Tuesday, January 10, 2012

KnifeCatching 1021 Fair Oaks Ave.

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.

KnifeCatching 1021 Fair Oaks Ave

Up for review today is 1021 Fair Oaks Ave which has the official specs of being a 4-2 of 3446sq ft on a 5000sq ft lot built in 1900. The house appears to be a legal duplex with two separate addresses. The 'Realtor Facts' say its a 5-3...so I'm not sure where the disconnect is...According to Zillow this property has been on the market for 100 days. It was originally priced at $925k which was reduced to $895k two weeks later. This house was last sold 04/08/08 for $970k..youch..
This was the last house I looked at and the battery on my camera was totally dead so..not a lot of pics. Check out the Zillow, Redfin pages for official pics and prose.
Google street view of front of house.
I actually like how the house looks from the front. Its got an interesting porch and an interesting roof line. There is an apartment building on one side unfortunately. Nice tree out front and a nice little yard.
The Good
In Gold Coast neighborhood in Franklin school district on a quiet side street.
Legal duplex! Live in one unit and get help with the mortgage from the other? I think that's a positive but most folks say houses like duplex's are harder to sell and they sell for less.
Big House...if the official stats of 3446 sq ft are true that's a pretty large house for the area.
Permit Record says that there was a new foundation done in '08. Not done by professional foundation contractor unfortunately....
Apparently there is a large usable attic but I couldn't get up to it to look.
House is a Marcuse and Remmel just like Chez 2.0. Still has a fair amount of original details in the front part of the house.
The kitchen was large with lots of storage and a little eat-in island.
The Bad
~$18k in termite work!
Kitchen desperately needs updating...actually, if they woulda spent two half days wiping on a gel stain and a couple of clear coats the kitchen would of looked a million times better. Four hours of work and less than $100 in materials...why would you not?
Baths need updating.
Not much of a backyard.
Bottom unit wasn't open.
Nothing in the permit record about modern electrical upgrades.
Nothing in the permit record about modern plumbing upgrades.
Nothing in permit record about these two newer looking decks.
This worries me....in Alameda a 2nd story deck HAS to be officially engineered. Unsafe-overloaded 2nd story decks have a habit of collapsing and hurting people...If I was seriously considering buying the place I would absolutely make the current owner prove its officially safe.
Nothing in the permit record about a new roof...from what I could see from the street the roof does not look new.
Conclusion
Price, price, price, lets talk about price...I know I pretty much ALWAYS say this but... I don't understand how they came up with the price of $895k...it must be based on mostly the square footage???
According to the permit record and what I could see the house needs serious updating.
New roof
mid range remodeled kitchen.
two mid range remodeled baths...
New water supply piping?
New electrical? Upgrade to 200 amps and a modern service panel?
What's going to happen when the city notices that big 2nd story deck??? Trust me, that's going to be an expensive hassle.
$895k is a lot of money for a house that still needs a lot of updating.
According to the numbers from Remodeling Magazines Cost vs. value report and my own experience that's over $100k worth of work easy...and we still haven't seen the condition of the downstairs unit?
Honestly, this seems more like a $750k max house to me...I would say that since the place has sat on the market for 100days that maybe they should consider lowering the price again?
And that's the way I see it...
One more thing....
Take a look at the Zestimate graph on the zillow page.
I don't think I've ever seen one that peaked so high for so shortly only to plunge so low...

1 comment:

madhaus at burbed said...

So glad to see this feature back, as this is why I linked to your site. I'd love to run one of these as a guest post if you're willing, or maybe you'd like to punch one up even more for us?

Thanks!