12-21-2010 09:56 AM
We are currently pending on a short sale in Monclair half way up the hills. Wondering if the 2 bed / 1bath just around 1000 sf, with a $4k termite report and a new roof, is a fair price in the low $400k range? The interior is as move-in ready as any houses we've seen in the past year. The banks might counter us, but who knows. Any thoughts?
12-21-2010 11:52 AM
I like Montclair.
I'd look to see if a fire could burn up a hillside and funnel towards my house. I'd suspect if it's a 2 bed/1 bath then it was missed in the last fire. I think there are fires every twenty to thirty years but they only burn in certain areas.
And many places can be improved by plantings and walls to deflect fires. Still, a couple of my friends live in an area where I've thought it would be worth painting the house with that compound that resists fire. Actually, I suggested moving but they wouldn't hear of it.
You are buying proximity to work, schools and neighbors in that area.
On the downside...All of these areas have higher crime rates than some other suburbs which are further away, with lesser reputations.
12-22-2010 12:12 PM
Estimating value is very difficult and depends on many factors. Hopefully you have a real estate agent that can help you discuss the comps. Redfin also has a market analysis tool. The best way to get a rough estimate is check the square footage of the property against the recent sold sf in the neighborhood. Then adjust based upon distance from freeways, grocery stores, the size of the yard, whether it needs seizmic retrofit (this can be very expensive for hillside homes), the condition of the roof etc.
12-28-2010 03:11 AM - edited 12-28-2010 03:12 AM
Check out very recent sales. Then check out ForeclosureRadar.com and see if the property is getting preforeclosure notices and what their outstanding loan(s) is/are. The pending date of auction will tell you what kind of pressure they are under. Most likely they are under some kind of foreclosure issue because this is not the ideal time to sell otherwise: there is too much inventory on the market and the foreclosures are ruining the comps.
If you check the #days on the market (#days on Redfin) that will tell you how desperate they are, too. Check the price per square foot for the area. Also, check out OaklandCrimeSpotters.com and make sure you are outside of the crimewave areas. I am also looking in Oakland. I use the methods I have stated. I generally offer 60% of asking. I haven't gotten a bite yet but I have gotten close. Several of the houses that rejected me have now gone back on the market after accepting a higher offer, wasting time, letting the buyer walk and reducing their price down to what I then offered. Now I would offer less...if I even wanted that one. Unfortunately for them, more and better properties have glutted the market.
You have nothing to lose by offering less than the $/sq foot of recent sales assuming prices are continuing to drop. Remember to point out to them the negatives of the house not what you like about it.