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Time has stopped in this Bay Area home on the market for $787,000

Buyers are invited to ‘bring your hammer’ for this fixer

Anna Marie Erwert | SFGATE.COM

3281 Sterling Street Spanish style house in Alameda California
3281 Sterling Ave. in Alameda is a time warp of a home, asking $787,000. Aerial Canvas

In the East Bay city of Alameda, we find rare sighting of an endangered species: a single-family home under $800,000. Indeed, this frozen-in-time property is a throwback in many ways. Not only is 3281 Sterling Ave. a time capsule, seemingly untouched for decades, but its price is well below the current median for the area. Click here to view the listing via

3281 Sterling Street Spanish interior diningroom with faux Persian rug and midcentury modern wood panels and chandelier
The patterns, textiles, and surfaces all speak to design eras long gone, and to designers of today who hunger for the chance to make a house their own. Aerial Canvas

The 1,540-square-foot, two-bedroom, one-bathroom home was built in the early 20th century. According to Property Shark, records show a 1917 construction date, and 1925 as the last year the home was altered. And though the interior doesn’t look quite that antique, it’s certainly an example of a bygone era. Click here access the Property Shark article.

3281 Sterling Street interior - empty bedroom with vintage mid-century ruffled curtains and faux wood panels
From the floors to the curtains, this is a rare time capsule of a home. Aerial Canvas

Unfortunately, the asking price — though nostalgic in its own way since it represents one of the least expensive single-family homes in the area on the market right now — is probably a vestige of yesteryear as well.

3281 Sterling Street interior - empty bedroom orange carpets walls faux wood mirrored door closet vintage drapes
Despite the retro quality, the home is in excellent basic condition. Aerial Canvas

Comparable property analysis puts the selling price of this home at more than $1 million dollars, though it’s hard to say if those comps take into account the fixer aspect of 3281 Sterling Ave. The listing invites buyers to “bring your hammer.”

3281 Sterling Street interior - bathroom sink cream colored bathroom
Bathroom remodeling is among the most personal remodeling out there: here you get the chance to do it your way. Aerial Canvas

But fixers aren’t the hard sells they once were — not in this market. Tim Allen, who is co-listing the home with Ed Massey, told SFGATE that “this home will most likely sell to an investor and is a property that someone like Chip and Joanna Gaines from ‘Fixer Upper’ would love. If that’s the case, we expect the home to sell for more than the asking price since an investor will see a lot of potential profit once the home is renovated.”

3281 Sterling Street interior view of garage
A garage in the East Bay is timelessly welcome. Aerial Canvas
3281 Sterling Street exterior view backyard with red stairs
The backyard is also a blank canvas for your design ideas. Aerial Canvas

In the past year, Alameda County’s median sale price for single-family homes has jumped to $1.513 million, up almost 19% year-over-year, according to Property Shark.