I feel lucky to have the opportunity to help clients sell and buy very unique and special properties. Lafayette is filled with amazing neighborhoods and interesting nooks and crannies. While we have many beautiful homes, what we don’t see very often are vacant lots. We do see more and more builders and frustrated buyers tearing down existing homes on good lots and starting over because there are so few vacant lots left in Lafayette. I call this the Moraga Blvd phenomena. Every time I drive down this quaint street, there seems to be another home being taken down in order to build something new. In south bay cities like Menlo Park and Palo Alto this common place and maybe the wave of the future in Lafayette.
In the last fifteen months only 9 lots have sold in Lafayette. The highest sale was $1,237,000 for 1.3 acres in Reliez Valley. The average sales price was $548,389 and the average price per square foot was $17.66. As of the end of March there were only 7 lots available for sale.
Many of the remaining vacant lots in Lafayette have challenging terrain or are difficult to build on because of protected trees, creeks or easements. There are two vacant lots near where I live. Both are pancake flat and one is just short of an acre. After researching both lots out of curiosity and because they look perfect for development, I discovered that one had a utility easement running right through the middle of it. The other has a creek that runs along two sides with a deep embankment. While there are some challenges with the second lot, it would be a wonderful place to build a home if the owner was interested in selling – which is not the case.
Often buyers ask me about building costs or about the new prefab homes such as Connect-Homes or BLU homes. I have seen several of these homes going up in Lamorinda and I believe they are becoming more and more popular because they are a less expensive building option than custom new construction. Many prefab vendors also handle the permitting process with the city and the county which is valuable. While these prefab homes appear to be a wonderful new option the issue remains the same – vacant lots are scarce and buying something existing is usually more economical.
Please email me with your real estate questions or for a home evaluation. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (925) 951-3817.