Blog Update, 319 Main Street, another Grass Valley fixer that backs up to Wolf Creek for $219,000

Blog Update Last year this same home was listed for $209,000- and I put together my assessment below- The home did not sell, not surprising! Same tenant lives in it a year later, and the seller is once again got it on the market, but now the price is $10,000 more than last year.

No video for this tenant occupied rental. Tenant pays $1100 per month. Limited parking, home is in poor condition. Yet another fixer is the Grass Valley market, very similar to the several we have already been looking at over on Second Street. A little better than the bank owned home on Mill. Puts everything in perspective. Check out previous blog entries to see where this one fits into the matrix of fixers and investment property under $250,000.

10060 High Street, North San Juan. Small house on city lot, listed for $217,000

The North San Juan market is always a bit difficult to predict. There are some very high end homes on large private parcels that get priced equal to any other location in the county. There are also shacks and sheds on dirt roads, they also hit the same price point for sales as other remote locations in the Nevada County. What is not typical of any other location in Nevada County is the small neighborhood right near the North San Juan post office, and the surrounding area where homes tend to be older and on city lot size parcels, similar to some of the shabbier neighborhoods in Grass Valley, except for the location is 30 minutes from Grass Valley! There are not that many home that fit this rarified description, but when one comes on the market they are extremely tough to price. If this same home was in Grass Valley, and there are plenty of homes like this one in the city of Grass Valley, it would be easy to price it. I have reviewed dozens like this one over the last year or so, and $217,000 would be a decent price. That’s just about what you would expect for a home like this, on this size lot, walking distance to downtown Grass Valley. But what do we make of this same house in North San Juan? Buyers, of course, will make that decision. At the Corner Office, we watch and report, and see what happens when this one sells.

20588 You Bet Road, unfinished cabin, no permits, no septic, no power, listed for $200,000

This is nice 2.9 acre property, but the creek run along the road, so the only part of the property that is accessible is a narrow strip between the road and the creek. There is no bridge, and no vehicle access to the larger portion of the property on the far side of the creek. County records show this cabin was originally built in the 1960’s before setbacks from the riparian area were strictly enforced, and when build permits were lax. But the records show that the current owner got a building permit in 2015, but the permit was never acted on, and has since expired. It is doubtful that the county would make a new owner remove the home, but they might not be willing to issue a permit either. The home is clearly in danger of flooding, with the edge of the foundation just inches away from the creek. Perhaps more of challenge will be the location of a septic system. The property is not wide enough to get a septic system far enough away from the creek and not be inside the setback from the street. There are always work-arounds for these kinds of problems, but there might be additional costs and engineering fees that would make this home a money pit.

18679 Acorn Place 1.38 Acres just south of Alta Sierra, with several nonconforming buildings, listed for $179,000

A year ago this same property sold for $115,000. It was covered with junked cars, old trailers, and trash. The new owner has hauled away the trash and cars, most of the trailers are gone and what remains in a couple of buildings that have no value and no structural integrity. There probably is an old septic somewhere, water comes from a meter in the street. The new owner has also graded the driveway and added some new perimeter fencing near the street and on the uphill side. It is a fairly nice property, and the neighborhood could sustain a $400,000, but the existing infrastructure would need to be scraped away and a new home built from foundation up. $179,000 for the lot is a bit pricy. The actual value is probably pretty close to what the owner paid for it a year ago, around $115,000. For about $10,000 or $15,000 you could scrape this lot clean and have a nice home site for a new development.

12201 Madrona Way, Lower Banner home is desirable neighborhood, but home probably cannot be renovated. Listed for $189,000

$189,000 on Lower Banner, where homes can run 3/4 of a million and up, even a tear down might be worth it, but is it? A couple of things. First, the lot itself is just .35 acres, so it’s a small lot, even by Nevada City standards. It has piped city water, so no need for a well, but the home has a septic system, and I heard that the septic has failed. There is no way this lot is big enough for a new septic system, even if the soil percolates well, which I assume it does given the nice tree cover. But the house itself is a wreck. Not even the foundation look like it can be saved. The entire house suffers from bad framing, failed siding, and leaking roofs. There is no plumbing or electrical, that’s all been removed, so the home is stripped down to the studs, but what you can see of that reveals broken member, dry rot in the wall, and pest damage. Everything must go! And did I mention there is an old 1950’s trailer under a shed in the back yard? Not salvageable, it needs to be hauled off to the land fill- add another $5 or $6 K to the cost. There are vacant lots on Lower Banner, not many but this one is not a good a value. Perhaps at $50,000 or $60,000 this one might be worth a second look.

14575 Rough and Ready Hwy. Run Down Cabin and Garage on .75 Acres listed for $124,900

Fixer, is portably an understatement. This home might have been a contractor’s dream, or maybe someone got in over their head, but it needs just about everything. The home may not be structurally sound, the garage, while large, may need to be torn down. There is no indication of the condition of any of the infrastructure. This home is a true “project” house. Is it even worth the asking price of $124,900? Well, actually, the land is portably worth $100,000, maybe a bit less, but even so, if it has a functional septic it might work. Seller say they will carry. It could be an interesting project for the right buyer.

14426 Lake Wildwood Drive, ranch home in Lake Wildwood, deferred maintenance, listed for $184,000

No doubt the seller thinks he is giving this one away. It is the least expensive ranch style home on a flat lot in over a year. All the other fixers have had really bad floor plans and most had very bad driveways. And most were in a lot worse shape than this one! So, is it a great deal? Well, yes and no. The problem is the upside potential is limited. Do everything, and the home would still only fetch $300,000 or $310,000 tops. And that would require new kitchen, bath, paint and carpets inside and new stain and repairs outside, and likely a new roof and heating and air, and all new windows…. it adds up. How much a of a good deal is this home? If it was on city lot in Nevada City, or even Grass Valley, it would sell in a heart beat. In Wildwood, not so fast.

414 Broad Street. Downtown Nevada City, Historic District, restrictions on development, Listed for $250,000

This is a unique property among fixers and dilapidated housing. There have been several in Grass Valley, and a few others close to down town, but nothing like this has ever come up- this is a small residential house right on the main commercial strip in Nevada City. It is a dream location… but how much would it cost to restore it? A million… two million…. and what would it be worth after you spent all that money? Clearly, I don’t think anywhere near a million would need to be spent. More like half a million, maybe a million… even so, when it was done, it might get $700,000, maybe just $500,000. It would depend on demand for the commercial conversion. If the commercial market was hot, this home might really go up in value. I don’t know, I think it is a cray idea.

10967 Shana Way, Grass Valley Bank Owned Fixer on 2.4 acres, listed by HUD at $266,000

Located just outside the Alta Sierra subdivision this three story home has been long time neglected, and is in its second cycle of repossession in the last five years. Purchased by an investor in 2013, it looks like a bit of work might have been done, but all the major defects remain. The looks like it was built by an owner-builder, with eclectic tastes for the floor plan and finishes, and substandard construction techniques throughout.
We often time here the expression, “the home needs work, but it has good bone” meaning that the home might need updating, but frame, foundation, and roof are solid. This home is not one of those homes. Visually, I observe multiple instances of shoddy construction, and structural issues that will require engineering and new permits to make the repairs. There is no upper limit on what it might cost to get this home up to the standard of resale of rental. It would take numerous investigations by professionals to determine exactly what is wrong with this house and what it would take to fix it. I suspect the buyer who purchased it out of foreclosure in 2013 purchased the home without the benefit of many inspections, and only after they started do make repairs did the daunting nature of the true condition of the home reveal itself, at which point they cut their loses and walked away. It is worth noting that in 2013, the buyer paid $215,000. Even at that price, you can’t make a profit on this house, how on earth would somebody paying $266,000 make this work? I am guessing the sales price will fall below $250,000, but as always, we watch and see what happens.

15400 Washington Road, Washington CA… The old brothel needs an extreme make-over

The building’s historical past lends itself to jokes and crude humor, but the actual structure appears sound, and the location is ideal for a buyer with the resources and skills to update, upgrade, and repurpose the home. River frontage is spectacular, and the price is reasonable: just $255,250. Over half an acre, right next to the Washington general store.