April 12, 2012

Want an investment property close to Facebook? TOO LATE

Burbed continues with Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer week, and now we return to Palo Alto.  Ah Palo Alto, home of high prices for working-class residences.  This fine investment property/teardown/whatever cannot be yours because it went pending in just six days.  Let’s drool on it and hope the sale falls through.  We’ll use Zillow this time because Redfin already took the listing copy and pictures down.

2316 Amherst St
Palo Alto, CA 94306
$1,498,000

120405-amherst-zillow

Beds: 4
Baths: 3
Sqft: 2,025
Lot: 6,098 sq ft / 0.14 acres
Type: Single Family
Year built: 1959
Parking: —
Cooling: —
Heating: —
Fireplace: —
On Zillow: 9 days
MLS #: 81211442
County: Santa Clara
Legal description: —
Parcel #: —
Per floor sqft: 2,025
Zillow Home ID: 2120434658

Sold in conjunction with 2320 Amherst. Two buildings: 2316 is spacious 1/1 with hardwood & updated kitchen. 2320 has 2/1 downstairs with refinished hardwood & updated kitchen; small 1/1 upstairs with huge deck and lovely views of the hills. Both buildings have laundry facilities. Legally 2 lots, zoned R1. Fabulous College Terrace location – Move in, buy for investment or build a new home! [Listing information © MLSListings Inc. All rights reserved.]Brokered And Advertised By: Dreyfus Properties, Inc.Listing Agent: Lucy Berman

120405-amherst-patioThis one is a Wow!  As in Wow, that photography really hurts to look at.  We’ll include a number of pictures in case the listing is scrubbed from teh internets forever.

You can also try your luck with the Virtual Tour, which has the same pictures, only in much sharper focus.  The color intensity is still dialed up to 11, though, so you keep that feeling you accidentally wandered into The Bee Movie.

120405-amherst-virtualtour-gardenThis photo at right is from the Virtual tour.  It’s the only one not on Zillow as well, and lucky for us, it’s got that riot of color so distinctive of this photographer.  The kind of buyer who wants an investment property in Palo Alto will definitely appreciate this effort that makes it look like a Henri Rousseau painting.

The rest of the photos, available after the break, are straight from Zillow.  That way you can enjoy the blurry effect on top of the bright colors.

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Comments (9) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am






March 17, 2012

A dozen plus tenants in a million-dollar hood

Foreclosure rattles upscale San Jose neighborhood, and tenants

By Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News
Posted:   03/14/2012 05:53:36 PM PDT, Updated: 03/15/2012 10:14:37 AM PDT

120315-lacastellet-partitionsThe two-story home in the East San Jose foothills could belong to any well-to-do family, but step through the door and you’re inside a million-dollar suburban foreclosure quagmire.

More than a dozen adults and their pets have been living in a warren of rented rooms in the foreclosed house, turning a tranquil cul-de-sac into what one upset neighbor called "a nightmare for all of us living on that block."

120315-lacastellet-laundryAccording to attorneys for the tenants, the former owner was renting out rooms — including the laundry room and a living room split in two — in the months after the home was foreclosed by the bank. They claim she never told tenants about the foreclosure. Now the tenants face eviction in a hearing to be held Thursday in Santa Clara County Superior Court.

San Jose police officers have responded 16 times since September to resolve disputes and disturbances at the five bedroom, four bath home on La Castellet Court, where houses are valued at $1 million or more. The city’s code enforcement department says it has an open case on the house.      

120315-lacastellet-staircaseRemember the Cubicle House?  This owner simply took that idea one step further now that rentals beat office space.

For all of you who have been criticizing the idea of The Real Bay Area versus The Part That Is Not, this should definitively settle those arguments.  Things like this simply Do Not Happen In The Real Bay Area.  If someone in Los Altos Hills were to notice 15 cars parked along the street in front of the 4,000 square foot housing tumor next door, Code Enforcement would not merely say they have “an open case on the house.”

And in Palo Alto, every one of those vehicles would have collected parking tickets within 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Anyway, our intrepid reporters have tracked down the house in question.

120315-lacastellet-redfin

Unfortunately for purposes of journalistic outrage, the Streetview photo does not have the aforementioned excess vehicle collection.

120315-lacastellet-streetview

Zillow can show us the neighborhood values.

120315-lacastellet-zestimates

Homeowners here certainly may have paid over a million for this area, but Zillow has a disturbing lack of faith in their reported valuations.  The expressway-like street against the backyards is Aborn. 

And if you’re wondering why the FB felt the need to fill this home chock-a-block with tenants while hiding from Bank of America, wait until you hear the bubblicious price paid for this place: $1,580,000 on Halloween of 2006. 

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:09 am

March 14, 2012

UPDATED: Gourgeous East SJ home could possibly be used as an arena

Today’s prestigious property was sent in by Burbed reader Tracy.  You know that saying about shutting the barn door after the horses run away?  These barn doors are wide open, and the barnyard is large.  Deep, too.  Come to Peacock Canyon, and breathe in the fresh air.

UPDATE at end of article.

16235 ALUM ROCK Ave
San Jose, CA 95127
$320,000

120313-alumrock-redfin

BEDS: 3
BATHS: 2
SQ. FT.: 1,400
$/SQ. FT.: $229
LOT SIZE: 2.17 Acres
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STORIES: 2
VIEW: Mountains, Canyon
YEAR BUILT: 1900
COMMUNITY: Alum Rock
COUNTY: Santa Clara
MLS#: 81208053
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 11 days

Historic ALum Rock Stables is ready for a new start. 12 stall horse stable as well as level lot that could be used for a home or possibly an arena. Gourgeous views of Peacock Canyon and access to the Alum Rock Regional Park make this an ideal location for the horseman or naturist.

120313-alumrock-yellow-roomHere’s why Tracy sent this listing in for some Burbed loving.

I have fantasized about this place, many times when it has been on the market. It looks to be located midway down a landslide, but that might just be me. The view is amazing, and the price seems right, but it is a crap shack, so qualifies for the burbed treatment.

120313-alumrock-greenIt certainly does!  This place sold for an eye-popping $1.2 million in 2006, which means it’s worth almost two million now.  What a deal the bank is offering. 

And go over to the Redfin listing to check out the pictures, because this is another one of those homes for visually organized people where every room is painted a different very bright primary color.  Maybe the FBs were running a daycare along with the horse business.

120313-alumrock-toilet

Given how old the structures are, these are in surprising good shape!  They were built in the 19th Century, yet modernization was allowed to happen.  Look, they even installed indoor plumbing!

Now if you really want some cognitive dissonance with your morning coffee, check out Zillow’s price history:

120313-alumrock-zillow

120313-alumrock-stableYou let those horses out of the barn, and the barn is now worth less than it was 21 years ago.  Then again, Zillow has a completely different set of pictures for the property, so that could explain the discrepancy.  Also a different address.  Maybe these are competing Alum Rock Stables properties.

Well, one address or the other is an ideal location for the horseman or naturist.  I just wonder if the Realtard who wrote this copy knows what a naturist is.

Update 12:15 pm: The Redfin link above is now bouncing to 11125 Canon Vista Ave, with 2006 information. And different pictures since that’s a previous listing. It also says that property is pending as of today.  Head over to Trulia to see the above pictures and copy, while you can.

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:02 am

March 12, 2012

Gem of a House in Santa Clara, but so many questions

Happy Monday!  Let’s kick off the new workweek with another one of Burbed reader sonarrat’s discoveries in Santa Clara, also known as Real Gray Area.  And we’re not going to let a little thing like the seller pulling it off-market stop us from enjoying it, either!

2545 Amethyst Dr
Santa Clara, CA 95051
$550,000

120309-amethyst-zillow

Beds: 3
Baths: 1
Sqft: 897
Lot: 5,227 sq ft / 0.12 acres
Type: Single Family
Year built: 1955
Construction quality: 6.0
County: Santa Clara
Garage sqft: 273
Last remodel year: 1955
Legal description: TRACT 1309 GREEN VALE MANOR BOOK 50 PAGE1 10 PAGE2 13 LOT 438
Lot depth: 100
Lot width: 54
Neighborhood name: Santa Clara
Parcel #: 21622037
Per floor sqft: 897
Total rooms: 5
School district: Santa Clara Unified
# Stories: 1
Structure type: Other

Move-in condition ? Remodeled Kitchen & Bathroom ? New Appliances ? Newly refinished Hardwood Floors ? New Vinyl Floor in Kitchen & Bathroom ? Central Air Conditioner ? Santa Clara Schools ? Quiet Neighborhood with easy access to Expressways and 101

120309-amethyst-kitchenJust in case someone has a sad about these pictures still floating around Zillow and PMZ and gawd knows which other sites that don’t honor their MLS agreements, here are the other three pictures in the gallery. 

As you peruse them, pay careful attention to the artist’s use of light and texture, especially how certain themes carry from one photo to the next.

120309-amethyst-livingroomThat’s a rather fancy-ass way to say despite this house looking abandoned (or at least like the owners can’t afford any living room furniture), somebody took the trouble to hang up curtains.


120309-amethyst-bathroom

Comments (7) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:03 am

March 7, 2012

IMAGINE Your Mega Estate with Vineyards & Helipad

We recently received this email (without the pictures; I selected them especially for the excess smug):

120306-hicks-pollutionOpen House 23+ Acres $1,288,000 in Los Gatos Sunday 01-29-2012 OPEN 1-5pm

Take in the spectacular views!
OPENHOUSESunday 1PM-5PM!

21631 HICKS Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032
MLS# 81200553
23 beautiful acres with SFR
Priced to sell @ $1,288,000

Spectacular views of city lights, Lexington Reservoir, the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Valley.
Build your dream estate on this 23 acre property with over 3 buildable pads.

120306-hicks-pollution-2A secluded and private retreat close to town!
Possibilities are endless, vineyards, horses, lush gardens, orchard, solar, Helipad.
Only 5 minutes to Los Gatos.

Valuable property that is priced to sell now.
Thanks,
agent name and phone

p.s. Email me if you would like to see photos of the property.

Hicks Road?  Why did that seem familiar?  Ah, yes!

120306-hicks-burbed-2010

We don’t know why this agent’s email got caught in a time warp where it didn’t show up until yesterday, but we can only assume it was sent to Burbed because they want the property featured again.  The least we could do is oblige them.  Quickly.  Click on through to see how the place is being marketed now.

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Comments (10) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:00 am

February 25, 2012

Your Weekend Open Thread

It’s time to get out there and look at Open Houses!  Spring Bounce is just around the corner, so you don’t want to miss out on your dream house.

Speaking of fantasies, here’s a find that’s way out of Burbed territory. Some of you could pick up for couch cushion change.  I know, it’s SoCal, but hear me out.  Many thanks to Burbed reader BookingIt for this terrific tenement in Twentynine Palms!

3281 Blower Rd
TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA 92277
$14,500

120223-blower-zillow

Super cute cabin on 2.5 acres. Has had some work done. Owner may consider terms.Brokered And Advertised By: INSPIRE REAL ESTATEListing Agent: JULIANNE BEGGS

If you’ve been thinking about simplifying your life, this could be it!  Things couldn’t be much simpler than outfitting this 192 square foot desert domicile.  And if you don’t have enough spare change on your dresser to pick this up, “Owner may consider terms.”  “Bunus”: the ZEstimate is way above the asking price.  Win-win-win!

120223-blower-front120223-blower-setback

Redfin also has this property listed, only they give an address in the heretofore never discovered community of WOND, CA. 

This is an Open Thread.

Comments (37) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

February 24, 2012

It’s a grand old flag in Menlo Park

Today’s fantastic find has been brought to you by Burbed reader Pralay.  Remember, if you find a listing that makes you wonder how some real estate agents could call themselves professionals, send it in!  We’ll show it as much Real Bay Area love as we can.

269 OCONNOR St
Menlo Park, CA 94025
$1,470,000

120222-oconnor-redfin

BEDS: 5
BATHS: 5
SQ. FT.: 2,615
$/SQ. FT.: $562
LOT SIZE: 10,822 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Detached Single Family
STYLE: Contemporary
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT: 2008
COMMUNITY: Willows/O’Conner Area
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81151036
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Active
ON REDFIN: 61 days

150 ft long private tree lined drive way leads to this 3-yr new custom built nestled in matured trees. 1 story home w/ 5br, 5baths. 1/4 acre lot, Min. 9’ceilings, 8’doors. Gourmet Kitchen, Crown Molding, hdwd flr, A/Cm intercom, central vacuum, alarm, custom steel entry door, Sub zero refrig, body sprays. .. & more. ..

120222-oconnor-propertylinesHere’s what Pralay had to say about this Menlo Park pick:

There are some interesting properties in this area. Essentially it is a house in someone else’s backyard. I am not sure how the lot size be 10,822 sqft. It that *was* the lot size was divided into two? "Custom built", "Gourmet Kitchen", "Crown Molding", "Custom steel entry door" and most importantly "Sub zero refrig". Built in 2008. Too bad, the owner is not able to enjoy for little bit longer time, as he has to sell it to cash in "Facebook effect".

Wow, a 150 foot driveway!  That means you get to drive past the house in the front yard.  But the best way to check on how true the quarter acre lot claim is?  Zillow.

image

120222-oconnor-drivewayZillow makes it easy to click on every house in a neighborhood and quickly see the important numbers, including house and lot size.  And that claimed property area looks reasonable, given what the surrounding measurements show.  We’ve seen homes piled three deep on one lot while the agent claims every square foot of the original grounds. Alas, that didn’t happen here.

But all is not lost with this listing, despite the 10,000 foot lot size being completely legit.  By going to the Zillow map, we also notice the lovely mansions right over the back fence, complete with Palo Alto address, Eastern division. 

So you can assure your colleagues that you have arrived, because you’re in a neighborhood of much more expensive 32 bedroom homes.

Comments (14) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:07 am

February 16, 2012

Totally gutted in Redwood City–UPDATED!

Here’s a stupendous short sale, with a DHO count of 2, count ‘em, 2!  Check out the DHO tag for more listing and Streetview photos featuring one or more Dudes Hanging Out.

Many thanks to Burbed reader Upwardly Noble for these luscious listing photos.

235 D St
Redwood City, CA 94063
$615,000

120215-235D-redfin[4]

BEDS: 3
BATHS: 2
SQ. FT.: 1,580
$/SQ. FT.: $389
LOT SIZE: 4,850 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Attached Single Family
STYLE: Traditional, Contemporary
STORIES: 1
VIEW: Neighborhood
YEAR BUILT: 1941
COMMUNITY: Lenolt
COUNTY: San Mateo
MLS#: 81142784
SOURCE: MLSListings
STATUS: Pending Without Release
ON REDFIN: 131 days

Absolutely gorgeous 3 bed, 2 full bath, 1580 sq ft living area, single story residence in a desirable area of Redwood City. 5 minutes to/from the freeway. Carpeted living room , family room, all bedrooms, and hallway, Roof 5 years old, House was gutted in 2009, by a professional contractor, updated to todays standards, and remodeled with all required permits. Dual Pane Energy saving Windows.

120215-235D-fridgeHere’s why Upwardly Noble sent in this house:

If this doesn’t sell it, I don’t know what will.  Gotta love the youthful exuberance of a short sale in this listing’s photos.  Not sure if the children were placed in the photos to inspire pity, excitement, or what, but I like their moxie.

Looks like they’re trying everything they can to sell this house, including listing it on different services.  On BAREIS, it’s been sitting unloved for 175 days (and very much still for sale).  Head over to MetroList, and you can only look at the driveway and the street.  Those are pictures #2-5 on MLSListings, the Redfin link up top.  And that’s also where you’ll find four, count ‘em, four different DHO photos!  BAREIS just had one, and MetroList, zilch!

120215-235D-fridge2120215-235D-dresser[4]

120215-235D-sinkFinally, here’s a shot only on BAREIS, which just barely squeaks this place into a Burbed Good Housekeeping award and tag.  Nice job keeping the pet bowls where we can see them, but next time, please include the kids WITH the dog.

A black dishwasher with white cabinetry.  Daring!  Now that’s “todays standards.”  Or on BAREIS, “todays colors.”  Yes, on the other two listings; the copy is different, as is the size of the lot.  Whoops!

BAREIS:

Back on the market, large spacious 3 bedroom, 2 full bath, 1580 sq foot home located in central area of Redwood City, Totally gutted, and redesigned in 2009. All modern appliances, todays colors, and heavy duty carpeting. Dual Pane windows, wood buring fireplace, Crown Molding through out the home. Refrigerator to stay, Corian Tile Kitchen Counters, and ceiling fans through out the house. 1 car attached garage, with electric garage door opener.

MetroList:

BANK APPROVED SHORT SALE Lovely 3 bedroom 2 bath single level 1580 sq ft home in Redwood City. 5 minutes to freeway. 30 minutes from SF. Much sought after area of Redwood City. Quiet community. Totally updated and renovated, New Exterior, new interior paint. Original hardwood flooring in Living Room. Large spacious kitchen with decent size eating area. Carpet in Family Room. Wood burning fireplace in living room. Active Short Sale.

120215-235D-yardThese different agencies are supposed to cover different regions.  MLSListings covers San Francisco and south to Monterey, including Burbed’s frequent targets of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties; BAREIS is North Counties (Marin, Napa, Sonoma, Solano, Lake and Mendocino Counties); and MetroList is Sacramento/Central Valley.  You may have heard of one more, EBRD, which is for Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

This artistic photo at right is from the BAREIS listing.  From the different photo 120216-235D-extra-kidssets and listing copy for the same house, we can only conclude that the agent deliberately listed this house on three different services, trying to see which approach would get the bank to eat the short sale first.

Update 10:50 AM: Just found this “bunus” extra shot on Zillow adding to the Xtreme DHO awesomeness!  Can you find yet more pictures of this house or these kids on some other listing sites?

 

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am

February 13, 2012

Unfinished century old cottage: It does not get better than this in our opinion!

Thanks very much to Burbed reader Petsmart Groomer for this, um, property with views, views, views.

115 Telegraph Hill Blvd
San Francisco, CA 94133
$3,000,000

120208-telegraph-redfin

BEDS: 0
BATHS: –
SQ. FT.: –
LOT SIZE: –
PROPERTY TYPE: Single-Family Home
VIEW: Panoramic, City Lights, Water, Bay, Bay Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Downtown, Park, Garden/Greenbelt, Woods, Hills, Mountains
YEAR BUILT: 1906
COMMUNITY: Telegraph Hill
COUNTY: San Francisco
MLS#: 373325
SOURCE: San Francisco MLS
STATUS: Contingent – Show
ON REDFIN: 572 days

REDUCED ON 9/2/2011 BY $500K!!! Rare Opportunity to purchase a large RH-3 Panoramic View Parcel at the Crest of Famed Telegraph Hill. Panoramic Vistas, including the Golden Gate Bridge, SF Bay & Bay Bridge, Dramatic City Skyline, Coit Tower and Historic Pioneer Park. The cottage on the parcel is unfinished. THE OWNER IS MOTIVATED TO SELL QUICKLY! Nearby Homes are valued at over $10MM and are architecturally significant. BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME OR HOMES/MULTI-CONDOMINIUMS! Walk Score of 95! A Short Distance to The Financial District, North Beach, The North Waterfront, Bay Club and Key Transportation Corridors. Just steps away from the Renowned Grace Marchant Gardens and World Famous Coit Tower! It does not get better than this in our opinion!

120208-telegraph-coitHere’s why PG sent this one in:

555 days on the market. If only the buyers were as motivated…

Somebody was motivated.  It’s pending.  Took them long enough (and a 14% price reduction).  But why would they sell a “view parcel” and not mention how big it is?  Makes it a little difficult to build an “architecturally significant” place to fit in with the neighborhood if you don’t know whether the lot is 4000 feet or 40.

However, looking at the lot, perhaps we can infer the size by getting information from another home on the same block.  The map of the immediate neighborhood is below.

Unfortunately, this may not be the lot we are looking for.  The outlined parcel below is on Genoa Place, not Telegraph Hill.  Even more bizarre, the Redfin link to this property is:

http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Francisco/363V-Filbert-St-94133/home/1973351

No wonder nobody knows how big it is, nobody knows WHERE it is.

120208-telegraph-neighborhood

Here’s where Zillow says we should look:

201208-telegraph-zillow

I can’t find the cottage, though.  Maybe it’s cowering under the trees for fear someone will BUILD THEIR DREAM HOME OR HOMES/MULTI-CONDOMINIUMS!

Comments (8) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

February 9, 2012

Are having a hard time finding the perfect home?

Today we return to the Not Real Bay Area, for a very special home despite the location.  Thanks very much to Burbed reader J from Alameda for this listing, which we join already in progress.

2431 Olympic Blvd
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
$389,000

120208-olympic-redfin

BEDS: 4
BATHS:  4
SQ. FT.:  2,741
$/SQ. FT.:  $142
LOT SIZE:  9,100 Sq. Ft.
TYPE:  Detached
STYLE:  Contemporary
STORIES:  1
YEAR BUILT:  2009
COMMUNITY:  Saranap
COUNTY:  Contra Costa
MLS#:  40555341
SOURCE:  EBRD
STATUS:  Active
ON REDFIN:  48 days

Are having a hard time finding the perfect home? then this is a must see! You could finish this home and customize it to fit your needs. 4 bedroom 4 bath with a pool.

120208-olympic-trashbinsHere’s what J had to say about this fine find:

Burbed fan here – this is the first listing I have found that is Burbed worthy….the photo of the trash bins has to be unique. Zillow has a photo that appears to be a small hole in the ground…..

Oh dear, if J from Alameda thinks a photo of a trash bin or two in a home listing is unique, then clearly we 120208-olympic-interioraren’t doing our job that well.  There’s now a trash bins tag so everyone who enjoys comparing bins around the Bay Area can peruse them at their leisure.  We just had a bunch of them featured earlier this week.

But while this home isn’t unique in featuring photos of where to put your garbage and recycling, it sure lets you know what an absolute blast you’ll have sprucing the place up.  120208-olympic-yardThat is, if by “blast” we are actually referring to the effect it will have on your finances.

Anyone have any luck locating the promised pool?  Do you think this is it?

Or is it hidden under the unique trash bins?

120208-olympic-holeNo luck looking on Zillow.  They don’t have any pictures of this house at all, other than the default birds-eye shot.  That could be because the listing was removed on February 4th.

But this must be the picture J was thinking of, courtesy of Trulia.  Trulia has a different set of pictures than Redfin for this home.  This could very well be the pool.  Or it could be the Portal to Hell.

Customize it to fit your needs.

Comments (16) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:06 am