Originally listed for $387,000, that price would be a bit high in Grass Valley, but not over the top. But the sellers or their agent simply miscalculated the discount buyers demand for a North San Juan address. Once a property is pegged as “over priced” sellers end up discounting the home more than might have been necessary had the home been priced right in the first place. $325,000 probably would have been a solid value, but the seller clearly expressing a desire to move the home, dropped the price to a very aggressive $300,000, and that flipped the switch for buyers, sending this one into the pending stack after just a few days at that price. I looked at the house when it was listed for the higher price, and noted not a single business card on the kitchen counter. Three days after the price was dropped to $300,000 there were a dozen cards on the counter. Buyers came out in droves once the price point dropped below the price of a similar home in Grass Valley, and the real incentive kicked in when buyers realized this home was a good deal, even compared to other homes in North San Juan. Not surprising that is went pending right away.
The strong hand of a contractor has made this sow’s ear into a silk purse. A year ago this was just a shell, and needed everything. The contractor came in, got the floor plan right with all new interior walls and staircase, redid the plumbing and electrical, added new windows and doors, and put in some nice finishes. I doubt he spent less than $75,000 not including the labor. Because the house started out with no sheet rock and no interior walls, there was not much demolition, and my guess is the contractor did not find any “surprise” damage when he got to work on the rehab. This was basically an unfinished shell when he took over, and now it is a complete house. In Grass Valley this same house would be right around $300,000. In North San Juan the market is weaker, demand is a less, and buyers require a discount to be tempted to live out in the rural community. But I am certain someone will see the value of this home and purchase it. Just have to keep an eye on the sales price to know what market place says the discount between a Grass Valley home and similar home in North San Juan
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.
How do you get comparable sales for a home as unique as this? Well, for one thing, the home itself is not all that unique. In fact, the size, style, and condition of the home makes it rather typical for the Grass Valley market. Over the last year there have been a dozen or more comparable homes in terms of features and amenities of the home itself. What makes this home unique is the location, the size of the property, and the on-site power generation. If this home were in Grass Valley on a city lot, with PGE power and paved street it would sell for $275,000 to $300,000.
The best way to compare prices is to find similar property and see if we can figure out the value of the land separately from the value of the house. In my attempt to do that I went searching for a home listed for sale 17347 Sunrise Road, which is about 2 miles away from Foxfire. It’s a bank repo listed for $205,800. This home is listed at about 1000 square feet, built in 1986, so I thought it might give me a clue on value. But the MLS says you can’t preview the home. I thought I would do a drive by and at least get look at the outside, but there was a locked gate, and no access from the street, so I did not get a chance to see it.