January 26, 2012

A Beach House for Fantasy Fans

Recently we ran a rather unusual house that would make a great West Coast toehold for the White Castle burger chain.  Yes, it was an actual fracking CASTLE in the back of an otherwise normal home in Los Altos. Burbed reader Tracy is crazy for castles, and has been deploying the trebuchet to hurl several into the inbox.  Here’s another one if you can’t wait until April for Season 2 of HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Unfortunately, this castle, like so many homes built on fantasies and empty treasure chests, was taken off-market.  So we’ll do our best to get the information to you, no matter how many real estate sites we have to scour to find it!

Watsonville, CA 95076
$1,795,000, delisted on 12/12/2011
Originally listed for $1,895,000


Beds: 6
Baths: 4
Sqft: 2,864
Lot: 9,146 sq ft / 0.21 acres
Type: Single Family
Year built: 1971
Last sold: September 22 1999 for $353,500

Beautiful ocean views, convenient beach access, private parking front and rear, quality remodel, 6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, custom home in Pajaro Dunes – Turnkey! Remodeled kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, roof, siding, windows, appliances. Pajaro Dunes is perhaps Northern California’s best kept secret! To live here or just to visit is an experience to be treasured. Come see for yourself!

imageWe’ve provided all 9 photos, because most of the other sites took them down when the listing got yanked.  Thank heavens for ZipRealty!  And we used Zillow to fill in all those missing pieces, like whether the castle actually had any rooms and was built after the Year 0.  Redfin provided the neighborhood plot layout at the bottom of this post.  Finally, this expired agent page provided the listing copy above.

The very first thing you’ll notice looking at the front of the house is that there isn’t any garage.  And that’s a good thing!  If you’re imagethe kind of person who wants to live in a castle, you don’t want any newfangled technology such as horseless carriages and wireless music using airwaves.  A six bedroom house means you can keep your own horn section to play flourishes when you enter each room.  And really, nobody should be waving except your courtiers.

So the plastic furniture really has to go.  Just set up some trestle tables and benches and you’ll be ready to serve up the wild boars.


I tell you, it’s being able to build a castle out of a 1971 tract house that makes this country great, even if said castle would be more appropriate on its lonesome on ten acres in Inverness, rather than on a 9000 square foot lot right next to traditional beach homes.


America, F*** YEAH!  Although the tennis courts ought to be replaced with a jousting pavilion, and the flag with one from, say, 971.

Comments (6) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:05 am

October 25, 2010

Offers Will Not Be Reviewed

Happy Monday everyone!  And here to start your work week off is Burbed reader sonarrat with this guest post.  Please give a warm burbed welcome to sonarrat!

Let’s go a little south of usual, shall we? After all, we still need people to pick the strawberries and attend the McDonald’s drive thru window. If you’re willing to make the drive over the Hecker Pass into Santa Cruz County every day, you can find some mighty affordable digs. So let’s take a look at an example of how our true working class lives.

42 9th St,  Watsonville, CA 95076


Beds: 2
Baths: 1
Sq. Ft.: 612
$/Sq. Ft.: $173
Lot Size: 8,624 Sq. Ft.
Property Type:
Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1930
Community: Watsonville
County: Santa Cruz
MLS#: 81050457
Source: MLSListings
Status: Active
On Redfin: 8 days

Bring it on! Classic 1930’s cottage-style home needs some love. Opportunities abound for those willing to put in the work. Very central location, towards the end of a not-through street. Days 1-7: Offers will not be reviewed. Days 8-12: Offers ONLY from NSP buyers, Municipalities, Non-profit organizations and Owner-occupants will be reviewed. Days 13+: We will consider offers from all buyers.

At $106,000, this little charmer is certainly within the reach of the working class. It’s on a dead end street for privacy, but just one turn from the highway.


Let’s look at the sales history:

Oct 15, 2010 Listed $106,000 — MLSListings #81050457
Feb 12, 2010 Sold (Public Records) $135,000  — Public Records
This home was foreclosed and bank-owned.
Apr 22, 2009 Delisted — — Inactive MLSListings #2
Apr 11, 2009 Price Changed * — Inactive MLSListings #2
Apr 11, 2009 Relisted — — Inactive MLSListings #2
Apr 05, 2009 Delisted — — Inactive MLSListings #2
Apr 02, 2009 Price Changed * — Inactive MLSListings #2
Mar 27, 2009 Price Changed * — Inactive MLSListings #2
Mar 04, 2009 Listed * — Inactive MLSListings #2
Feb 27, 2009 Delisted — — Inactive MLSListings #1
Jan 30, 2009 Price Changed * — Inactive MLSListings #1
Jan 15, 2009 Relisted — — Inactive MLSListings #1
Jan 09, 2009 Delisted — — Inactive MLSListings #1
Sep 12, 2008 Price Changed * — Inactive MLSListings #1
Jul 08, 2008 Listed * — Inactive MLSListings #1
Nov 03, 1994 Sold (Public Records) $133,000 — Public Records

What a terrific investment! Look at that historical return of, uh, well, you can still rent it out, right? Once upon a time, people said that anywhere in California was a good investment that could only go up. Clearly, though, there must be a reason why this Bay Area property is listed lower than its price in 1994 – not a boom time for real estate by anyone’s measure. So let’s take a look at the copy:

Days 1-7: Offers will not be reviewed. Days 8-12: Offers ONLY from NSP buyers, Municipalities, Non-profit organizations and Owner-occupants will be reviewed. Days 13+: We will consider offers from all buyers.

Oh, of course! There are so many people clamoring to own this small, crappy corner of the Bay Area, they can’t even list the property without a 7-day grace period to hire a crack staff of 50 people to review the mountain of offers. Sweet! The boom is back, everyone!

Comments (44) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 am