October 11, 2012

Menlo Park Manse for not much more than not a lot of money

Menlo Park, like its nearby neighbors, is having a bit of a real estate run right now.  Fortunately, some properties have that certain je ne sais pas that put them on our front page no matter how much Facebook employees want to buy a house.  Today’s featured facade, foisted upon us by Burbed reader peninsula.man, punctuates this perfectly.  Please proceed.

121010-8th-mlslistings410 8TH AVE
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Offered at $699,000
– Pending (Do Not Show)

Type: Single Family Home
MLS #  ML81233923 
SqFt  2,170
Beds  5  Baths  3 Full / 1 Partial 
Lot Size 5,350 SqFt
121010-8th-intakeYear / Age  1935 / 77
Virtual Tour
This spacious and newly remodeled home with 2170 sf is in immaculate move-in condition. Beautifully updated kitchen, baths, recessed lighting, crown moldings, dual-pane windows, and Cherry engineered hardwood floors. Secure front gate with professionally landscaped yard. A perfect home with great convenient location, ready and waiting for its new owner.

121010-8th-faucetAnd here’s what the P-Man himself has to say about this place:

Can not wait to live next to pizza hut! for just over half a million

More like almost half again over half a million. You’ve been living on the Peninsula too long if $199,000 isn’t worth mentioning in a home price.

More importantly, these photos suggest that this not-quite-vintage-enough-to-qualify-for-the-old-house-tag listing has had a few upgrades put in recently.  Very recently.  Because let’s have a look at the last time this place went pending.

121010-8th-redfin-old410 8TH Ave
Menlo Park, CA 94025
$355,000 –  Last Sold Price

4 Beds 
4.5 Baths 
2,000 Sq. Ft.
$178 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1935 
Lot Size: 5,350 Sq. Ft. 
Sold On: Jan 13, 2012
Property Type: Detached Single Family
View: Neighborhood
County: San Mateo
Stories: 1
Community: County Area/Fair Oaks Ave
MLS#: 81150047

This property is a fixer upper need cash buyer to buy this property

121010-8th-listing-historySomeone had the cash, as the place went pending in eleven days.  Now look what they did to it!  This time it went pending in only seven days. 

Whoops, according to Zillow it went pending in seven days after the $76,000 price reduction five weeks after the $50,000 price reduction which was a month after this place was first listed for an eye-popping $825,000. 

Where the heck do they think they are, Mountain View?  Bunus: House is not actually next to Pizza Hut. 


You can clearly see there is a Quik-Stop in the way.  Be sure to check out the Streetview so you can appreciate this location, location, location! 


Score! Trash bins and DHO!

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 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 make.money.fast 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

October 10, 2011

One of the best homes on the block!

Thanks very much to Burbed reader AstroWallaby for this amazing listing in East San Jose.  Not only does it have lots of yummy features for your approval, this is probably the first listing I’ve seen on Redfin with a typo in the address.


3167 andora Dr, San Jose, CA 95148


SQ. FT.: 1,564
$/SQ. FT.: $457
PROPERTY TYPE: Residential, Detached, Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
COMMUNITY: Santa Clara
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 21122622
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 40 days

One of the best homes on the block! Shows pride of ownership throughout, meticulously maintained. Almost everything updated and upgraded. Custom Paint throughout w/ neutral colors, raised panel doors including closets, beautiful lamiate and marble floors, updated dual pane windows, custom sink, granite shower in master bath, beautiful custom tile vanity, new appliances in kitchen, marble counters, gourmet oak cabinets. Too much to list. A must see

Here’s why AstroWallaby brought this home to our attention in comments:

imageDescription… could be worse, although I have to wonder about “blood red” being described as a “neutral color” and there’s something about the pictures of the bathroom which cracks me up. (I think I’m picturing that white curtain opening up and revealing a packed studio audience while someone’s squatting on the pot, forcing them to immediately launch into a scatological improv routine.) On the plus side the kitchen comes with yummy “gourmet oak cabinets”. Can you eat just one?

(Perhaps their addictive cheesy crunch will drown out the sound of gunfire from White Road.)

Mostly what makes it “Burbed”-ish is the price. $715k, when even Zillow thinks the max it’s worth is $462k. (Or to put it another way, $457 a square foot in a neighborhood where the sold average is in the $300 ballpark.) Those had better darn well be *delicious* cabinets.

imageI want to know if either the kitchen or the bathroom has a lamiate and marble floor, myself.

And not only is this house conveniently located near all the action on South White Road, it’s also just a hop, skip and a jump next to two other terrific features of East San Jose.

No, not the liquor stores.  But it isn’t that far away from Lake Cunningham and Raging Waters, and it’s also close enough to Reid-Hilllview Airport that I’m curious why the upgrades stopped with only dual pane windows.


AstroWallaby was right on to call the place a teensy bit overpriced for the neighborhood.  The current Zestimate is $385,100, which means there are already several houses in just this little slice at left coming in higher, including the place two doors down with the $508K tag (maybe because it sold for $650K in 2005).

imagePerhaps it lists for so much more because, despite its location, location, location in East San Jose, the agent is purporting that it’s actually in Santa Clara.

Yeah, that would account for at least $250K of the price.  You’d get far more respect from your colleagues if you lived over there.  Then again, imagine how much more this place would list for if the realtard had taken the trouble to look up how big the lot actually is.  (6018 square feet.  Which is a lot better than, um, nothing.)

Now if only they could get that street name capitalized, the seller could probably mark it up another $50K.  I know a great place where they could pick up a few extra easy As.

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

August 24, 2011

Don’t Just Sing Folk Songs, Live in One!

Here’s another flipping find from the Redfin Bay Area forums, thanks to Lysistrata. Wow, talk about a convenient location, upgraded kitchen, and generous oversized lot!  Too bad a flipper got to it ahead of you! Now you have to pay a premium to live here!


46 CARMEL Ave, Daly City, CA 94015


SQ. FT.: 1,150
$/SQ. FT.: $400
LOT SIZE: 3,400 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
COMMUNITY: Westlake Heights
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81129477
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 29 days

Reduced! Just remodeled, this 3 bed 2 bath home boasts an updated kitchen, stainless steel appliances, new hardwood floors, a new furnace, recessed lighting, and fresh paint inside and out. With an open, inviting floor plan and landscaped front and rear yards, this beautiful home just steps to the ocean is not to be missed! Close to Northridge Park, shopping and freeway access for an easy commute!

imageHardwood, granite, and stainless may await inside, but the real surprise will be finding out who would pay for them given where this house is located!  No wonder the first picture is the kitchen rather than the front yard, but we’re sure you want to see the exterior shots.  In fact, we insist!

Convenient to San Francisco and I-280, this house is perfect for the two-income couple, one with the trendy creative class career in SoMa and the other with an equally high-powered position in Silicon Valley!  Perfect, that is, as long as you never let your colleagues know where you sleep at night.

imageFace it, you should have snapped this opportunity up and sold it to one of your less-entrepreneurial associates.  But there’s hundreds more just like it up and down the street, and all the other streets, so don’t despair!

And “steps to the ocean”?  Looks like about 500 steps.  Anyone know how easy it is to step down that sea cliff?  There is nearby Thornton Beach State Park if you head somewhat north (more than a few 500s of steps), but dang, the state has closed it.


Malvina Reynolds wrote a song in 1962 that epitomized the blandness of tract-house suburbia, built from shoddy construction materials.  What place inspired this classic folk song (called the most sanctimonious song ever by no less than Tom Lehrer)?  Was it Levittown, New York? 

Hell, no, this was an authentic Bay Area composition, triggered by Westlake in Daly City.  Now you can live in the very place that inspired a folk song!

imageThere’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they’re all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.


And Live the Ticky Tacky Life!

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

March 22, 2011

All the Prestige of the Belvedere Name, All the Hookers of a Vallejo Address

burbedguestbloggerVallejo isn’t a place we’ve spent a lot of time in on this site, but that’s about to change.  Despite being not even remotely part of the Real Bay Area (RBA), Vallejo has many fascinating features.

Please welcome Burbed reader sfbubblebuyer to the front page as today’s Guest Blogger, here to educate you about what pleasures await you in beautiful, thriving Vallejo.  Let’s all give sfbubblebuyer a warm, RBA welcome!

imageimageFear not, would be social climbers! That elusive island living on Belvedere might be closer than you think! Or at least the illusion of it! Now you can associate yourself with the name Belvedere while still maintaining easy access to ample hookers! That’s right, a new luxury condominium complex, The Belvedere, has opened and is accepting wild eyed, mouth frothing bids!


You heard right! When people ask where you live, you can smugly smile and say “Belvedere…” with only a small, plaintive, almost suicidal cry from the back of your brain saying “…in Vallejo….”


As an added bonus, you won’t have to worry about pesky cops pulling you over in your fancy sports car! After declaring bankruptcy and laying off a large percentage of their police force, you’d have to be firing rockets out of your microbus at a fleeing DeLorean before the cops take notice.

Never fear, however! You’ll be at the CLASSY end of Vallejo, where you won’t have to smell the cooking oil home owners have been pouring on their fences to keep the prostitutes from leaning against them at all hours of the day. (But to be honest, why would the prostitute object to being pre-lubed?) No, you’ll be near Costco and Kohl’s! A brisk 5 minute walk and you’ll be buying croissants in bulk to decorate your new granite smeared kitchen!


I’m sure it won’t be long before you are living the TRUE Belvedere luxury lifestyle, and the money you save by living in a crime infested hellhole town that embraces the free market in ALL its forms means you can hire this guy:


Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

March 4, 2011

2134 NOTTOWAY Ave is back!


Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,066
$/Sq. Ft.: $342
Lot Size: 6,000 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1978
Community: Alum Rock
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81051932
Source: MLSListings
Status: ActiveThis listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 95 days
Beautiful home recently remodeled. new cabinets, granite counter, remodeled baths, marble flooring, texture, painting, stucco, lighting, dual paned windows. Garage is converted permits unknown. You must see it. Convenient location, close to freeways and shopping malls. This is a perfect for first time buyers. Seller can convert the garage back if needed.

Hey wait a minute… where have I seen this before?

August 28, 2006

NotToWay – a new Web 2.0 company?

MLSlistings Property Detail for MLS number 646841
San Jose, CA 95116



This Single Family Residence has the following features:
MLS#: 646841 Approx Age: 28 Years Approx Sq Ft: 1066
Detached Single Family 1 Story 3 Bedrooms

Actually, the only reason I cited this house was because of the funny name of the street :)

That and… well… from the front it looks like people are living in
the garage. Why else would you park all those nice cars outside?

Wow. How times have changed!


Wow… this actually sold in 2005 for $615k! That means that if you pick this up today, you’re going to get $250k in instant equity!

And, as we all know, things are different now. Real Estate prices are based on solid fundamentals now, and they can’t possibly go back down. So buy buy buy!

Comments (16) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:55 am

February 22, 2011

Follow up: Affordable house in Burlingame

A year ago, this house showed up on Burbed:

February 22, 2010

Affordable house in Burlingame – contractor’s special

907 LARKSPUR Dr Burlingame, CA 94010



Let’s see what happened to this house!


Wow, not bad given the circumstances!

Congrats to the new owners of this amazing deal!

Comments (12) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:56 am

February 7, 2011

New floors! Great lot in Cupertino–just $1M

Beds: 4
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 1,640
$/Sq. Ft.: $566
Lot Size: 4,500 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Traditional
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1962
Community: Cupertino
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81049495
Source: MLSListings
Status: ActiveThis listing is for sale and the sellers are accepting offers.
On Redfin: 92 days
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!! Beautiful home in the highly desired Monta Vista neighborhood! Brand new hardwood floors, tile kitchen countertops, furnace, fixtures, completely remodeled bathroom, and much more! Top rated Cupertino schools! Great lot for a rebuild!!

I think it’s really generous and underappreciated that homeowners are willing to invest in new hardwood floors, and tile kitchen countertops right before you level the house for the lot and rebuild. These are the things you simply won’t find anywhere else.

There are so many things I love in the pictures – like the cars in the hero picture. Check out the one on the left. Talk about classic. And I love the parking lot style arrangement of the front yard. Maybe you could turn this into a Sonic!

But then there’s the artistic style as well… like this photo:


Great angled nature huh!

Another great deal to start off the new year.

Comments (11) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:15 am

January 10, 2011

Bad News! We Missed the Bottom!

guestbloggerToday’s post is from Burbed reader sonarrat.  Let’s give sonarrat a warm, Real Bay Area welcome.

I was just thinking about a classic Burbed listing – the San Jose cubicle house. Whatever happened to it?


480 S Capitol Ave, San Jose, CA 95127



Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sq. Ft.: 1,056
$/Sq. Ft.: $341
Lot Size: 5,400 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Ranch, Traditional
Stories: 1
View: Mountains, Neighborhood
Year Built: 1951
Community: Alum Rock
County: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81016789
Source: MLSListings
Status: Sold




cap2.jpgUnfortunately, it looks like we’ve all missed the bottom already. Look at the sales history.

Sold for $628K at the peak, gutted and fitted with cubicles. Foreclosed 2007. Sold to an investor for $276K the next year.

Fixed up over the next five months, rented out for $2200 a month.

Then sold for $345K, then sold 4 months later for $369K.

11/07/2010  Sold *  $369,000  7.0%  $246  —

06/30/2010  Sold  $345,000  -3.9%  $230  Public Record    Flag transactionClose

04/07/2010  Listed for sale *  $359,000  16,218%  $239  Agent  

10/25/2008  Listing removed *  $2,200  –  $1  Postlets 

10/11/2008  Listed for sale *  $2,200  -99.2%  $1  Postlets  

05/29/2008  Sold  $276,000  -1.4%  $184  Public Record 

03/19/2008  Listed for sale *  $365,500  -20.5%  $243  Intero Commercial  

03/06/2008  Listing removed *  $459,900  –  $306  –  

09/18/2007  Listed for sale *  $459,900  -26.8%  $306  Agent  

06/19/2006  Sold  $628,000  28.2%  $418  Public Record 

So if you’re looking at houses in East San Jose – ship has sailed! Sorry!

Comments (18) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am

December 22, 2010

Cheapest House in Atherton… Um, Cheap House in Menlo Park

In trying to get you another Black Friday DEAL, I found a DEAL myself and hired an overseas contractor to write today’s column.  Unfortunately, you get what you pay for, and what I got was neither in Atherton nor the cheapest house in Menlo Park.  It is, however, like all Real Estate, a DEAL.

3501 Middlefield Rd, Menlo Park, CA 94025


Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 960
$/Sq. Ft.: $500
Lot Size: 5,300 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Style: Cottage/Bungalow
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1951
Community: County Area/Fair Oaks Ave
County: San Mateo
MLS#:  81013973
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active On Redfin: 274 days

image This home has been "beautifully remodeled!" That means the previous owner has added "value"!  Which begs the question: why would someone bother to do that when the house is not even on the wrong side of 101!?  The overbidding should just flow naturally.  This slice of Silicon Valley is quite the diamond in the rough.  Or is it just the rough part?

Every house has a story and this one is no different.  Let’s see what the savvy investors behind this gem have been up to.  The house was purchased in 2007 for $650,000, so we can be assured that the buyer will have made out well.  After all, when something is that inexpensive, it has nowhere to go but up! 

The buyer’s pride of ownership must have run out 3 years later because it looks like they decided to list it earlier this year for only $599,000.  Looks like someone (maybe the realtard?) must have slipped in a negative sign when they were calculating the appreciation on the ’07 sale.  But buyers love their sweet deals and this one is no exception.  Someone must have noticed the (mistakenly entered?) rock bottom price and tried to buy it because it went pending without release just 3 months later.

Strangely, it didn’t close.  No doubt it slipped out of a sale because the owner, in a fit of rage, realized that the realtor had miscalculated their expected appreciation and backed out.  What we can know for sure is that whatever buyer was interested in this fine gem was standing by with a 20% down payment ($119,800), a 780 credit score and a six figure W2 job, so securing financing wasn’t an issue.  That poor, unfortunate soul missed out on the sweet, sweet depreciation.  I meant appreciation.  My mistake.  Fortunately, their loss is your gain and this estate is once again on the market!

But, enough with the history – what’s with that weird layout?  To start, there’s no windows in the center of the house.  Now that may seem like a bad thing to you, Mr./Mrs. unisex property buyer, but the copy also kindly explains that, while some landscaping has already been done, you still have room to create your own oasis.  If you had any doubts before as to whether or not you would be able to put plants in the ground at this location, your concerns should be put to rest. 

And, when you’re not enjoying the oasis you created, you can always go around back where you will find a pool filled with more possibilities!  Here, you can either re-line the pool or fill it in!  It’s your choice what to do!  Sure, doing nothing is always an option, but smart investors like you know that in order to "add value" you have to do something (anything).  Whether you decide to remove or re-line the pool, you can be sure that you will recoup your "investment" threefold when the next buyer comes along.

image Not every home listing comes complete with a picture of the street signs just down the way.  Fortunately for you, lucky buyer, this does.  The street signs say that this is a neighborhood street.  That’s important to know because it tells you that this isn’t just any street.  It’s a neighborhood street.  The kind where people are neighbors and they go about doing neighborly things like lending each other cups of sugar or engaging in civil discourse about the topics du jour.  Or maybe that’s not what it’s saying. 

Perhaps the sign is a warning about your neighbors.  A warning graciously placed there by the city of Menlo Park to tell you that your neighbors… are a little bit slow.  Maybe it’s saying that you, too, could be a little bit slow as well… if you are quick enough to catch this knife.

Comments (22) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 4:44 am