Corin Anderson (magellanic) wrote,
Corin Anderson

Open House Sunday

Today's the day for Open Houses: I saw four in the Monta Loma neighborhood in Mountain View. My favorite by a big margin is the house at 2468 Whitney Drive offered for $799,000. It sits on a corner lot, has large lawns on three sides, and has three social gathering spaces. Plus, kitchen, three bedrooms, and two bathrooms. I really like the social spaces -- they're open to each other and to the kitchen, they have the right amount of windows that let in light, and they're the right size each -- big enough for a group to gather but not so big you'd want to divide them. The lawn has a 6' fence that actually cuts off about 5' of lawn along one side of the house -- I'd think to replace the fence with something shorter (to be friendly) and perhaps closer to the sidewalk (to have more room in the back yard itself). The bedrooms are a bit small, it'd be tempting to collapse two of them into one, but maybe not. I guess I'd rather have square footage in social spaces rather than in bedrooms, anyway. In any event, WANT WANT WANT.

The opposite end of the spectrum was the house at 2511 Alvin St. It's an original Eichler (see also this description of similar houses in Mountain View), the first un-renovated Eichler I've ever seen. Eichler built houses in Mountain View just after WWII and built lots of houses that were inexpensive. Concrete slab floors with radiant heating, mahogany wood paneled walls (rather than drywall), aluminum single-pane windows, two or three small bedrooms, one or two simple bathrooms, a family room with a fireplace and a kitchen. Tour through an original Eichler and you'll see one of two things: a house that's too scary to live in, or, a house with lots of renovation potential. I saw the latter in this particular property, but, well, it has a lot of potential. Which could be fun, but for the price: they want $659,000 for it. In a neighborhood where houses that are move-in ready sell for the mid $700,000s I really don't see how this house gets this price. Maybe $499,000 (yep, I'm harsh) I'd be interested, because then your $200,000 renovation project could turn your effort into profit, but I've got to think it would need at least $200,000 in work to make it comparable to any of the other nearby houses. And even then, it's on a smallish lot, it sits beneath a utility pole, and is towered over by trees on the neighbors' properties. DO NOT WANT.

I saw a range of realtors, too. Joy Brown, showing off the very nice house on Whitney, was friendly to speak with, and I noticed she did a pretty fair job of entertaining me and not letting anyone else escape without being sure they felt attended to, too. Kunja Kang, representing the Alvin Street renovation opportunity, asked me where I worked. Her eyes lit up when I said I worked at Google; "How long? (my answer) Oh, lots of stock! You could afford much bigger!" She then pressed to help me look for more houses and really wanted to get my contact info before I left so she could e-mail or call me. Thanks, but no. (Her representation of the Alvin house also just generally made me feel she was inexperienced or not comfortable in this position. OTOH *I'd* have a hard time selling that property but for anything but a project house.)

So, that's been the afternoon. Funny thing also about today: Costco was very empty this morning, even at 11a, and the open houses were rather poorly attended, until about 3p or so. Then it occurred to me: the World Cup match was going on then. It's been a surprising draw of attention this time around.
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