Call me crazy, but this is one deal I would not pass up. Here is a rare opportunity for an Eicher Condo in downtown Palo Alto. This place shouts mid-century modern! This has the original kitchen cabinets, the original closet door sliders, the mahogany wood paneling is still in good shape, and the baths are also untouched. A retro-cool experience! Ok, so it needs some modern appliances (cooktop, stove, dishwasher, and washer/dryer), and it could use a flooring update as well. I don’t know about you, but I can see the vision for this place. Spend about $15k for some light remodeling and you have a really great place in downtown Palo Alto for under $550k.
Why is it a good deal?
This is an affordable entry point into Palo Alto, centrally and conveniently located with California St. restaurants and weekend farmers market only a block away. In addition, 2 bedroom units are more desirable so in the long run this will be a better investment for resale than if you went for a 1 bedroom. Since it looks very original and needs updating you’re not buying a place that has someone else’s tastes that you will just have to remodel anyway.
What is the risk?
Most people will be scared (or shocked) at the HOA being just over $500 per month. When you find out this includes your gas heat, earthquake insurance, pool, and other typical costs it is not far out of line with other Palo Alto communities. I have not checked the CC+R’s yet but I would not be surprised if this is a cooperative ownership, which means each unit must be owner-occupied so don’t think about renting it out as an investment property.
Who is the best buyer?
You need to like modern and minimalism and it would be a bonus if you like mid-century retro. I see this place going to a move up buyer who is looking to move out of San Jose and get further up mid-peninsula; or even a first-time buyer who wants to take their first step on the property ladder. This is a buyer who would like the challenge of redesigning something while still being able to live in the home, maybe someone up for a little DIY (do-it-yourself) or who wants to go on an Ikea decorating spree?! If you put a little time into updating the major necessities, I think you will find you have put your own personal touches on a bright and fun place to enjoy for many years to come.
ps. The same complex also has another condo that has been remodeled. It listed at $569K, MLS#80832437. Here are some photos for you to compare.