14156 Woodland Dr. Under 350k

14156 Woodland Dr. (Image via Vanguard Properties)

When considering a home, many buyers would prefer that it be as turnkey as possible; no repairs needed, with upgraded appliances, and a fresh coat of paint. But the more desirable a house is, the more expensive it becomes, and first-time homebuyers may find a fixer-upper easier on their pocketbook.

If the buyers are good with home repairs and maintenance, they may find that their efforts have paid off when they decide to sell because the home has increased in value due to the renovations and upgrades. Of course, some entrepreneurs regularly flip below-market homes as an investment opportunity, but for an everyday homebuyer, these houses provide an affordable entry into a first home.

The houses currently offered at below-market pricing vary widely in terms of how much renovation they each appear to need; some look like a coat of paint would make all the difference, while others clearly require a contractor to get them back in shape. 

8499 Nazielle Rd, Forestville, CA 95436$235,000
3 beds, 1 bath, 651 square feet.

Built in 1953, this home is on a 4,356 square foot lot, leaving room for expansion if 651 square feet is too small.

Nazielle Rd

Front of home. (Image via Carmichael Real Estate)

The condition of the piers and deck that the home is perched on is an important consideration.

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Living room. (Image via Carmichael Real Estate)

If the windows are single-paned, upgrading may be high on the priority list.

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Bedroom. (Image via Carmichael Real Estate)

Though this house is small, how each room will be used should be given careful thought before making an offer.

1115 Temple Ave, Santa Rosa – $325,000
1 bed, 1 bath, 540 square feet.

This home was built in 1940, far before the tiny home trend.

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Front of house. (Image via Coldwell Banker Residential)

Structurally, this house appears well maintained, with aesthetics seeming to be the biggest concern.

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Kitchen. (Image via Coldwell Banker Residential)

Though dark, the interior is well kept and clean.

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Living room. (Image via Coldwell Banker Residential)

The arched ceiling helps open the space. If a potential buyer has always been intrigued by the idea of tiny home living, 1115 Temple Ave. may be their new turnkey.

14156 Woodland Dr, Guerneville – $288,000
1 bed, 1 bath, 442 square feet.

Here’s another older home built on piers.  Constructed in 1940, it looks well maintained.  It’s far enough from the Russian River that flooding shouldn’t be a concern.

Front of house. (Image via Vanguard Properties)

Front of house. (Image via Vanguard Properties)

The stairs and decking are in good shape.

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Living room. (Image via Vanguard Properties)

Upgrading windows and doors may be one of the added expenses.

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Kitchen. (Image via Vanguard Properties)

The kitchen is utilitarian, but workable.  The new homeowner has room to remodel if cooking is something they enjoy.

10978 Summerhome Park Rd, Forestville – $139,940
1 bed, 1 bath, 723 square feet

One of the most affordable – if not the most affordable – home in Sonoma County.


Front of home. (Image via Bob Accornero, Coldwell Banker)

The steep grade this house is built on should raise red flags. Built in 1952, there are doubtless numerous retrofits that need to be completed to bring it up to code.


Interior of house. (Image via Bob Accornero, Coldwell Banker)

No one outside of a licensed contractor or serious investor should consider this home.  A 140k home can become a 350k home quite quickly just in terms of money spent on renovations.


Woods outside of home. (Image via Bob Accornero, Coldwell Banker)

However, if someone is simply looking to own real estate, and is in no rush to move in, this could be a good deal just for the land that the house is on.

14676 Canyon 1 Rd, Guerneville – $280,000
3 beds, 1 bath, 912 square feet. 

An eclectic home with room enough for a small family.  This 1930’s cabin-style house has potential.


Front of home. (Image via Vanguard Properties)

A buyer who enjoys gardening, may find this to be an attractive starter home.


Living room. (Image via Vanguard Properties)

The open floor plan makes a small house feel more spacious. The ceiling looks solid, and there doesn’t appear to be any structural issues in the interior.


Kitchen. (Image via Vanguard Properties)

Updating appliances, windows, and having the electrical inspected should be the some of the costs homebuyers keep in mind when walking through this property.