July 27, 2013

Coming to a listing near you

130726-bowers-placementProduct placement in movies and television have been going on for a while.  Remember the Reese’s Pieces in E.T.? If you see a brand in a movie or other video, you can be sure it was put there deliberately.

Well then… why haven’t realtards tried product placement in listing photos? After all, buyers are such a fickle lot, underbidding during bubbles and expecting freebies thrown in like refrigerators and kitchen cabinets when the sellers have every right to keep them. At least if they had product placement to fall back on, there would be some bucks in it for them, whether or not the house sold!

Let’s have a look at a really egregious example of product placement. We’re not talking about a loving paean to Andersen Windows or Bosch dishwashers that are features of the house for sale, either.

130726-bowers-greygoose

130726-bowers-greygoose-farHere’s the Redfin listing, where you’ll find another photo of the booze.  The even better Bunus portion of this amusing photo is where we found this REGULAR SALE!

Would you buy your next house from this realty firm?

And it’s Open Thread time! Tell us what products you saw placed when you looked at open houses!

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:07 am






May 28, 2013

Bay Area Bubble 4.0 Not in Fremont Yet

Good news! There’s still parts of the Bay Area you can find a house without beg letters and overbidding! Let’s fasten our seat belts and ford every stream to Fremont!

130527-salinas-redfin34587 SALINAS Pl
Fremont, CA 94555
$620,000

4 Beds
2 Baths
1,402 Sq. Ft.
$442 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1972
Lot Size: 7,422 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 1 day
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: Alameda
Style: Contemporary
Community: Alameda County
MLS#: 81318199

Upcoming Open Houses

Saturday, Jun 1: 1:00-5:00 pm
Sunday, Jun 2: 10:30-5:00 pm

Regular sale! Great schools + Neighborhood + Quiet Cul-de-sac. Convenient to shopping. Near 880, 84 Freeways, & Ranch99 Supermarket. Open House Sat 6/1 1-5pm & Sun 6/2 10:30-5pm.

130527-salinas-streetviewSee that? Regular sale! Not an overbidding sale! Whew!  Only showing on exterior shot fooled us at first!

And this agent isn’t quite sure who to sell this house to. Note the mention of nearby 99 Ranch but not a single 8 in the price.

Also, you know how Palo Alto has 237 different neighborhoods, or “Communities” on MLS, but Sunnyvale, which has twice the population, only has one?  Look at this: Fremont, which was made up of five towns that merged together, doesn’t even merit its own Community. They put the whole thing together into Alameda County.  Sheesh, Wikipedia has a nice list of the various districts in Fremont and we were able to figure out where the house is (hint: the exact opposite of South not-Fremont).

Moral: the less Real Bay Area you are, the less Community you merit.  Houses in Stockton are in Community: Pacific Time Zone.

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

March 15, 2013

2+2- Car Garage w/compressor, lift, upstairs Art Studio

It’s almost time for the weekend, and that means more Open Houses!  Now that Daylight Savings Time is fully in force, we can dispense with Winter Bubble and move directly to Spring Bounce.  So let’s have a look at this stupendously staged showcase, courtesy of Burbed reader Darkhorse.  Thanks very much!  And remember, if you have the perfect (by which we mean not at all perfect) listing for our front page, send it on in with your nominating speech, and you can also have your completely arbitrary internet handle turned into a tag!

130314-hurst-redfin1621 HURST Ave
San Jose, CA 95125
$1,245,000

3 Beds
3 Baths
2,150 Sq. Ft.
$579 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1984
Lot Size: 6,435 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 3 days
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Community: Willow Glen
MLS#: 81307527
Style: Tudor
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

Upcoming Open Houses

Saturday, Mar 16: 1:00-4:00 pm
Sunday, Mar 17: 1:00-4:00 pm

Regular & As-Is Sale, a Unique Custom Built Tudor Style Home w/ many upgrades in the last 4 years; Master suite w/ fireplace, guess bedroom, Sauna & Den upstairs; Master bed, 3rd bath w/ shower/steam room, kitchen, pantry/wine cellar, separate laundry area w/ butler downstairs; Beautiful landscaping; 2+2-Car Garage w/ compressor, lift, upstairs Art Studio/Recreation Room/Storage & Long Wide Drive Way.

130314-hurst-doghoWhat did Darkhorse find so Special about this house?  Surely it wasn’t just the compressor.

Willow Glen Listing — Thought you might enjoy this listing. The photos are stunning,  maybe a new staging technique, wonder if the tiger and swords are included with the purchase price.

Tiger? Swords? Darkhorse, how could you possibly miss the DOG PET HANGING OUT?  (Burbed reader DonnieJ says that’s a cat.)

130314-hurst-tiger130314-hurst-swords130314-hurst-saddle130314-hurst-tchotchkes

Guess when a house has staging of this caliber, the buyer won’t mind that a Unique Custom Home w/ many upgrades in the last 4 years needs to be listed as-is. But don’t worry, it’s a REGULAR SALE! Park anywhere on the Long Wide Drive Way.

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

February 27, 2013

Bubble Bubble, Boil and Double (every 10 years)

130226-mrhousingbubblePeople often ask if we’re in another Bay Area housing bubble. We usually reply that if you live in the Real Bay Area, you’ve been in Bubble 4.0 for at least a year! But not everyone is fortunate enough to live in the RBA. What if you live in the Real Gray Area, or the Corridor of Not Quite?  What if you live somewhere that Is Not Special At All?

Do you know how to absolutely, positively demonstrate it’s a fact that we’re in another bubble? When places you know are never used in a sentence with “RBA” (unless with a negative) start showing up in these questions.  When even Irvine is calling Bubble again, we have to really start taking better measurements. So, let’s head over to… Gilroy.

 

130226-sunflower-redfin2367 SUNFLOWER Cir
Gilroy, CA 95020
$785,000

3 Beds
4.5 Baths
3,082 Sq. Ft.
$255 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1996
Lot Size: 0.36 Acres
On Redfin: 1 day
Property Type: Attached Single Family
Stories: 2
Community: Morgan Hill/Gilroy/San Martin
MLS#: 81305783
Style: Contemporary
View: Green Belt, Mountains, Neighborhood, Valley
County: Santa Clara

Beautiful Country Estates Home located on 15,000 sq. ft. lot with wonderful Hillviews. Very spacious floor plan with lots of usable land and a great location! Master bedroom located on 1st floor. Located in a cul-de-sac at the top of the hill. Shows beautifully. Don’t miss your opportunity to own this lovely home. Luigi Aprea and Christopher High School district. This is a regular sale!!

130226-sunflower-satelliteThis listing is the perfect mix of mild disdain for the customer with admission that Gilroy is still The Land The New Bubble Forgot. Either than or this agent is still stuck in 2009: This is a regular sale!!

Sheesh, is MLS now charging brokers $10,000 per photo or something? What’s with this 3-in-one tiling display, when most listings manage to cough up nine photos? You would think a 3,000 sf house would have more than one inside room to show off.

Place doesn’t have much of a back yard, either. (Sorry, Streetview Not Available At This Location.)

So, Bubble or Not in Gilroy?

Comments (11) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

January 17, 2013

50 Shades of Brown in Campbell

Decor is an important part of getting a house ready for sale.  Decor isn’t just furnishings, but wall treatments, art, floor materials, paint, and of course, tchotchkes.  Today’s featured find is furnished fully with an eye for consistency.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader wahnny for this crib in Campbell!

130116-audrey-redfin1105 AUDREY Ave
Campbell, CA 95008
$1,699,000

4 Beds 
3.5 Baths 
4,137 Sq. Ft.
$411 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 2005 
Lot Size: 0.25 Acres 
On Redfin: 7 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
County: Santa Clara
Style: Mediterranean
Community: Campbell
MLS#: 81300771

Regular Sale! An entertainer’s Spanish style dream home! This house has it all and you must see to appreciate the attention to detail in this custom beauty by Jay Andre Construction. This home has been totally rebuilt in 2005 with countless amenities. 2 spa/saunas, luxurious office, a gourmet kitchen w/ granite counter tops, tile, and hardwood floors. Too many to list! Open House 1/12 & 1/13 1-3PM

Over 4,000 square feet and the photographer remembered to water the driveway before taking pictures!  Either that or that moody sky had plenty of rain.  Now let’s hear from wahnny on why this house is so Special.

130116-audrey-officeRecently came across this lavishly adorned villa in the middla Campbell.

Almost every photo shows the house in various shades of brown (in keeping with the spanish colonial/western/desert theme, no doubt).  And talk about sophistication … in addition to the obligatory “kawlumns”, a variety of plumbing fixtures are included (see tour website for photos)!  Very elegans/earthy!

Location/neighbors aside, it’s probably worth at least the asking price!

130116-audrey-kawlums

At least worth the asking price?  Oh no, in the time since wahnny sent this listing in, we are sure that this property has probably increased at least 15% over the asking price.

After all, this is a Regular Sale!  And nothing says “dream home” like having to reassure buyers that the house isn’t an REO or short sale!

But what about the location and the neighbors?  With a quarter acre lot, why would you worry about neighbors?  You’ve got enough room to dig a moat and put in Rottweilers.

Although the next-door neighbor does seem to have more cars than driveway.  For $1.7 million one would expect the neighbors to collect something less intrusive yet more expensive, such as Facebook put options.

130116-audrey-streetview

Must see to appreciate!

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

November 24, 2012

Deals Continue! Cheapest Place in San Mateo County!

Just because it isn’t Black Friday anymore doesn’t mean the DEALS stop!  Let’s see what you can get if you want to live in San Mateo County but don’t want to break the bank.  Or rob the bank.  Or get a ginormous bail-out because you’re a bank.

121123-3rd-redfin719 3RD Ave
San Bruno, CA 94066
$388,880

2 Beds 
1 Baths 
820 Sq. Ft.
$474 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1940 
Lot Size: 3,700 Sq. Ft. 
On Redfin: 7 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: Belle Air
MLS#: 81241202
Style: Ranch
View: Neighborhood
County: San Mateo

Lovingly kept & lived by current owner for a long time. Per county record it is 3BR/1BA; however, 3rd BR has no closet. Walking distance to BART/CalTrain/Elem School. Easy access to HWY 101 for commuting to SF, E. Bay and So. Bay. Regular Sale (Not a Short Sale or REO). Open House 11/18(Sun 1-4 pm) & 11/25(Sun 1-4 pm). Offers, if any, due by 11/25,3 pm. Information believe to be accurate but not verified.

121123-3rd-kitchenWe’re already doing better than yesterday’s cheapest property in Santa Clara County, because the first find is an actual, detached house.  It’s also eligible for the “cozy” tag, but you can’t have everything, can you? Come on, this is vintage pre-war, and it looks like it’s still in vintage condition! Plus that awesome “No, no, no, this isn’t a distressed sale, really!” plaint in the listing copy.

You want a house? You now have zero excuses. Plus, just like yesterday’s third house, easy access to both 101 and the airport!

121123-3rd-satellite

This house is the deal of the century! (Information believe to be accurate but not verified.)

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

November 21, 2012

This Home is Ready for a New Chapter in Home Ownership

Some of our featured properties made it to the front page because the photos are full of curb appeal.  As in a “Peel out from the curb, NOT buying that house.”  Some are here because the price just makes your eyes pop out.  Today’s house has the best features of both, and you know that when we say “best” we mean the exact opposite of “best.”

Many thanks to Burbed reader Tracy Tea House, for finding an abode on an aristocratic avenue.

121120-countess-trulia6107 Countess Drive
San Jose CA 95129
Price:  $1,198,000

Reduced $37,000 on 11/11/12
Est. payment: 
Bedrooms: 4 
Bathrooms: 2 
19 days on Trulia
52 views
Property type: Single-Family Home
Size: Ask agent
Lot: Ask agent
Price/sqft: Ask agent
Year built: Ask agent
MLS/ID: —
Neighborhood: West Valley, 95129
Provided by: Help-U-Sell Corporate
This info was not provided by this listing source.
121120-countess-signAsk an agent for more details about this home.
Listing agent: Adalberto Gonzalez
Broker: Tito Gonzalez

Highly Desirable Location & Part Of The Cupertino Union School District With API Scores 943+ (Muir, Miller & Lynbrook). Great Layout And Extra Permitted 432sq Enclosed Bonus Room. Large Yard With Mature Trees. This Home Is Ready For A New Chapter In Home Ownership. Buyer To Verify Square Footage & Permits. Open House 11/03 & 11/04 from 11:00-3:00pm. Not A Distressed Sale. Come See! ****MLS# 81239614***

121120-countess-livingHere’s why Tracy nominated today’s featured listing:

This house may not be distressed, but these pictures made me depressed. And the PRICE! Campbell schools really driving the price of this house up. The pictures are so gloomy and really, three of one tree? Is it rare? On the plus side, I do love developments with royal names.

Ahem, don’t you go hating on Cupertino schools by confusing them with Campbell.  The listing even 121120-countess-sidemakes a point of naming them (and their test results).

And there’s not just three pictures of one tree, but this interior shot (above) of the living or family room is the only glance you’re going to get inside, and they provided 11 photos.  That means you’ll see plenty of trees.  Or of the same tree.  There are also two pictures of The Right Honorable Countess of Drive, so have a gander at Your Ladyship.

Using Help-U-Sell means the “agent” isn’t going to tell you squat, but a quick glance over at Redfin provides the missing info. (1808 sf, 6099 sf lot, $663/sf, built in 1961.  Was that so hard?)  Guess they have a different understanding of that word “Help” in “Help-U-Sell” as they didn’t even put the MLS number in the Trulia listing (81239614).

121120-countess-street121120-countess-tree

That’s the much-photographed tree at right.  Since it gives us a glimpse at the back of the house we chose that elevation.

Even though this is Not A Distressed Sale, we’re thinking that New Chapter in Home Ownership is Lucky Number 7.

Comments (12) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

November 6, 2012

Election Day Special

If you haven’t already sent in your absentee ballot, today is the day for you to vote.  There’s a clutch of candidates who made speeches and some of them are going to get elected.  Burbed has not endorsed any specific candidates, but we have a guide to the state propositions based on how much each would increase the value of your house.

Now, here’s the house we’d vote for if it were on the ballot.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader MJ for nominating it!

121105-wolfe-trulia1430 South Wolfe Road
Sunnyvale CA 94087
$728,888

Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
175 days on Trulia
33 views
Property type: Single-Family Home
Size: 1,768 sqft
Lot: Ask agent
Price/sqft: $412/sqft
Year built: 1949
MLS/ID: 81218044

REGULAR SALE, NOT A SHORT SALE!!!NOT A SHORT SALE!!! NEWLY REMODELED PROPERTY!!! 1,768 SQ FT. GRANITE COUNTER TOPS, NEW BRAZILIAN CHERRY CABINETRY, NEW CARPETING IN ALL THE BEDROOMS, MARBLE IN BATHROOMS & HALLWAY, HOUSE IS IN A GREAT LOCATION. CONVENIENT ACCESS TO HWY 280, 85 AND LAWRENCE EXPY. IN OTHER WORDS A TURNKEY HOME FOR YOUR BUYER.

121105-wolfe-stove-1Here’s MJ’s nominating speech.

I’ve read the blog for a while but never felt compelled to send anything in. Until now. I believe I found a home with every Burbed cliche. It is a crapshack. It has a sweet price history, quadrupling in price in fourteen years, eights in the listing price, garage converted to “living unit with two bedrooms and a kitchen”, awful location on a busy road (though oddly the listing copy mentions its proximity to a different busy road), seven photos of the stove, and insane listing copy noting twice it isn’t a short sale. It even has DHO, see the reflection in the patio door.

121105-wolfe-reflectionI don’t feel like I can take credit for this. The realtor really deserves it all.

Oh it gets better. My wife found out it come with Sunnyvale utilities but Santa Clara schools, four Redfin agent comments, and the first shot is a Google street view. We really have hit every Burbed cliche except pink house.

But was it a former meth lab?  Got ya there, huh?

121105-wolfe-redfinMJ sent us a link to Redfin, which was perfectly fine when we checked it out a couple of days ago, but this is what we see now.  Another Burbed cliche, the listing got pulled the day we wanted to write it up.  Fortunately it’s still on almost every other real estate site (for now), so we’re going to grab those pictures while the grabbing is good.

Whoa, how’s this for a cliche?  Search for the house by address, click on the Trulia listing, and get the wrong house in the wrong town.  We swear we’re not making this up, but the Google link to the house was sending us to 1395 Jefferson in Santa Clara.  Whew!

At least the Redfin comments are still there, even if the 24 photos were taken down.  See some of what you missed, after the break.

(more…)

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

October 23, 2012

A sky created by god himself looms over a priceless piece of real estate

Today’s Adventure in Real Estate Photography takes us to the always popular City of Sunnyvale (motto: Costs More than Santa Clara).  Let’s see what Burbed reader shandrew has lassoed for us in the listings.

121021-yorktown-redfin1002 YORKTOWN Dr
Sunnyvale, CA 94087
$930,000

3 Beds
2 Baths
1,661 Sq. Ft.
$560 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1956
Lot Size: 7,700 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 3 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: Santa Clara
Style: Ranch
Community: Sunnyvale
MLS#: 81238090

Beautiful home in PRIME Sunnyvale! Cherry Chase (966 API), Sunnyvale (843 API) and Homestead (866). Nicely landscaped spacious lot. New paint and carpet. Crown. Dbl pane windows. Recessed lights, hardwood floors. Remodeled kitchen & baths. Spacious master suite with a tub in the master bath! Living AND family AND dining AND casual dining areas! North facing. Regular sale-NOT short sale or REO.

121021-yorktown-patioHere’s what shandrew had to say about this property:

Check out the clouds over this house in PRIME Sunnyvale!

Compare photos 1 (above) and 22 (below), and you’ll see miraculous clouds that are precisely identical whether viewed straight on from the front of the house or viewed
to the side of the backyard.

Then take a careful look at some of the trees which apparently have 121021-yorktown-patio-anglebeen consumed by these vicious clone army of clouds.

Clouds which consume trees are apparently good for property values.

We think those clouds look like a flock of pterodactyls, which is why the trees were eaten so quickly (between picture 21 and 22).  These leaves haven’t even had time to fall down after the ptero-cirrus swooped down and chowed on the branches.

Yet the same clouds show up in the 121021-yorktown-signtime it took the agent to install a for sale sign.  Compare this picture of the front of the house with the first one.

There’s only one good explanation for this.121021-yorktown-pterodactyls

 

Pterodactyls helped install the sign.

 

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

March 19, 2012

South of Willow Glen listing removed because it’s a genuine work of art

Here’s another big-lot big-win find from Burbed reader Tracy!  And this one has been off-market long enough that most of the usual listing sites didn’t have the listing photos anymore.  Good thing there’s always Movoto, keeping them available so you can decide if you want to rent this puppy.

3010 Jenkins Ave
San Jose, CA 95118
$1,100,000; Reduced from $1,200,000 after 2 months
Off market since February 5, 2012

120314-jenkins-movoto

Price: $1,100,000
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2
Size: 2,767 sqft
Type: Single Family House
Year Built: 1950
Lot Size: 20,196
Days on Movoto: 124 days
MLS#: 81147324
Status: Expired
Views: 2

Off the market to be rented. Wonderful 1 story on 1/2 acre, brick fireplace, Lots of charm & ready for your touch. Tall windows and sliders line the F/R and hallway overlooking the lush backyard & covered patio. Tile entry, hardwood floors Oversized new drvwy to 2car, plus detached garage. Hedges and trees offer privacy. New roof, new walk way, copper plumbing, updated wiring too! Regular sale!

Tracy called this a “mid-century half acre Japanese farm,” but you’ll just call it Burbedelicious!  And the more you look at these pictures, the more you realize that this property photographer really should have taken a different career path into fine arts.  This is some seriously disruptive work!

120314-jenkins-loggia120314-jenkins-driveway

For instance, delightful juxtapositions of lush and sere, idyllic and workaday, shaded and exposed, continually inform this paradoxical collage that is all of one and the same property.  Note the clever reflection of the utility pole shadow with its power cable above.  Brilliant!

120314-jenkins-garage120314-jenkins-yard

This pairing achieves the same discordance: concrete concrete versus idealized landscape.  One nice touch is the clever contrast of shade on the garage, versus bright sun on the trees at the upper left.

120314-jenkins-looking-out120314-jenkins-2muchhdr

The two previous diptychs cannot prepare the viewer for this partnership: A hint of the verdant yard from the dank interior, and the grounds with HDR turned up to 11.  Wowza!

120314-jenkins-livingroom120314-jenkins-familyroom

And it’s going to stay at 11, whether or not there is any furniture in the picture!  Tell me, have you ever seen heavy HDR with an empty room before?  Is this mid-century minimalism?

120314-jenkins-woodstove120314-jenkins-bedroom

Okay, now it’s your turn!  Compare and contrast!

120314-jenkins-bathroom120314-jenkins-kitchin

Here is an extra-credit problem for those of you who find this too easy.

120314-jenkins-stove120314-jenkins-office

And I will leave you with this riddle to ponder: which is worth more, the stove at left, the computer at right, or all of these photos?

Comments (18) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am