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You Can't Guess What This Condemned Home Just Sold For


It's not exactly a dream home - more like a fixer upper.

But even Chip and Joanna Gaines would struggle to renovate the condemned home that just sold for an outrageous price in California.

It has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, holes in the roof and pipes clogged with mildew.

And you'll be blown away when you see what its new owners paid for it.

It needs a little elbow grease

Condemned home
The lot doesn't exactly have curb appeal.NBC

The property records for this lot in Fremont, California say it's worth just $90,000.

But the listing agent, Larry Gallegos, put the home on the market for $1 million.

In spite of the rough condition, Gallegos says he got three cash offers on the flophouse.

Condemned home
The new owners didn't even set foot in the home.AP

He wound up signing a deal over asking price, at an astonishing $1.23 million.

So what would inspire someone to blow a small fortune on such a dump?

The new owners actually bought it sight unseen.

It's not about curb appeal - the house has a killer location.

Location, location, location

Fremont is just a short drive or train ride from the San Francisco Bay Area, home of Silicon Valley's growing businesses.

And tech company bigshots are buying up every inch of real estate in the city.

Fremont is full of Silicon Valley mansions.Ramir Sells Homes

According to, the average home price in Fremont has jumped to $1 million.

Gallegos told AP, "There are so many 20-year-old millionaires in the area that it really didn't surprise me" the home was snapped up.

A pair of developers bought the house without ever setting foot in it.

They plan to scrap and flip the property in just 5 months, building a 4,000-square foot home that runs on clean energy.

But you might be surprised to learn that homes even worse than this one are selling for big bucks.

It's got potential

Believe it or not, the housing boom in California has turned even destroyed homes into gold mines.

Take this quaint, fire-eaten bungalow in San Jose.

Burned home
Don't let the outside fool you - the inside is even worse.Willow Glen Charm

The property has been uninhabited for the last two years after being completely wrecked in a blaze, but drew in 10 offers just hours after the photos were put on Facebook.

That's despite the fact that agent Holly Barr is asking $800,000 for the home.

Barr argues the home is a steal at that price, because lots on the same street have sold for $1.6 million.

The lot, seen here before the fire, is prime real estate.Google Maps

Never mind the fact that the roof is burned open, she says.

"It's a great location. It's an easy commute. There's a great downtown, walkability, people with kids and their dogs and tree-lined streets. It's where people want to be."

"It's just insane"

The reason for the home's "overwhelming demand" is - you guessed it - its proximity to Silicon Valley.

Specifically, the abandoned home is less than five miles from a planned Google campus called the Google Village.

A mock-up of the proposed Google Village.Google

That prime location helped the home sell over asking price (of course) for more than $900,000.

The plan is to tear down the husk of a house and build a new one on the lot.

It's a good investment at any price, because home prices in San Jose are going up by $800 a day.

As realtor John Espinoza says:

"Anybody who is coming from another state and sees what we here in the Bay Area are paying for homes, it's just insane."

Think these homes are bad? A lottery winner's million dollar home is in even worse shape.

From riches to ruin

Matt and Casey Topham from the UK won a $64 million lottery jackpot, and like any young couple in their situation they snapped up a dream home.

Lottery winners
The Tophams.The National Lottery

Their $1.7 million mansion features seven bedrooms and an swimming pool.

But the Tophams's neighbors say the massive home has become a "blight" since the couple abandoned it.

Abandoned Mansion
The mansion was in good condition before the lottery winners bought it.Rightmove
Abandoned Mansion
Abandoned mansion
Abandoned Mansion

The couple have not moved in, and neighbors say they plan to remodel the home to build their dream home.

A concept design for the Tophams's new home.Nottingham City Coundil

But as the home has sat empty, teens have used it as a squat to take drugs.

Neighbors say the building has been vandalized, and the damage and litter has attracted rats.

Abandoned mansion.
The property is overgrown with weeds and bushes.Nottingham City Council

A viral challenge even encouraged youths to break into the "scary" home and take a picture inside.

Abandoned Mansion
The home has been vandalized, and is falling apart.Nottingham City Council
Abandoned mansion
Nottingham City Council

"There is also an empty swimming pool, which is a real danger too. I'm surprised no one has been seriously hurt in there," a neighbor told The Sun.

While police have been called more than a dozen times, the mansion's owners seem happy to let it fester.

Could you even imagine letting your dream home look this bad?

[H/T: AP, Mercury News, The Sun]

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