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SF Peninsula

Featured Open Homes Notable Listings / Sales

FEATURED HOME: 808 Walnut Ave in Charming Burlingame

June 24, 2016

Craftsman perfection in the heart of the Peninsula

Grey Craftsman home with white trimWhere: 808 Walnut Avenue, Burlingame (listing | virtual tour)
Picture perfect inside and out, this beautifully appointed Craftsman home was built in 2007. Refined millwork, plantation shutters, and hardwood floors combine for an ambiance that is timeless and luxurious.
The spacious 2-story floor plan has 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths and a wonderful kitchen and family room combination, plus inviting venues for outdoor living, complete with built-in barbecue center.
Plus, all of this is just one-half mile to the downtown Burlingame for the best in shopping and dining.

  • Square Footage: (+/-) 3,163
  • Lot Size: 6,300
  • Listed: 6/17/2016
  • Year Built: 2007
  • Elementary School District: Burlingame Elementary District
  • High School District: San Mateo Union High District
  • MLS: ML81591174

Offered at $2,998,000.
Listed by Joanne Norris of Alain Pinel Realtors – Burlingame.
Stop by an open house on Sat. June 25 or Sun. June 26, from 1:30-4:00pm.
See more homes for sale in Burlingame | Visit our Peninsula community page

APR in the News Notable Listings / Sales

Alain Pinel Realtors Represents Private Equity Firm in Purchase of Bay Park Plaza

October 5, 2015

Two Class-A Office Buildings on 13 Waterfront Acres in Burlingame Purchased for $90 Million

Photo of 555 Airport Blvd IV
BURLINGAME, CA – Represented by Sandy Comaroto and Jeff Diodati of Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), H&Q Asia Pacific (H&QAP) has closed on the purchase of 555 & 577 Airport Boulevard in Burlingame, also known as Bay Park Plaza, for $90 million. The transaction involves two class-A office buildings totaling approximately 260,000 square feet on 13 acres of waterfront property. The seller in the off-market transaction was Hudson Pacific Properties.
This is the second major purchase in which APR has represented H&QAP in Burlingame, having represented a joint venture involving H&QAP in the purchase of Burlingame Point, which is directly to the south of Bay Park Plaza, earlier this year. The Burlingame Point project, which involves converting 18 acres into a four building, 767,000 square foot office space, is the largest upscale development of office space on the Peninsula waterfront in more than a decade.
“The Bay Area is globally recognized as a thriving business center and appealing destination for international investment,” explained Comaroto. “This area at the heart of the Bay Area has previously been underdeveloped and has the potential to become a center for global innovation.”
The properties are located just two miles from the San Francisco airport and are across from Highway 101, providing excellent visibility and access to transportation both locally and globally.
“Waterfront properties like this are very much sought after in other parts of the world,” said Diodati. “This represents a tremendous opportunity for H&QAP.”
“This project represents the culmination of 30 years of cross-border technology investments by H&QAP and our portfolio of relationships with governments, technology parks, leading technology companies, financial and academic institutions, and technology service providers,” said Dr. Ta-lin Hsu, chairman and founder of H&QAP. “Our goal is to create a unique ecosystem to foster innovation and provide growing technology companies with access to crucial relationships and value-added services.”

Notable Listings / Sales

Alain Pinel Realtors Represents Internationally-Backed Joint Venture Firm in Purchase of Burlingame Point

March 19, 2015

Leading US Private Equity Firm and Chinese Real Estate Firm Will Convert 18-Acre Historic Drive-In Site Into Largest Upscale Office Development on the Mid-Peninsula

Burlingame Point

BURLINGAME, CA – Represented by Jeff Diodati and Sandy Comaroto of Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), internationally-backed Burlingame Point LLC closed on 300 Airport Boulevard, also known as Burlingame Point, last week. The buyer, a joint venture of H&Q Asia Pacific (H&QAP) and KYLLI, INC (KYLLI, which is 100% owned by Genzon Property Group of China), intends to spend approximately $300 million to build the largest upscale development of office space on the Peninsula waterfront in more than a decade.
“The Burlingame Point project will further cement the mid-Peninsula as a center for business and natural sciences. The proposed plans, including open spaces, is a tremendous win for businesses, residents, and visitors,” said Joanne Wondolowski, APR Vice President and Burlingame Manager, whose agent helped broker the deal.
KYLLI is a Palo Alto based real estate firm backed by Genzon Property Group, a successful Chinese real estate development firm with a portfolio of approximately $5.0 billion. H&QAP is an international private equity firm based in Palo Alto with 30 years of experience in cross-border technology investments.
The purchase reflects larger trends in the market according to Ron Gable, APR Vice President and San Mateo Manager. “In both residential and commercial real estate, the Bay Area is a destination for international investment. People from all over the world recognize this as a universally appealing and thriving business center.”
The property, once home to the Burlingame Drive-In before it was demolished a decade ago, was sold by Millennium Partners. The real estate developer, most known in the area for building San Francisco’s Four Seasons Hotel and Millennium Tower, had previously purchased the suburban site in 2006 and began plans to develop the site. Under their planning, the site was approved by the City of Burlingame for construction of four buildings with 767,000 square feet of office, technology, and life sciences space, along with a retail center, food services, a separate amenities building as well as structured and below-ground parking. The plan also calls for relocating an existing section of Airport Boulevard away from the Bay shoreline and into the site itself, allowing for new open space along the waterfront and a new segment of the Bay Trail. The project will now be implemented by the new buyers.
“Burlingame Point is an important addition to our growing Bay Area portfolio,” said Mr. Hok-Kan Dang, the founder and CEO of Genzon Property Group, who with KYLLI also own 225 Bust Street, a historical Class A office tower in San Francisco’s Financial District. “We look forward to working with the City of Burlingame and H&QAP to leverage our existing real estate development experience and technology-related service track record to bring global innovation to this strategically located space.”
Genzon and H&QAP have a long-term relationship having previously partnered in developing a premier office complex in Shenzhen, China with tenants including global technology leaders such as Microsoft and Tencent, one of China’s leading internet and social media companies.
“We have enjoyed a highly successful partnership with Genzon Group over eight years characterized by shared vision and deep mutual trust. We are truly excited to develop Burlingame Point into a destination for global technology companies” said Dr. Ta-lin Hsu, Chairman of H&QAP.
For the real estate agents involved, the transaction also was a personal one. “Jeff and I grew up in the area and went to the Burlingame Drive-In as teenagers. We always wanted to see a wonderful development here, and being able to play an instrumental role in making that a reality is an honor,” said Sandy Comaroto of APR. “The location is fantastic – on the water, close to transportation hubs and equidistant between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
“This is a very exciting project that will transform the Peninsula waterfront and take advantage of this site’s untapped potential,” explained Jeff Diodati of APR.
The transaction was backed by the City of Burlingame, local politicians, and the Burlingame City Council

Buyer / Seller Information Market Updates

What Is My House Worth? Determining Value in Any Market

January 21, 2013

Author: Mary GebhardtVice President and Manager of Alain Pinel Realtors Menlo Park and Woodside offices
There is an old cartoon of three people looking at the same house:

  1. The seller sees a castle
  2. The buyer sees a modest house.
  3. The lender sees a shack

This old cartoon is not unfamiliar for real estate professionals – as we regularly deal with people who have different views of homes. However; while we may see each home differently, one thing we agree about is that money and value matters.
So – what is your house worth? In simplest terms, a home is worth what you paid for it, the appreciation of your house over the years owned, plus any capital improvements. While it may be tempting to believe our home has appreciated faster than our neighbors’ – it is unlikely. Using a chart like the one below at the zip code level, we can get a pretty good idea of appreciation.

You then add in the capital improvements you did to the house over the period you owned it. Generally, capital improvements do not appreciate as much as your real estate. It is also important not to include the things you will be taking with you – so that antique armoire you bought or the custom rugs do not count.
If a seller does this exercise he or she will have a good idea of the fair market value of the house. That should be the price the home is listed at, but this is not always what happens.
In addition to the exercise above, it is important to have an agent do a comparative market analysis of the home and research the sold homes in the vicinity. It is the SOLD homes, not the listed ones, which are important here. The active market usually has a number of listed homes with inflated prices that will just sit on the market and not sell – including them will inaccurately skew your findings. So, just because your neighbors listed their house at a higher-than-expected price, does not necessarily mean your value has gone up. Of course, it is also important to adjust comparative properties for any major circumstances that add unusual value above or below yours – such as an A+ location, different schools, the condition and overall appeal, etc.
After a comparative market analysis, you should have an even better idea of what price range your home falls in. As a seller, this may be exciting or disappointing. It is important to not let emotional barriers affect your pricing decisions. While agents hear “I need more than that” frequently, buyers do not care how much a seller needs – they care about value. But as selling a home is an emotional process, so is buying. Occasionally buyers have emotional connections to a home and are willing to pay more than it’s “value.”
While you can look through online tools and do your own research, ultimately it is important to find an agent that knows the marketplace and to listen to them. They have your best interest at heart and have a fiduciary duty to act in fairness. With proper pricing, outstanding marketing, and a technologically savvy agent – we will help you get you the best possible price.
And ultimately your home’s value is what it sells for – the price a willing buyer paid and what a willing seller accepts. Let’s figure it out together.
This article recently ran in the January 11th, 2013 Palo Alto Daily News publication Premier Homes.

About Author:
Mary Gebhardt joined the management team of Alain Pinel Realtors to open its Menlo Park office. She has since set about assembling the area’s most successful agents who thrive in this demanding marketplace which includes Atherton, Woodside, Portola Valley, and Menlo Park. She aspires to increasingly dominate this market by offering an unmatched level of service and understanding of her agents and clientele. For more information call Alain Pinel Realtors Menlo Park at 650-462-1111 or email at

Buyer / Seller Information

In Multiple Offer Situations – Presentation Matters

December 10, 2012

Author: Bill Lewis, Vice President and Manager of Alain Pinel Realtors Los Altos
Purchasing a home is a challenging task in any market.  Today’s market presents additional challenges with a shortage of inventory and an abundance of cash buyers.  Add the strong possibility of multiple offers and the situation moves from difficult to overwhelming!  Preparing yourself and an offer to compete in a multiple offer situation is critical.
First, you must decide whether you want to make an offer.  With the current lack of inventory and low interest rates anticipated through next year, the time to buy is now.  Each time a property sells, a new comparable is created to substantiate the next listing at an equal or greater price.  Better to get in front of this now, rather than later when prices may be potentially higher.
Your agent’s level of communication with the listing agent is extremely important – you want to make sure you have the answer to some important questions before writing an offer:
When are offers being presented? And how many are being presented? A listing agent has a duty to disclose the number of offers being presented. It is also important to determine if they are committed to the date and time set – sometimes they entertain pre-emptive offers (offers that are presented prior to the date or prior to any market exposure of the property.
Does this listing agent have an offer of their own? If so, this may complicate and necessitate their manager’s involvement. It also raises the possibility of a variable rate commission (the agent agrees to a reduced commission if they represent the buyer), which must be disclosed to the MLS and involved agents.
Are there terms more appealing to the seller? Knowing the needs and terms more favorable to the seller will help you as you determine what to include in your offer.
How will the offers be presented? Offers may be presented in person from your agent to the sellers directly, in person from your agent to the listing agent (who in turn presents it to the sellers), or the offer may be delivered to the listing agent with instructions on how the listing agent should present it to the sellers.
Regardless of these answers, it is important to write your offer as soon as possible and let the listing agent know it is ready to present.
In preparing an offer, you will need to rely on the experience and expertise of your agent in determining how best to accommodate as many of the seller’s needs as possible without compromising your own.  Some of the following topics will help guide you through that discussion:

  1. Making a first impression – You have one opportunity.  Alienating the seller will hurt you.
  2. Terms vs. price – Price will always be a primary concern for a seller.  No matter what price your offer, make your terms clean and desirable.
  3. Selection of a lender – Undervaluing the importance of a local, reputable and experienced lender will insure your failure.  Shopping for a lender and obtaining a pre- approval letter is advisable prior to making an offer. Have your lender call the listing agent before the offer is presented to answer any questions about your ability to obtain a loan.
  4. Verification of funds – Provide proof of the amount and whether they are liquid.
  5. Contingent vs. Non-contingent – You will need to discuss this with your agent.  Both options involve risk.
  6. As-is – This may be desirable to the seller.  Be sure you are familiar with the condition of the property and are willing to accept the current condition without hesitation.
  7. Close of Escrow – Be familiar with the needs of the seller and the possibility of a rentback (allowing the seller to temporarily retain possession of the property after the close of escrow.
  8. Educate yourself on the property – Read the inspections and disclosures meticulously and more than once.  Ask your agent for assistance with any concerns.

Now that your offer is written, the seller will consider options on how your offer will be presented. It is important to have a strategy for any type of presentation. In-person presentations allow your agent an opportunity to convey your message to the seller as well as answer any questions about your offer. If your agent is unable to present your offer directly to the seller, it is important to enclose your offer in a sealed envelope with instructions outlined on the outside of the envelope specifying when and where your offer should be opened and presented.  This will help keep your offer confidential.
Be organized. With multiple offers, having a dynamic presentation may mean the difference between success and failure. A seller is not only evaluating the content of your offer, but the presentation, organization skills and knowledge of your agent. It may serve as a preview as to how the transaction would be managed by your agent.
Stand out and be you. Another effective strategy I’ve seen is to stand out by presenting information about you, the buyer, and your intended use of the home. Being able to create a personal connection may endear the seller to you. I’ve seen several successful (and creative) tactics – such as including a personalized letter of introduction, including pictures of the family and pets, videos of the family expressing their love for the home and even including snacks or meals to enjoy while reviewing the offer. Additionally, if you can accompany your agent to the presentation it conveys a high level of commitment and may allow a quick acceptance or change to your offer – be aware of your financial limitations if the seller counters on the spot!
The seller will have numerous options available when responding to multiple offers- from rejecting them all to countering more than one offer to create additional competition, or simply selecting one.  This process can be emotional, so be prepared by discussing the different options with your agent in advance.
Finally, what constitutes an accepted offer?  Your offer will be deemed accepted when the listing agent delivers to your agent or to you, an offer than has been fully signed by the seller(s).  Unless and until the signed offer is delivered to you, there is no acceptance.  To prevent another offer from being accepted in the interim, it is wise to receive the accepted offer as quickly as possible.
Every market has challenges and opportunities.  This market is no different.  With a good agent, a lot of knowledge and a little luck, you will achieve success even if there are multiple offers!
This article recently ran in the December 7th, 2012 Palo Alto Daily News publication Premier Homes.

About Author:

Bill Lewis currently serves as Vice President and Manager of the Alain Pinel Realtors Los Altos which has consistently been one of the top producing offices within the company. Bill has over 24 years leading and managing real estate offices in the luxury and upper-end “Mid Peninsula” market. For more information call Alain Pinel Realtors Los Altos at 650-703-1602 or email at