Spring in Cali – Mad Dash for a House!

Spring’s here! You know it’s not winter anymore when it’s been 70º multiple days this past week — basically L.A. weather! Goodbye snowless Bay Area winter. There was a mild dusting of white atop Mount Hamilton for two days, which was nice. It’s probably still snowy in Tahoe, but rarely down here by the Pacific Ocean! We hear of multiple offers being tendered again by breathless buyers due to “low inventory”! With this buying frenzy, and bees busily buzzing about my lavender and rosemary bushes it’s definitely spring.

Open House Season Has Sprung

We dropped by an open house this weekend in Fremont within the first hour. It was a madhouse of shoe covers, Chinese and Indian tech company couples, and one lone agent. Teslas and RAV4s circling for limited street parking. The 4/2 SFR was built in the late 1970s with a nicely updated kitchen. New cabinets, all SS appliances. New-er granite counters.

What’s New?

Beyond these upgrades, the house has very nice new hallway (only) flooring, all new doors and door handles. New white 4″ baseboards, not the 1″ dark brown “woodpile leftover” originals of yesterday. Love the new feeling! No problems opening or closing any door. Being new, all the doors are made more cheaply and lightweight – easy to operate. Besides this and drywalling the garage, the previous owners didn’t do too much. We saw the usual dual pane windows. There’s a dimmer switch made up of 8 buttons (high to low) for the living room recessed can lights. Do you prefer eight individual buttons or a sliding lever? We found it unwieldy, with multiple sets of 8 on the same panel. Tip: fast, easy, and simpler Home Depot dimmer switch replacement!

What’s Old?

The kitchen overhead lights are hot quartz – they will burn your hand. (No LED upgrade yet, but that’s easy.) House still has its original gold-finish metal thermostat and late 1970s Rheem furnace. Those are less efficient than today’s newer furnaces. New water heater though. Original bedroom closet mirror doors with gold trim. New paint was sloppily applied in some areas: on a window screen, cracking and peeling off already in one closet, almost like wallpaper lifting off the (dry?) drywall. The MBR carpet had unappealing wiggles.

Because there’s so little inventory, this house will sell fairly immediately, within 60 days we figure. That is the SF Bay Area real estate market in February 2020, at least in Silicon Valley. Specifically, Fremont near Tesla, 84, Facebook’s fast-growing 10-building Fremont campus where I used to work, and more.

The home staging was cheap-nice and adequate. (Please don’t sit on the fake bed.) The realtor seemed secretly happy having too many customers to show the house to. This is always a great problem to have! Too many buyers vs too few. Since she has a low model black BMW cloth top, she must be doing well enough to keep up appearances. And that’s one Spring weekend in Silicon Valley.

What did you see at local open houses this weekend? Let me know in the comments.

As always, stay happy, healthy, and wealthy!


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