I've noticed fixer homes in an unincorporated part of Cambrian on huge lots - 10,000 sq ft

Asked by Lara, Croft Sat Apr 5, 2008

What kind of return would you expect on one of these fixer homes over the next 5 years? Do you think it is a good investment? BTW, I noticed that a $1.9M home just sold in that neighborhood.

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Terri Vellios, Agent, Campbell, CA
Sat Jul 12, 2008
I live and work in Cambrian. One of the defining features are the huge lots. You just don't get large lots anymore. You can always add on and improve a home but you can't grow a larger lot.

In 1990 in a very depressed market, I purchased an 1100 sq. ft. home on a 9,000 sq. ft lot for $229,000 at an interest rate of about 7.8%. I thought that was very high and was happy to sell in 1995 for $243,000. That same house now would sell for between $680,000 and $725,000 (based on it's condition/improvements). Other homes in the area which have expanded, improved the lots, etc, are selling for over $1m.

We are in the slow market right now and the schools in Cambrian are desirable. Cambrian benefits as it is in the middle of Los Gatos, Campbell, Willow Glen and Almaden. Easy commute access also. We don't know what the next five years will produce, we can only look at right now, interest rates are lower, and buyers can negotiate. The availability and cost of funds are questionable for the furture. If you can find a home you like now, negotiate a price you can afford, get a favorable interest rate, and hang on for 5 to 7 years you should do alright. Especially if it has a large lot.
Web Reference:  http://www.terrivellios.com
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Andrea Wince…, Agent, Milpitas, CA
Wed Apr 9, 2008
Hello Lara Croft :-)
Cambrian is a great area. However, depending on the level of "fixer" whether it is simply cosmetic or structural can depend on if it's a good investment for you. Are you a contractor who can do most of the work yourself or will you have to hire other people to do the work for you? Just make sure you get a good home inspection before you remove all your contract contingencies. I purchase a home inspection for all my clients. I am present at the inspection and I encourage my client's to be present if at all possible. This is of the utmost importance when buying any home, fixer or not. As far as a good investment for you, it is difficult to analyze without all the facts but yes, Cambrian has historically been a very desirable area. Search for more properties on my website below and call me if you would like to hire me to represent you with a purchase. Kind regards.
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Ali Moein, Agent, Saratoga, CA
Wed Apr 9, 2008
Cambrian is one of the areas in the valley that has not grown as much compare to other areas in the recent years. I think the facts this area is close to freeways (17 and 85) and close to Los Gatos and Campbell and has good schools make this area very attractive and it has huge upside potentials over the next five years.
Hope this helps!
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Linda Baker, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Sun Apr 6, 2008
Greetings Lara,
I also love this area of Cambrian. (I always go the back way through the neighborhood to the shopping center at Union & Camden!) It is an ecletic neighborhood with $2m mansions next to 50 yr old homes. I have several clients who have done just what you are talking about. My response to your question on whether it would be a good investment is based on basic cost analysis. Do you plan to live there? How much money do you plan to spend in rebuilding/improvements? Does the street that you are looking at have more homes fixed up or older?
Real estate should be looked as a long term investment. Newer homes sell well if they are well done. I do believe that neighborhood will continue to go in value as more of the older homes are converted/upgraded.
And, hopefully you do plan to live there, as many folks truly love the neighborhood and the old-time feeling that it conveys.
Happy house hunting!
Linda Baker
Web Reference:  http://www.LindaBaker.net
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Bart Marchio…, Agent, Mountain View, CA
Sat Apr 5, 2008
Hi Lara,
That's one of my favorite areas. As an agent who has experience rebuilding homes and turning them around for a profit for my investor clients, I think the potential in that neighborhood is excellent. It's one of the few areas that still allow an opportunity to turn a distressed property into one that has great potential to resell at a profit. I am a Certified Foreclosure Specialist and focus on distressed properties such as pre-foreclosures, fixer-uppers, short sales and bank-owned (REO) properties. I'd be happy to offer you an analysis any opportunity that you may be considering to assess its potential. Just let me know!
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