Posted: 15 Nov 2012 04:00 AM PST
A slow weekend for open houses brought me to a small condo in El Camino Real today. It is nestled in the middle of a walkway lined with trees and condos on both sides. However, while it looks peaceful, it is very close to Walnut and does get traffic noise.
HOA dues are $280 per month and there are no Mello Roos taxes.
I walked through the door and was standing in the small living room, a plain square room with only one window. The room felt cramped without any furniture and I found it hard to imagine how it would look furnished. The window doesn’t provide a lot of natural light. A small open area under the stairs could house a bookshelf, a low table, or a small desk.
A short hallway to the kitchen contains a coat closet and a half bath that has some upgrades but still looks dated.
The kitchen was remodeled about three or four years ago. It has stainless steel appliances (no fridge) and oak cabinets. It is in good condition, but it doesn’t look fancy or feel new. There are beige, Formica counters that make it hard to forget that the condo was built in the 1970’s. While the realtor’s flyer advertises a “large dining room,” I’d have to call it a small alcove.
A small laundry room directly off the kitchen has a washer and dryer (can be negotiated with the sale if you want the existing machines), but no sink or counter.
Upstairs, there are two bedrooms and a shared bathroom. Both rooms are a good size; they are bigger than a standard secondary bedroom but not as large as a normal master. One room has a sliding, mirrored closet that spans the length of one wall. Another wall has the room’s only window and a wall heating/cooling unit. It gets more light than the rooms downstairs and it also has a ceiling fan.
The other bedroom has a walk-in closet in one corner of the room, though it doesn’t have a door. It also has a ceiling fan and heating/cooling unit in the wall. The window here is in a bit of an alcove but, due to a large tree directly outside, it doesn’t provide much light.
The shared bathroom has a shower/tub combo and a single sink. Like the downstairs bath, it has been somewhat upgraded with a new vanity and fixtures, but still feels outdated.
Since the condo doesn’t have a garage, a covered, enclosed patio off the kitchen provides space to store items like bikes, but it isn’t fully covered. There is room for a grill back there as well. It has a small storage room (fully covered and with a door that locks) and a shed that could be negotiated into the sale. It leads to the carport, where the condo has one assigned, covered space. Ample unassigned parking offers room for a second car.
The condo has new windows and a new sliding door leading out to the patio. Most rooms have ceiling fans and some have recessed lighting. Downstairs features newer laminate floors and the carpet upstairs is clean and in good condition.
Despite the upgrades to the bathroom vanities and the kitchen, the house feels dated. It gets very little natural light and the lack of a garage and central heat and air will be a turnoff for many buyers. I suggest seeing this one in person, as the realtor’s listing definitely glorifies the unit.
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