entrepreneur hasn’t moved into one unit, rented out the other, did some internets magic in this amazing Garage, and raked in the Profit?

Is it because the listing copy has even Redfin too befuddled to compute a rent ratio?

If we just add up all the dollar amounts mentioned above, we get $1149000 / ($1950 + $1500 + $100) * 12 = 26.97.  That ratio would say “RENT!” anywhere but in Palo Alto.  Here, just getting the privilege to bid on a neglected rental property in a dynamic neighborhood right on the cusp of High Speed Rail is such an honor, the agent won’t show you the inside.  Even though today is Tuesday.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

March 28, 2012

* * * NO MORE OFFERS PLEASE !!! * * *

120324-sf-sold-redfinHave you heard?  The housing market is hot, hot, hot!  So many finds have that red PENDING banner smacked across the first picture because there’s so little inventory available (see chart).  That means even a Burbed-worthy home may get more love from overbidders than from, well, Burbed.  You would not believe how many homes that belong on the front page are snapped up and have their listings wiped clean off Redfin before we can even get the IP wrapper off our email.

But that’s great news for you, Burbed readers!  If the market is this hot, that means more and more crapboxes will be listed with no attempt to put any lipstick on those pigs.  And that means we are assured there’ll be plenty of prime content!  Like today’s OMG THAT’S PENDING WTF? listing from Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer.  Thanks very much for this listing that left many parts in San Francisco.

1261 Sanchez St
San Francisco, CA 94114


SQ. FT.: 885
$/SQ. FT.: $734
LOT SIZE: 1,999 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Cottage
COUNTY: San Francisco
MLS#: 40558309
STATUS: Pending Court Confirmation
ON REDFIN: 66 days

* * * NO MORE OFFERS PLEASE !!! * * * Cute home with full garage/workshop. Backyard and patio. Loads of potential !!! Fixer, reflected in price. ..

120324-sanchez-porchHere’s a perfect example of a house that doesn’t need any effort by a listing agent.  It’s in Noe Valley, so just let the new buyer deal with any deferred maintenance.  What do you want, this place was standing when The Big One hit in 1906 and it’s still here!

This home requires Court Confirmation to sell, so buying it will require some legal advice as well.  And that’s not the realtard’s problem.  You want this house?  You should have been overbidding in January.

Now, a small amount of cleanup might be required.  Take a good look at these pictures, because the agent couldn’t even be bothered to move the smallest little distractions out of the framing.  What is up with all those bottles in the kitchen?  It doesn’t matter.  This market is HOT!

So, see if you can come up with a good story for each of these items.


The rest of the photos are to assure you of Burbed’s Good Housekeeping “Tag of Approval.”  Some of you Negative Nellies might object that the living room and bedroom do not demonstrate good housekeeping at all.  But, ah, the garage!


Comments (28) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

March 20, 2012

Downtown SF Living for an Amazingly Low Price!

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for finding one of those listings that seems like such a steal, you’ll be grabbing onto your wallet and wondering what the catch is.  Why, the catch is this consummate condo!  Why don’t you grab it before it gets away?

690 Market St #303
San Francisco, CA 94104


BATHS: 1.5
SQ. FT.: 1,275
$/SQ. FT.: $82
PROPERTY TYPE: Luxury, Tenancy In Common
STYLE: Contemporary, Modern/High Tech
VIEW: City Lights, San Francisco, Downtown
COMMUNITY: Financial District
COUNTY: San Francisco
MLS#: 393305
SOURCE: San Francisco MLS
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 47 days

Live without limits in one of the world’s most romantic cities. Located in the celebrated Chronicle Building, The Ritz-Carlton Club San Francisco offers one, two and three-bedroom fractional ownership residences coupled with casually elegant service and amenities including valet parking, personal concierge, private fitness and member storage, daily housekeeping, residents’ lounge and more. This luxurious residence is 1,275 square feet with one bedroom and one and one-half bathrooms. Fine finishings such as a fully equipped chef’s kitchen, complete entertainment center, Italian marble bathrooms and wine storage come standard. The Ritz-Carlton Club San Francisco enjoys a pristine location in Union Square and is one hour from Napa Valley.

120319-market-streetsceneWhatever could possibly go wrong here?  Sure, Market Street is busy 24 hours a day and this unit is on the third floor, but the City sounds (as well as the smells) are what you’re signing up for when you buy a place in Baghdad by the Bay, right?  And the $1,398 monthly homeowner fees might come as a surprise after you slapped down the purchase price in cash, expecting to move in and only pay a pittance in property taxes.

But note that phrase “fractional ownership residences.”  That means this isn’t your condo.  Or rather, it isn’t just your condo.  You’ll be sharing it with some other people, and the listing doesn’t bother specifying how many.  For all you know, you get to use this condo from 4 to 6 am on alternate Thursdays in months without an R during Leap Years.

And it gets even better.  This yours-some-of-the-time pied-a-terre, located close to Nordstrom and lots of homeless people, is bank-owned!

But the good news is the whatever-it-is-they’re-selling comes with a parking space, so you ought to overbid twice asking.  Have you ever tried parking around here?

120319-market-ladderHere’s unit #301 in the same building, with an asking price half of this one, for three weeks a year.  It’s been sitting all by its lonesome for almost a year (maybe the three weeks are already up).  However, #301 is in an alternate 690 Market Street, which only has 49 units in the building, while #303 has 101 units.  Good thing this 690 Market will give you so many more fractional neighbors!

Can anyone find out how much you get to “use” #303, as opposed to merely “owning” it?  Can anyone figure out how many laws of physics were violated by these two condos (with the same photos) appearing on the same website?

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

March 13, 2012

Real Pride of Ownership in Santa Clara

Here’s a Santa Clara twofer for you, as we stay in The Mission City for a second day.  This is a fine submission from Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer that should convince you to stop renting and start owning before you are PRICED OUT FOREVER.

Santa Clara, CA 95051


SQ. FT.: 1,104
$/SQ. FT.: $679
LOT SIZE: 6,090 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COMMUNITY: Santa Clara
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81205842
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 26 days

Come see this wonderful home in Santa Clara with real pride of ownership. This is a move in ready home with nothing for you to do! Enjoy the updated kitchen, remodeled bathroom, hardwood floors under the carpet, a beautiful pool and spa and more. The neighborhood gets very little traffic and in the Cupertino School District (Eisenhower Elementary and Hyde Middle School).


Yeah.  Definitely nothing for you to do with this place.  Just be ready to move in, and you won’t ever need any coffee in the morning as this kitchen décor is going to wake you no matter how late you were up.

Also, the listing copy above mentions how little traffic the neighborhood gets, so maybe we should have a look at the neighborhood.

Perhaps it’s because the three-story townhouses that loom over the backyard are all populated by Neighborhood Watch enthusiasts.


120312-claremont-solarMore good news: this house appears to have some solar panels, and they are perfectly sited with a southern exposure.  They’re also perfectly sited not to overheat or generate excess capacity, thanks to those townhouses blocking the harmful winter UV rays.

And if you want to know more about that housing development over the back fence, Burbed has already paid them a couple of visits, both to a townhouse and the (genius!) detached single family house tucked into a high density complex.  That means your back fence neighbor is one of two dueling Lords of the Manor.

Looks like there’s lots of Real Pride of Ownership for everyone to share!

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

March 6, 2012

UPDATED: New Construction in Mountain View! Really, really new!

Here’s a fantastic find from Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for your Super Tuesday pleasure.  Almost anything with a Mountain View address is going to sell in a New York minute, so imagine how Rocky Mountain High the overbidding will go with a brand new house!

The new UPDATE is at the bottom, with more pictures!

Mountain View, CA 94043


BATHS: 4.5
SQ. FT.: 3,235
$/SQ. FT.: $464
LOT SIZE: 5,001 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Modern/High Tech, Contemporary
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: North Shoreline
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81205009
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 25 days

Here’s why Petsmart Groomer sent this house in for some Burbed loving:

120305-stierlin-livingroomDefinitely where people want to spend $1.5M: Walking distance to Social Services Agency.

That sounds really handy.  Pick up your disability check and your government cheese without needing to borrow a shopping cart from the Safeway.

And we can see from the 25 photos of the house that the inside is just loving its close-up.  Wonder why the outside was so shy?  Nary a shot of the house or the grounds.  Let’s see if Google Streetview can help.


Looks like the Googlecam is overdue for a neighborhood spin.  Fortunately, there’s a Virtual Tour available.  And I do suggest you check this one out, because it has dozens and dozens of pictures not found on the listing.  The Virtual Tour is not afraid to show us what the house looks like.  Click on through to see those pictures and so much more!


Comments (25) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:12 am

February 28, 2012

Feel the WOW!

Silicon Valley may seem like the the only economic engine driving California in 2012, but let’s not forget there’s other places to live in the Bay Area.  Many of the high-paying jobs in San Francisco are in the same industry as those 50 miles south, which means many of you could consider living in a real city. 

Yet downtown SF and environs is everything that Santa Clara County is not: hip, cool, exciting and not a front lawn to be seen for miles.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for this eye-popping penthouse in SoMa.

1160 Mission St #2313
San Francisco, CA 94103


SQ. FT.: –
PROPERTY TYPE: Luxury, Condominium, Penthouse
STYLE: Contemporary
VIEW: Panoramic, City Lights, Water, Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, Downtown, Hills
COMMUNITY: South of Market
COUNTY: San Francisco
MLS#: 392733
SOURCE: San Francisco MLS
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 45 days

Feel the WOW! factor as you step into this dazzling Philippe Starck-style top floor corner penthouse with super-luxury finishes throughout and sensational views from City Hall to the Downtown Skyline and Bay!Fantastic location close to Twitter, Zynga, Google and other red-hot technology companies in SOMA’s booming, world-famous technology center- AND close to Opera House and Davies Symphony Hall. 2 parking/ EXTRA high ceilings/$800K+ (per owner) custom designer finishes/high-end built-in audio-visual systems/motorized shades/stainless VIKING gas stove, refrigerator and wine fridge/Bosch dishwasher/Studio Becker kitchen and MORE!Full service building with fabulous Club Room, outdoor plaza with firepit, gym, 24-hr security & concierge-a MUST SEE!


Here’s what motivated Petsmart Groomer to share this place with the greater Burbed community:

What cracked me up… "$800K+ (per owner) custom designer finishes"
Bought 2 years ago for $1,145,000, on the market now for $2M.

Plus a firepit.  I’m feeling that WOW! factor already.  I thought you had to buy in Sunnyvale to get one of those.

120226-mission-tiesAnd, you also get 2 parking with EXTRA high ceilings.  That’s for buyers who absolutely must garage their London double-decker busses.

But those $800K+ (per owner) customer designer finishes mean this 1,613 sf condo (per county records) should be worth at least $8K more than as originally furnished.  Good luck with that wishing price.

The best example of the WOW! factor? $851.38 monthly homeowners dues.  You’ll feel the WOW! every time you write that check along with the mortgage.  Buy with Redfin and save $22,478.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:29 am

February 13, 2012

Unfinished century old cottage: It does not get better than this in our opinion!

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for this, um, property with views, views, views.

115 Telegraph Hill Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94133


SQ. FT.: –
PROPERTY TYPE: Single-Family Home
VIEW: Panoramic, City Lights, Water, Bay, Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Downtown, Park, Garden/Greenbelt, Woods, Hills, Mountains
COMMUNITY: Telegraph Hill
COUNTY: San Francisco
MLS#: 373325
SOURCE: San Francisco MLS
STATUS: Contingent – Show
ON REDFIN: 572 days

REDUCED ON 9/2/2011 BY $500K!!! Rare Opportunity to purchase a large RH-3 Panoramic View Parcel at the Crest of Famed Telegraph Hill. Panoramic Vistas, including the Golden Gate Bridge, SF Bay & Bay Bridge, Dramatic City Skyline, Coit Tower and Historic Pioneer Park. The cottage on the parcel is unfinished. THE OWNER IS MOTIVATED TO SELL QUICKLY! Nearby Homes are valued at over $10MM and are architecturally significant. BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME OR HOMES/MULTI-CONDOMINIUMS! Walk Score of 95! A Short Distance to The Financial District, North Beach, The North Waterfront, Bay Club and Key Transportation Corridors. Just steps away from the Renowned Grace Marchant Gardens and World Famous Coit Tower! It does not get better than this in our opinion!

120208-telegraph-coitHere’s why PG sent this one in:

555 days on the market. If only the buyers were as motivated…

Somebody was motivated.  It’s pending.  Took them long enough (and a 14% price reduction).  But why would they sell a “view parcel” and not mention how big it is?  Makes it a little difficult to build an “architecturally significant” place to fit in with the neighborhood if you don’t know whether the lot is 4000 feet or 40.

However, looking at the lot, perhaps we can infer the size by getting information from another home on the same block.  The map of the immediate neighborhood is below.

Unfortunately, this may not be the lot we are looking for.  The outlined parcel below is on Genoa Place, not Telegraph Hill.  Even more bizarre, the Redfin link to this property is:


No wonder nobody knows how big it is, nobody knows WHERE it is.


Here’s where Zillow says we should look:


I can’t find the cottage, though.  Maybe it’s cowering under the trees for fear someone will BUILD THEIR DREAM HOME OR HOMES/MULTI-CONDOMINIUMS!

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am