Over the past four months, there have been at least three residential properties that have gone on the market that have been completely uninhabitable. In any other real estate market in the country, putting these types of condemned properties on the market and expecting them to sell would be laughable. But in Silicon Valley, each of these homes has garnered considerable interest despite the fact that they are all most definitely not move-in ready.
Selling fire-damaged and condemned residences appears to be part and parcel to the housing shortage in the Bay Area. There are only 876 homes for sale in all of Santa Clara County, a decrease of 22% since this time last year. In addition, the old adage that the most important aspect about a property is location, location, location seems to be the guiding principle for buyers interested in these types of homes.
What appears to be a new trend gained traction on the Internet and social media when a home completely ravaged by fire in San Jose’s desirable Willow Glen neighborhood went on the market for $800,000. The Bird Avenue home sold for $900,000 with a 10-day close. The dwelling itself will have to be torn down and rebuilt, but savvy homebuyers, builders and investors understand the value is in the location and the 5800 SF lot nestled in one of the most charming boroughs in San Jose.
Another condemned home in Fremont sold for $1,230,000, 23% over asking price at the end of March. There were three cash offers without any of the buyers having seen inside the red-tagged home. Once again, this residence will have to be demolished and rebuilt but the buyers purchased it for the location and its potential bay views.
The latest property to go up for sale is located in Mountain View’s Monta Loma neighborhood, which is perched on the border of Palo Alto. Destroyed in a fire 2 ½ years ago, it has been sitting empty since then. The building itself is unsalvageable yet it is now on the market for $1,480,000. With its prime location near Google and other key high tech companies, this home is sure to have offers pouring just like the other two properties.