May 31, 2011

Shenanigans with Short Sale in Old Palo Alto

Here’s a find from comments, from Burbed reader San Matean,  San Matean wants to know what kind of games the bank is playing with this short sale in Palo Alto.  We know that a short sale means “selling shortly,” but going pending the same day it’s listed sounds more like an inside job.

1520 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA  94301


SQ. FT.: 1,500
$/SQ. FT.: $553
LOT SIZE: 5,600 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Spanish
VIEW: Neighborhood
COMMUNITY: Professorville
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81123457
STATUS: Pending With Release
ON REDFIN: 1 day

Location! Location! Location! The following was remodeled in 1997 Kitchen; Master Bathroom; 2nd Bath; Hardwood Floors underneath carpeting. Newly Landscaped rear yard. Large Kitchen great for gathering. Enclosed front with beautiful park like setting.

Wow, they were in such a hurry to “list” this property they didn’t even bother including any photos.  It isn’t any different on the agent’s own site, so let’s take a peek at the Googlecam.


Not bad, although this is an 80 year old house.  It may need new light bulbs and Drano.


It also looks like some other building has preempted the back yard.  The property lines suggest that this house and its next-door-neighbor have gone halvesies on their own meth lab:



Back to San Matean’s concern: this property was listed and went pending the same day.  That’s not the real puzzler, though. This house is in 94301, a Really Special Place, yet not only didn’t it double in ten years, it actually may have lost value.  Unless, of course, the bank decided that the overbidding would take this house right where it needed to be.

imageAnd the reason this house is now essentially owned by the bank, instead of the couple who bought it with a $706.5K conventional variable mortgage, is they refinanced it in 2005 for $962.5K (also variable). They must have liked the extra cash so much that they did it again a year later.  In 2006, the purported owners became FBs when they refinanced with a variable first mortgage of $990K, and a variable second mortgage of $198K, or $1,188,000 total.  That is, coincidentally, just $17,500 more than this place’s current Zestimate.

So, our question for you, Burbed readers: How much do you think this house sold for? We have so many fun factors in the mix: Busy street, around the corner from an even busier street (Embarcadero), bank owned property, mystery structure eating up a couple back yards, asking price a whopping 30% below the Zestimate, and a transaction that not only doesn’t look arms’ length, it suggests someone has a banker by the balls.

Comments (52) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 1:36 am

May 25, 2011

Something is rotten in the state of… Delaware?

Sale Pending (MLS-listed)
Listed at: $199,000

Beds: 1
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 740
$/Sq. Ft.: $269
Lot Size: 5,500 Sq. Ft.
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1912
Community: Parkside
County: San Mateo
MLS#: 81120671
Source: MLSListings
Status: Pending With Release

On Redfin: 9 days
1bd/1ba land value only. Please do not disturb occupants.

That looks like a pretty fine house. I wonder what’s wrong with it.

But here’s what Burbed reader Sam wanted to bring to our attention:

I see this kind of thing from time to time- a short sale property that goes pending the same day it is listed.  I have to wonder how the underwriting bank- who is taking a loss on this kind of transaction- can permit this to happen.  Of course, the bank may not agree to the sale, but if they do it sure smacks of some kind of rigged game/insider shenanigans. Since sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants, I’m hoping that burbed can shine some light on what appears to be something rotten.

Let’s look at the history real quick:


Looking at this listing, what I see is that the listing price is $199k. But we’ll have to wait and see what the final selling price is! Will be $500k? $750k? $1M?

Only time will tell…

Comments (12) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:40 am