San Carlos Real Estate Agent, San Carlos Realtor 909 Elm Street — Curb Appeal x 10 | The White Oaks Blog

909 Elm Street — Curb Appeal x 10

by Chuck Gillooley

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Recently, I featured Elm Street as a Neighborhood Spotlight in the blog; and this home at 909 Elm is essentially the poster child of why I think Elm is such a great street. This home, listed by Mary Jo McCarthy of Cashin Company, is located on one of the most picturesque sections of Elm — the stretch between Arroyo and Brittan. (The blocks between Eaton and White Oak Way are no slouches, either.) With the combination of impeccably maintained houses and the stately trees that shade this block, it’s very easy to see the similarities with parts of Los Altos and Palo Alto (the good similarities, of course.) So it’s quite a compliment when one particular home earns a double-take when you drive by — and this one does. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s a Cape Cod?

This house quite simply has maximum curb appeal — a nice, big front lawn, and the architecture and color of the home are spot on. Inside, you’ll find that the home has been completely updated. Nice, high end touches throughout, and the kitchen is amazing. The back yard is private and nicely landscaped.

Location is another key plus for this home — Starbucks and Harmony Yogurt are way too conveniently located for my dietary and budgetary well-being, and it’s a short walk to the shopping and fine dining establishments on the northern stretch of Laurel Street.   Good stuff.

If you’re checking out homes this weekend in San Carlos, put this one on your list. It’s currently listed at $1,399,000 — click here for more details and photos –> 909 Elm St:
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Comments 9
  • Seems like this house sold in 2005 for $1.5M. Is this a case of the current seller overpaying?

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  • That’s an interesting point. I don’t know any of the specifics behind the current sale, so I wouldn’t be able to comment on it. But you’re correct about the 2005 sale, and it may be worth noting that the home has actually sold twice since 2004. This current sale would be the third time. in 4 years.

    Nonetheless, you bring up a very pertinent discussion on home values. In spite of all the hype you hear about San Carlos, homes will indeed occasionally drop in value. When I purchased my San Carlos home 18 years ago, we thought we were at the bottom of a long economic slide. I then watched the value of my house drop 15% over the next two years. That was not fun.

    Once the market picked back up, though, the value not only completely recovered, but went on to post huge gains in the later 1990’s. Will that happen with this recession? Hard to tell — but the lesson here is that if you’re in it for the long term, real estate in San Carlos is a pretty safe bet. You just need the patience and fortitude to ride out the tough times.

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  • I called another one…not only did this home just go sale pending after only 10 days on the market, but it must have been a sweet offer, since it went to Pending/No Show immediately — which can imply that there are no contingencies. Somebody definitely wanted this house, and for good reason. Definitely a nice place.

    Chuck

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  • By your count, this house alone will have accounted for 20% of all transactions on Elm since 2004…

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  • Not exactly — I think you might be referring to “Neighborhood Spotlight” post where I state that there were only 12 sales on Elm since 2004? If so, that specification is only for homes on Elm between Brittan and Eaton. The total number of single family residence sales on all of Elm since 2004 is approx 32.

    Still, once this sale closes, 909 Elm will account for nearly 10% of all sales on Elm — that’s a significant number.

    Thanks again for your observations!

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  • While we’re on the subject of Elm St, why do think 1309 Elm is taking so long to sell? Seems like the same square footage. Is the corner location and 2 floors making all the difference? Certainly the interior and finishings cannot be faulted.

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  • In my opinion, there are a couple of factors. The first, as you correctly stated, is the corner lot. They’re not for everyone, and the corner of Elm and Howard can get pretty busy at certain times of the day. Homes on corner lots tend to feel as if they take up the whole lot, even though they don’t. The orientation of a corner lot home is often different than one in mid-block — you can feel more exposed since you have closer proximity to two streets rather than one. The inside of the house is indeed very nice.

    The other issue is the marketing and visibility. Before Greg Celotti recently picked up this listing, it was being marketed by an out of town agent who didn’t do much to promote the place, and consequently it sat with no activity. Greg is a very good agent who does significant business around here, so I’m sure he’ll move this one along in short order.

    Thanks for your comments!

    Chuck

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  • One related question about agents:

    What do you think about the practice of the listing agent having someone else hold the open house? I have stopped by several open houses in the past where the host for the day was not very knowledgeable about the house and always deferred any significant questions.

    My question is – why would a seller be willing to accept substitutions? If I am paying 3% commission to a specific agent, I want that agent representing me all the time. I understand how this helps out other agents to build their clientele, but how does it benefit the seller since the host is not fully vested and responsible to the seller.

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  • Transient,

    Once again, you have tabled a great topic. First let me state that I believe the vast majority of agents try to cover most or all of their own open houses. However, for better or for worse, the practice of having another agent cover one’s open house, even if it’s infrequently, is almost inevitable in most listings. There are a couple of reasons why this is the case:

    First and most obvious, the agent simply can’t be available on a particular open house day. As much as we try to keep our weekends free for work, life happens (especially on Sundays.) Family commits, illness, kid’s sporting events, or a vacation may sometimes conflict with an open house date. At that point, the agent is faced with a decision — either get a substitute, or not hold the house open at all. Obviously, the seller wants the house open, so you opt for the former.

    The second reason is a bit more deliberate, and you see this more often with what I categorize as “super-agents.” These are high-producing agents who have multiple listings going on at any given time — every town has their group of super-agents, and you’ll see their signs everywhere around town. Even though they are operating under their own name, many use “associates” to help with servicing all of these listings. Therein lies the conflict. When several of their listings have open houses on the same weekend, the “super-agent” can’t be at more than one at the same time, so that responsibility is delegated to an associate or another agent in the office. There’s really no other way to do it.

    Does this make it right? It depends on your perspective as a seller. Some people are fine with having anyone hold the home open. Others want the listing agent only. It’s VERY important when you are interviewing potential listing agents to find out what level of involvement they’re going to commit to, not only on open house dates, but other key tasks in the agreement as well. If it’s a very busy agent who is going to delegate most of the issues to an associate, it’s good to know that up front.

    Regardless, any agent who is going to sit in on an open house should take the time to bone up on the normal questions that will be asked in an open house — what school district, what’s the square footage of the house and lot, when it was built, any improvements, etc.. That information is easy to find — many times it’s right in the listing binder that’s on the property. There’s no excuse for even a substitute agent not to know this.

    One final note — even if the listing agent is competently running their own open house, there’s only a certain level of information that they can give to potential buyers before they start to cross the lines of agency representation, especially if the potential buyer already has an agent. But that’s a topic for a different day.

    Thanks once again for your astute comments.

    Chuck

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