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Tale of two Manteca houses
This home at 964 Norman Drive sold for $150,000. - photo by DENNIS WYATT
There is still no rhyme or reason to the Manteca housing market as it enters the third year of full-scale foreclosure frenzy.

A prime example are a pair of three bedroom and two bathroom homes built  30 or so years apart and located within a half mile of each other.

The first was built in the 1970s. It has 1,292 square feet of living space and a composition roof. It is located at 1180 E. Pine St.  just a home away from Cottage Avenue.

The other was built within the last decade. It has 1,798 square feet of living space and a tile roof. It is located at 964 Norman Drive in the Curran Grove neighborhood on the southeast corner of Powers and Yosemite avenues.

Which home sold for more money?

The answer is the smaller home that is also older. The Pine Street home sold for $155,000 while the Norman Drive home closed escrow at $150,000.

Such examples are commonplace throughout Manteca where significantly older homes are selling for more than newer ones. When the foreclosures started piling up in mid-2007, such a price difference would have been attributed to the condition that irate owners who were losing their homes left them in. It also didn’t help that in the early going transients – and gang members –routinely trashed homes.

Now the homes are left in much better shape at foreclosure thanks to ba nks having a better handle on managing their distressed assets. Also helping is their cash for keys gambit. It encourages those departing – owners or renters caught in foreclosure – to make sure the house being is clean and in good shape when they move out in exchange for offering payments that often range from $1,000 to $2,000.

So why are selling prices of homes still defying common sense when you compare newer homes with older homes that have a lot of similar basic features?

One reason is the fact cash is still king. All cash buyers and still acing out qualified buyers with loans even if they come in $10,000 to $20,000 less.

The other reason has everything to do with the bank and just how savvy they are about the Manteca market.

Some banks secure real estate agents out-of-the-area who have no clear understanding that Manteca is not Stockton or Modesto. And as a result, they come up with listing prices for homes that are $10,000 to $20,000 below even under today’s distressed market.

None of the quirks will disappear until all of the excess foreclosures are flushed through the market.