July 5, 2012

This Property is not Buildable

Hope everyone had a very happy 4th  of July.  Now that we’ve declared our Independence, let’s get back to looking at some housing win.  Today’s entry is from Burbed reader Tom Paine, to which we say, thank you very much for this superb structure in Sebastopol.

Sebastopol, in case you’re checking, was not, is not, and never will be part of the Real Bay Area.  However, the market is so hot, hot, HOT… even this place is pending.

8680 Bodega Hwy
Sebastopol, CA 95472


120704-bodega-windowBEDS:  1
SQ. FT.:  625
$/SQ. FT.:  $100
LOT SIZE:  5,663 Sq. Ft.
PROPERTY TYPE: Residential, Detached, Single Family
STYLE: Bungalow
COMMUNITY:  Sebastopol
COUNTY:  Sonoma
MLS#:  21211920
STATUS: Contingent (Show)
ON REDFIN:  51 days

This property is not buildable. The septic system needs to be replaced and the property is too small for the County of Sonoma to allow that. There is no well. County will NOT allow this property to be refurbished. Land only.

120704-bodega-roofHere’s what Tom had to say about this lucky listing:

You can’t build on it and you can’t get a permit to fix it because there’s no room for a septic system. Soooo $65k for .130 acres with a structure that needs to be demolished because it is an attractive nuisance. On floodplain. Who could pass this one up!

The real question is, which one of the neighboring property owners snapped this up?  Because there isn’t a good reason to buy this if you don’t own the lot adjoining it, is there?  Maybe our readers can solve this mystery!



Comments (18) -- Posted by: madhaus @ 5:08 am

18 Responses to “This Property is not Buildable”

  1. Crissa Says:

    If you can’t live in it, isn’t it lying to list it as a house?

  2. SEA Says:

    The value is in the land!

    Looking back:

    “Sep 12, 2001 Sold (Public Records) $135,000”

    More recently there is a foreclosure:

    “Nov 28, 2011 Sold (Public Records) $95,153”

    Was it better than renting?

  3. Real Estater Says:

    I suppose you can still park on the land, camp on it, and water the weeds. You just can’t build on it or live on it.

  4. SEA Says:

    Let me remind #3 about how perfect this place is, since “if you buy something, you are entitled to do what you want, including keeping it unoccupied.”

    I cannot think of a better place to keep unoccupied.

  5. Real Estater Says:

    Let me remind you, this place is in Sebastopol. I’m too lazy to even map it, let alone drive there. Somebody needs to own it and keep it unoccupied; it just won’t be me.

  6. Real Estater Says:

    More good news! Mortgage rate keeps diving. Anybody who is “waiting for the fall” is seriously screwed. It’s like shorting Apple. There is no end to how much you can lose. The more mortgage rates fall, the more invigorated the house market becomes, and the more rent will go up. It’s not just news anymore. It will affect everyone. The latest stats from June clearly show that overbidding is everywhere:

    Sunnyvale: 47 homes sold over asking. 11 under asking.
    Santa Clara: 37 homes sold over asking. 11 under asking.
    Palo Alto: 29 homes sold over asking. 9 under asking.
    Los Altos: 24 homes sold over asking. 12 under asking.
    Mountain View: 22 homes sold over asking. 7 under asking.
    San Carlos: 22 homes sold over asking. 9 under asking.
    East Palo Alto: 6 homes sold over asking. 3 under asking.

  7. Real Estater Says:

    What happened to our “data” guy?

  8. herpderp Says:

    This listing confuses me. Why bother posting pictures of the interior of this shack / hut / ramshackle, if the entity purchasing cannot do anything with it? Better to post photos of the land. Unless, of course, this IS the land.

    Yeah, the only sane outcome is a neighbor purchased it. My house in the PNW abuts a creek that’s part of the watershed, so yay: No neighbors! I’d love to “buy” that lot, though, and be able to legally clean it up. Widowmakers dropping limbs onto my fence. *shakes fist in impotent rage*

  9. nomadic Says:

    What I want to know is why this had to be listed at all. Maybe because it’s a foreclosure? Otherwise, why not just go to each of the neighbors and ask what, if anything, they would pay for it?

  10. Crissa Says:

    Here in CA I’m legally obligated to clean up my neighbor’s empty lot, as it’s forest and I’m supposed to have a ‘defensible area’.

    When we were home shopping there were more than a few of these listings – listed as a house or residential and being not an actual home, but some structure that needed to be disassembled. It really bothered me that they were listed as homes.

  11. z2amiller Says:

    Maybe the guy at the County of Sonoma who keeps refusing the septic permit is hoping for a smoking hot deal.

  12. madhaus Says:

    I think z2amiller has the whole deal sussed. It’s a conspiracy between the permit department and one of the clerks there is sticking it to her ex-boyfriend the septic contractor.

  13. waiting_for_the_fall Says:

    #6- rates are going down now, but do you seriously think they will stay low forever? Even if mortgage interest rates went to 2.5%, rates can and have gone up from 7% to 20% in 3 years (1977-1980). When rates go up that much, home prices fall dramatically.

    How many people have 5 year arms and won’t be able to afford their mortgage payment if interest rates rise to just 6%?

  14. Real Estater Says:

    >>rates are going down now, but do you seriously think they will stay low forever?

    That’s why you lock the rates!

    >>rates can and have gone up from 7% to 20% in 3 years (1977-1980). When rates go up that much, home prices fall dramatically.

    You’re trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist. I think Banker East explained it well.

  15. Real Estater Says:

    >>When rates go up that much, home prices fall dramatically.

    With the number of people moving into the Bay Area, the growth of Apple, Google, and Facebook, and the fact that there is no more land to build on, what is the possibility of Bay Area home prices falling dramatically vs. rising dramatically in the foreseeable future? If you were a betting man, what would you bet on?

  16. Tom Stone Says:

    Nomadic, this is an REO agent. The bank sends him the property and he lists it accurately. If he refuses this listing he doesn’t get another one. REO agents have a completely different business model than ordinary agents. They answer to an asset manager who wants the right boxes checked in order on the right dates. Land in this area goes for about $50k an acre if ready for planting (Pinot,Chardonnay).

  17. nomadic Says:

    Tom, that’s what I figured.

    Soooo, at $50k/acre, if this land was ready for planting, then it would be worth $6500. Nice 10x markup. Good luck, ASSet manager.

  18. Hank Farnsworth Says:

    Is the economy this bad these days? Really? I wonder who will buy that house.

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