An Empire for Under $300k?

empire.jpgHardly seems possible in this day and age, but today’s top-viewed property is just that. For the low, low price of $279,000 you can own 9844 Empire Road in Oakland. Okay, so I was a bit misleading in my leadline, but I came back from Idaho feeling a bit snarky, which usually happens when I travel to other states with what I consider to be reasonably priced real estate. Today’s #1 hit is a 1,124 square foot, two bedroom, one bath fixer-upper on a pretty standard 5500 sf lot, in what the realtor describes as an up-and-coming blue collar neighborhood (off 98th near 880). It would take a lot of sweat equity to bring this one up to livable. The kitchen is a ’70s throwback, needing new cabinets, floor, appliances, paint, counters, probably sink and faucet, too. Living areas have hardwood floors that need refinishing, if not replacement, and cheap wood paneling that needs to be removed and walls redone with mud, primer and paint. Except for one lone rosebush, the landscaping needs to be redone. And we don’t even see pictures of the bathroom or bedrooms. Good news is that Zillow’s valuation is well over $100,000 more than list, so there could be potential here, or maybe Zillow is having problems keeping up with the ever-changing, ever-plunging market? The bad news, just because I can put a damper on things, is that the empire you could buy for this price in urban Boise would consist of: 1,800 sf home with 4 bedrooms, 3 baths. Fifty years old, it has been completely remodeled with new flooring, doors, and fixtures throughout. New paint, inside and out, hardwood floors, granite counters. Landscaping and huge deck, minutes to freeway and Boise State. Of course, the weather is a tad bit colder in Boise and you would have to buy a snow shovel.

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