Monday, June 22, 2009

1626 Alameda Ave....Run, Run away...

Read This:The following review is just my opinion and only my opinion I am not a professional house appraiser or inspector and I am not a structural engineer. The opinions expressed in this review are based on my own inspection of the property, the publicly available facts from aggregator sites such as Redfin and Zillow and the online permit database for the city of Alameda. I am not responsible for incorrect or missing data that appears in these sources. In fact, its probably best that you just ignore everything you read here as the lunatic ravings of an unbalanced mind.


This next house we actually saw two weekends ago but the place was just so horrible that I couldn't work up the courage to write about it until now...

1626 Alameda Ave 6 bedroom, 6 bath 4400 sq ft house that is a legal duplex on a lot not much bigger than the house for...wait for it....$1,04900 yes that's over $1mill dollars.....wow

This house does not have a Zestimate which seems suspicious to me. I've noticed several houses that are advertising on Zillow with ridiculous prices that don't have Zestimates??? Seems mighty convenient to me no?

Here is a bad shot of the outside of the house....The place was soooooooo wrong in so many different places that my head was spinning and I couldn't take any pictures....Towards the end it was all I could do to keep smiling and not run screaming from the place...

Okay the positives: The house is a legal duplex that appears to of been one from the beginning. Its got parking for two small cars in the garage and two more in the driveway.

Okay the negatives: Wow, where to start....

  1. Attic has been converted into an illegal unit with no permits. A permit check shows not one but three complaints to the city about this illegal unit the last one being in '07. The new owner will have to most certainly deal with this. My bet is that the city makes em rip it all out and turn the space back into storage.
  2. The house has been used as a boarding house for the past many, many years with every room rented out separately. To make this work bathrooms were added in weird places...like in a niche IN the kitchen, separated from the kitchen by just a louvered bi-fold door....There is at least 3 illegal bathrooms in this place....
  3. All the bathrooms have CARPET!!!, carpet in the bathrooms....yuck...
  4. There is an illegal 'owners unit' in the basement...substandard height, with a weird mini-kitchen-bath combo....this unit also has at least one complaint against it in the permit record.
  5. Roof needs to be replaced
  6. Not sure of the foundation.
  7. No reports done! How you gonna sell a million dollar home with no reports? No pest or house inspection....
  8. Looks like a serious mismash of original galv and new copper plumbing tacked on.
  9. This illegal 4-plex only has a 100amp service...waaaaay under powered.
  10. No backyard or front yard to speak of.

Conclusion:

Run, run away faaaaaaaast!

It would take so many hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix this place up and make it legal and safe....its making my head spin again trying to figure this out....lets say you can convince the city to normalize the two illegal units....I'm guestimating $500,000 to have pros do the work for you...even when the place is all done its not going to sell for a million in this market...maybe $900,000....so, to me, the place is worth no more than $400,000 and I think that that's being very generous....

The house is large and in a very nice neighborhood near Franklin park so maybe it will sell...who knows, the houses I've written about so far have not sold like hotcakes....

5 comments:

Anthony said...

You are very good at critiquing houses, but negligent in providing the reader with your credentials. For example, are you a certified structural engineer, or do you have a license in any of the following fields: contractor, electrical, plumbing, etc? If so, would you please post them.

Thanks

Kevy said...

Credentials?! REALLY?! HAHAHA! I love it! Never mind that you've spent the last several years rebuilding 2 freakin' houses doing much of the work yourselves! That's your credentials! ;)

Keep reviewing! After our 6 month search of every overpriced and under-maintained place on this Island, it's nice to see people being realistic.

The MadScientist said...

Hello Anthony and thank you for your kind words on my critiquing ability.

My credentials are in this blog-read it and learn.

That said, I no-where claim to be an expert in anything just a knowledgable layman. We have bascially completely rebuilt 2 victorian houses where we did all the work ourselves except the foundation. All of our work has been done with permits and inspected and I have had to pass the exact same scruitiny as any pro. So I've had to learn all the applicable codes to get my work to pass.

These reviews are presented from the viewpoint of someone who has been there, done that and really knows how much it costs to get things done. I am a highly educated buyer, the worst enemy of bad salespeople everywhere.

Anthony, wasn't that the name of one of the realtor's showing the place? Has this house not been on the market at various prices for many, many months? Shouldn't that be telling you something?

The MadScientist said...

Nope Sorry Anthony you were the Realtor on the San Jose place not this Alameda Ave place...kinda weasly to not at least comment on the post about you....other than that all my comments still apply.

Anonymous said...

I lived in the upstairs attic in the mid to late 90's. It's a cute space, especially for people in their 20's (which I was at the time). Yes, there was carpet in the bathroom, which was gross but it had great light and an interesting lay out and a tiny deck big enough for a BBQ with a nice view in the back.

Most likely, it was an illegal conversion because one day, we got a knock at the door when we first moved in. It was the middle neighbor. She asked us about the water and electricity bill. We said that the owner said it was included. Well, it turned out it was included and that the landlords made the middle unit pay for the upstairs.

Why she did this, I have no idea because she could have had the upstairs unit pay a portion, but she didn't. Then new people moved in. We thought about telling them, but stayed out it and eventually the new people figured it out as well. They both were obviously pissed off.

The people that owned it when we were there were nice enough. In retrospect, I realize now they were probably alcoholics. The one guy was English and his wife said she had been a Captain in the navy.

I didn't deal with them too much, my girlfriend in law school did that. It's too bad this to hear the problems with this place, but it was a really nice building, in a great neighborhood. I'm sorry to see it hasn't been maintained properly.