Burned out home for sale for $1.5 million in Mountain View

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The online listing for a $1.5 million home in Mountain View advises potential buyers that “opportunity knocks for your own design and creativity" and to “bring your architect, builder, and your imagination.”

But there’s also a stern warning: “enter at your own risk.”

That's because the home is being sold as a charred shell following a fire three years ago.

Realtor Cheryl Rivera Smith is the listing agent on the property at 230 Lassen Ave. in Monta Loma, a quaint and family-friendly neighborhood on the city’s north border adjacent to Palo Alto. 

In 40 years of selling real estate in the Bay Area and in other parts of the country, Rivera Smith said she’s never seen anything like the current Bay Area real estate frenzy.

“I’ve told everybody on the Peninsula that I’m working with that everyone here has won the lottery. This is insane,’’ said Rivera Smith with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Palo Alto.

Although the 1,300-square-foot home is listed for just shy of $1.5 million, Rivera Smith said she has already received four all cash offers over the listing price. And there could likely be more, she said. 

Rivera Smith said the three-bedroom, two-bathroom house is a teardown, but the Silicon Valley land—roughly 5,500 square feet—is of enormous value.  

The Mountain View home is not the first charred home to hit the Bay Area real estate market in recent weeks. 

A home that was destroyed in a 2016 fire and the property it sits on in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood is in contract for more than $900,000, and is expected to close in a matter of days. That home and its 5,800-square-foot lot was originally listed for $800,000.

Rick Smith of the Santa Clara County Realtors Association said one of the main selling points for a property in Silicon Valley is its proximity to high-tech employment. The San Jose home is close to a Caltrain station and near the proposed Google Village.

The latest numbers in Santa Clara County show the median price for a single family home is $1.4 million.

But even outside the tech-rich Silicon Valley, real estate is being snapped up for unprecedented prices. 

A condemned home in Fremont sold for $1.23 million last month.

Listing agent Larry Gallegos of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate told the San Francisco Chronicle that the buyer was “really buying the dirt to build a new home.” 

Gallegos listed the home in January for $1 million and said a week later he received five offers before closing $230,000 over the asking price. 

Real estate data shows the average sales price in Fremont has gone up roughly 11 percent in the past year. The East Bay town was once considered a cheaper alternative to pricey Silicon Valley, but Gallegos said he believes Fremont is quickly catching up.