March 8, 2013

Super Fun site in Mountain View, Perfect for entertaining!

Let’s finish out the week with a double dose of Mountain View Bubble 4.0: this house is a floor wax and a dessert topping. Today’s featured property was brought to you courtesy of Burbed reader bublidoo.  Thanks very much for a listing so aerated that we had to go to four different sites until we found a photo of the actual house as it exists today.  Yep, pending in a week!

130307-whisman-movoto460 N Whisman Rd
Mountain View, CA 94043
$1,149,000

Loan Payment: $4,000/mo
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3&1/2
Size: 1,999 sqft
$/Sqft: $574/sqft
Type: Single Family House
Year Built: 2013
Lot Size: 4,960
Days on Movoto: 9 days
Neighborhood: Whisman
MLS#: 81305578
Status: Pending – Do Not Show

Stunning newly constructed custom 4/3.5 Craftsman located on a great lot close to downtown MV, Google and easy commute routes! This gorgeous open floor plan inc. 2 master suites, one 1st floor, 3.5 designer baths, gourmet chef?s kitchen with granite counter tops & stainless steel appliances, large island w/counter seating & sliding doors to patio. Perfect for entertaining! Close to top MV schools!

130307-whisman-kitchenSo why is this house nominated for a big ol’ Burbed hug? Let’s check in with our reader whose very name implies Bubble 4.0.

wanted to point out this stunning, newly constructed custom craftsman to you. If it was near good schools or downtown Mountain View (the description claims both … but not sure about "near"), perhaps the price could be justified. But what we’re looking at here …

130307-whisman-yardis an asking price well over a million bucks for a single family house (yes, stunning, I forgot, sorry …) on a small lot within the vapor intrusion study area. And the listing comes on the heels of super fun coverage by burbed, the local TV channel, and the Mountain View Voice. One has to wonder why the agent didn’t include "Buyer to attend meetings on toxic vapors. Walk to Google Offices!"

130307-whisman-redfin-pdnsPerhaps there’s been too much super fun coverage already? In that case, no pressure … and hope you had a chuckle.

Cheers!

Oh no, bublidoo, you can never, ever, ever have too much Super Fun.  Want some more?  Let’s look at this house over on Redfin, where’ they’ve pulled down the listing and are featuring the before photo (singular) and listing copy. 

Did we mention how much we love Pending/Do Not Show?  It’s like an extra set of presents we completely missed behind the Christmas tree!  And speaking of extra presents, look what we found on Zillow.  This is like finding out we’re celebrating Chanukah too, as an added extended family holiday, with bunus presents!

130307-whisman-zillow

Wow, who knew that side of the family was so artsy?  (Or too klutzy to use a camera?)  Must be because of those good schools.

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






March 2, 2013

Ever wonder why the East Bay isn’t in the RBA?

This is why.

130301-negeq-norcal

This is Zillow’s map of negative equity by county in Central California.  The more red, the more they bled.  You can look at the map by state, by county, and by zip code.  At the county level, we can see that the only Bay Area regions that aren’t about to terminate from failure to clot are Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco and Marin Counties.  Santa Cruz County is looking a little pink around the neck (it’s 22% underwater) but it’s downright alabaster compared to the abattoir north and east of San Jose.  Here are the county by county numbers for 2012.

Bay Area County Percent of homes w/mortgage underwater Median Zillow Home Value Index Decline from peak value
Alameda 25% $447,100 -30%
Contra Costa 33% (highest 20% in US) $334,200 -46%
Marin 16% $716,500 -20%
Napa 30% $365,100 -42%
San Francisco 10% $771,100 -3%
San Mateo 15% $689.900 -15%
Santa Clara 15% $642,600 -13%
Santa Cruz* 23% $503,400 -31%
Solano 54% (highest 1% in US) $202,400 -58%
Sonoma 29% $357,800 -40%

And here’s a live version for you to play with, although you can also head over to Zillow and see it in action wherever you want to examine.

Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:14 am

March 1, 2013

They’re Making More RBA Land

Sometimes a picture explains what words cannot.

Rising home values push more Bay Area homes above water, Zillow says

By Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News

Posted: 02/21/2013 06:26:11 AM PST, Updated: 02/21/2013 06:26:39 AM PST

Rising prices pushed thousands of Bay Area homes back above water last year, according to a report released Wednesday, another sign that the region's housing crisis is easing as the economy recovers.

The report, by the housing website Zillow, shows drops across the region in the number of homes that are underwater — worth less than the value of their mortgages.

More than 56,826 homes bobbed back above water across seven counties of the Bay Area in 2012, Zillow reported. That still leaves 205,986 homes with a total negative equity of $31.5 billion.

Now let's see the graphic. See? Fewer homes are underwater! That means more of them are Special, so more are also in the Real Bay Area! They must be making more Real Bay Area land.

Glad we could clear this up.

 

Comments (30) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:04 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

February 11, 2013

Stayin’ Alive in Alameda: Not just a good idea, it’s the law!

Today’s delicious domicile comes to you from Alameda, the island garden of the Bay.  Or should we say Oakland Afloat? Estuary Estates? Maybe you have an even better name for Alameda than those! Thanks very much to Burbed reader JL for finding a house with a creative command to the buyer.

130210-mcdonnel-redfin492 MCDONNEL Rd
Alameda, CA 94502
$599,000

3 Beds
2.5 Baths
1,625 Sq. Ft.
$369 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1992
Lot Size: 3,895 Sq. Ft.
On Redfin: 19 days
Status: Pending
HOA Dues: $365/month
Style: Contemporary
Community: Bay Colony
MLS#: 40601391
Type: Duet
Stories: 2
County: Alameda

Very sunny duet home W/ big lot, great size open backyd, spacious driveway, cul-de-sac. Extra high ceiling grand entrance. Gorgeous new kitchen. double pane window. HOA cover exterior, roof, front yd & insurance. close to ferry terminal. One of a kind. Must see. Nobody pass away inside the house.

130210-mcdonnel-kitchenHere’s what JL had to say about the house:

Burbed is the best! I had to pass along an Alameda listing that has generous and inexplicable amounts of fail.

First, there’s only outside pictures. Never a good sign. But the best thing is the description. Granted, I think we may have a non-native speaker as the writer, but the last line is hilarious no matter what.

130210-mcdonnel-streetviewThe strange thing is, this looks like a nice house. The redfin Streetview link takes you to a street over a block, but if you go to Google street view directly, it shows a decent-looking place. So the Redfin listing could have been nice, but instead was awesomely bad.

Awesomely bad? It’s not every house that’s not just part of a cookie-cutter tract but a gol-durn “duet home” in a cookie cutter tract that can call itself “one of a kind”! Now that’s awesomely something!  Plus there’s insurance in the front yard! The $365 a month HOA fees are just the cherry on this Win Sundae!

We tried to find the collection of “only outside pictures” without success.  Other listing sites either had the photos removed (with the listing marked as off market) or a slightly different set of photos, inside as well as out.  Here are a couple more, just in case Redfin yanks these bright and early Monday morning. 

130210-mcdonnel-hdromg130210-mcdonnel-hdromg2

And we mean it about the bright, as the Cherenkov radiation is strong in this one.  Just for grins, check out the outdoor pix on Zillow!  Must see.

130210-mcdonnel-yard130210-mcdonnel-wtf

Serious WHOA.  Of course if we had a yard like that, we wouldn’t pass away inside the house either.

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

January 24, 2013

Value is in the land, and that value is $101.01 a square foot

How much should land in the Real Bay Area cost, when they aren’t making any more of it?  It’s hard to tell, as most of it is already covered with houses.  But today’s featured property, courtesy of Burbed reader Michael Boltonestater, may help us get an idea.  All together now: Mountain View, so close to Google!

130123-bryant-redfin344 BRYANT Ave
Mountain View, CA 94040
$4,400,000

3 Beds 
1 Baths 
1,216 Sq. Ft.
$3,618 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1953 
Lot Size: 0.93 Acres 
On Redfin: 1 day
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 1
Community: Grant
MLS#: 81301915
Style: Traditional, Cottage/Bungalow
View: Neighborhood
County: Santa Clara

3BR/1BA WITH SPACIOUS KITCHEN OVERLOOKING YARD. FEATURES INCLUDE LIVING ROOM WITH REFINISHED HARDWOOD FLOORS, INSIDE LAUNDRY ROOM WITH PANTRY, & APPROVED PLANS FOR REMODEL/EXPANSION INTO SPACIOUS ATTIC AREA. POSSIBLE 4 LOT SUBDIVISION ON APPROXIMATELY 40,000SF LOT (. 93 ACRES). OUTSTANDING DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS WITH ACCESS FROM BRYANT FILOMENA COURT. IDEALLY LOCATED IN WELL ESTABLISHED NEIGHBORHOOD.

130123-bryant-streetviewYou know the agent is just phoning this one in to long list of OPPORTUNITY-minded investors. Otherwise, this house with all its expansion plans could have easily been featured instead of just an aerial shot.  Heck, Google even managed to find something once we realized the Redfin map was pointing to the wrong place (over at Beaumont and Apricot, and wonder why that happened, huh?)

Also look at this very odd cul-de-sac that abuts the property (right underneath the lot on the lower right).  Looks like it only culled half de sac.

130123-bryant-satellite

130123-bryant-view-from-beaumontSo, do you think land in Mountain View in a good zip without the good schools is worth a million for a quarter acre?  Can you make money as a developer when your land costs are that high?  New homes in nearby Enclave at Waverly Park development (the old Pumpkin Patch property) went for $2M+, but they built 53 big houses there.  Hard to get economies of scale when this lot will support four of them.

Perhaps the third time’s a charm for this huge investment opportunity. The buyer is sticking to this price regardless of which agent has the deal.

130123-bryant-history

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

January 18, 2013

NEVER BEFORE ON THE MARKET

Burbed got its start almost seven years ago, featuring very expensive houses in very questionable locations in very poor repair.  But housing win isn’t all crapboxes and open potties and questionable listing copy.  Sometimes there’s much to enjoy with a premium listing as well.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader SMParkster for following up on a fantabulous feudal feast!

130117-greer-redfin331 GREER Rd
Woodside, CA 94062
$85,000,000

9 Beds 
8.5 Baths 
9,000 Sq. Ft.
$9,444 / Sq. Ft.
Built: 1946 
Lot Size: 91.94 Acres 
On Redfin: 60 days
Status: Active
Property Type: Detached Single Family
Stories: 2
Community: Central Woodside
MLS#: 81241344
Style: Colonial
View: Mountains, Lake
County: San Mateo

LANDMARK PROPERTY NEVER BEFORE ON THE MARKET. PROPERTY CONSISTS OF 3 PARCELS—PARCEL #072-052-020 51.04 ACRES. .PARCEL #072-052-260 39.40 ACRES AND PARCEL #072-072-010 1.5 ACRES TOTALING APPROX 91.94 ACRES. .BORDERED ON ONE SIDE BY HUDDART PARK, GLORIOUS LAND W/ ROLLING OAK-STUDDED HILLS OPEN MEADOWS & ENDLESS VIEWS. CIRCA 1941 COLONIAL ESTATE HOME, GATEHOUSE & CARETAKER’S COTTAGE. WOODSIDE SCHOOL

130117-greer-gullixsonWait, this place looks familiar.

Flood estate in Woodside is for sale… $85 million.  Perfect example of why Prop 13 needs to go…. the most recent property tax was under $8000. 

That estate doesn’t look flooded at all, but we admit we didn’t check all 92 acres of it.  Maybe that lake used to be the golf course. 

And what’s this “On Redfin 60 days”?  SM sent this in four months ago.  When we went to check the listing history for further hints, we found only an MLS listing entry from November, plus an announcement that the seller didn’t want any estimates of the property’s value, so no links to any of the automated home valuation websites would be provided.

Like this one.

130117-greer-zestimate

They’re awfully sensitive about any of you finding out that you could rent this place out for $6500 a month instead of Buying It Now for $85M.  As the agent helpfully points out, “You never see this kind of land.”

Comments (15) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:10 am

January 5, 2013

What could be more awesome than a house in Mountain View?

The median Home Value in Mountain View, according to Zillow, is $877,900.  So what could you get for that amount, if you looked for a house in some other part of the country?  If you were willing to look in Maryland, you could get this nice painting of a house.  Plus HOA fees every month!

130104-what-maryland

LOT 10, STURBRIDGE
Brookville, MD 20833
$852,900

Ownership Type : Fee Simple
Bedrooms : 4
Type : Detached
Full Bathrooms : 3
Status : Active
Half Bathrooms : 1
List Date : 09/25/2011
Square feet : 4500
Days on Market : 468
Price per sq. ft : $189
Status Date : 09/25/2011
Approx Lot Size (Acres) : 1.0
Price : $852,900
Approx Lot Size (Sq.Ft.) : 43560
Location : BROOKEVILLE MD 20833
Year Built : 2012

HOA Fee : $500.00 Annually
Elementary School : BUSHY PARK
ADC map : 8J12
Middle School : GLENWOOD
130104-what-lotsAdvertised Subdivision : RIVERCREST IN HOWARD COUNTY
High School : GLENELG
DESCRIPTION
Short Sale : No

Remarks : ASK ABOUT OUR SPECIAL INCENTIVES! MASTER LISTING – “STURBRIDGE” LOT 10, OTHER LOTS AVAIL FROM $892,900. SCENIC, 1 ACRE WOODED HOMESITES OVERLOOKING CATTAIL CREEK! CUSTOMIZATION & STATE OF THE ART ENERGY EFFICIENCY INCL IN EVERY HOME! OTHER HOME DESIGNS AVAIL OR CUSTOM BUILD. MODEL OPEN DAILY 10AM-5PM @ 2836 MILLERS WAY DRIVE, ELLICOTT CITY, MD 21043.

Internet Remarks : ASK ABOUT OUR SPECIAL INCENTIVES! MASTER LISTING – “STURBRIDGE” LOT 10, OTHER LOTS AVAIL FROM $892,900. SCENIC, 1 ACRE WOODED HOMESITES OVERLOOKING CATTAIL CREEK! CUSTOMIZATION & STATE OF THE ART ENERGY EFFICIENCY INCL IN EVERY HOME! OTHER HOME DESIGNS AVAIL OR CUSTOM BUILD. MODEL OPEN DAILY 10AM-5PM @ 2836 MILLERS WAY DRIVE, ELLICOTT CITY, MD 21043.

Holy crap, that’s a lot of CAPITAL LETTERS for the same price you’d pay in Mountain View.  Plus you get a house that hasn’t even been built yet, so you have no idea of the build quality or the feng shui.  And just think of how much work it’s going to be mowing an entire acre or dusting 4500 sf of house.

For this much money in Mountain View, you’d be looking at a vintage one bedroom from 1948,on a 6969 sf foot lot (we’re just reporting the listing, we’re not making innuendos). It boasts a spacious 914 foot floor plan.  Plus the comparable Maryland place, while near such cosmopolitan confluences like Laytonsville,is 2831 miles from Google (we checked).  In current traffic that’s a whizzy 41 hour commute.  One way.

Also, no HOA fees for vintage homes in Mountain View.

Bunus: The home in Maryland was never featured on Burbed, either.  And homes in Maryland, whether or not they’re built, don’t go up $125K in just five months.  Or down $50K at the exact same time

Comments (2) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

November 22, 2012

It’s Thanksgiving, and Here’s Your Turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Sorry today’s house is late, as we were up all night prepping for a Burbed Feast.  Did you know how difficult it is to cut up the Real Bay Area into Census districts of half inch cubes without crossing any zip codes?

Now on to our entree. Today’s house was sent in by one of its former owners, a Burbed reader who wishes to remain anonymous.  Can’t imagine why!

121122-ardis-movoto361 Ardis Ave
San Jose, CA 95117 
Price:  $555,000

Loan Payment:  $1,902/mo
Bedrooms:  4
Bathrooms:  3
Size:  2,943 sqft
$/Sqft:  $188/sqft
Type:  Single Family House
Year Built:  1951
Lot Size:  9,424
Days on Movoto:  547 days
Sold Date:  05/31/11
MLS#:  81123441
Status:  Sold for $535,000

Contractors special-Huge Lot w/ Unlimited Potential. Build your Dream Home near Santana Row/Valley Fair.

121122-ardis-kitchenHere’s what our unnamed fan has to say about today’s main course:

The house that keeps on giving.. Yes I was one of the people who lost money on this West Valley Brigadoon. The person who bought it from me, never did one thing he said, just held it and turned it for my profit… This wreck has been untouched through 4 sales…

Will the next buyer be able to rehab this behemoth???

121122-ardis-tile-roomBad houses happen to good people :-0

This house was sent in just a week and a half ago, but the usually suspect real estate sites have it marked as sold already.  Either our correspondent just noticed his/her old place changed hands after almost two years on the market, or there’s a more recent listing we’re not finding.

Hey, Redfin, pass the white meat!  Click on through if you’re joining us from the front page.  The table is groaning.

(more…)

Comments (4) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 11:56 am

November 15, 2012

Serious defects include well contamination

We’ve been spending too much time in Santa Clara County, which means we’re forgetting about the other eight counties in the Bay Area.  So let’s head north for today’s front-page feature.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader Tom Paine for this deep subject.

121114-gravenstein-sawbuck4291 Gravenstein Highway S
Sebastopol, CA 95472

Listed for $535,800 on 2/1/12
Several price cuts, to $315K on 10/19
Sold for $310,000 on 11/8/12

BANK OWNED
1 Story Detached
3 bedrooms
2 bathrooms
2,535 sq ft
3.45 acres
13 years old
15 Photos
Style: Ranch
Lot Size: 3.45 ac
Mortgage Payment: $1,114/mo
Taxes —
Year Built: 1999
Subdivision: Sebastopol
Stories: 1
MLS #21202510
WalkScore™:18

Nice piece of property on 3.4 acres. Cash only buyers. No financing. Serious defects include well contamination, rotted foundation and extensive wood rot.

121114-gravenstein-fireplaceHere’s why Tom thought this nowhere-near-the-Real Bay Area estate deserved to be all tarted up on Burbed:

Think of enjoying the beautiful views in the morning, sipping that cup of extra flavorful coffee and smelling the sweet scent of rot. And you get that special REO deed that doesn’t guarantee title as a bonus!

Can’t imagine why this didn’t sell faster.  Nothing is more authentically Marin than extensive wood rot.  But you get all this prestige at a Sonoma County price (complete with a Sonoma County address)!

This is also one of those listings we had to play Where’s Waldo with, because it didn’t show up on Redfin or several others.  Plus it had different listing copy with fewer but blurrier photos on Zillow:

121114-gravenstein-zillow4291 Gravenstein Hwy S
Sebastopol, CA 95472
Not for Sale

Zestimate $392,863
Rent Zestimate $2,458/mo
Est. Mortgage $1,371/mo

Beds: 3
Baths: 2
Sqft: 2,535
Lot: 150,282 sq ft / 3.45 acres
Type: Single Family
Year built: 1999
Fireplace: Yes
County: Sonoma
Legal description: MAP D5 151
Parcel #: 062240030
Per floor sqft: 2,535
Total rooms: 7
121114-gravenstein-bathroom# Stories: 1.0
Unit cnt: 1
Zillow Home ID: 15806148

Excellent country estate on over 3.4 acres. Home features tile entry, large living area with fireplace & fish tank, granite counter tops & island in kitchen, oversized master bedroom w/sitting area. Outside kitchen with built-in BBQ. Fantastic views of pastures, hills and seasonal creek. Pre qual with BOFA required on all offers. Cash buyers are subject to Deed restriction.

Bunus: Check out the listing history!

121114-gravenstein-listing-history

Comments (5) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:01 am