Saturday, September 18, 2010

KinfeCatching 1290 Caroline St.

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.

Knife Catching 1290 Caroline St.
Up for review today is 1290 Caroline St......This is usually where I say what the specs of the house are...well...who the hell knows really....check out the excerpts from the various adds we found online about the house.

From the Zillow ad.
1290 Caroline StAlameda, CA 94501
For Sale: $599,000
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 1.5
Sqft: 2,054
Lot size: 5,240 sq ft / 0.12 acres
Property type: Single Family
Year built: 1949
Parking type: --
Cooling system: --
Heating system: --
Fireplace: --
Days on Zillow: 6

The add on the Sothebys Web site.
About This Property
Located in Alameda's historic Gold Coast and on one of its rare cul-de-sac streets, this mid century home has two bedrooms and one bath on the main level. A vintage kitchen with dining booth, a downstairs party room with original bar and doors that open to a large level backyard.
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 1
Half Bathrooms: 1
Interior: 2,054 Sq Ft. / 191 m2
Property Type: Single Family Home

Craigs list add:

$599000 / 2br - ALAMEDA HISTORIC OPEN HOUSE 2:00-4:30 9/12/10 (alameda) (map)

Sherron Hogg East Bay Sotheby's International Realty (510) 719-3753

1290 Caroline St, Alameda, CA

An Alameda's Historic on the Gold Coast!!

2BR/2BA Single Family House

offered at $599,000

Year Built1949
Sq Footage1,691
Bathrooms2 full, 0 partial
Lot Size5,240 sqft
HOA/Maint$0 per month


Located in Alameda's historic Gold Coast and on one of it's rare cul-de-sac streets, this mid century home has two bedrooms and one bath on the main level. Vintage kitchen with dinning booth downstairs, party room with original bar and doors that open to a large backyard


Sorry I forgot the dang camera so no pics from me but click on any of the links above and see some pics of a super cool 50's era house.

Now, this era is not one that we have ever wanted to own a house in but....this house really does have location, location, location, Its in the Gold Coast right on the Franklin school district border and its Halloween central....

In fact, the house was sooo 50's that we kinda liked it... And hey with possible specs like a 4-2 of 2000 sq ft in that 'hood for less than $600k! Ya, you can say we where interested!!!

But, and this is the sad part, the house only has 2 bedrooms!!! The official specs of the place say its a 4-1.5 but there is just no way that the place could of ever been a 4 bedroom! I can believe that the downstairs bar room could of been a bedroom at one time but nope not a 4 not even a 3 its a 2-2 with probably the downstairs bath not being legal.

As far as sq ft goes, I didn't measure but I think that the ~1700sq ft # from the Craigs List add is probably correct.

So now you have a 2-1.5(legally) of ~1700sq ft on a decent sized 5240sq ft lot for $599k.

House Impressions: (again, sorry no pics look at one of the listing sites above and you'll know what I mean.)
The front room is a nice size with a fireplace and what's probably the dining room is nice sized also as a TV watching room.

The kitchen is way smaller and dirtier than the pics would have you believe...But its super original 50's fabulous it even has the original dishwasher and electric range. The counter tops where old and stained and needed to be replaced and man they didn't bother to clean inside the cabinets and there was something FUNKY smelling in them! The super-cool eat in diner booth thing in the kitchen was big enough for 4.

From the kitchen there is a half flight of stairs down to the bar room. Its got funky linoleum and an actual bar with a sink and what not. The ceiling in this room is low, 82" so....It has glass doors out to the backyard.

Off to the left of the bar room is the 2nd bath and like a laundry utility area with an ironing board and a door to the garage. The 2nd bath has a shower stall built right on the concrete and recently painted with epoxy paint....this seems suspicious to me.

The garage is one tiny car small and that's about it.

The backyard is pretty cool, with 2 GIANT redwoods and a GIANT palm tree. Along the back fence is what looks like a 50's era outdoor kitchen. With a fire place, a grill and some storage...this area looks way worse for the wear it was cool in the 50's. We like the backyard, its large and could be really cool.

Back inside the house and up another half flight of stairs There is a super cool original 50's bath with a separate tub and shower stall.

Both the bedrooms on the top floor were really good sized with tons of closet space...but, there was only 2 of them....we kept looking for a 3rd bedroom.....but nope just 2.

It looks like the entire interior of the house has been repainted...this makes me suspicious...what are they trying to hide? Water stains on the ceilings? Water stains around the windows? If they go to the trouble of painting the place why didn't they clean inside the cabinets and clean the dang entryway brick? Its kinda nasty.

Stucco that needs a paint job really badly....actually by the way the paint was peeling off I would be worried about water intrusion issues. The roof looks like its in bad shape and needs to be replaced. The house has all its original Aluminum single paned windows.....good for originality not so good for keeping the heat in and the sound out. There is visible rotting of the soffits next to the gutters and the gutters looked like they where full of gunk.

I don't hate the place....its just too small for us.
I do hate the way it's being advertised though....get your story straight for Pete's sake.
To make it work for us we'd need to add a pop-top master suite over the front of the house and dig out a real basement for storage and workshop space....that'd be like $300k I bet, sooooo, not really the house for us...but if ya got the money maybe.

What The House Needs: (besides the pop-top addition)
1. New Roof
2. New heating system with asbestos abatement.
3. Electrical upgrade to get rid of the fuses.
4. Still on Galv water piping so replace those.
5. Looks like knob and tube un-grounded outlets inside...might wanna upgrade that.
6. I'm worried about the windows leaking under the stucco...this could be a huge can of worms with lots of hidden dry-rot.

Still though, if you're one of those Betty Page types this house would be perfect for you...

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