Money and Main Street
6 of 9
BACKNEXT
Elk Grove, Calif.
Elk Grove, CA
See More Views:
1 2 2
Purchase price: $615,000
Price change from peak: -43%


Chalk up Tony and Helen Diavatis as one couple who benefited from the housing bust. The retired mortgage broker and his wife just pulled off a rare double: They got their asking price for their old home in the Sacramento area, where prices have cratered, and negotiated a sweet deal on a new place nearby.

They had a very nice house on a beautiful golf-course lot that their buyer could not pass up. In love with the location, she paid what Diavatis was asking: $615,000.

The Diavatises sold in order to downsize their living space and set up a happy retirement. They disdained the nursing-home life style and wanted to be close their family without actually living in the same quarters. So after looking, they bought a 3,600-square-foot contemporary home with an 800-square-foot casita. Their daughter and her family call the main house home, while they live in the smaller abode.

It's now easy to watch their grandchildren - and they got a bargain.

"The couple we bought from was in a bitter divorce," said Tony. "The husband had already refused to sign papers for two previous deals. The wife was furious."

The original asking price was $980,000, and one rejected offer came in at $785,000. Tony offered just $575,000. The sellers rejected that figure, however. So he made a second bid of $615,000 on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. They closed at that price in early November. Prices in Elk Grove are down 19% in 2008 through Sept. 30, according to Zillow.com.

Now, they're fixing up the yard and putting in a pool.

"We are bolstering the economy with $100,000 in improvement spending," Tony said. "We have faith in our country and believe the economic malaise can be overcome if more people would put their money to work." - L.C.

NEXT: Howell, Mich.
Last updated June 15 2009: 10:24 AM ET
Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
More Galleries
10 things you'll love about Windows 10 There's a lot to like about Windows 10. Here are our favorite features in Microsoft's soon-to-be-released operating system. More
Warren Buffett's gone cold. How his top 10 stocks are doing The Oracle of Omaha is an investing legend. But several of Berkshire Hathaway's biggest investments are off to a lousy start in 2015. Will shareholders complain at the annual meeting in Omaha on Saturday? More
BMW's M235i doesn't compromise BMW's new M235i gives you the performance of an M car for a lot less money. More

Special Offer