We were up in good time, an out the door by 10am. This was our day to check out the real estate market, and see what there was to choose from. Feeling somewhat bruised by our rejection by the top notch mobile home park, we decided to reopen our field of choice, and chose several townhouse, condos, mobiles and single homes to look at. Our summary list was lengthy, probably TOO lengthy, so I spent time before we headed out slimming down our selection.
I needn’t have worried about that chore. This utterly insane market did the trimming for us! Of the 3 dozen homes on my initial list, over a dozen were already marked “Pending” by noon hour! Pending means tentatively sold, so no more viewings, at least for the time being.
Unfortunately, almost all of those pending listings were in my location of choice: Santa Clara. That’s where we live at the moment, and we would much prefer to stay here, since this city is well known for its low tax rates! Of course this is one of the reasons that properties here sell so high and so fast, but the low low crime rate is helping too.
Poor San Jose, our biggest city in Silicon Valley, has the highest crime rate by FAR, especially in East San Jose, which is snuggled into the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Many of our wealthy techies have massive estates in the scenic hills, but you can be sure that these fortresses are completely enclosed, gated and guarded, and bear NO similarity to their poorer neighbors’ dwellings. This is also where some of the poorest of the poor live, which probably explains the high crime rate!
Back to my real estate tour. We ended up visiting the most distant property first, located in the gentler part of the foothills. Shelby Court was a lovely property, surrounded by rolling grasslands, generously dotted with mature trees. The lengthy circuitous route that our GPS led us on was long, but pleasantly relaxing route. The surrounding homes looked to be over 3000 square feet. With these behemoths for neighbors, this little condo seemed quite out of place. Combined with the intimidating distance he’d need to travel, day in day out, this just reinforced our feeling that this home was NOT for us.
Next on our agenda was a visit to Mill Pond, the mobile park that broke our hearts with the rejection, just a few weeks ago. WHAT?? Are we crazy? We promised Connie that we’d check out this new listing there. It is a smaller version of the unit we loved and lost: 1400 as opposed to 1700 square feet. It hasn’t as many major issues, and the list price is less, by 25 thousand dollars. The porch needs replacing, since rotting wood is obvious. The kitchen needs to be redone, since the counter top is chipped melamine, the cupboards are MacTac covered, and the stove is almond colored. It also has a ‘sunshine’ ceiling, something that was popular in the eighties. There is a huge Harvest Gold spa tub in the master bath, and an older toilet and sink. The living/dining room is covered with brand new pale beige carpeting, which doesn’t impress us. Solid flooring is what we want, but might have to cope with rug for a while. To give you an idea of how much Glenn would like to buy this garage unit, he stated that the kitchen would have to be gutted and replaced, before we could even move in. And the hideous beast of a spa tub? He’d like to just leave it there, to save the expense of repairing and replacing the floor
Stop number three was at Vista Del Lagos, a 2 bed 2 bath condo in Santa Clara. The ad on line showed a beautiful trees water park, complete with a dozen mallards, dipping their heads under the mini waterfalls. The units had patios and decks overlooking this sumptuous sylvan spread, which was ever so tempting for me! I could just picture myself, with my laptop on my lap desk, a cup of tea by my hand, gazing at the dappled sunlight sprinkling patterns on the water’s surface. I was experiencing perfect peace, feeling like I had finally found a home that I could embrace. Absently paying half attention to the sales person’s descriptions of the facilities, I heard ‘no laundry’ mentioned. She then proceeded to reassure us that there were several laundromats within walking distance. Game changer! We thanked the sales person for the tour, and left. Then, on our way out, we noted the dismayingly large distance between the parking space, and the unit itself. And then there was a long, thin open backed metal flight of stairs to get to the parking garage. Oh well……
Finally, we went to nearby Sunnyvale, one of the smaller cities here in the valley. There are a few mobile home parks here, but only one of them is owned by the evil law firm that owns Mill Pond. There was a unit advertised in the Open House section of the paper this morning, in Tasman, a large all-ages park. This unit was over 2000 square feet, had four bedrooms, and a reasonable sized yard. The price for this fairly new unit was $330,000. It was beautifully staged, with teak hardwood floors, stainless appliances, oak cupboards, an apron sink. Definitely a dream come true, but even though we could probably afford it, do I really want to keep that big a house clean? Plus, even though this park isn’t owned by BSM (aka the evil lawyers), they still don’t allow residents to walk their dogs on park grounds. I’m beginning to think that mobile homes are actually NOT our best solution.