Different As Night And Day

There’s many baffling things about the way banks behave in a real estate context. Maybe the most perplexing is how banks handle foreclosures. In Foster City right now there are two single family houses that are REOs that are the reason I’m writing this. One is at 921 Swan and is listed for $1,049,000. As of today it’s been on for 24 days. I saw it earlier this year when it was just a short sale…it’s dirty. Mold was growing on the floor of the laundry area downstairs. The house wasn’t touched in any way since I first saw it. Then there’s the REO at 1016 Edgewater listed for $999,000. It’s INCREDIBLY dirty! These pictures really don’t do it justice. The carpets are spectacularly soiled and there’s mold all over the place…in almost every room. There’s even mold about 2/3 up the wall in the living room near the top of the high ceilings. It leads me to think there’s probably some kind of leak in the roof of through the exterior stucco. In spite of some nice remodeling work in many areas of this house the sheer weight of the dirt in it is an overwhelming experience.

Meanwhile, there are other banks that have woken up and realized that if they spend a little money preparing a home they can get a better return. In many cases their painting, carpeting and just generally cleaning these places up. Last year the house at 766 Vespucci was a good example of a bank doing this. Or this place at 1823 Hillman in Belmont earlier this year. It went $40,000 over asking. I’m not sure what the answer is, I just know that preparation is key for all sellers. Banks included. It’s incredible to see some of these places…they’re very sad.


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