Derelict San Jose House on Sale for $800,000

An uninhabited home in San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood has hit the market for $800,000. The burned-out ruin is located about a mile from the future Google village in downtown San Jose. Real estate agents say that the derelict structure itself is not valuable; it is the land that it sits on that is most attractive to potential buyers.

Located at 2357 Bird Avenue in San Jose, the ravaged home sits on a 5,800 square foot lot. Although it is located in a modest neighborhood, due to rising home prices in Silicon Valley, the property is worth much more than it would be in another area. Its value is even higher due to the nearby Google village development.

The house has been empty since August 2015, when it caught on fire. An apparent explosion in the garage triggered a massive blaze that saw the total destruction of the garage and the homeowner's two cars. Despite the work of 35 firefighters from the San Jose Fire Department, the house's roof and interior rooms were heavily damaged. No one was injured in the blaze, although fire officials said at the time there was a danger that the fire would spread to neighboring houses.

Such high prices for homes in San Jose are not unusual. According to real estate agents, one of the homes neighboring the burnt-out building in Willow Glen recently sold for $1.6 million. In Santa Clara County, the average price for a single-family home currently hovers around $1.4 million. Since 2012, property values have climbed more than 80% in the county, and house prices have risen by more than 12% in Santa Clara County just in the last year.

Google has spent $221.6 million purchasing properties in downtown San Jose to build a new Google village. Helmed by real estate development firm Trammell Crow, the proposed development will be about 8 million square feet of offices and will be based around easy access to mass transit. Strategically located near the rail transportation hub of San Jose Diridon station, the village will likely not be constructed until 2025 when upgrades to BART and California High-Speed Rail are finished. Google also hopes to purchase several properties from the city government to expand the development.


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