The owner of one tiny, unassuming cottage in Mountain View, California just sold his house for well below the asking price of $1.6 million – but asked the new buyers to agree to one highly unusual condition: They must allow him to continue living there, rent free, for seven years, NBC News reported.
The Silicon Valley property went for $1.1 million after being on the market for only a few weeks, which is surprising, considering the house – little more than a shotgun shack – hardly has room for multiple tenants.
The property’s realtor said the home’s elderly former owner will continue living in the home for seven more years ‘rent back at no charge.’
Realtor Joban Brown said that while the price is not unusual for the hot spot location, the former owner’s request to continue living at the property is ‘not a typical situation.’
Erika Enos, another realtor, said she’d never heard of this type of a deal during her multi-decade career as a realtor:
‘In almost 40 years as a realtor, I have never seen terms of sale that included seven years free rent back, not even seven months free rent back,’ Enos said.
‘What if the property does not close or the seller is unhappy with the results or work men don’t get paid and put a lien the property?’
‘The asking price reflects market value, which is essentially lot value, for this area … I empathize with the seller, but the terms and conditions for this sale I feel are unrealistic and may have negative legal ramifications.’
The listing for the 976 square-foot cottage also included a requirement for the buyer to pay for the expensive repairs needed.
However, Mountain View’s status as a well-heeled tech hub – Google’s headquarters is located in the town, and companies including Microsoft and Samsung have offices there – has caused real-estate prices to explode over the past two decades, reflecting similar gains throughout the tech-focused Bay Area.
The realtor in charge of selling the location described it as having “all the conveniences of urban living” but in a secluded setting.
‘This is a location that’s hard to beat, tucked away in a quiet corner at the end of a small street,’ listing agent Daniel Berman said.
‘You’ve got all the conveniences of urban living, nestled in a secluded country-like enclave.’
We wonder: With Silicon Valley home prices soaring well beyond the means of most middle-class families, will we start to see more deals like this one? Already, a startup called Loftium has hit upon a similar concept. The commpany will front you the entire down payment if you just agree to rent out one of the rooms in your new house over Airbnb for a specified period of time. But there’s a catch … for now Loftium is only available in Seattle.