I must admit we are biased on this topic since we have made our biggest paychecks by remodeling older Los Gatos homes and re-selling them after rehab. Ironically, this allows us to offer unique perspectives to buyers and investors who want to buy Los Gatos fixer uppers. So, if you are considering buying a old Los Gatos home in hopes of a flip, then read on:
1) Los Gatos Planning Commission: We have watched in horror for many years this commission torture Los Gatos families with the smallest remodeling projects that should have taken 30 minutes to approve. Instead these families are stranded with their plans to be sent to review and further study. One family was interested in adding an 800 sqft addition to their Los Gatos home which had met ALL the size, height, shadowing, architecture, engineering requirements. This family was unable to get approval in more than a year and had to bring an army of supporters to a planning commission meeting which still did not approve the plan and sent it back for more feedback.
2) Lot vs Home : Some of older homes in Los Gatos homes lack many modern amenities that will make it difficult for any family to survive their fight with the planning commission which as we mentioned could take years. So, this will mean that you will not be able to move into your Los Gatos home. This means that you will have to carry two mortgages unless you are buying your Los Gatos home for cash.
3) Conveniences: Assuming the older home you buy in Los Gatos is in good condition, the home will probably has small bedroom without open floor plans that are not common in most modern homes. These older homes are poorly insulated that will generate high utility costs for heating and cooling.
4) Deferred Maintenance: These older home are very poorly insulated with older windows and doors. They also will need work for termite and pest control. If you are lucky you might get a roof that has been recently installed.
In a recent survey of home buyers majority of Americans said they would prefer newer homes. But they are not wiling to pay the 20% premium associated with newer homes. So, there these older Los Gatos home still present a unique opportunity for those risk takers who want to build sweat equity into these charming homes.