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Palo Alto Home Sells For $1.6 Million Despite Cracked Foundation, Nearby Train

PALO ALTO (KPIX 5) - Two recent Palo Alto home sales give a better understanding of just how crazy the Bay Area real estate market has become.

A buyer snapped up 202 Emerson Street in an all-cash deal for a cool $1.6 million, which included the bars on a door, cracks in the foundation and some missing bricks on the 1,100 square foot home. The house is also just steps from noisy Caltrain tracks.

The home last sold 40 years ago for $25.000, but now sold at 6,400 percent of that. One reason? It sits just three blocks off of University Ave.

"Location, location, location," said Erick Motta of Home Star Real Estate, sounding the familiar refrain about what makes a good real estate investment.

The same sized house next door is in escrow for $1.2 million. The lower prices is largely due to the lack of parking.

"The value of this home is $400,000 more because this place had a garage," said Motta. "It's a commodity in Palo Alto."

The sky-high prices have many in the area considering a move, a common consideration in many established Bay Area communities.

"Some of these people have lived here 25, 30, 40 years and find themselves sitting in a place they'd like to live, they love to live in, but they're thinking 'if I sell now, I can retire comfortably somewhere else,'" says Motta.

One homeowner who spoke with KPIX 5 bought north of downtown for $32,000 in 1976. Last year, her neighbor across the street sold for three million.

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