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Super Contributor
donjumpsuit
Posts: 245
Registered: ‎08-07-2012
0

Fixers in the Peninsula

[ Edited ]

Hi everyone.

  I am new to the forums, and trying to get my feet wet for my first homebuying experience.  I am not here to bitch and kvetch about bay area prices, but I would like to add that there is little wiggle room between what is considered a fixer price, and the price of something tastefully redone.

 

  Additionally, there seems to be little price difference between living on a busy street/highway, or 8 blocks onto a quiet little neighborhood.  

 

   I don't want to pay for someones elses flip, nor do I feel there is a reasonable amount of fixers available, whether they be shortsales, REO's or forclosures.  It seems that those who are professional flippers, find homes that I would like to buy, and put the same cabinets you would find at a Comfort Inn and granite countertops and charge $150k over the auction price.

 

  I am looking to buy a fixer, and then use pride of ownership to transform it into a pleasant space, using my nights and weekends over the course of several years to rehab my space, while at the same time build some equity that I have lost being a serial renter for the past 15 years.  Some of it will be DIY, but some will also be permited contract work.    

 

  Please be gentle, and avoid the kneejerk reaction to body slam this HGTVpsychoman here.  Does anyone have any advice on who to contact in the penisula region that could point me in the right direction, or am I better off just keeping updated on the MLS listings, and then dealing with the listing agent?

 

  For those of you who stuck around, I do have another interesteing question.  I have looked around for several months, and have been quite discouraged (finding mostly what I just talked about).  I did see a listing that was very reasonable that has been listed for only a day, and I would like to know what people in here think.

 

http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Carlos/1148-Cedar-St-94070/home/1153335

 

It seems to be a great buy.  If you could open the kitchen to the great room, and figure out how to add a master bath, this could be a steal.   It doesn't have a back yard, but with some creativity you could get something going on.

 

My question is, does anyone think this thing would actually go for 650k, or would multiple bids drive it up?  I think it will go in the mid 700's, which would be depressing.  

 

That pretty much sums up my frustration with fixers in the peninsula.  If anyone would like to recommend an agent or buyer that would be able to get a better leg up on finding a quality home that deserves a proud owner, let me know!

Platinum Regular Contributor
elt1
Posts: 4,931
Registered: ‎01-04-2010
0

Re: Fixers in the Peninsula

Stay away from the People's Rebublic of San Carlos...The City building department is run by wackos...Carol Woods is the worst plan checker in the State...Do not ever go to the nightmare on Elm Street...city hall is at 666 Elm st..lol...try RWC much more friendly building department.

Platinum Regular Contributor
tjh
Posts: 4,833
Registered: ‎01-09-2010
0

Re: Fixers in the Peninsula


donjumpsuit wrote:

or am I better off just keeping updated on the MLS listings, and then dealing with the listing agent?

 

Probably your best bet.  I've not found realtors to be all that helpfull.  To sellers? Sure.  But to buyers?  Not in the current market.  If you don't want to step right up and plunk down hard earned money, there are many behind you who will.

 

 If you could open the kitchen to the great room, and figure out how to add a master bath, this could be a steal.   It doesn't have a back yard, but with some creativity you could get something going on.

 

Maybe so but taking out walls is not for the faint of heart.  Even non-bearing walls.  Trusses, particularly older ones, were designed for the span from exterior to interior and not outside wall to outside wall.  There is usually a PE's report required and, in order to sign off, even in a non-bearing situation they, or the city will require additional supports.  This adds $$$.

 

Shortly after I moved out, a bunch of  vagrants ransacked the place, stole all the copper, and broke most of the windows.  Permits are still pending for the tear down and rebuild.  As I was browsing the listings, I found it funny that it was relisted at $910k basically a year after they bought it for $622, and its now no longer livable.  

 

It will be interesting to see.  It looks like the price is down somewhat.  However, the appraiser and lenders might not see it anywhere near that value considering it's history, condition and the comps.  Unless it's a cash buy, my guess is it could be complicated by financing.  But hey, this is so far out of my league that, it isn't anything I'd understand.

Regular Visitor
Saturn
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎08-07-2012
0

Re: Fixers in the Peninsula

That's a great neighborhood, although I'm biased since I bought in White Oaks in January this year. Our home was a fixer too, so what I can tell you from our experience is:

 

* Fixing a home is going to be EXPENSIVE. We found many surprises that drove up our costs by about 2X what we expected.

* Inspections are not going to give you a true picture of how much it's going to cost to fix. Always use the highest estimate + make allowances for when things go wrong.

* I personally found San Carlos' building department easy to work with. We used licensed contractors who got the permits for us and this made the process straightforward.

 

This home seems to be well-priced. I've seen other fixers go in the $700k range in this neighborhood.

That being said, we're happy with our purchase and things have (mostly) worked out for us. Good luck!

Gold Super Contributor
TerriM
Posts: 3,323
Registered: ‎05-02-2011
0

Re: Fixers in the Peninsula

[ Edited ]

donjumpsuit wrote:

  I am looking to buy a fixer, and then use pride of ownership to transform it into a pleasant space, using my nights and weekends over the course of several years to rehab my space, while at the same time build some equity that I have lost being a serial renter for the past 15 years.  Some of it will be DIY, but some will also be permited contract work.    


Be careful the difference between a "fixer upper"/"contractor's special" and "original condition"/ "needs TLC".  One you can live in with a family and the other you really shouldn't.....  I have found that the former do come with a lower price tag because they aren't livable (mold, missing plaster on walls, plumbing broken, carpetting on floorboards removed, leaking ceilings, serious foundation work) .  Original conditions are cheaper than remodeled houses, but since they're livable and there's a shortage of stuff on  the market, there will be no shortage of interested buyers.

 

Anything that looks too good to be true probably has foundation issues or is priced low to get into a bidding war.  You can mail the realtor and ask what the inspections found or if there are any issues you should be aware of.   I stopped going to see houses in Belmont that looked "too good to be true" after a two  of them had foundation issues  and the third one the guy stopped everyone on the way in with "Just so you know, it will probably have to be demolished."

Silver Regular Contributor
sfsfr
Posts: 690
Registered: ‎04-15-2012
0

Re: Fixers in the Peninsula

This house appears to be underpriced to me. It looks OK from the pics, just dated. Since many if not most houses under 800k on the Peninsula are dated, I don't think that alone justifies the roughly 100k discount. I'm guessing multiple offers... Or it has foundation problems.