Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Adventures in House Hunting - Part 3

I know it's been AGES since I last posted on this topic... But y'all this is getting frustrating! In fact TheBoy and I are mildly guilty of not really looking these past few weekends the way we should be. But it's certainly disenchanting for someone, such as myself, who has been in the real estate field here in Silicon Valley for ages. I can't even imagine how frustrated TheBoy must be with only me and his Mom for hesitant guidance and education.

Never-the-less, I do want to share with you guys the story of the place we bid on in Sunnyvale. We got ahold of this listing via a posting on CL from a realtor looking to represent a buyer on the property. Unfortunately this was merely a day before we left for a long weekend at Oroville. I did manage to get in touch with the realtor who had posted the CL ad and got some details from him. Tear down or fixer upper. Needs extensive work. Listed at $430,000. Offers on Tuesday. Your standard stuff. We were pretty excited!

I mean it sounded like just what we were looking for. Needs work? Bring it on! I'd rather design my own floor plans and such anyway. And with an architect in the family... No problem! $430,000 fit nicely into our budget also. Even if we factored in a couple other offers. We thought we had room. This could work! So we thought about it, and talked about it, the whole time we were in Oroville. Maybe this would be the one!

Fast forward to Monday... We're back from Oroville. We're off work. I've put in numerous calls to the original agent who I talked to before leaving but haven't heard anything back yet. I figure he's found another buyer to represent and doesn't want conflict. TheBoy thinks he's just rude. Either way we decide to drive by and check it out. Offers are the next morning - let's see if we want to get into this.

My only thoughts on driving through the neighborhood are "well it could be worse". The street it's on is a frontage road to a fairly busy expressway but it's at least on the other side of the street (backyard doesn't but directly up to the retaining wall). The houses are all little Burke and Wyatt type, Eichler-esque numbers but most of them are well maintained. Could be worse.

We pull into the driveway and there is another couple there taking a look around. From the driveway you can't really get a good impression. The first thing TheBoy notices is that the garage has been converted into a room. There is no garage door, only a solid wall with a funky plexi-glass "window". We then walk up to the front door. First thing I notice? All the glass in the windows is broken. In fact, on closer inspection I think there were maybe 6 panes of glass intact in the whole building. From the broken front windows we can see half pulled up carpet, walls with holes (that look suspiciously fist-sized) and tons and tons of garbage. And graffiti.

We walk around to the side yard (the place was wide open - clearly the owner's hadn't been there in ages and we weren't too worried about getting into trouble for trespassing) to check out what the realtor had called a "not to code additional room". Right. This "room" was made out of something suspiciously resembling plywood. Seriously y'all. And it wasn't quite standing upright. Also there were more broken windows.

Around back shows us more broken windows, more graffiti, and more garbage. But also a HUGE rear yard! Jackpot! It's amazing how a large piece of land will make up for almost anything in a house... A quick view of the other side reveals nothing spectacular. But of course there were, you guessed it, more broken windows!

Needless to say, I was more than a bit discouraged by the physical inspection but... A deal is a deal and this is Silicon Valley we're talking about here. We decided to go for it. The next morning I got in touch with a realtor friend of mine to see if she would call the listing agent to scope out the situation for me and perhaps draw up an offer.

A few minutes later I get phone calls from both the realtor and BestFriend Liz wanting to know if I am crazy as the comps show that this house is worth WAY MORE than the listing price! A quick explanation of the status of said home has them both mildly reassured though quite possibly thinking I am MORE crazy than they could have ever guessed!


Are y'all ready for the clincher?

Because of course there is one right?

No one's been invited to a house warming at ChezGhetto in Sunnyvale complete with black garbage bag and duct tape covered windows and space heaters.

And it's not that I don't WANT to invite you over to enjoy my space heater, duct tape and garbage bags! Y'all know I would absolutely be throwing a bash. Right?


So... You want to know what happened?

12 offers happened. Yes. I said 12. As in T-W-E-L-V-E. For those that thought they heard me wrong.

That means 11 more people/couples/corporations? decided that $430,000 was WAY too low of a price for that fine gem in Sunnyvale. I wonder how much it ended up going for. My guess is somewhere between $550,000 and $600,000. But I really don't have any clue.

How can a girl (and boy) compete with such Craziness! I mean clearly we both have The Crazy. But these people are PROFESSIONAL with The Crazy.

Or they are desperate. As we are quickly becoming.

1 comment:

Liz said...

I was more worried about the property being habitable, ya know, when you can actually live in the place without sharing it with racoons, the local bum, and a few scary bugs.