It’s no secret the real estate market is still depressed, especially when compared to Silicon Valley’s boom years. Those looking to capitalize on the down market will find many foreclosures available—there are more than 300 foreclosed properties listed in San Jose alone, and hundreds more throughout the valley. There were 143 foreclosed single-family houses listed as of mid-October. On the low end is a two-bedroom, one-bath for $229,900. This 794-square-foot home is located at 23 N. 26th St. near downtown. On the high end is a $1.3 million six-bedroom, four-bath home in Evergreen at 3150 Royal Meadow Lane.

Home foreclosures are spread throughout San Jose. Here is the breakdown by neighborhood: Almaden Valley, four; Alum Rock, 22; Alviso, one; Berryessa, 20; Blossom Valley, 17; Cambrian, 14; central/downtown, 25; Evergreen, nine; Santa Teresa, nine; south San Jose, 13; Willow Glen, seven.

The properties are varied. Many are in surprisingly good condition; others are fixer-uppers. There are starter homes that are two-bedroom, one-bath, and larger homes suited to families; 21 are priced under $300,000. Only a handful top $800,000 or more. On the lower end of the price range is a very cute entry-level home in one of San Jose’s most sought-after neighborhoods. This 1,056-square-foot home in Willow Glen, at 981 N. Prevost St., is priced at $249,900 and has two bedrooms and one bath. It sits on a 5,000-square-foot lot but has no garage. It has new paint in and out and new carpet. It’s been on the market since Oct. 9 and last sold for $361,583.

Another nice-looking property is in the Cambrian neighborhood at 3098 Union Ave. This 1,157-square-foot home sits on a large lot (6,018 square feet) and has a two-car attached garage. It has three bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, wood flooring and a fireplace. The exterior is in good shape with nice landscaping, new paint and fenced front yard. It was listed on Oct. 8 and is priced at $480,420, the last sale being $780,000.


More typical of the foreclosures is a property in Blossom Valley. Located at 4812 Rue Loiret, this is a 1,623-square-foot fixer-upper priced at $394,900, last sold for $530,000. It has four bedrooms and two baths and sits on a large lot (7,380 square feet). The lawns are dead, and it has swimming pool, condition unknown. It’s been listed and relisted with multiple price changes since Dec. 28, 2009, so that could mean the bank is more motivated to sell.

Here are some foreclosure tips. Work with a Realtor who has experience buying foreclosures. Dealing with banks is a different ball game. Ask yourself if you have the money to do the extensive repairs, landscaping and cleanup often needed. Check how long the house been empty; the longer the vacancy the more damage there often is. Pay for a property inspection before finalizing an offer so you know if you can handle what needs to be done. Look at the neighborhood and study its appeal at all hours. If the property is in a sought-after neighborhood, the lower price tag will be well worth the cost to fix up the home. If not, even what seems to be a deal may not be worth it in the end.