June 24, 2008

$788,000 for a house that proves Silicon Valley has great family values

325 Carroll St, Sunnyvale 94086
$788,000

* Status: Active
* Bedroom: 3
* Bathroom: 1
* Year Built: 1920
* Lot Size: 9750
* Square Footage: 806
* List Date: 5/12/2008
* Garage Spaces: 0
* MLS#: 808321
*
OH Sun 1:30-4:30.Great opportunity to live at the property & build your dream home later,also potential to build 2 homes under one ownership for your extended family.Great walking distance to Downtown Sunnyvale location that they say will be like(Santana Row) to be build in Sunnyvale.Pls check with the city for more info.Big 9750 Sqft lot R2 zoning,wide & deep 75×130.This is priced low 2 sell fast

When people ask me “Burbed, I love families. Can you tell me where I can find the most family friendly city in America?” I tell them: Silicon Valley.

As we all know, things like rampant age discrimination, 14 hour work days, and 2 hour commutes are things instituted by our employers to ensure that at some point, we want to give up working and spend more time with our families. Otherwise, our Type A personalities would just want to work forever. And, since everyone is getting rich with stock options (VMWare!), people can afford to stop working. Think of it as tough love.

So just imagine, you finally give up because of the rampant age discrimination, the 14 hour work days, and the 2 hour commutes – you come home to this house. Actually, it’s not a house – but rather two houses because you spent your option money building 2 houses on this lot so that you can 10 feet away from in-laws. You can constantly see them, they can constantly see you. You can take care of them, they can take care of you.

Family. That’s what this is all about. I’m welling up in tears just thinking about this.

Before you plunk down your cash on this house which is going to be steps away from Santana Row 2.0, let’s take a look at some more photos:

You know what’s going to make this house look even better? Aside from building 2 houses? It’s the fact that soon you’ll be walking distance from the Sunnyvale branch of LV, Gucci, Emporio Armani, Blowfish Sushi, and the other fine establishments that Santana Row 2.0 is going to bring.

That’s instant equity my friends – instant equity you can share with your in-laws living 10 feet away. Your family.

Comments (43) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:20 am

43 Responses to “$788,000 for a house that proves Silicon Valley has great family values”

  1. bob Says:

    Looks to me like another spray-painted house. Some weekend painter unit probably came in, taped off the windows, and sprayed the whole thing with thick, cheap, contractor grade flat white paint. I saw this a lot during the boom: crappy houses with peeling paint that were suddenly painted in two days-peeling paint and all.

  2. madhaus aka guitar hero Says:

    Never mind the scraper on the big lot. I want to know what’s going to happen to the empty lot right next door. Another Starbucks? A Kennedy family compound? California Association of Realtors showplace office? No wait, don’t tell me, it’s a super, super, Superfund site!

    I’m so excited I’m going to buy this place just so I can be the first to find out.

  3. bob Says:

    What’s funny to me is that its obvious that the agent has nothing good to say about the house itself other than it would be a great house to tear down. So you’re really only buying a 800k lot. I know nothing about prices in this area. Is it unusual to see a totally crappy house like this with such a huge asking price or is this a fluke?

  4. DensityDuck Says:

    bob: Unfortunately no; most of the FOB realtors in the Bay Area have yet to realize that the real-estate investment bubble has popped, and so they’re still acting as though people are treating the MLS as a catalog.

  5. bob Says:

    Well, I wouldn’t expect Realtors to admit the truth. They’re salespeople after all, and they have to make their wares appear as positive as possible. The idea of houses as investments has to be upheld in order to get people to jump in. What do you think all those ads on TV saying “Its a great time to buy a home” are about? To get a few more suckers to jump.

    This house optimizes the purpose of this site: show outrageously overpriced houses. Except this one looks like a god-damned garage. What a joke.

  6. burbed Says:

    Don’t forget the house is priced at 88! That means it’s lucky!

  7. Pralay Says:

    Yeah, although it is priced at $788,000.00, I would pay $888,888.88 – just to make sure that it gets even luckier.

  8. bob Says:

    I also bet that flat white is a lucky color in some country somewhere.Hey- it even looks like it has a Joshua tree planted out front.

  9. San Mateo Home Sellers in Trouble Says:

    I love how the description says “Great walking distance to Downtown Sunnyvale location that they say will be like (Santana Row)”. It’s like the real estate agent is doing some madlibs there and considering to fill in Santa Row or Downtown San Francisco, or maybe even downtown Manhattan?

  10. bob Says:

    I love how the description says “Great walking distance to Downtown Sunnyvale location that they say will be like (Santana Row)”.

    I don’t see anyone walking in that picture anyway. Besides, can you imagine any yuppie stay-at-home mommies walking their kiddies in a stroller in that hood? Doesn’t look like it.

  11. madhaus aka guitar hero Says:

    Dang! The property’s no longer on the market! Now I am priced out forever. And somebody else is betting that the downtown Sunnyvale project will be finished before 2012.

    bob, the house really is close to Sunnyvale Town Center (a block and a half) and Town and Country (three blocks), which are right now in a state of teardown/abandonment. Some work is being done but it’s been going on and off since 2001 and many local businesses have moved or quit because of the disruption. We had a thread about this project a week ago, beginning here.

  12. WillowGlenner Says:

    This block has the market concrete market cornered. Not a speck of green anywhere. I’ll bet its 10 degrees hotter than everywhere else just due to that. That poor single tree on the lot has to work overtime to convert all the CO2 from the area.

    Having said that this is my kind of investment house, but it is too expensive. I would look at this place if it were 500K.

  13. WillowGlenner Says:

    This block has the concrete market cornered. Not a speck of green anywhere. I’ll bet its 10 degrees hotter than everywhere else just due to that. That poor single tree on the lot has to work overtime to convert all the CO2 from the area.

    Having said that this is my kind of investment house, but it is too expensive. I would look at this place if it were 500K.

  14. WillowGlenner Says:

    madhaus, I don’t know how recently this was on the market- but it reminds me of the Maywood house in San Jose you and I were just discussing, which also went off the market fairly immediately- but the listing doesn’t show a pending sale- just poof, gone. I think these ar either cash sales which happen very quickly or banks reevaluating to reprice.

  15. nomadic Says:

    Even Zillow pegs this place as worth only $630k. I looked at a potential rental in that area in 2003/2004 when something like that would’ve been listed around $500k.

    According to redfin, it looks like the listing was pulled. Maybe the sellers realized how silly that price was.

  16. San Mateo Home Sellers in Trouble Says:

    Here’s a similar teardown I found in SSF:

    http://www.redfin.com/CA/South-San-Francisco/366-Dorado-Way-94080/home/1140319

    1.3 million for a bunch of dead grass.

  17. madhaus aka guitar hero Says:

    redfin changed the way they list properties a couple of months ago. I haven’t seen a single place “pending” on that site anymore, they just pull ‘em and we don’t know why. They did that with a place that I know got sold because the listing agent told me. It closed 4 weeks later.

    What does it mean when they won’t even show a picture of the backyard, let alone the inside? Either it’s a trashed crackhouse, or the owner doesn’t want the tenants to know their place is sold (and move out).

  18. bob Says:

    Having said that this is my kind of investment house, but it is too expensive. I would look at this place if it were 500K.

    Hmmm… Well, seeing as that how the payments on a house costing 500k would be around $ 2,917.86, taxes not included, I assume that a crack house like this could easily rent for over $3,000 a month just to cover expenses? Doesn’t sound like much of an investment at all, but rather a potential money pit. That house won’t sell for even 500k. Now, if we’re talking 250-300k, you might just break even.

  19. sonarrat Says:

    “Here’s a similar teardown I found in SSF:

    http://www.redfin.com/CA/South-San-Francisco/366-Dorado-Way-94080/home/1140319

    Hey, just a few blocks from my apartment. I often walk down Alta Vista to see the horses, chickens, and burned out churches.

  20. madhaus aka guitar hero Says:

    Holy half-acre, Batman! $1.3 mil for a half-acre in South San Jose, next to an industrial zoned area?

    Somebody’s been smoking something all right, maybe in the Sunnyvale house.

    bob, the land alone under that Sunnyvale house is worth at least $400K. And that neighborhood is not as bad as you’re suggesting. The crackheads all watch out for each other, and the squatters are very polite, usually they break a back window so the neighborhood still looks good.

  21. madhaus aka guitar hero Says:

    Correction, South San Francisco. Which is worse, I ask you, SSF or SSJ?

  22. Hellboy Says:

    Holy Hot Cakes!!! Just drove by there at lunch and the house has been marked as SOLD! Don’t know what they paid but guessing it was all cash deal at a discount. Even so, anybody paying all cash(maybe not the case)has got to have the cajones to raze this place and put up something decent. Still I think for a total cost all in of about 1.2-1.5 mill(lot plus tear down and new build) I think they are over paying for the privilege of living in Sunnyvale. You could get to low end Los Altos for just a few dollars more; why waste your time with Sunnyvale?

  23. madhaus aka guitar hero Says:

    Hellboy, if you were there at lunch give us an update on the downtown construction project. Is anything actually getting built or is it abandoned?

  24. buckborden Says:

    ….You could get to low end Los Altos for just a few dollars more; why waste your time with Sunnyvale?

    Because only idiots gamble, and I’m a betting man that anyone who buys in now has just been suckered by the house (puns INTENDED). Never ceases to amaze me that folks are so eager to go into debt on a “purchase” that guarantees an INSTANT 6% loss! Ceaseless stupidity. And Sunnyvale? PUHLEEZ! My armpit smells better.

  25. RealEstater Says:

    Anyone noticed the lot is zoned R2? You can build 2 houses on this lot.

  26. DensityDuck Says:

    I can’t imagine that they’re building anything in that downtown construction project. They’ve been dicking around there since I got here in 2001, and all they’ve accomplished is to tear down the restaurants and parking garage that used to be there. Murphy Street has some decent restaurants but that’s about it.

  27. bob Says:

    Even if you can build two homes on that lot, what are they gonna do? Build two mansions in the middle of a bunch of other crappy little homes that this one is surrounded by? I can’t imagine any richy-rich people who would want to build there. It smells like investor fodder to me- or rather an investment that’s going to make the investee a little disappointed come the pending realization that the property isn’t going to appreciate, and might possibly depreciate

  28. WillowGlenner Says:

    RealEstater, what is your sense of the market? it seems like it is turning to me. Here is an east side san jose address sold in one day. These used to just pile up.
    http://www.redfin.com/CA/San-Jose/845-DEBOER-Ln-95111/home/1551687

  29. madhaus Says:

    WG, that’s not the market turning, that’s bottom feeding, and yet they still may be catching a knife. Look at the sales history!

    Date Price Appreciation
    Nov 18, 2005 $658,000 —
    Feb 14, 2008 $531,250 -9.1%/yr
    June 23, 2008 $446,500 -39%/yr

    That last line is my assumption this house went for the asking price. Just look at that appreciation! Something is flying through windows!

  30. Pralay Says:

    Point to note that the guy who bought it on Feb 14 2008 thought market turning too – “Wow! I am getting a $658K home for only $531K”.

  31. WillowGlenner Says:

    That feb sale at 531K was the bank taking it back as a foreclosure. Any sale with these odd dollar amts are banks taking back their unpaid balances. Obviously everybody who bought in 05 took a bath but what about today’s buyers.

  32. madhaus Says:

    That feb sale at 531K was the bank taking it back as a foreclosure. Any sale with these odd dollar amts are banks taking back their unpaid balances.

    You sure about that? It’s not that odd an amount. 250 is a nice, round number. Now don’t make me look it up.

    Obviously everybody who bought in 05 took a bath but what about today’s buyers.

    Here’s what I think of today’s buyers.

  33. Pralay Says:

    Feb sale was indeed bank taking it back:

    PropertyShark:
    Type: Trustee’s Deed upon Sale
    1st party: Ndex West LLC
    2nd party: Home Equity Loan Trust 2006-He1

  34. nomadic Says:

    WillowGlenner’s example house is in the ‘hood too. I don’t know firsthand, but a friend who has a son in the SJPD says Seven Trees is about as bad as it gets in the valley.

  35. WillowGlenner Says:

    On the link I posted- 95111 is definitely east side, but I don’t think it is 7 trees which is indeed, “the hood”. There is some mountainous terrain over there with Valley Christian school at the top of the hill- I am thinking this house is near VC, so maybe not too bad.

    I look for houses in the 400K range so I look at a lot of ‘hoods, and 7 trees is pretty bad. Downtown San Jose is gentrifying pretty quickly so that hood might move up in the world.

  36. sonarrat Says:

    I don’t know, I used to park my car at Monterey & Senter and ride the bus to SJSU. It looks like a third world country, but my car never got broken into and I never saw anyone who looked like they were out for trouble. There are worse places in San Jose.

  37. Hellboy Says:

    Madhaus, they are still building a lot of stuff it seems in the shopping center area. There is also stuff that looks abandoned. You really can’t tell how it’s finally all going to turn out. It is safe to say that currently it looks nothing like “Santana Row”. Give it time though, the city of Sunnyvale may pull it off…

  38. madhaus Says:

    Hellboy, thanks for checking. Which shopping center area? There’s Town Center Mall, the place between Macy’s & Target, and then there’s Town & Country, which is north of Washington. A number of T&C tenants were told to move or bailed even if not kicked out.

    Maybe if they actually rebuild the area we can call it Insantanaty Row.

  39. RealEstater Says:

    bob Says:
    >>Even if you can build two homes on that lot, what are they gonna do? Build two mansions in the middle of a bunch of other crappy little homes that this one is surrounded by?

    That’s how gentrification starts. First one new home gets built there, then a couple more nearby joins in. Pretty soon, everybody wants to be on that street. I’ve seen this happen over and over again.

  40. madhaus Says:

    That’s how gentrification starts. First one new home gets built there, then a couple more nearby joins in. Pretty soon, everybody wants to be on that street. I’ve seen this happen over and over again.

    Somebody needs to read Common Ground. Gentrification is not only not a sure thing, it can be a very expensive experience.

  41. Bad Advice Says:

    Wow RE, sort of ignoring the basic tenet of not being the person that lifts the property value of everyone around you (while everyone around you hinders your property value).

    Gentrification starting at a million dollars a pop?

    You’re an idiot as always.

  42. bob Says:

    It is stupid to assume that gentrification can be forced onto an area for your financial benefit. Don’t believe me? Look at Oakland. I’m very familiar with that market, and there were tons of white yuppies who knew zilch about Oakland, bought up the ghetto, and drove prices upwards of 600k. Their hope was that surely- by driving up the prices, gentrification would take hold and wallah- instant profits. But the problem is that in the end, as soon as the bust came along, those prices crashed right back down. Many of those 600k houses are now 350-400k. And guess what? It’s still a ghetto except worse because now, many of those who live there are totally bankrupt, which might explain why crime in Oakland is escalating.

    But even in non-ghetto areas, gentrification isn’t assured either. Take Nashville for example. I’m quite familiar with it. There are several upscale areas, particularly Franklin. Close by there’s Murphesburo. Homes were skyrocketing in value. Several homebuilders built large developments in the area. Prices got up to 450k. Insane for the area. Then came the bust. Prices dropped 20-30% at a time. The housing developments went bankrupt. The homes are now being auctioned off at a fraction of the original prices.

    I think what most of you RE investors don’t get is that we’re only now just coming out of the largest RE bubble in US history. The damage it is creating even now is horrific per what’s happening across the country and on Wall Street. The “deals” that you think you’re getting today are in reality still heavily overpriced. Hoping to jump-start another bubble is utterly ridiculous. Besides- gentrification tends to happen during good economies. People will not buy if the economy is bad.

  43. Duane Nason Says:

    I can see the marketing now – “Pre-Gentrification Property” Get in now while the prices are rock bottom!


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