Home Buying in 94087>Question Details

emjaywatson, Home Buyer in Sunnyvale, CA

South Bay Area agent that specializes in "fixer-uppers"?

Asked by emjaywatson, Sunnyvale, CA Mon Feb 25, 2013

Can anyone recommend a real estate agent in the South Bay Area that specializes in "fixer-uppers"? I have a conservative budget (considering this market) and want to find the approprate agent. Trying to focus my search on homes that have not had kitchen/bath updates for 15 years. Thanks.

Help the community by answering this question:


How conservative is your budget? Are you looking for a home to live in or an income producing investment home?

Although I can't say I "specialize" in fixer uppers, I actually have been searching for South Bay fixer uppers for buyers lately:
One is a 104 year old Victorian home in Central San Jose. Would you be interested in that?
Another is a house in East San Jose with pink walls. How does that sound?

If your budget is limited, then you will have to consider buying something further out..
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Everyone would like to find these fixer-uppers. The developers and spec builders are all looking for the same thing. As an agent, we sell whatever we can. I've not heard of an agent specializing in fixer-uppers. If we come across one, it's just as likely that the agent will buy it and flip it. I'm not saying they won't help you look for one, I am saying that everyone is looking for a fixer upper at at a great price, because real estate is so desirable here. But due to lack of inventory, there is not much out there at any price! In fact, you probably will not get it cheaply, but will have to over bid to get the house. Cash is king these days!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Try out our new search site that allows you to easily find Fixer-Uppers in different cities.
My team and would be delighted to help you purchase one and manage the entire process!
Web Reference: http://www.RealScout.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
To give you the best help, I need to understand your goals and what's most important to you in this home purchase. Are you buying it to live in? To fix up and flip (re-sell)? As an investment to rent out?

The market is challenging, however there are always opportunities.

When you'd like a free, in-person, no-obligation consultation, Just Call 408-252-8900. You will have a better, deeper understanding of yourself and the market, even if we don't choose to work together.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 4, 2013
Are you prepared to buy in all cash and at, or above, market value? If so then perhaps we can have a conversation to see if we are a match to work together.
Web Reference: http://www.terrivellios.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 26, 2013
Almost all homes in this area are getting multiple offers these days, even homes that are not updated.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
There are over 6000 agents in Santa Clara County, most handle less than 2 or 3 transactions a year. Kind of like having heart surgery with a surgeon who only does a few a year.

Sounds a bit crazy! But Buyers and Sellers do it all the time. I'd encourage you to check out some of the articles on that very topic http://getrealrealtor.com/333228 and others at http://www.GetRealRealtor.com

Take the time to learn a little more about me...

RESUME http://stucarson.com/AboutTheTeam

REFERENCES http://stucarson.com/testimonials

Then hire the best. Why not?

Call me so we can discuss how to achieve your specific objectives.

Stu Carson
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Hi Emjay and thanks for your post.

Right now, with so little inventory on the market, even the home that needs moderate upates (kitchen and bath) is selling for a lot of money (usually more than the list price) here in Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, and other parts of the county. And a lot depends on what you consider a "conservative budget." If you're hoping for prices that are 10-20 percent below the current market price, I'm afraid that such bargains do not actually exist here in the Santa Clara County. You can, however, find some bargains in parts of the East Bay and in the Central Valley. If, however, you're willing to or able to pay more than the listing price, then a fixer-upper needing moderate repairs can be purchased for closer to list price, although the price is still going to go over the listed price.

Although I understand your situation, because there are far more buyers than sellers, the only thing that the current market will guarantee is that great homes will sell for far more than the list price, and homes requiring updates and repairs will sell for more than the listing price, but less than the home with all of the updates.

And, in most cases, a home without renovations within the last 10-15 years, is not actually a "fixer", and, thus, would not necessarily be viewed negatively or with a feeling of loss of value by a buyer. True fixer-uppers are those in which homes have been neglected with deferred maintenance and that may have been unattended for more than 25 years or have been damaged by a catastrophic loss (fire, flood, murder, suicide, meteor strikes). In these cases, the home values do suffer, but, again, there is still pretty stiff competition for these homes too.

Finally, with respect to an agent who specializes in neglected properties, there is no such category of Realtor for which I'm aware. We all run across homes that have minor to major deferred maintenance, but none of us really goes out of way to find these types of homes, make a market in neglected properties, and/or cultivate a customer base for the properties--mostly because there is simply not enough neglected homes that are sold every year.

If you'd like to search the very same MLS that we, as Realtors, review daily, please go to http://www.mlslistings.com. This is the public portal for the MLS here in Santa Clara County, and you can search for home that meets your particular skill set (as a repair person), budget and needs. Once you're ready to buy, then work with a great Realtor to assist you and to help you assess whether or not a home's repairs are within your budget or will require the extensive services of the local general contractor.

Good luck!
Grace Morioka
Allison James Estates & Homes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Call me. I have lived in Morgan Hill for 15yrs+. Know the area VERY well.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013

Most who have been in the business longer than a few years would not consider a home with a 15 year old kitchen and/or bath a fixer upper. What is your budget? Where in the South Bay is your target market? What are you trying to accomplish? Lastly, how much cash do you have (most lower priced properties are going to investors with cash - that's how they beat out the regular buying public). Analyze these factors to see if your conservative budget will allow you to accomplish your goals in this market. Based on how you phrased the question, my guess is no.

Sorry to be so negative (I prefer to call it realistic), but I hear this question quite frequently and the results tend to be the same. Jump out there and look at dozens of properties only to find out that you really can't compete for these types of properties because you are competing against more experienced investors with much deeper pockets. It takes an above average investor with good resources to be successful in this market. It takes a wise investor to realize that this may not be the market to enter into.

Good luck

David Blockhus
Coldwell Banker - Los Altos Office
DRE# 01169028
650 917-4250
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
Thanks for your request. As you know the market is a real challenge right now for buyers and you need to have a great strategy if you are going to purchase a home. Mountain View and Sunnyvale are crazy right now due to the huge number of people from Google and Apple looking for homes. If you want to buy a home you need to do your home work, reduce your contingency period as much as safely possible, and add in the current market conditions to the listed price. Fixers are generally used to mean homes in need of structural repairs. A fifteen year old kitchen or bath is not that old when you are looking at a 60 year old home and you will not get a huge discount for that. If your budget is small compared to what homes cost in Sunnyvale, you can probably do better if you look in a city further south or east.
I would be happy to talk with you about what is possible and what is not possible in this market if you are interested. Please feel free to visit my website http://www.marcymoyer.com to learn more about me.

Marcy Moyer
Keller Williams Realty
DRE 01191194
Web Reference: http://www.marcymoyer.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
David Allen Rivas will consult with you with out obligation of using my services. Born, Raised, live and work right here in the south bay. I have been a real estate investor for over 30 years I am 57 years old and bought my first fixer upper at the age of 21 a four plea and sold it for a large profit. I currently own 10 homes so I know this business well. I also happen to work with the largest Century 21 office in the world at Century 21 MM. You can do some research on me at;
http://www.SunnyvaleHouseFinder.com, http://www.ServingSantaClaraCounty.com and http://www.UltimateHomeRequest.com. This is my town, always has been and always will be.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 25, 2013
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