Coffee heat rising

Wow! Real estate update…

The other day, as you may recall, I was ruminating about the wild range of prices for very similar houses in the tiny 1970s tract that is my immediate neighborhood. Asking prices just now range from $130,000 to $294,900. All the houses are similar in size, construction, and quality.

Well. The Mexican contractors who bought two houses just to the north of me and cherried them out with only the classiest of flair quietly put one of them on the market. La Maya spotted the selling price in the paper:

Three hundred and ten thousand dollah!

Holy mackerel! That’s what these houses were selling for at the height of the bubble!

They did do an exceptionally nice renovation. But still: no amount of style changes the fact that it’s just another aging three-bedroom tract house a block and a half away from the destruction that was once a light-rail project. Or that it is right next door to a run-down slummy shack that has been rented out for the past several years to an endless succession of down-at-the-heels men—often as many of six of them at a time. These guys use the front yard as a parking lot, so that one of them can use the garage to practice his drums. They have large barking dogs, and by way of making their neighbor Manny crazy occasionally shine lights directly into his yard.

I don’t know how the Contractors pulled that off, but whatever they did, it’s good for the neighborhood. As La Maya pointed out, it indicates that prices have held fairly steady here in spite of the crash.

And well they should have. Yesterday afternoon I spent an hour or so biking around the area, which surrounds a small park. It really is a beautiful neighborhood. Some of the houses are spectacular. Others are just very nice. Except for a few properties in my part of the ’hood and a few more in the tackier section just to the north, most houses are well maintained. The benefit of living in the low-rent section of a fancy neighborhood is you get to enjoy the swell ambience without having to pay upwards of a half-million dollars for the privilege.

I’m glad I didn’t panic and bolt to Sun City along with SDXB in the wake of the vandalism drama. And I hope I can hang onto my house in unemployment. This is a great place to live!