X-Tra, Miscellany and Admin: April 2008 Archives

Today's Turkey

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It's been quite a while since I did one of these. I should probably do them more often, just to make my point.

This Eyesore Is Falling Apart But Was It Designed by a Famous Architect!

General: La Mesa, 3 Bedroom, 1.75 Bathroom


What's Wrong With It: Quicker and easier to ask what isn't. Sits on a secondary street that's the main route through the neighborhood. Cars fly up and down that street at freeway speeds at all hours of day and night. No grass and nowhere for kids to play. Several nice mature trees, but their root systems are spreading, the front yard is covered in ankle deep plants to no good purpose, the back yard is split up into half a dozen areas too small to get any use out of, and has a small cracked and leaking swimming pool that's currently the color of ichor and a breeding ground for mosquitos.

The building itself may have been designed by some famous architect, but it reminds me of the pre-WWII navy housing over in Linda Vista and Serra Mesa. It's basically a long rectangle the width of the lot and maybe twenty feet wide. The window frames are falling apart, I don't think anything has been painted for at least thirty years, the carpet reminds me of my elementary school library (it's about that old, too).

There are at least three major cracks in the concrete slab floor. The wall paneling looks like it's probably original 1949, and was sitting in someone's mountain cabin before that. I counted seven major structural cracks in the wall before I got tired of the game, and any number of smaller ones. Nor is the ceiling exempt. I was kind of nervous it might fall in on me.

Why It Hasn't Sold: New on the market, and I wouldn't expect it to last. Structurally, that is.

Who it's Not Appropriate For: Anybody who can't afford to tear it down and start over - and that includes the landscaping. It may have been designed by some famous architect, but it's been maintained by Larry, Moe, and Curley, with assistance from the Addams Family.


Selling Points: It does have a reasonably large lot. Unfortunately, zoning in the area is solidly R1. I'd peg the likelihood of getting an up-zone at "none"

Who Should be Interested: Nobody. Danger, Will Robinson!

Why it's a Bargain: It's not. The only way to salvage this property is to "accidentally" run a bulldozer through it. Forty-seven times.


What I think I can get it for: Why would you want it? The owners aren't ready to be rational about this property. Let me go find you something else better. That's easy. The hard thing would be finding something worse!

Monthly Payment examples: I think if they paid me $1000 per month, I'd consider taking it off their hands.

With no down payment: They don't pay me, I don't take it.

With 20% down: 80% of nothing is still nothing.

Investment potential: If you keep it ten years and it averages only 5% annual average appreciation per year: Based upon a purchase price of 0, the property would still be a Money Pit. If you held it those ten years before selling, you would net whatever the negative of ten years of property taxes and insurance is. Not to mention what you'd have to pay to get rid of it.

To learn more: Why would you want to? I felt like I had wandered into a story by HP Lovecraft. I would be happier if I'd never seen it! But I escaped with my life and some small shreds of sanity!

Contact Information:

Dan Melson, Buyer's Agent
Action Realty Inc
9143 Mission Gorge Road, Suite A
Santee, CA 92071
619-449-0723 X 116


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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the X-Tra, Miscellany and Admin category from April 2008.

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