Los Gatos down town

Los Gatos down town

Fixer uppers still represent the most intriguing opportunities for Silicon Valley home buyers but they are not for everyone.   Ironically, we have made our biggest pay checks from selling San Jose, Los Gatos, Campbell, Saratoga fixer uppers after remodeling them.   But if you are considering buying a fixer upper, here are top 5 reasons why you should not do it:

Fight with City Hall:   Most buyers underestimate the fight they are picking with the planning commissions to get their projects approved.   In fact, in Los Gatos, we have watched in horror for many years developers and families tortured about their 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.  

Home vs Lot:   Some of these fixer uppers on the market are not in livable conditions.   So, you are buying a lot since you can not move into these homes since they lack the most basic of modern amenities such as a dish washer let alone dual pane windows.  So, this means you must be able to afford 2 house payments which in most places specially in Silicon Valley requires big pockets.

No Modern Convinces:  Most of the fixer uppers are at least 30 to 40 years old and they have old appliances and old bathrooms which you can’t remodel since it conflicts with your final goal of remodeling the house.  The other challenge this creates is that you will not able to rent these homes which you are fighting the planning commission on your remodeling plan.   These older homes are poorly insulated and generate high utility costs for both heating and cooling.

No handy man:  If you are not a handy man with lots of tools, may be you should not buy a silicon Valley fixer upper.   These home needs a lot of work and it would help if you could contribute yourself to making some of the repairs.

Impatient:  Finaly criteria to determine if fixer uppers are right investment viheciles for you is patience.   If patience is not part of your DNA, then you should not be buying fixer uppers since there are a lot of people and proceses wil be testing your patience along the way.   So, if you are not a patient person, then you should avoid buying a fixer upper in Silicon Valley.