The Best Value in Palo Alto

We found this house on Craigslist. We keep scanning Craigslist looking for an arbitrage opportunity. In a city where fairly ordinary houses get 19 offers, it’s best to look at non-traditional venues for bargains.

The post is intriguing. We’ve seen 1000 sqft homes go for more than $900k. So naturally we wrote to the agent in question. Where, we wanted to know, was this wonderful bargain available? Why was it such a bargain? And could we get first dibs on checking out this great bargain? The realtor wrote back, yes the property is available he said. This was fine, we expected as much, but we were insistent: where was this wonderful property? The realtor finally sent us the address. But! Please don’t go in there, there are tenants there. But feel free to drive by. And so on our next open-home tour we stopped by. Our first thought was that if we were to buy the house, we would be doing the neighborhood a huge favor.

Unfortunately, we did not have our camera with us when we saw the house. If we did, the picture above would have an old car parked in that curiously bald patch in front of the fence. The car had been there so long, there were plants peeping out through the grille of the car. As we walked around the fence, it was clear the house had not been maintained ever.

We therefore wrote back to the realtor, suggesting that what he had on his hands might most charitably be termed a fixer-upper, and that we expected a certain flexibility on price from the seller. Also, when could we actually go in and see the damn place? And finally, what was the situation of the tenants? To which he replied, and we had best quote:

a) Can only view the property after an offer is accepted (contingent upon viewing the property).
b) We are not working with other Realtors.
c) A little room on the price.
d) Tenant would like to stay, however can leave after close of escrow.

Alright then. As long as he’s dreaming, shouldn’t the seller also ask for a pony with all that? In Palo Alto, he might actually get one. The house is in the Real Bay Area after all.

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  • A. Lewis  On May 30, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Love your blog. Real on the ground experience with the insanity of the RBA housing market. The psychology is FASCINATING. Keep the posts coming!


  • By The Best Value in Palo Alto | on May 28, 2010 at 4:14 am

    […] Thanks to Burbed reader AR for this interesting post about experiences in finding a house in Palo Alto; The Best Value in Palo Alto […]

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