Monday's oddity

Here's one that has nothing at all to do with librarianship or any of the big issues of the day.

Last week, we saw two "for sale" signs go up across the street, from two different realtors. We knew one house was going on the market (divorce issues), and expected the one next to it to go on the market eventually (estate issues), but didn't really expect both to go on the market simultaneously. (We've had a few sales on our block this year--typically the one-open-house, multiple-bid, sale at above asking price variety that's common to Mountain View.)

We also found it odd that the right-hand sign was so far to the left of the house--it almost seemed to be on the same property as the left-hand sign.

When we saw the usual "open Saturday & Sunday, 1:30-4:30" placards, we did the usual: went over to look through the houses. (We're always looking for possible remodel ideas and to see how houses compare--and realtors expect that.) The one on the left was interesting in some ways, uninteresting in others, and based on the steady traffic both days they'll probably get more than the $858K asking price (this is Mountain View, and the part of Mountain View with Los Altos schools, some of the state's best, so $858K for a 50-year-old 1,300-square-foot rancher isn't as outrageous as you'd think).

But the house on the right didn't seem to be open Saturday. So we looked again Sunday. It still didn't seem to be open. At which point I picked up one of the brochures available on the for-sale post...

And found something I've never seen before, and still find hard to understand: The post seemed to be on the left-house property because it was for that house.

Two different realtors, from two different companies, were offering the same house for sale! (When we asked, the message was that the ex-husband and ex-wife couldn't even agree on listing agents, so one agent is the ex-husband's agent, one is the ex-wife's agent. At least they managed to agree on a price!)

I can't see how this can work out--which office handles the likely multiple simultaneous bids (almost all house sales around here have a date/time at which they'll accept bids, usually a day or two after the open house)? Which office handles the negotiation? Do they split the commission?

Strange days. Again, nothing to do with LISNews, but this is a journal, right?

Anyone else ever hear of a house sale like this?


"$858K for a 50-year-old 1,300-square-foot rancher isn't as outrageous as you'd think"I'm suprised at a dual listing as well, but $858K for a 1300sqft house?!?!? Sweet fancy moses that's just plan nuts.I just did a search for houses between 800 and 900 in WNY and only 7 came up, the smallest one was 4300 sqft and was brand new (That's a 4 Bed, 3.5 Bath 4,300 Sq. Ft.), The largest, 4 Bed, 5.5 Bath 9,276 Sq. Ft. and that was listed for 10k less than your neighbors house.A house like you describe here would be more like $100k.

Actually, Blake, Mountain View is far from being the most expensive area around here. If our house was two blocks north of where it is, it would instantly be worth about 20%-40% more--and even that town (Los Altos) is a long way from being the most expensive.

It's not insane. It's supply and demand. All the open land around here is protected (one reason it's such a nice place to live: forests 15 minutes away), the area is mostly made up of two-income professional families (as production moves out of the Silicon Valley, design and engineering move in), and this is the result. You can drive 90 minutes each way to and from work and pay half as much, or you can pay more for quality of life.

Actually, our year-to-year price inflation is on the low side for California and most improving areas. That $858K house in 2005 would have gone for at least $550K six years ago; that works out to less than 10% annual price increase.

I'm feeling much better about my 69k two-bedroom faux Craftsman bungalow. Yowsa!

A few years back a pretty good opportunity came up in Berkeley. I thought about applying for it, but saw that I could barely touch what I considered miserable housing for $300K.Berkeley and most of that area immediately went on my DO NOT APPLY list, even for interesting job opportunities.Blake would probably be appalled by Juneau's prices too. We paid $115K for a 1050 sq ft condo (waterfront, at least!) four years ago and units in my building are now selling for $130+. Houses of any kind are hard to touch for less than $180K. Unless you are REALLY into home improvement!

Subscribe to Comments for "Monday's oddity"