I make every effort to see property priced under $300,000 regardless of whether the property is a fixer, or if there are any comparable sales. If the home is listed I go see it. That being said, the two homes I saw today were not typical or even comparable to anything else I have looked at this year. To start off, the location of both these properties is quite remote. The pavement ends just past where Red Dog splits off from You Bet about 5 miles above 174 outside of Grass Valley. From there it is about a mile on a fairly good gravel road to where Chalk Bluff splits off from Red Dog. Brady Road is about a mile and a half past that in a rough gravel road that passes through old mining property that has a bit of a lunar landscape. The road is rough but passable in a passenger car. There are no signs or road markers. Once on Brady, a network of twisting dead end driveways and gates more or less lead to the property at 13456 Brady. This on a one acre parcel sounded by much larger parcels in a neighborhood that is characterized by trailers and shacks and large green houses behind locked gates and lots of signs warning anyone who does not belong there to go away. The shack, (and that’s a kind appraisal of the home) is nothing more than a summer loft for a pot grower. In any case, this property is nothing more than vacant land with large pot garden. Will the market sustain a price of $249,000? In a location without the potential for a pot garden this land and home would be worth $100,000 or less.
The second property at 15360 Buckeye Road is listed for $240,000. The property has 45.6 acre, and a small cabin. You have drive over some very bad roads to get to it. It’s six miles past Brady, but the road deteriorates as you get further out, and while you don’t need 4WD on a clear dry day, in rain you would want 4WD, snow would be impassable, and in any case you need a high clearance vehicle. My RAV4 high centered at least two times in big pot holes. The land is not accessible except driving right by a neighbor’s home, but that’s not to much of an issue, when you finally get down to where the cabin in located it is extremely private. Topographically, the property is very steep and would take an aggressive hike both up and down a seasonal water course canyon to find the corners. Again, this is pot growing country. All the neighbors have locked gates and big privacy screens, and the countryside is dotted with green houses. You don’t many sales of this kind of property, so there are no comparable sales for similar properties. Just my gut instinct tells me the land is worth about $200,000 and the cabin may be worth $40,000, so the $240,000 price is not unreasonable. But really, pretty much the only buyer is going to be a pot grower, certainly not someone looking for a cabin in the woods.
To get back to Nevada City I came over Quaker Hill Crossing, which was about 13 miles on a pretty good gravel road, and it took me about 45 minutes.