September 14, 2013

Smug techies commission uber-pimped pads

Want to read another self-congratulatory article about how much money everyone is spending in Silicon Valley? You didn’t? See you tomorrow, then!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader PK for alerting us to this important development that nobody at all saw coming.

Silicon Valley techies spur home building and remodeling boom

130913-svbuilding-lahBy Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News
POSTED:   09/10/2013 07:04:31 PM PDT | UPDATED:   3 DAYS AGO

Taking advantage of Silicon Valley’s robust economy, affluent techies are building or remodeling homes, transforming parts of the area’s older housing stock and fueling a boom for Bay Area architects and interior designers.

"The problem is finding time to sleep," said architect Roger Kohler, of Palo Alto, whose firm has more than 20 projects in construction or just completed in Los Altos, Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton.

The tech workers range from midlevel engineers at startups or at tech giants like Apple (AAPL),Facebook and Google (GOOG) to older CEOs or founders selling their companies. Some are doing relatively straightforward, if pricey, remodels, while others are leveling old homes and building new ones with basement game rooms, large garages and the latest in high-tech features.

Catherine Jhung, a vice president at Cleantech.com, and her husband, Brian Buchholz, who works at Google, are including "a lot of the new technologies for green building" in the San Carlos Craftsman-style home they will soon break ground on. The existing home — which they bought seven years ago — was torn down. Construction bids are coming in at $270 to $285 a square foot, or about $900,000.

130913-svbuilding-steampunkThere really isn’t much to say about the article itself, although do check out the photo in the extended gallery of the steampunk bathroom pipes. No, once more the fun is in the comments.  Here are some we really enjoyed.

Oops here comes the haters. Techies forget they live in the bubble. Outside of the bubble, is the long lines of haters.

Wait, we live in a bubble?

This is the kind of Silicon Valley self-congratulatory stuff that is typical of the Mercury News. I can hardly believe that anybody smart enough to make that much money would be dumb and vulgar enough to flaunt it in print like this.

Yeah! Go hide your money in a Swiss Bank Account like we do!

Steampunk? 20 years ago we called it postmodernism. Don’t see any compelling reason to invent a new term when a perfectly good one exists.

You, my friend, do not get steampunk.  Then again, not sure the architect did either.  There’s a distinct lack of gears, valves, and, well, steam.  This looks more like the Rube Goldberg ball machine at the Tech Museum.

The final comment is our personal favorite, in reply to this section of the story:

130913-svbulding-exterior-lahTim Williams and his wife, Renee, both work in biotech and were "half looking around" when they found a lot in Los Altos Hills for sale on Craigslist. "We’re not in the 1 percent," said Tim Williams, "so it was a bit of a stretch for us."

CONTEMPORARY DESIGN

The couple lived in an old cottage on the property during construction of the 3,100-square-foot, contemporary home, designed by Bahi Oreizy and Mariela Pfennig-Mahmud of 360 Design in Los Altos. The new home is stucco, metal and wood on the exterior and has tile floors, under-floor heating and lots of south-facing windows to help sunshine warm the home in winter.

not 1% ??? bought a lot in Los Altos and put up 3100 sq ft home with heated floors? I got news for you, YOU ARE in the 1%. and your just too stupid to realize it.

I got news for you, when you call someone stupid, you’d better not confuse the difference between your and you’re.  Not that we don’t 100% agree with this, as we did stick the home photo in next to the text for some serious cognitive dissonance.

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






February 25, 2013

FOCUS-LIVE-ENDURE! In San Carlos! Again!

Okay, vacation’s over. Time to get back to work, and that means heading over to real estate sites to plan on where you really want to live.  Boss has the door shut, so fire up those listing websites! And today’s listing was sent (during coffee break) by Burbed reader Divasm.

130224-belle-zillow1959 Belle Ave
San Carlos, CA 94070
$2,100,000 (Listing removed 2/8/13)

Zestimate®: $1,957,700
Est. Mortgage: $1,883/mo
Bedrooms:4 beds
Bathrooms:5 baths
Single Family:3,532 sq ft
Lot:5,227 sq ft
Year Built:2012
Last Sold:Mar 2012 for $525,000
Heating Type:Forced air

Description

130224-belle-elevations” Tuscan Villa” – Centrally situated, within walking distance to Award winning “Brittan Acres” & “Central” schools. South Bay views from Master bedroom. Construction to start summer ’10 built by luxury home builder The Armanini Group (TAG) Builders, Inc. This home consists of six large bedrooms, den, five full baths, Family room boosting stone fireplace, extra-large eat in Kitchen with breakfast bar & nook open to Family room, Living room with single-beamed ceilings, 130224-belle-elevations2panelled ceiling in Dining room and attached two Car Garage / shop. Anderson wood windows, (full bullnose) granite countertops in Kitchen, travertine stone in Master bath, designer ceramic tiles in auxiliary baths, Kohler plumbing fixtures, custom hand-made cabinetry throughout by local craftsman, Thermador appliances, 3/4″ distressed hardwood flooring, 14 seer-rated air conditioning units, high energy efficient multi-zoned forced-air central heating, tank-less 130224-belle-siteplan(space saving) insta-hot water heater, wireless computer network, smart home electronics for computer programming your lighting, heating & air conditioning, audio, video & irrigation and extensive millwork throughout the entire home. Not all features mentioned. For a personal showing of this magnificent home in San Carlos, please call Michael or Genna Armanini at (cell) 650.218.5123 or email us at michael@armaniniproperties.com PRICE, TERMS AND MATERIALS UTILIZED SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE, CONTACT YOUR REAL ESTATE BROKER FOR CURRENT PRICING & TERMS. CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS “NEW CONSTRUCTION RESIDENTIAL PURCHASE AGREEMENT AND JOINT ESCROW INSTRUCTIONS” CONTRACT TO BE UTILIZED IN THE PURCHASE OF SUBJECT PROPERTY. FOCUS-LIVE-ENDURE!

No photos, just plans. Inappropriate use of quotation marks. A BUNCH OF ALL CAPS TEXT AT THE END. Best of all, construction promised the summer of… three years ago.  Oh, this is going to be good.  Let’s check in with Big D.

130224-belle-sketch-movotoI was browsing listings in San Carlos and came across this $2.1mil gem. It sounds terrific on paper, and I guess I can see why it’s so expensive, San Carlos, 4/4.5, 3500 square feet, built in 2012. But was it really?

The pic shows a sketch, and the satellite view shows a big dirt lot. Perhaps since then a house has popped up for which they offer to show you the plans, but then why not show a pic? Is it because you’re buying a lot and approved plans for $2.1mil? And look at the history, it’s all over the place. If I had any time I’d drive by myself and check it out…but it certainly must have some reason it’s been on the market for 138 days.

130224-belle-redfin-notforsaleHmm, plans on Zillow, sketch on Movoto, along with this description:

Off market until construction complete approximately mid-May. New quality construction. Plans available to view. Go to: www.johnshroyer.com, Click on “My Featured Listings”, scroll to photo of property, disclosures

Mid-May of what year? We’re starting a pool.  And who is John Shroyer? What happened to Michael or Genna Armanini? Does their cell phone still work? Did they pay their Summer 2010 bill?  How did that FOCUS-LIVE-ENDURE! thing work out for them?

Meanwhile, this construction site gave us some serious déjà vu, and for good reason.  Find out why, after the break.

(more…)

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

August 21, 2012

Major fixer upper in San Carlos. You’ll need the uppers.

Today’s featured home is a San Carlos scraper brought to you by Burbed reader nomadic.  This low-hanging lemon has been overripening on the Redfin vine, and was spotted on a fruitful locale for Burbed bounty: the Redfin forums.  Thanks very much for the harvest! 

437 HILLCREST Rd
San Carlos, CA 94070
$850,000; was $875,000; was $899,000; was $910,000

120820-hillcrest-redfin

120820-hillcrest-streetview2 Beds 
1.5 Baths
1,120 Sq. Ft.
$759 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1941 
Lot Size: 7,644 Sq. Ft. 
On Redfin: 130 days
Status: Active
Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
County: San Mateo
Style: Contemporary
Community: Cordes
MLS#: 81213411

Great westside location, this home is a major fixer upper bring your contractor with you large level lot perfect for building your dream home building plans and engineering reports have been submitted to the city for approval

120820-hillcrest-satelliteHere’s what nomadic had to say about this perplexing property:

Check this out, from the Redfin forums:

  I lived in this home, as the flippers who bought it in 2011, rented it to me so they could get the permits in place.  Long story short, is that they thought they had the permits in place in February of 2012 so they asked me to move.  Turns out just more paper shuffling by the city, and things are still moving slow.  The house is in bad disrepair.  The son of the original owners (since 1941) died and the family sold it.  All the plumbing was shot, and a poorly constructed addition was slapped on the porch in the back.  The chiminey was falling off the side of the house, and there was quite a fair amount of landscaping growing out of the roof.

  Shortly after I moved out, a bunch of  vagrants ransacked the place, stole all the copper, and broke most of the windows.  Permits are still pending for the tear down and rebuild.  As I was browsing the listings, I found it funny that it was relisted at $910k basically a year after they bought it for $622, and its now no longer livable.

120820-hillcrest-streetview-2The asking price is now $850k.  When did San Carlos wedge itself into the RBA?

Hmmm, this comment doesn’t seem to be on the thread anymore, but this reply references part of the above.  So nomadic was not hallucinating the post.  Perhaps Redfin is getting a little gun-shy about actual discussion of houses rather than oh-so-postive realtardese.  Talk that way for too long and you won’t even need to take any uppers.

Bunus: Trash bag and abandoned monitor in Streetview shots, plus extra bin at neighbor’s.

 

 

Comments (21) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

July 25, 2012

Holy Color Purple, Batman!

One thing we all love on Burbed is real estate photography.  We’ve had photos of just the floor, photos of messy rooms, photos of questionable decor, and photos of more toilets than you could shake a scrub brush at.  But today’s featured property looks at those fine examples of photo fail and says, “Oh yeah?  I can beat THAT.”

Thanks very much to Burbed reader DavidDavidDavid for today’s spectacular colorburst in San Carlos!

2388 BRITTAN Ave
San Carlos, CA 94070
$759,000

120722-brittan-redfin

120722-brittan-garageBEDS:  3
BATHS:  2
SQ. FT.:  1,370
$/SQ. FT.:  $554
LOT SIZE:  7,500 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Ranch
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT:  1953
COMMUNITY:  Howard Park
COUNTY:  San Mateo
MLS#:  81226555
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  4 days

Lovely ranch-style home on a large corner lot. Formal LR/DR combo with H/W floors, wood-burning fireplace, french doors lead to patio and secluded back yard. Updated kitchen with dark granite counter tops, stainless appliances & tile floor. Remodeled bathrooms. Recessed lights, New drive way, 2-car attached garage w/ extra storage. Fully lndscp front & back yard. Great schools/nbrhd. Ez fwy accs.

120722-brittan-sideyardHere’s why DavidDavidDavid (I hope I can call him D3 for short) nominated this home for some Burbed loving:

Yet a new achievement in HDR real estate photography! Scroll over to the third and subsequent photos; check out the blazing magenta colorization!

What are you talking about?  We don’t see anything amiss with these photos.

But we’ll keep looking in case our readers might notice any problems.

120722-brittan-frontyard120722-brittan-backyard

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

July 4, 2012

Fireworks for July 4th in San Carlos

Usually Burbed doesn’t visit the same city two days in a row, but today’s a holiday, and we need to celebrate!  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Overheard in San Carlos for passing along this celebration.

248 CHESHAM Ave
San Carlos, CA 94070
$1,650,000

120703_chesham_redfin

120703-chesham-windowsBEDS:  4
BATHS:  2
SQ. FT.:  2,420
$/SQ. FT.:  $682
LOT SIZE:  10,760 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT:  2009
COMMUNITY:  Beverly Terrace
COUNTY:  San Mateo
MLS#:  81224328
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  5 days

Stunning masterpiece. 4 bedrooms plus additional Zen space. Kitchen is a chefs dream. G. E. profile double oven with warming drawer, two dishwashers, Thermador side by side Refrigerator/freezer, Viking 5 burner cooktop. Property has Home Works lighting system. Custom sound system with source and volume control. Radiant Heat system with 7 thermostatically controlled zones. True Gem.

120703-chesham-grillHere’s what OSC had to say about this purposed property.

HDR on LSD.

Where was I that day when the sky turned this color?   The sky was so intense that it literally ate the roof off of this house.

Fortunately if you go inside things won’t get any less exciting, although we can’t promise anywhere as much Cherenkov radiation.  How about… More cowbell!

Happy July 4th  everyone.  Enjoy another round of the colorful bursts from this fine listing as you enjoy your the day off.  Don’t worry, the work will be waiting for you tomorrow.  And so will we.

120703-chesham-faucet120703-chesham-sunroom

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

July 3, 2012

Secret Morse Code Message in San Carlos

Burbed_guest_bloggerWho doesn’t love flips?  Buy a house for cheap, fix it up for cheap, sell it quick for way more money.  Let’s take a look at a flip courtesy of Burbed reader NorthernAutumn.  Thanks very much for sending in this guest post.  And see all those dots in the listing copy?  That has got to be a secret message that says: Start your overbidding!

Please welcome NorthernAutumn to the front page as today’s Guest Blogger!


1223 ALAMEDA
San Carlos, CA 94070
$679,000

120702-alameda-redfin

120702-alameda-concreteBEDS:  2
BATHS:  1
SQ. FT.:  890
$/SQ. FT.:  $763
LOT SIZE:  6,500 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT:  1948
COMMUNITY:  El Sereno Corte
COUNTY:  San Mateo
MLS#:  81221878
SOURCE:  MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN:  22 days

Complete interior remodel, new maple kitchen cabinents with granite counters. Remodeled bath. .. .New hardwood floor and new berber carpeting. .. .New Roof, all new windows and landscaping. .. extra large lot. .. property is set back from street. Open house Sunday July 1.. .. from 1-4

120702-alameda-livingroomI pass by this house frequently.
It was always interesting – it lacked a fenced front yard, it sits on small weirdly-shaped lot with lots of shade along Alameda (and only about half a block from the fire station).
It was one of those houses that you could look at and think ‘hey, mine’s not THAT bad’.

Then it got put up for sale earlier this year and (surprisingly, to me at least) sold relatively quickly.
I saw the new owners were doing some work but instead of living in the house – a new ‘for sale’ sign appeared and I thought ‘ok, so someone is flipping it’.
I decided to check out what they wanted for the house.
They are asking for $679K which is $179K more than what they bought it for.

120702-alameda-kitchenDid the remodel really cost that much?  I assume the investor wants a 50% return on their investment so that would give an estimate of $90K in remodelling costs?  Too high?  Too low?
Would Burbed readers pay this for the house?  I mean, you get good San Carlos schools, easy access to a few churches, the fire station nearby and walking distance to the annual ‘CandyCane Lane/Xmas lights extravaganza’ held on nearby Birch lane….but is that worth $679K?

It’s not quite the cheapest house in San Carlos but it’s almost (I found a 1/1 listed on redfin for $610K but it’s further away from downtown and the Xmas lights extravaganza (and I can’t testify to the availability of churches, fire stations and other amenities)….

 

Comments (33) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

March 22, 2012

Centrally located in San Carlos!

Today’s luxe listing is all about location, location, location!  Many thanks to Burbed reader Overheard in San Carlos for passing along this plum place!

664 CHESTNUT St
San Carlos, CA 94070
$850,000

120320-chestnut-redfin

BEDS: 3
BATHS: 2
SQ. FT.: 2,920
$/SQ. FT.: $291
LOT SIZE: 7,350 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Mediterranean
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT: 1950
COMMUNITY: Howard Park
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81207068
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Pending Without Release
ON REDFIN: 25 days

CHARMING 3 BEDROOM, 1.75 BATH HOME W/ FRM, HDWD FLRS THRU-OUT & 2 CAR TANDEM GARAGE. SPACIOUS LIVING RM W/ BRICK SURROUND FRPLC. SEP FRML DINING RM W/ ARCHED DOORWAY. RETRO 50’S STYLE EAT-IN KITCH W/ TILE COUNTER TOPS, PLENTY OF CABINETS, FREE STANDING RANGE/OVEN & REFRIG. 3 NICE SIZE BEDRMS ON MAIN LEVEL. DWNSTRS FULL BASEMENT W/ LAUNDRY AREA. 7350 SQ FT LOT/ZONED RM59

120320-chestnut-floorHRS OF ENTRTNMNT INSD & OUT.

BUNUS: RM-59 ZNG = “MLTPL FAM MED DNSTY.”  Which is great, because this place already looks more like an APT HSE.

IDEAL LOCN, WLK 2 LIB, CTY SVCS DWNTWN, CLS 2 EVRYTNG.

ESPLY POLCE STN.
120319-chestnut-satellite

Comments (13) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

February 15, 2012

Ah, the beautiful outdoors and fresh air of San Carlos

Today’s listing is brought to you by Burbed reader Divasm.  Let’s see what you can get in San Carlos for more than not a lot of money.

220 OAKVIEW Dr
San Carlos, CA 94070
$699,000

120212-oakview-redfin

BEDS: 3
BATHS: 2
SQ. FT.: 1,530
$/SQ. FT.: $457
LOT SIZE: 5,760 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 1
YEAR BUILT: 1947
COMMUNITY: El Sereno Corte
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81200722
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Pending With Release
ON REDFIN: 35 days

3 bedroom 2 bath home with lots of upgrades. Hardwood floors under carpet, recessed lighting, new stone fireplace, new tile entry, and kitchen floors. Large lot with big backyard fully landscaped. New french doors in Master bed. Great quiet neighborhood in White Oaks school District. PRICED TO SELL!!

120212-oakview-wallHere’s what Divasm had to say about this luscious listing:

So what’s up with this house? Here’s the Realtard description: 3 bedroom 2 bath home with lots of upgrades. Hardwood floors under carpet, recessed lighting, new stone fireplace, new tile entry, and kitchen floors. New french doors in Master bed.

120212-oakview-window-viewNow it’s important you read that carefully and try to picture it in your head. Sounds delightful right? That’s the chance you will get online to see it because of the 9 photos on the listing, NONE of them show the inside of the house! There are views from the inside of plants in the yard, views of the neighbors across the street, but nothing inside. What are they hiding

I suspect a portal to hell. Anyone else?

I would have liked to see the new french doors in Master bed.  That’s a different kind of Portal to Hell.

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

December 4, 2011

OMFG is this THE END of those %$#@ Zip Codes? Rly?

What with all the excitement from our Black Friday and Beyond DEALS, you may not have noticed that our last zip code installment finished out the 301-400 level of Forbes’ Most Expensive Zip codes.  You know what that means!

Yes, this article, the Bottom 100 of the 500 Most Expensive, is The End of the Delivery Route.  Really.  Well, until 2012, when Forbes puts out a brand-new list, but there’s a good chance the world will end before then.  There’s an even better chance that Forbes will only have 5 places on that list instead of 500, with all the mistakes they made this year.  So you’re going to want to pay attention to every single zippy digit in this last entry for 2011!  But first… here’s your chance to catch up if you missed the earlier entries in this exciting, edge-of-your-seat-on-the-mail-truck, most beloved Burbed series of all time!  (Or was that most belittled?)

Previous Entries in the Most Expensive Zip Code Series:

Hold onto your mailbags, folks!  We’re entering an area with all the median prices under $750,000!  Watch out, there may not be any sushi available.

#406: San Anselmo 94960

  • Median Home Price: $749,000
  • Median Price Change: -17.4%
  • Average Days On Market: 200 129
  • Inventory: 129 52
  • 2010 Rank: 267 (-139 spots )
  • Most Expensive Home: $20.5 Million

imageA $20.5 million dollar house in Marin makes sense, but in San Anselmo?  I can’t find anything for eight digits anywhere near San Pablo Bay, and this zip’s most expensive place at 178 W Oak Knoll Drive comes in at only $3.4 million.  That’s very different. This 6000 square foot hotel-like structure on almost 10 acres has been on the market for just about half a year, so you’d better hurry!

Now, we know plenty of high-end places get yanked at the end of warm weather season.  But I find the idea of a $20 million ask going without comment pretty unlikely.  This Marin real estate blog didn’t note it under San Anselmo.  Or anywhere else.  The most expensive sale logged in MLS this year was only $8.75 million, in nearby Ross (#30 last year and mysteriously absent this one).

Zowie!! More zip code inZanity after ze break!

(more…)

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:15 am

December 1, 2011

Huge lot with many possibilities in San Carlos

Here’s a San Carlos special for you, from Burbed reader Kirill!  Thanks very much!

Why is this house Special?  It has “the best local schools” and “convenient access anywhere on the Peninsula”! That means there are schools assigned to this location, which makes them the only (best) ones. It also means that the house is on a street that connects to other streets.

Maybe this agent didn’t take a logic class because we’ve already found two tautologies.  Or maybe this agent did take a logic class, because there are buyers who think “best local schools” actually means something.

399 WINDING Way, San Carlos, CA 94070
$624,500

image

BEDS: 2
BATHS: 1
SQ. FT.: 780
$/SQ. FT.: $801
LOT SIZE: 0.37 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Cottage/Bungalow
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Neighborhood, Valley
YEAR BUILT: 1933
COMMUNITY: Beverly Terrace
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81145448
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Pending Without Release
ON REDFIN: 33 days

Country-style cottage in natural setting. Tranquil and quiet neighborhood with views and trails in San Carlos hills. A getaway location with convenient access anywhere on the peninsula. Best local schools, and great place to raise a family. Huge lot with many possibilities.

imageHere’s why Kirill sent this property in:

Thought it would be good candidate for Burbed due to combination of  diminutive size, insane price per sq. foot, one car garage separated from the house by long stairs and suggestion that it would be a "great place to raise a family" in the description.

But it is a great place to raise a family! If you need some space, just say WOULD YOU KIDS GO PLAY OUTSIDE?!  And they’re going to get a LOT of exercise outside:

image

image

And it is a “getaway” location all right; somebody left the back door open and now there’s a rooster in the kitchen.

image

This picture makes my head hurt.  We have a desert color motif here with the sand-colored chairs and the off-white wall.  We’ve got palm tree action on the seat cushions; the candlesticks are suggestive of palm trees but lack fronds, the picture frame has starfish, I can’t figure out what’s in the picture/shadowbox but it looks like an upside-down palm tree trapped behind some shelving, and the actual yard, also framed, shows a rather sprawling bush that needs cutting back.  At least it echoes the top of the palm tree, but all that green is clashing with the living room.

image

Getaway… tranquil and private… natural setting… Did somebody say grow house?  Many possibilities.

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