Day 9: Minor Rant

So, I tried a little something new yesterday.  In case you missed all the awesome…I made a video.  Of myself.  Bwahahaha!  I guess it was pretty good because I got lots and lots and lots of comments saying it was all the awesome.  Or…nobody has ever seen me in a video before and it was just a novel break from my writing.  Either way, it’s all good.

Some of the feedback I’ve received from my uber-supportive friends and family is that I should be more conscientious about not passing judgment on what I see as I do my 365 day tour. I’m straddling the fence on this. On the one hand, I can see why I should maintain exceptional political correctness and adhere to say nothing if you can’t say anything nice. But on the other hand, I’m not selling these houses. If one of you, my valuable readers, wants me to represent them as a buying agent based on one of these posts…GREAT! That’s totally peachy and I’ll take every bit of business I can drum up right now. But does that mean I’m not supposed to make honest observations, both good and bad? I started this blog for the purpose of dissecting 365 houses and learn everything I possibly can about local real estate. IMHO, that affords me some latitude in making honest judgments about what I come across each day. Be it large stuffed pheasants, outdated fixtures, or appliances from the 1970′s, I think I’m gonna talk about it.

I welcome some debate on the topic

So…on the the house of the day.

“Clean and ready! With five bedrooms and three bathrooms. Three bedrooms(including the master) and two bathrooms are upstairs. Downstairs there are two more bedrooms, and a full bathroom with a door to the back yard. Also on the main floor are the laundry room, living room, dining room, dinette area, and kitchen with a breakfast bar. A 3-car garage completes the picture. Located down the street from Figarden Elem. and in the Tenaya Middle School and Bullard High attendance areas, this home has it all; and it is priced to sell!”

Cheers!

Erica

Day 8: Video Killed the Radio Star

Day 8!

I’m mixing things up a bit today.  Enjoy the show!

“Gorgeous McCaffrey home in move-in condition. Built in 2002, 5 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms. Two bedrooms and a full bathroom down stairs. Open floor concept. Perfect for a first time home buyer.”

Cheers!

Erica

Day 7: For the Birds

It’s a bird on a mantle.  This house has a stuffed bird on the mantle…right next to a vase of peacock feathers and a huge painting of birds.  Birds. I’m told it may be a pheasant. I’m not knowledgeable about birds at all, nor am I a sport hunter, so it had a turkey/vulture vibe to my eyes.  A friend of mine thinks this bird is channeling the spirit of her grandpa and might be named Burt.  Whaddup, Burt the bird.

One would think the house is bird themed based on what glares out at you when you walk in. However, the hand-written 3×5 index card price tags placed on all the furniture speaks more to the underlying tone of the place.  As does the wood-paneled interior walls and ominous shag carpeted stairway to the section above the garage.

“Original owner has expanded and improved this charming 4 bedroom 2 bath over the years! Excellent location near Bullard Talent School and Fig Garden Village. Large private park-like backyard with sparkling pool. Enter from gated courtyard into the living room with fireplace (gas insert) and picture window. Remodeled kitchen opens to cozy family/dining room. One extra large bedroom plus another downstairs and two more roomy bedrooms and bath upstairs. Remodeled downstairs bath with jetted tub plus shower. Brand new roof, dual pane window throughout most of the home, current termite certification included. This special home is ready to move into and enjoy!”

Birds.

SMH

~Erica

  • Update: I found out the bird is a pheasant

Day 6: Love at First Sight

Today, I fell in love. Oh, be still my heart! The house.  The HOUSE!

image

“Escape the summer heat in this ideally located Bullard Home. With five bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms this home is perfect for the growing family or those who love to entertain. The home has been completely remodeled with new paint and flooring throughout. The spacious floor plan includes formal dining and living rooms, a great room with built in dry bar and exposed beam vaulted ceilings, and an eating area in the kitchen which features new stainless steel appliances, alluring granite counter tops, subway tile back splash, designer cabinets and a breakfast bar. Each of the five bedrooms offer large closets and the bathrooms have been exquisitely upgraded with custom tile work, granite counters, and luxurious sinks. In the backyard you will find two covered patios, a sparkling pool, RV parking and plenty of shade. You can also spend pleasant summer evenings on the front porch enjoying the family friendly neighborhood.”

I will need to let the pictures tell the story because I can’t do it justice with my words.

image

This house is so beautiful.  Based on the number of realtor cards on the counter, it’s clearly been popular with buyers. I can’t help but be reminded of an anecdote I was told as a teenager.  The one where the most popular and perfect girl in the school didn’t have a date on prom night because everyone though she was out of their league. This house is so perfect, it’s intimidating.  I sure hope one brave buyer decides to take a chance on fate and make an offer because it’s a shame that this beautiful girl is spending prom night alone.

Cheers,

Erica

Day 5: Flip

This morning I hosted an open house in a spectacular neighborhood adjacent to the Copper River Country Club. The backyard is actually on the 12th fairway! It’s a gorgeous, fully upgraded, Granville home priced below the new models being built! This house should sell, but it isn’t. It isn’t because it’s a very specialized niche market that, it seems, does not have a whole lot of buyers at this moment. This house will sell and I sure hope I am the one who finds a buyer. In the meantime, this new kid on the block is tasked with hosting open houses every week until it sells. Ugh. It’s cool. I’m learning the ropes and paying my dues. There will come a time when I look back on these early days with fondness because when else will I have time to sit around and enjoy the Olympics in a well air conditioned golf house with no one bugging me! Wait…no one was bugging me…BECAUSE ALMOST NO ONE SHOWED UP!  Grrrrr. I was exhausted at the end of the 6 hours I put into this open house that brought only three people through the door and two were just looky-loos.

What does this have to do with 620,500 in 365? I was tired at the end and I did NOT want to go seek out another house to look at. I just wanted to go home.

Never a quitter (especially on day 5), I sucked it up and went.

“What a rare opportunity to purchase this amazing remodeled home where charms meets quality in this classic 1978 house with 3 bedrooms & 2 baths. Located on a beautifully tree-lined street in northwest Fresno, this home has nice curb appeal with plush lawn and mature trees. The floor plan is open which includes a living room & separate family room w/fireplace. Nicely updated throughout with new paint inside & outside, new wood laminate flooring in the family room, kitchen & hallways, new carpet in living room, dining room & bedrooms is perfect for a growing family or entertaining. The stylish kitchen features granite counters, new stainless appliances–gas range, built-in oven, microwave hood vent & dishwasher. Ceiling fans in all rooms. Master suite includes a private bath with tile floors & counter tops. The home includes central HVAC, new dual-pane windows and inside laundry. Step outside to a nice covered patio & private back yard.If pride of ownership is what you want..this is the place.”

This house was remodeled earlier this year and is now being flipped. The current owners have never lived in it and it’s vacant, which means that all the lovely updates will be brand spanking new for the next family to call this home.I had low expectations, but this house has some charm! The kitchen is small, as are the bedrooms, but the layout is nice and it feels clean and homey. I particularly love the detail in the kitchen backsplash tile. I also really like the finished hardwood floors and the painted brick fireplace in the living room. I would call this the perfect starter home for a first time buyer or a new family starting out on house living after apartments or condos. It’s not so big that the upkeep would be overwhelming, yet it’s a house to call your own. The neighborhood was clean and had a good feel to it.

You’ll find me back at the golf house soon…hopefully with a new strategy to bring folks in the door. But in the meantime, I’ll be back here to report on another 365 house very soon!

Cheers,

Erica

Day 4: Low Clearance

I spent today with my kids.  School starts in under a week and then I’ll have a 2nd grader and a kindergartener on my hands and I just wanted a day at home with them.  Buuuut…I did manage to drag them with me on my day 4 house tour!

“Location location location! Walking distance to the prestigious Fig Garden village shopping center. Beautiful home located in the established Browning Estates. Fresh paint, stainless steel appliances and brand new granite counters in the kitchen. 2 bonus rooms with plenty of space for entertaining. The backyard is spacious with mature landscape and an unique covered patio. Recently refinished hardwood floors with large bedrooms. A must see! A must have!”

Sticking with my Bullard High School area, I found this vacant home built in 1956.  I was curious to see what, if anything, the seller had done to update it for a sale.

See my sour face up above?  Take note of the ceiling and then know that I stand all of 5′2″ tall.  I hope that paints the picture for you… ‘nuf said! Why? Why is that ceiling so low?  There is also an abnormally low light fixture over where, I assume, one would put a dining table.  It would end up less a foot over the table, though.  My 5 year old boy could easily reach up and touch the glass dome…

The kitchen is nicely modernized with good stainless steel appliances. There is fresh paint, beautifully finished hardwood floors, and granite countertops throughout.  The backyard has a very nice patio and garden with built-in bench seating and a greenhouse.  I got the feeling that the house may have been a bachelor pad at one time.  Huge pool table, built-in bar, neon beer sign…

Bottom line: my boy-children loved it.  It wasn’t my favorite.

Cheers,

Erica

Day 3: Van Ness Extension

My motive for moving over to this area of town is two fold…1-it’s close to the office; and 2-these are established homes in a variety of styles.  I will be sticking to this general geographic area for a bit so I can start mastering neighborhoods.  Not necessarily the extension, but the Bullard HS area.

“Beautifully remodeled 4 bed 3 bath custom with 3354 s.f. and a huge corner lot located one block from Van Ness extension. Home features new paint inside and out, new carpet, tile and laminate flooring throughout, crown molding, inside utility room, new lights, fixtures and hardware and 2 separate fireplaces. All bedrooms boast large sizes & walk in closets. Bright & airy kitchen opens up to big formal dining room with separate living and family rooms. Kitchen has granite counters with tile back splash, canned lighting, and S.S. appliances. Guest bath has granite counter tops, dual sinks, separate tub and tiled shower with stone flooring. Large master suite features 2 walk in closets & leads into big master bath with dual sinks, vanity and a walk in tiled shower with stone floors. Isolated 4th bedroom with full bath could be perfect for mother in Law set-up. Huge backyard with mature landscape, fruit trees and a Gazebo with sink. This home is perfect for entertaining, a must see!”

The good

Large lot.  Gorgeous cosmetic upgrades.  New floors throughout, including the hugely popular wood grain tile.  Granite in the kitchen, laundry, and all three bathrooms.  New kitchen appliances.  Pleasant lighting fixtures.  You can easily tell that the owner wanted to spend a few pennies to get the look of this house out of the ‘70′s and into the 21st century.  Good call, dear owner.

The bad

I’m struggling with a few things on this one.  The kitchen is beautifully remodeled, but the range and oven are much narrower than one would expect to find in a modern kitchen.  I just can’t figure out why anyone would spend (clearly) so much energy and resources upgrading a home, but overlook the fact that all new kitchens have larger cooking appliances.  Makes me scratch my head.  Also, the garage needs some TLC…the overhead doors do not even have an automatic opener. (??) The backyard is sprawling and beautiful, but not lush in any sense of the term.

The ugly

Not much in this category, but… Some of the window screens are ripped. Not such a big deal, really.  I just wanted to channel my inner Clint Eastwood for a bit. 😉

Bottom line…I think it’s overpriced.  The updates are beautiful.  The location is lovely.  The use of space is good.  But nothing struck me as “oh, this is without a doubt a $600k property”.  Comps don’t really support the asking price either. I expected to be wowed for the price point and location and i just…wasn’t.

Day 2: Country Life

House number two!  I got a message from an old friend that I would be welcome to go look at her home in Easton.  It’s been on the market since May and she wanted feedback from another Realtor.  Cool!  As it turns out, I have been to this house in the past for a social visit and I vaguely remember what it looks like, so I was excited to look at it with a different perspective.

“Suburban LIVING at its FINEST on 1+acres situated among beautiful vineyards. Recently updated 3BD/2BA (2189 sf) main house + 2BD/1 BA (930 sf) guest house w/ kitchenette w/ electric range & refrigerator + laundry hook-up. Decorator touches in main house include NEW CT. HT. & AIR. Newer 18” tile floors in entry, family room, kitchen & baths + newer carpeting in the 3 bedrooms. Hearthed BRICK fireplace w/ wood burning fireplace insert. GOURMET KITCHEN w/ granite counters, center island w/ sink & bar area for stools, stainless steel newer Electric range, microwave, & dishwasher. Party perfect yard w/ free-form pool w/ NEWER pool sweep & motor, wood decking, & play area. Corral w/ metal fencing & rain bird sprinklers. SUPERSIZE (approx 1,500 sf) RV garage, shop, or barn for tractor & farm equipment, Jewel’’ in Easton!!!”

First impression – Well, first of all, it’s super important to plug the address into gps WITHOUT transposing digits :/  After I got my head on straight and found the house, I opened the lockbox (first time!!), managed to swing the gate open, and approached the house.  The property needs a little exterior TLC, no doubt about it, but it’s super cute! I definitely won’t see features like this in town.  This is a ranch house, through and through. Wood shake roof, redwood walls, red brick on the inside.  It has a huge backyard with a pool and a really large guest house in the back!  There is also a nice sized loft with a balcony above the kitchen.

Speaking of the kitchen…THE KITCHEN!  Gorgeous.  Super cute red accent lighting above the island.  I am a sucker for granite countertops and I love the light marbling in the slab chosen for this house.  It really contrasts well with the red brick of the island base, fireplace, and arch.  It easily combines a modern flare with the rustic-ness of the house style.

If I were in the market for a country home South of Fresno, I would seriously consider this one.  If you’re looking for country living, on a spacious lot, I know just the house for you!!

Cheers,

Erica

Day 1: Here we go…

“Northwest Fresno living at an affordable price! With over 2,300 sqft of living space on a nearly 10,000 sqft lot this 3br 2ba home is a must see!”

I saw it.  It has potential.

I texted the listing agent to make sure I could go in. I was all geared up to use my eKey for the first time. When I got there, the owner was there!  Dang.

I chatted with him for a bit.  He asked my opinion on whether or not he should have the carpets cleaned. (YES!)  Then I wandered around on my own while he watered the back yard.

Style?  Brady Bunch. A bit outdated, but in an impressive, gaudy, Laugh-In kind of way.  I especially enjoyed the rust tone striped carpet in the add-on bonus room. (Perfect for a boomerang young adult or older teen).  The kitchen appliances are probably originals from 1976 (seriously).  Overall, it was very clean for the age and the landscape is well-maintained.

Would I show it to a buyer?  Sure, but probably not as a hot pick.  It faces a busy street, so definitely not suitable for a family with small kids.  At $239,000, it’s a perfect investment property.  I can see someone updating it and turning it into a rental or flipping it, easy peasy.

I left my card (forgot to take a picture of it…darn!) and left.  Virtually painless.  I think I can handle one a day 🙂

Houses and condos and land, OH MY!

I want to see 365 houses in the next year.

Crazy?  Probably.

I like to know things.  Everything, to be exact.

I’ve started a new career and I refuse to be the newbie who doesn’t know as much as the pros, so I’m hitting the pavement to learn all there is to learn about Fresno County real estate.  To accomplish that goal, I’m going to view one house on the market every.single.day…for one year.  That’s 620,500 square feet of real estate in 365 days.  I’ll take pictures, maybe record a video here and there, and write a bit about my experiences.  I’m putting it all here to keep myself accountable.

Feel free to follow me on the journey and call me out if it seems like I’m going to miss a day.  Seriously, tell me to get my bootie in gear.

Here we go!

Cheers,

Erica