July 21, 2013

Ever get that sinking feeling you don’t live in the RBA?

Life in the Real Bay Area is Special.  Life outside is… less so. Here’s a story showing what happens when you buy elsewhere.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader nomadic for passing this along.

Residents of sinking Calif. subdivision file claim

130721-lake-spiveyBy TRACIE CONE, Associated Press
Updated 12:33 pm, Wednesday, July 17, 2013

LAKEPORT, Calif. (AP) — For months homeowners agonized as houses in their subdivision sank one-by-one into a California hilltop. It got so dangerous that the U.S. Postal Service refused to deliver mail.

Now, they say they know the reason eight homes were destroyed and 10 others are in danger, and they’ve taken the first step toward recouping damages by filing a claim against Lake County.

A leaking county water system that went undetected for months saturated the hillside and caused the ground to give way, said Michael Green, an attorney for the 41 homeowners in the subdivision with sweeping views of Clear Lake in Northern California.

Green is seeking $5 million for each homeowner in the claim filed last month against the county.

130721-lake-singhOh, this is going to be good. The homeowners are blaming the county over the leaking water system, and the county is blaming the homeowners association, saying their irrigation system contributed to the unusual behavior of the houses. Yeah, we know whenever a sprinkler system busts a leak, our Silicon Valley homes completely fall apart too.

Oh wait, that’s not because of the sprinklers, that’s the TCE plume.

For extra lawsuit lusciousness, the county supervisors asked for a disaster declaration from the governor. That was refused.

Next time, only buy in the RBA, where these sort of things never, ever, ever, ever, ever happen.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 7:05 am

September 29, 2012

Signs of the Times

Under Water around the Bay Area has been taken off SFGate.  This was an interactive feature that showed what percentage of each zip code’s homes had mortgages on them for more than they were worth.  While it was a great idea, the data hadn’t been updated in several years.  Thanks to Burbed reader JF for reporting the broken link; we’ve removed it from our collection.

120928-waverly-redfinMeanwhile, when Burbed readers send in listings to some neighborhoods, we can’t write them up fast enough.  This cute Palo Alto house sold for over $300K, or 23% over the asking price.  And the Redfin agent says it’s impossible to park nearby! 

With this crazy overbidding, can the $800,000 crapshacks of 2006 be far behind?  Is Burbed about to discover that what’s old is new again?  This is going to be GREAT!  We can rerun every single house from six years ago and nobody could tell the difference!

Tell us what you’re seeing at Open Houses, or about anything.  It’s Open Thread time!

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am

April 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Dear Earth Day, Happy Birthday to You

120421-earth-dayToday is the 43rd Earth Day, so thank you Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI)!  How should Burbed celebrate Earth Day?  Let’s talk green houses. 

Hold your stones, I don’t mean glass houses.  I mean green, as in sustainable.  Green as in energy efficiency.  Green as in non-polluting, or at least less polluting.  And green as in whatever you left in the fridge is no longer before its time.

Berkeley architect attains enegy [sic] self-sufficiency in 1,800-square-foot home

Michael Freeze, BlockShopper.com, on SFGate.com
Sunday, April 15, 2012


When Chris Parlette, an architect by trade, went green with his Berkeley home, holding back wasn’t an option.

Parlette took his 800-square-foot home, built in 1920, and turned it into a solar-powered building that spanned more than 1,800 square feet. He described his idea of green residential living as a way of pushing the envelope to energy efficiency.

"Being an architect, I spent of lot time thinking of what I wanted to do with other clients’ houses," Parlette said of his home, located at 1147 120421-camelia-kitchenCamelia St. "Gelling these architectural ideals I had, I wanted to put it into practice with this home with mainly solar and green ideas."

A 3.2-kilowatt photovoltaic solar electric system in the form of panels brings power to the home, and it actually provides more electricity than Parlette needs. Aside from the abundance of power, the home, he rightfully noted, also is aesthetically pleasing.

There’s glass aplenty in this Berkeley home, and you’ll definitely hit the solar panels if you toss rocks at the roof.

120421-camelia-outsideYou can see more about the home over on the agent’s website, and there are even more pictures if you head over to Redfin and admire the listing.  But rather than splat out the nitty gritty details ($799K), let’s just use this house to start a discussion on how energy efficient your own home is, or is not.

Newer homes are not necessarily greener, either.  Not only is a lot of new construction done with shoddy materials and plenty of corner-cutting, but isn’t it greener to move into an existing home rather than have a new one built for you?  There are over 1.1 million empty dwelling units in California per the 2010 Census.  That’s 8.1 percent of all California homes.

Are you considering any energy improvements such as better insulation or putting in solar panels?  Is your house a lean, clean, green machine or is it a giant carbon sink?

Discuss your home, or particularly good or bad examples of sustainable energy in homes, or how you’re celebrating Earth Day, or anything else you’d like in this Open Thread.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

August 19, 2009

Fat deal on triple homicide house in Redwood City

512 STANFORD Ave, Redwood City, CA 94063 | MLS# 80914854
512 STANFORD Ave Redwood City, CA 94063
Price: $234,900

Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 820
$/Sq. Ft.: $286
Lot Size: 2,500 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
View: Neighborhood
Year Built: 1962
Community: Dumbarton
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 80914854
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 144 days
Charming bungalow in the desirable Dumbarton Acres neighborhood with some updates, wood floors, spacious living room/dining room combination with wood burning fireplace, dual paned windows, tile bathroom, patio, close to shopping and transportation

Thanks to Burbed reader Rosemary for this find. Hey it’s on Stanford Ave, one of my favorite streets in the whole Bay Area!

It appears that Rosemary read about this house here:

Fat deal on triple homicide house

Turns out that violent crime is a great way to knock a hundred thousand dollars off an asking price.
512 Stanford Avenue: After a triple homicide, the price fell to $167,500 (the highest bid as of publishing) from $337,000.

Case in point: 512 Stanford Avenue, in Redwood City, was the site of a bloody triple homicide in June 2008. And although the house still looks like it’s active in the MLS system (priced at $234,900), the property has gone to auction, where the highest bid is currently $167,500.

The house, which is marketed as a “charming bungalow in the desirable Dumbarton Acres neighborhood” was re-listed in March 2009 for $285,000, and that’s down from its original asking price — $337,000 — at the time of the murders.

(Hat tip to San Mateo Home Sellers in Trouble for spotting the listing.)

Hey, those murders happened in 2008 – that’s like 10 social networking years ago. And besides, just look at that great Ikea bathroom!

Now if only this house had 8 murders – then it would be lucky!

Comments (16) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:19 am

September 22, 2007

Foreclosures skyrocket in the other Bay Area

Burbed Reader Brendan submitted this – sadly he was confused:

Bay Area foreclosure activity skyrockets
In the Bay Area, the number of houses scheduled to be sold on the courthouse steps quadrupled compared with a year ago, according to RealtyTrac, an Irvine company that sells foreclosure listings. In the nine-county region, 1,280 households were notified they were going on the block compared with 301 last August. By far the highest incidence of auction notices was in Contra Costa County, with 699 notices.

The number of homeowners behind on their payments hit 5,705 in the Bay Area, almost triple the 2,104 from last August.

The number of properties in the Bay Area that had reverted to the lender after foreclosure skyrocketed to 1,190 in August from 26 last year. Again, Contra Costa was most affected, with 574 bank-owned properties.

You see, that’s the other Bay Area. The Bay Area 2.0 is defined as Cupertino, Palo Alto, Los Altos and Mountain View. Places where they’re not making any more land, and where people become millionaires from stock options on a daily basis.

Nice try with your FUD tactics! Better luck next time!

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