Buying a House for Less than $20,000 in the Sacramento Area?

What is the lowest-priced sale in MLS over the past 90 days? Can I get a drum roll please? The winner is $5,000. No, that’s not a typo.

1628 8th Street in Livingston is a 2-bedroom 1-bath single family detached property and it sold for $5,000 on 2/05/2010 as a bank-owned fixer. The Listing Agent stated that this “property is unfinished”, which probably means it is completely gutted or has some very serious damage. The photo certainly shows that the shell of the house has some major work needed. Sometimes properties near this price level have “unknown blackish substances” in them too, though not always.

Just in case you are wondering, this price level is not typical for the Sacramento Region or Central Valley. This is indeed the bottom of the market. Over the past 90 days there were only a total of 10 single family detached properties that sold under $20,000. For reference, here is a graph of all sales under $20,000 over the past year based on information in Sacramento MLS (this covers many counties surrounding Sacramento).


  1. says

    Homes under $20k may be tough to come by now that our market has “leveled off” (i.e. hit a ledge), but I’m guessing we’ll see more of them when the next wave of REO’s hits the market. In any event, you can certainly expect them to be rough…often stripped of fixtures, carpet, appliances, ac units and copper plumbing. Still, for $5k,a profit can be made in the long run. You think it is bad here though, check out Detroit where you can buy houses for $1.00 (no, that is not a typo)…pretty toughto appraise in that market, for sure.

    • says

      I think you’re right, Marc. Properties in our market under $20K are pretty hard to come by. I talked with an investor from Canada earlier this week and she was wondering about properties like this. I told here they are difficult to come by because they typically spend so little time on the market.

      I’ve heard about Detroit being really tough. Why are properties selling for a dollar though? Is that some sort of a HUD or repo deal to renovate the property? I’ve heard of things like that before.


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