September 23, 2013

Complete fixer could be charming

Today’s entry doesn’t mince any words. It also disdains the use of exterior photography for the cover shot.

130923-stjames-redfin288 SAINT JAMES Dr
Piedmont, CA 94611
$950,000

3 Beds
2.5 Baths
2,227 Sq. Ft.
$427 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1927
Lot Size: 0.29 Acres
On Redfin: 10 days
Status: Active
Type:Detached
Stories: 2
Community: Piedmont
MLS#: 40631365
Style: Normandy
View: Wooded
County: Alameda

Complete fixer in good location on large parcel. Could be very charming needs everything.

Oh, how cute. Now they’re running real estate ads in The New Yorker. Guess they have to hire cartoonists when this what it really looks like.

130923-stjames-photo130923-stjames-kitchen130923-stjames-wtf130923-stjames-srsly-wtf

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:01 am






September 8, 2013

Department of Duh: More House for Your Money in East Bay

And now we present yet another story about people having to move to the East Bay and insisting that it was a great idea.

Families flee S.F. for East Bay with cheaper homes

130907-flight-smithCarolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle
Updated 9:45 pm, Saturday, September 7, 2013

"Family flight" out of San Francisco is nothing new. But now, real estate prices in the city have risen so steeply – much more so than in the East Bay – that there’s an extra incentive for longtime San Francisco homeowners to cash out their equity and head across the bay seeking more house for less money.

After 20 years in San Francisco, John Perryand Rob Picciotto, along with their children, Ben and Louisa, and three dogs, transplanted themselves to Oakland. "I didn’t think we would ever leave San Francisco, but a convergence of things made us consider moving," said Perry.

In 1998, Perry and Picciotto had stretched to buy their Bernal Heights house and make it work as their family grew. In June it sold for more than triple what they’d paid, a windfall that allowed them to pay cash for a less expensive house in Oakland’s Leona Heights neighborhood in the hills above Mills College.

"We don’t have a mortgage anymore, which is awesome," Perry said. "We doubled our square footage on more than an acre of land, and have phenomenal neighbors. Oakland is so diverse; it’s a whole new world to learn and explore. There’s more space, more mix."

We’ve pointed out many times in the past that the East Bay was not part of the Real Bay Area because it hasn’t benefitted from the same batshit insane price increases found in places West of the Bay. Outmigration serves as a release valve on the price hikes. When SF gets too expensive compared to Oakland or Walnut Creek (two places mentioned as where SF sellers moved to), people will move East because they get more house for the money.

Three things of note from this article:

  1. Moving from SF to Silicon Valley will NOT gain you a damned thing.  The prices have gone up just as much in Googleville.  These bargains are only to be found in the Nickle and Dime or Nine and a Quarter area codes.
  2. The exact same newspaper has a another feature on how the batshit insane SF home prices are leveling off, which isn’t exactly demonstrated by this piece.
  3. San Francisco has fewer residents under 18, by percentage, than any other major city.  This really still remains as a Family Flight From ‘Frisco story. The only difference is more people moving to Montclair instead of Marin.

This is also your Weekend Open Thread. Are you considering moving further afield because trading up where you already live is too expensive?

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:06 am

October 27, 2012

Mountain View: A Super Fun Site

Thought all those problems with toxic groundwater and Superfund site cleanup was in the past? Guess again.

121026-epa-mewmap

Turns out that parts of Mountain View are still dealing with problems from the TCE from not one but two different plumes.  What kind of problems?  Well, a higher incidence of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma than expected, according to the California Cancer Registry.

Now MEW can mean two different realty problems. Not only does it stand for Mortgage Equity Withdrawal, it also is an acronym for Middlefield-Ellis-Whisman, the area the EPA is monitoring for vapor intrusion.  You see, there is too such a thing as being on the Wrong Side of Middlefield.

121026-epa-hangar1TCE (Tricoroethylene), a cleaning solvent that’s been sitting in the ground since the early days of the semiconductor industry, is the apparent culprit.  Oh yeah, and the military dumped it as well.  Vapor intrusion is when these chemicals lead to outgassing into buildings over the TCE plume in the ground.  Researchers note it’s difficult to clean up because the area near Moffett Field is made up of… well, mud. 

There is good news.  The plume is migrating toward the Bay, away from residences.  There’s also bad news: the plume is migrating toward the Bay.

Do you live near any of these problem areas, or know someone who does? How much would you overbid for the opportunity to meet cute EPA scientists or cancer researchers?

Or if this topic is way too depressing for you, talk about anything you’d like in this Open Thread.  When you’re not worried about getting cancer from TCE, there’s always the Fantasy Slut League, coming to a high school near you!

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

November 13, 2011

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves: The Third Tier Zip Codes

What will it take to make the zip code series stop?  Lots and lots and lots of quality submissions!  So until you send in your best guest post EVEH, we’ll be running these wonderful lists and photos for the next few hundred Sundays or until we run out of data, by which time Forbes (if they’re still a going concern) will have the 2012 list ready.  But look on the bright side.  No more annoying maps like last year!

Today we look at all the Northern California entries in Forbes Most Expensive Zip Codes 2011: The Top 100 of the Bottom 400.

Previous entries in this year’s series:

Quick recap: Forbes messed up their data even worse than usual this year, plus many areas on last year’s list have completely disappeared without explanation.  We add in the comparison to last year’s rankings and find the “most expensive” house (if it’s findable) that Forbes mentions for each entry.  While Forbes doesn’t seem that interested in hearing from their readers (registration is required), Altos Research, who did the number-crunching, loves talking data.  They’ve responded to a couple of my concerns here.

Here we go, numbers 101-200, which are now under the Million and a Half Median!  How Low do we have to go to sink under a million?  Remember, this is the Third Tier, so Real Bay Area (RBA) bragging rights are gone (except for some exceptions).

#106: Alamo 94507

  • imageMedian Home Price: $1,396,000
  • Median Price Change: -7.8%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 134
  • Inventory: 134 102
  • Rank in 2010: #101 (-5 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $11.8 Million (322 Lark Lane)

This high-end (for the East Bay) location south of Walnut Creek is stuck in atop the third tier right where it belongs, just a few spots above Newport Beach.  This luxury home that looks more like an administration building kind of says it all.  Free architectural clue: It’s the windows that make this place a façade fail.

A new $13.8 million property has come on the market since the Forbes article ran, and it has a more traditional (and attractive) look, in the classic “Let’s build a French country estate in Contra Costa County” style.

Plenty more to enjoy after the break!  In fact, we promise the very next one is a Burbed favorite, so click on through.

(more…)

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

November 6, 2011

Non-RBA Poseurs Not Priced Enough for Top 50

imageIn a previous article, we profiled the Northern California cities that hit the Forbes 50 Most Expensive Zip Codes out of 500 of those suckahs.  But we only care about the ones where the weather is nice, sushi is abundant, and you can get stock options without being the CEO.

These are the Zips that didn’t make the Top 50.  Forbes didn’t think they were worthy of home listing photos, so I had to dig them up myself.  And let’s remind Forbes about their messing up their detail data, what with every single DOM value set to 200.

Should any of these zips be allowed in the RBA?

#51: Los Altos 94024

  • imageMedian Home Price: $1,895,000
  • Median Price Change: -36.3%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 119
  • Inventory: 119 43
  • Rank in 2010: #18 (-33 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $5.5 Million (12445 Hilltop Rd)

Forbes avoided last year’s screwup with this zip by simply not admitting Los Altos Hills exists in 94024 this year.  Last year LA and LAH had identical data and ranks.  This year they screwed up by picking a property in Los Altos Hills as most expensive.  The most expensive I can find in Los Altos proper is this one (whose photo appears at right) at $4M.

And there’s plenty more, after the break!

(more…)

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

September 23, 2011

Line Drawing of a House for Less than a Million!

Some homes are built on spec and the builder hopes for a sucker purchaser before construction is complete.  Sometimes an owner builds a Dream House and runs out of money along the way.  In both cases, a sketch of what the finished construction will look like is of great help in trying to sell the place.

Your job today is find out why this house has a courtroom artist’s rendering instead of photos.

 

23 Monte Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611
$899,000

image

BEDS: 3
BATHS: 3
SQ. FT.: 1,978
$/SQ. FT.: $454
LOT SIZE: 6,250 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Craftsman
STORIES: 3+
VIEW: Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge
YEAR BUILT: 1923
COMMUNITY: Central Piedmont
COUNTY: Alameda
MLS#: 40543313
SOURCE: EBRD
STATUS: New
ON REDFIN: 1 day
NEW LISTING (24 HOURS)

Light and bright brown shingle located on one of Piedmont’s most beautiful streets. Amazing opportunity.

This is a mystery, all right.  Expensive town, great school district, bridge views, yet a one sentence listing with not one photo.  Here’s the Streetview:

image

imageThis house is so guilty it’s hiding behind the shrubbery.  Look, it’s even hiding from the eye in the sky using another tree!  Maybe there’s a courtroom sketch because you’re going to have to come downtown and bail it out.

imageDid they not draw the inside of the house because the seller doesn’t feel like cleaning up?  Is this house the serf hut for the bigger dark brown house on its right?   Is Burbed going to lose all credibility featuring a house in the East Bay?

So many questions, such amazing opportunity!

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:31 am

October 31, 2010

The Most Expensive Zip Codes – The Series You Hate, The Cities You Loathe

Welcome to Part 5 of the least popular series ever on burbed, ever.  You’re welcome.  Forbes thanks you too, since we’re making fun of their mistakes when they wrote an article on the 500 most expensive zips, and hired Altos Research to do their data crunching.

Here are the first four parts for you masochists who can’t get enough numbers, maps, and boring fascinating statistics.

Today we’re going to cover the zips ranked 151-200.  But to reduce the complaining just a tiny bit, we’ll leave out anywhere that isn’t within reasonable commuting distance to the Googleplex.  Actually if I left out everywhere more than 10 miles from Google we’d only have four cities today, which might not be such a bad thing.

image #151 – 94306 Palo Alto

Median Home Price: $1,270,424
Median Price Change: 4%
Average Days On Market: 67
Inventory: 69 properties
Median Household Income: $82,314

At least this time we’re going to start much closer to where the jobs are.  This is a very important zip code.  If you remember this article, 94306 is the only zip code that’s left in the Real Bay Area (RBA) anymore, if you define RBA as the place where prices don’t go down.  So despite being the #2 zip in Palo Alto (94301 came in at #73 on the list), it’s #1 in the RBA.  It’s also last in the RBA, because none of the other zips qualified at all.

The real reason 94306 went up while prices everywhere else collapsed is because it’s the cheap section of Palo Alto.  This area, formerly the city of Mayfield, featured small homes on small lots which people now tear down and put in oversized mini-mansions that loom over the remaining bungalows.  Unfortunately, real estate statistics are oblivious to such trends, such as someone paying money to remodel or replace a house.  Instead you see crazy price increases and think the neighborhood is red-hot rather than full of sawdust and paint fumes.  If the sale price stats subtracted out the money paid for construction, there’s a good chance 94306 would have dropped as much or even more than the other zips around it.

#160 – 94549 Lafayette

Median Home Price: $1,225,110
Median Price Change: -4%
Average Days On Market: 88
Inventory: 126 properties
Median Household Income: $101,555
Ignored Because: In the East Bay

#170 – 94941 Mill Valley

Median Home Price: $1,185,211
Median Price Change: NA
Average Days On Market: 106
Inventory: 197 properties
Median Household Income: $91,283
Ignored Because:  Model for Hill Valley in Back to the Future

#171 – 94563 Orinda

Median Home Price: $1,184,089
Median Price Change: -5%
Average Days On Market: 101
Inventory: 101 properties
Median Household Income: $119,832
Ignored Because: In East Bay, even closer to Oakland than Lafayette

image #173 – 94303 Palo Alto

Median Home Price: $1,175,241
Median Price Change: -5%
Average Days On Market: 59
Inventory: 34 properties
Median Household Income: $64,256

It’s a pretty safe bet that the median home price hasn’t been contaminated by East Palo Alto (which shares this zip code), but take a look at that median household income.  It’s about $20,000 less than 94306, which has a fairly similar set of residents (in the Palo Alto part of the zip, anyway).

While the zip shares with the Oaklandesque East Palo Alto (hey, at least it brought you IKEA), it also has some nice areas in midtown as well as the West Marine on San Antonio Road.  (Remember, yachties spend like drunken sailors because they are drunken sailors.)

Since 94303 has just everything in the whole city that hugs US 101, that isn’t helping matters.  Some of the lower-cost Eichlers in South Palo Alto that get torn down and replaced by monster houses are in 94303, too.  Hope they put in triple-pane windows like they did at Gables End.

#175 – 94965 Sausalito

Median Home Price: $1,173,479
Median Price Change: -11%
Average Days On Market: 149
Inventory: 84 properties
Median Household Income: $76,808
Ignored Because: Has stupid song written about it

#179 – 94705 Berkeley

Median Home Price: $1,152,174
Median Price Change: -1%
Average Days On Market: 70
Inventory: 30 properties
Median Household Income: $68,112
Ignored Because: Shares zip code with Oakland, lousy state-funded college

image #184 – 94025 Menlo Park

Median Home Price: $1,134,946
Median Price Change: -9%
Average Days On Market: 88
Inventory: 179 properties
Median Household Income: $89,572

When you realize that this zip stretches from the foothills near I-280 all the way to the slums of Belle Haven, that median home price is rather impressive.  Not every city the size of Menlo Park has to make due with a single zip code.  Palo Alto has four distinct zips, and Redwood City has five.

And while a ranking of 184th most expensive zip code in the country is clearly not good enough for the RBA, perhaps Menlo Park could petition the
postal service to split the city into East and West postal zones, in hope of the western half aspiring to the RBA.

Nah, prices down 9%.  Forget it.

image #185 – 94062 Redwood City

Median Home Price: $1,133,462
Median Price Change: -5%
Average Days On Market: 97
Inventory: 111 properties
Median Household Income: $96,677

Ha ha!  What was I just talking about above?  Redwood City is nowhere as high on the snootiness index as Menlo Park, and yet by having several zip codes, they managed to get one of them to qualify for the Forbes list.  And this is the one zip that shares with Woodside, which is quite a bit higher in the rankings (#41). 

Oh, speaking of Woodside, you’ll never guess what Forbes says their median household income is.  That’s right. $96,677.  Nice going, Forbes.  That means the Woodside median should be higher and the Redwood city number lower, but you managed to miss yet another muck-up.

This part of Redwood City includes the Emerald Lake Hills area, which is a delightful mix of new construction and bizarre old places featuring old cars in the front yard.  You know how some places in Atherton look like Greenwich, Connecticut?  Well, Emerald Lake Hills looks like Appalachia where half the residents won the lottery.

#193 – 94515 Calistoga

Median Home Price: $1,102,625
Median Price Change: -17%
Average Days On Market: 140
Inventory: 67 properties
Median Household Income: $44,320
Why Ignored: Can’t take place named after bubble water seriously

#194 – 94610 Piedmont

Median Home Price: $1,094,846
Median Price Change: -51%
Average Days On Market: 64
Inventory: 7 properties
Median Household Income: $49,066
Why Ignored: Not only down 51%, but completely surrounded by Oakland.  Completely.  Rival zip 94611 is #74 on list.  I also call BS on Forbes for that median household income.  It’s probably mixed up with the part of OAKLAND this zip shares with.  Oakland, it’s full of Oakland.

image #199 – 95032 Los Gatos

Median Home Price: $1,079,587
Median Price Change: -1%
Average Days On Market: 111
Inventory: 183 properties
Median Household Income: $93,118

It’s the home of Netflix!  Woo-hoo!

The second-best zip in Los Gatos (95030 came in at #38), this zip features delightful estates in the foothills and higher, as well as ho-hum tract houses in the flats near freeways.

Now, take a look at that median home price, above.  It’s barely over a million smackeroos, and we’ve almost hit the 200 mark.  That means the next installment (if there is one) will feature houses in “expensive zip codes” that are under a million dollars dollars for a median price.

Think about that for a moment.  Where we live is so Special that we think of houses under a million dollars as not particularly worth commenting on.  At least most of the zips we’ve shown so far are above the average price for a house in this area.  But as we work our way down that list of 500 zips, we’re going to start to see some very ordinary places that are still more expensive than 44,000 other zip codes in the entire country.

Coming Soon: burbed guest editor forcibly retired for not stopping worst series ever, assailed by mob with pitchforks and torches.  Plus, Part 716 of Bing Maps Galore!

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

October 17, 2010

The Most Expensive Zip Codes: The Also Rans

Any zip that isn’t in the Top 50 shouldn’t qualify for Real Bay Area (RBA) status, right?  Here are the Bay Area zips in Forbes Magazine’s Most Expensive Zip Codes #51 through 100.  Since these aren’t good enough to have made the cut, we can assume any city featured here is no longer fit to inhabit the RBA.  So enjoy reading about these loservilles, that are still more expensive than most anywhere else in the country.

In case you missed the previous entries in this series, the Top 25 appear here, and #26-50 can be found here.  I encourage you to check them out, as obviously they are better places to live than what you’ll find in this article.

image #53 – 94920 Tiburon

Median Home Price: $2,046,939
Median Price Change: -22%
Average Days On Market: 126
Inventory: 116 properties
Median Household Income:$106,492

Yeesh, down 22%.  No RBA for you, Tiburon.  Wait, we already saw this zip.  It’s also #8.  So, um, they split Belvedere from Tiburon?

Well, well, well, there are 39 properties for sale in Belvedere (median home price, $3.28 million), and 116 here.  And yet both places have (what a surprise) the exact same median household income.

You blew it again, Forbes.  Am I going to have to rewrite that entire article for you?

image #59 – 94588 Danville

Median Home Price: $1,922,523
Median Price Change: NA
Average Days On Market: 276
Inventory: 4 properties
Median Household Income: $92,644

Be sure to check out this East Bay interloper: the idiots at Forbes got the wrong map.  They can’t tell Danville from Dublin. And with only 4 properties on the market, they have no idea if it’s up or down.

Maybe those East Coast provincials ought to be told they’ve managed the equivalent of confusing Westhampton Beach with Levittown.

 

image#62 – 94904 Kentfield

Median Home Price: $1,911,822
Median Price Change: 6%
Average Days On Market: 99
Inventory: 40 properties
Median Household Income: $82,528

This Marin County city is right next to Ross and may even manage to get more precipitation.  Why people would want to live here when they could buy a palace in San Jose is beyond me.  Plus San Jose only gets 11 inches of rain a year.

And San Jose is so much closer to Google!  Priorities, people!

 

image #69 – 94970 Stinson Beach

Median Home Price: $1,790,196
Median Price Change: -7%
Average Days On Market: 232
Inventory: 27 properties
Median Household Income: $88,184

Stinson Beach can’t be in the RBA, it’s down 7%, and next to Bolinas, home of the high-priced water meter.

First one to make a joke about this zip code’s ranking and “Sex on the Beach” is going to be asked to leave the room.

No, I do not want to hear about what that peninsula with Seadrift Road looks like.  You all have filthy minds.  Yes, especially you.

image #71 – 94024 Los Altos

Median Home Price: $1,746,928
Median Price Change: -6%
Average Days On Market: 91
Inventory: 67 properties
Median Household Income: NA

Down 6%, and another zip-splitter.

Seriously, is there anything funny to say about Los Altos?  Other than the featured listing that’s running tomorrow, that is?

Well, that and the dude with the cellular antenna farm.

And the fact that this same zip in Los Altos Hills is ranked so much higher at #18.  And that Forbes couldn’t tell the difference between the two and showed houses from Los Altos when featuring The Hills Hills.  And yet, 67 properties here, 15 properties there. Household income, not available here, not available there. Oh, oh. They match.

image #73 – 94301 Palo Alto

Median Home Price: $1,730,889
Median Price Change: -6%
Average Days On Market: 128
Inventory: 58 properties
Median Household Income: $97,758

We already knew this zip code wasn’t in the RBA anymore.  Its low ranking merely proves it.  As does this listing which hasn’t sold in more than 2 years.

Didn’t we all agree not to talk about Palo Alto anymore?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Oh yeah, Steve Jobs lives here!

 

image #74 – 94611 Piedmont

Median Home Price: $1,709,577
Median Price Change: -3%
Average Days On Market: 96
Inventory: 23 properties
Median Household Income: $68,853

Down 3%, and suspiciously Bradburylike.  Oakland, I tell you, it’s surrounded by Oakland!

And a freeway runs through it!  Just like Oakland!

And this place hasn’t sold yet. And neither has this one.  This city is FAIL: 100% of its listings on burbed unsold!

 

image #83 – 95070 Saratoga

Median Home Price: $1,652,013
Median Price Change: -1%
Average Days On Market: 124
Inventory: 177 properties
Median Household Income: $138,206

Down 1%.  That’s borderline for remaining in the RBA, but coming in at #83 just cannot be allowed.

Can anyone remember why Saratoga used to be in the RBA?  What exactly did it do to get there in the first place?  Why should a city with seven different school districts thinks it’s real anything?

I say no, not until they manage to sell this house.

image #84 – 95030 Monte Sereno

Median Home Price: $1,647,239
Median Price Change: -34%
Average Days On Market: 142
Inventory: 84 properties
Median Household Income: $117,564

Stop me if you’ve seen this zip code before.

Down 34%. Wait, it’s right next to Saratoga.  Plus borrowing Los Gatos’ zip code.  84 properties?  WTF?  In a town of 3,483?  And only 53 properties listed in Los Gatos (#38), population 28,592?  That’s a real knee-slapper!  Now can you tell me the one about the Santa Claran, the San Joseite, and the Saratoger?

 

image #92 – 94123 San Francisco

Median Home Price: $1,609,753
Median Price Change: 9%
Average Days On Market: 58
Inventory: 63 properties
Median Household Income: $84,710

burbed, voted best real estate blog in San Francisco, would like to welcome 94123 to the list of Most Expensive Zip Codes!  This is the first zip in San Francisco to make the cut.  And that is really awful, because several New York City and Los Angeles zips have already shown up.  Congrats, you losers.

Up 9%.  This is the Marina District and includes some of Billionaire’s Row.  Yes, including the place selling for $45 million.

image #93 – 94506 Blackhawk

Median Home Price: $1,604,976
Median Price Change: 19%
Average Days On Market: 143
Inventory: 51 properties
Median Household Income: $142,459

Up 19%.  Wait, this is the East Bay.  Prices don’t go up in the East Bay.  The proper expression is “Blackhawk down.”

Seriously, this is a developer-designed golf-course community that didn’t even exist before 1980.  Having this zip appear right after one full of history, architecture, design, and taste is just wrong.

 

image #94 – 94022 Los Altos

Median Home Price: $1,600,139
Median Price Change: -28%
Average Days On Market: 87
Inventory: 53 properties
Median Household Income: NA

Wait, is today Groundhog Day?  Didn’t I just say something about Los Altos Hills, and that we already saw this zip, and that… someone must have hit me over the head, because I’m seeing double.  Los Altos Hills in this same zip is #15 on this list, with a median home price of $3.04 million.  And (what a coincidence), 58 properties.  Sloppy work, Forbes, very sloppy.

This place doesn’t even have the cell phone antenna farm!

And that’s it for the Also Rans of the Most Expensive Zip Codes in the Whole Fracking Country.  Except… the list goes to 500 zips.  If you don’t want to see anymore of these Bing Maps, commence whining.

Next installment in this thrilling series: The Most Expensive Zip Codes, Volume 714,

Comments (59) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

September 24, 2010

Truly Unique Property in its Original Condition

Let’s continue our slumming in the East Bay one more day.  When sonarrat sent in yesterday’s property, also enclosed was this one as a little PS.  As in PS, this self-satisfied enclave, conveniently located in Oakland, doesn’t just have overpriced wrecks you can’t rebuild because they’re historically registered.  It also has out-and-out problem properties.  The difference is this is a problem with a view.

65 Wildwood Gdns  Piedmont, CA 94611
$875,000

image

Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,494
$/Sq. Ft.: $586
Lot Size: 9,338 Sq. Ft.
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Cottage
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Bay, Bay Bridge, City Lights, Downtown, Lake, Panoramic, San Francisco
Year Built: 1910
Community: Piedmnt/Wildwood
County: Alameda
MLS#: 40486849
Source: EBRD
Status: Active
On Redfin: 14 days

Truly unique property in its original condition. Entry from top street through a winding stair path. Majestic oak trees, sweeping views over Oakland & the Bay. No garage but possible access from bottom street. Rare potential for development. Privacy, harmony & simplicity best describe this property.

Hey, this property has something else in common with yesterday’s!  No garage!  Maybe this is a prestige thing.  You know, if one-car garages imply the land is too valuable to waste parking two cars, what could be more "this land is made out of unobtainium” than no garage at all?

The listing is, for the most part, pretty up-front with its challenges.  We’re talking about a hundred-year-old house that you have to cannot access unless you take the winding stair path.  We’re talking about no garage — heck, no driveway.  (Talk about prestigious!)  “Possible access from bottom street?” What’s that mean?  Maybe this house has possible beachfront if the Bay rises 250 feet, too!

But “Rare potential for development”?  Look, “development” is a listing codeword for “teardown.”  And “development” and “Piedmont” go together like “restraint” and “Palo Alto.”  We are talking about the place with the second oldest housing stock in the entire country.

Fortunately, there are always people in the know who want to help this site out.  So here, only on burbed, is the flowchart for how remodeling permits are handled in Piedmont:

flowchart_prbm

Whoever buys today’s listing has no idea what kind of pros they are up against.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

September 23, 2010

Needs Much Updating and Restoration and Soundproofing and Relocating

Usually a property gets featured on burbed because it’s incredibly overpriced or a complete and utter disaster.  It’s rare to find a listing that’s both.  Thanks to burbed reader sonarrat, who has absolutely broken the mold by finding us this house.

342 Bonita Ave  Piedmont, CA 94611
$2,000,000

image

Beds: 4
Baths: 1.5
Sq. Ft.: 2,524
$/Sq. Ft.: $792
Lot Size: 0.28 Acres
TYPE: Detached
STYLE: Victorian
STORIES: 1
Year Built: 1878
Community: Central
County: Alameda
MLS#: 40367236
Source: EBRD
Status: Active
On Redfin: 745 days

The Wetmore House, Piedmont’s oldest home. Folk Victorian with much original detail. On Nat. Reg. of Hist. Places. Includes sep. “barn” , a 1+ bedroom LEGAL rental w/ $2000/mo. income. Lovely garden with fruit trees; well on the property keeps everything green. Needs much updating & restoration

This property has way more than merely a sky-high price and poor condition.  Not only does it need extensive repairs, but you have absolutely no say in how to improve it because it’s on the National Registry of Historic Places!  But this gets even better.

Do you like a bargain?  This house has had a 42% haircut so far!  That’s $1.5 million of instant equity right there!  And it’s been on MLS for two years!  Now what would you pay?

How about a big house on a quarter acre with no garage?  Because in 1878 nobody needed a garage.  There’s a “barn” for your “horses,” and if that was how rich people lived in 1878, then why should you complain?  This house is on the National Registry of Historic Places!  Be grateful they’re not making you dress in period costume!  And speaking of complaining…

Are you thinking location, location, location?  Well this two-million-dollar sinkhole is located in a place where the residents think they live in the Real Bay Area but they can’t possibly… because it’s in (gasp) THE EAST BAY.  Not only is Piedmont in the East Bay…. it’s completely surrounded by Oakland. And wait, there’s even more to love about this listing!

When I said location, location, location, I wasn’t kidding.

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You’re not going to have to worry about emergency response time if you live here, because the only fire station in the whole town is located right next door!  Hope you’re a sound sleeper!

Plus you’ve got an elementary school across the street to ensure you can’t drive anywhere during the beginning or end of the school day, and forget about having any friends over because every parking space within five blocks will be taken by the suburban assault vehicles.  And just in case the school has a teacher-out-of-service day, the high school is conveniently nearby too.

Yes, this house is smack-dab in downtown Piedmont, so you’re right in the middle of ALL the action!  At least you can ensure you’ll always be first in line to sign up for classes at the Rec Center!

Plus, buy this house and not only will you have an insanely high monthly mortgage payment, you can also partake in the joy of being a landlord!  The agent said the rental onsite is LEGAL, and have you ever heard of a real estate agent being dishonest?

This has got to be the best burbed listing EVER!  So please buy it, because it’s only assessed for $104,000.  Everyone at the Fire Department will come over and thank you personally.

Comments (47) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am