Continuing to examine and hold a lively discussion of the Northern Virginia Real Estate market.
Please post your local house search updates, MLS finds, on-topic ideas, and links here.
Would like some suggestions, if possible. Built our dream house in Fauquier County on 5 acres in equestrian area--spared no expense on finishes, construction quality, or HVAC (geothermal system) because we were going to be here forever.Due to a number of circumstances, we want to sell the house. Spoke to a high-end real estate firm that deals with high-end properties in this area. Needless to say that they are saying we would have to price it about 250k below our construction cost in order to sell it, based on comps, etc. Problem is that comps are for homes that are 20 years old, probably cost 3 times as much to heat and cool, do not have the solid mahogany floors, imported tile, finishes or fixtures anything close to my house. How can I find a buyer who is interested in new construction like this, wants only the finest finishes, etc and perhaps does not want to go through the hassles of building? Is there really no market for a brand new house of this quality? I am willing to take a small loss, but not to the tune of 250k. I know that when we were looking, we wanted what we wanted and were not just trying to get a bargain.
gmmary02One should always get the opinion of at least three different realtors before choosing one. OTOH, outside of extremely hot areas, one cannot expect to immediately recover the full construction costs from a custom home. Depending on when you built, construction costs may also have been elevated. The question with the comps is, were the differences adequately factored in? A true appraisal can look at dissimilar houses and factor in the value of the differences. Did the realtor do this? Sounds like he/she didn't. I suggest searching for comps yourself in franklymls.com. Scour both solds and active listings for the most similar houses you can find in your zip code and continguous zips if need be. Solds in the 2009 and 2010 will help you gauge what the current appetite is for recent construction. There is a case to be made for not building your own custom house, and normally there should be a market for this, but that market right now may still be very very slow in Fauquier County. It may come down to a balance of how much do you want to sell "now" versus how much do you want to eventually sell it for. Can you cover the carrying costs and wait until the months of inventory in the higher end market is more tenable? That could be 2011 or 2012.With $250k off construction costs it should be an easy sell for the LA. That's all they really care about. Their interests and yours are not aligned.
Your competition in the whole county... FQ* 800k to 2MThere are 14 homes priced between 800k and 2M built since 2001 in the whole county currently for sale. Some very pretty ones. Some very green ones. Since the start of 2009 there were 6 soldsFQ* 800k to 2M solds 2009/2010built since 2001.So 14 current lists but only 6 solds in 1.5 years is pretty poor odds. Comes out to more than 3 years of inventory. I picked a large swath in price, and may or may not have chosen one that includes your home. And obviously with such small numbers the exact MOI is meaningless. But I would examine the list of actives closely. Who are you better than, who are you lesser than? How long have they been sitting on the market? But as far as strategies for how one sells high end real estate, I'm out of my ken. I could ask my former Chatham MA Aunt but she mainly sold homes by "make me move" kind of offers...An abnormally low price may not be enough to move the home quickly if there are no buyers looking. And you may seriously regret it... But a good strategic realistic price should sell the home within 6 months if there are any buyers.
(former real estate agent, still in Chatham MA)And obviously the 800k homes are not the same category as the 1.5M homes. So you'll need to pick a more appropriate swath for yourself, I just don't know what that swath is. For instance the 500-1M swath includes a lot more competition, but a heck of a lot more solds as well...Point being, narrow both the actives and the solds down to inform yourself of what the market really is like, what your competition is, and what price is appropriate. Then when a realtor throws out a list price you'll know, are they just trying to make an easy buck? Are they trying to "buy" the listing by holding out the hope of a price they can't deliver, or are they pricing realistically? Frankly also allows you to look up all an agents actives and solds to see how often they drop the price and what percent of list they usually get. Lots of price drops is bad (buying the listing), but getting 100% of list is also bad (priced too low). Run a search for the agent's name and/or agency.
One of the problems is that apparently the appraisors are so conservative now that that all they look at is acreage and sq footage. They ignore finishes, energy efficiency, etc which is a real problem. The fact that the heating/cooling on my house is about 1/3 of what it would be on a comparable house of it's size seems to be irrelevant. So at the end of the day, someone will purchase a home with the same acreage/square footage that is 20 years old, in need of updating, etc and will pay an extra $300-$400 per month in utilities.
gmmary02Purchance was it the agent who was trying to get you to eat a $250k loss who told you that?I would take everything you've heard about appraisals with a large dosage of salt. You can test that theory for yourself. Take the solds list, break it down by year built and see, are people _able_ to pay more for recent construction and high end finishes or are appraisers killing the deals? (sorry a good job of this is more work than I can do today, but the data's all there...)necessary syntax:FQ* [Built2003-2009]For instance at the 5500 sq ft mark builds 2003 -2009 there are three homes sold between $572k and $589k.At that same size for builds between 1980 and 1990 the list prices were the same but the solds were $544k.Maybe that's not as much of a difference as you would like/deserve. But I just looked at year built and size not finishes. And $40k is a lot different than the $0 you've been told.Reasons to doubt the fear mongering:1) In the custom home market, one would expect that more of the buyers have 20-30% or higher down payments. Thus a) they may be able to make up the difference between the appraisal and the contract price, and b) the risk to the bank for a high appraisal is less than for a 95% or higher LTV loan.2) I know for a fact it's not true in FFX county. On my house, the appraiser did an excellent job of discerning the differences between the comps and adjusting for them. Sure, geothermal wasn't one of the potential assets, but they most definitely took finishings into account. 3) There have indeed been national articles on how green finishes are not being correctly accounted for in appraisals, but if they're not giving you at least 40% of the installation costs on it, I say they're doing it wrong. National articles will not properly address local demand for certain attributes. Comps will.
gmmary02-It is unfortunate, but with so few sales there are effectively no comps for the appraisers to use. If you are not willing to take a 250K loss than it doesn't really matter what the appraisal is. You should list your house for approximately what you would be willing to sell it for. If this price is higher than the market will accept the house just will not sell and you will need to decide if should continue to live there, rent the house out, or lower the price.It really doesn't matter what the best price to list your house at is if you are unwilling to sell it at that price.
hb,Or there's that method.But there are comps. It just takes an entire county to find them. If those buyers got loans, gmmary02's buyer can too. And you're right, the appraiser is a totally moot point, a) since you need a buyer first, and b) because that buyer may or may not need financing at all.We still don't know if $250k off is a 5% loss a 10% loss a 25% loss...Based on my brief scans of new versus old construction and ungrounded rule of thumb on post-construction depreciation, I'd say she/he can reasonably price 10% over the sold price of older comp homes, 5 to 10% under construction costs. If these ranges overlap (10% over comps is more than a 10% discount from construction) then yes, list anywhere they feel comfortable within that range and see what offers come. But it took Arkey over a year to sell her mid-high end ex-urban home but she eventually got her list price. It just couldn't be with a buyer with an FHA or VA loan because those appraisers are necessarily on too tight of a leash.
Constr cost $1.1 mill. Plus 6% commission if listed with a realtor. 4,000 sq ft, 5 acres
Cara-Good point. I don't know the area well enough to determine if taking comps across the entire county is reasonable. In Fairfax you really need comps to be within a couple of blocks to count, but in a more rural setting you are probably correct that houses 10 miles away can probably be used as comps.Gmmary-I would take Cara's advice about talking to a couple of different agents and seeing if the other ones also think the price should be 250K lower than you paid.
gmmary02, I can recommend a Patrick Saltz for moving high end property. He moves high end horse property. I used him to sell my home. But HB gave you the best advice, its your home and what price you are willing to sell it for is key. I sold late last year using Patrick at he price I was willing to accept and I was also prepared to delist. Todays buyer is looking for a steal/deal. Its hard to be a seller with patience and expect a ton of low ball offers. Its not fun. The apprasial is key tho even if you finda buyer at your price the property still has to appraise or you will need to re-negioate. When we sold, we had an appraisal perform before listing and if you just can't go there then don't list.
gmmary-It looks like comps are all over the place. Although this house doesn't have the best finishes, but it was built in 2001 and has 5200 sq.ft with 10 acres house . It sold for 835K, which obviously is not what you would want yours to go for. So do you think your finishes are nice enough to make up for the extra 5 acres and 1200 sq. ft. plus add ~200K to the value?This house is smaller than yours at 3400 sq.ft. and sold for 850K, so if people use this as a comp and adjust for finishes you might be in better shape
Hey Cara how are you dealing with the heat? We were listed 2 different times in 09 and I guess we were on the market a total of about 6/7 months! Its a blur now. We sold Va. loan, too. My appraiser gave me a value based on conventional, Va and FHA loans. We had a hard time with buyers that had property and couldn't get a loan, were outside the country and just weird stuff.
the 'fixer-upper' i posted the other day now has pictures up. check it out!Ace,re the JOHN MARSHALL house, we did a drive-by yesterday and the yard looked even worse than in the pictures. obviously the seller knows its a turnoff hence the subsidy.and yes it's a semi-busy street. it's also a less popular split-level. but i think we're ok with both.any thoughts on the lifetime basement water proof warranty?
Hi Arkey!!!She should be the best source for advice for you since her situation was the most similar.I like her advice, pay ~$200 for a real appraisal from someone who isn't selling you anything and decide from there what your best course of action will be.hb,Yeah the comps are a mess. But it's not looking good for the home team with sales like this:http://franklymls.com/FQ694311210 acres, 6300 sq feet, 2007 build $820k. Nice enough finishes to my unrefined eye (this is way above my price point of knowledge). But that was last year when the world was ending. Your comp from this year gives more hope. Thanks for giving more details. The comps definitely thin out at your price point, but that's both good and bad. Good because a few desperate sellers in two really rough years can't be taken too seriously as far as setting a new price level. Bad because there are intrinsically fewer buyers. The high-end market in the ex-urbs hasn't recovered yet. It really might be best to wait until the economy is firmly on the road to recovery before listing. But then again, you can't sell what isn't for sale. And with a unique home it's just going to take a while before the right buyer happens to be looking... That could just as easily be tomorrow...
Arkey,As long as the AC holds I'll be fine. Just not going outside... All's well to date, due late in September, so I'm not that huge yet.
Hi Cara, I check in every once in awhile to see who is still kicking tires waiting for the foreclosures to correct the market...I know..I'm bad..Did your Mom ever buy anything?
Oh, on my house and selling at list and not willing to accept a 2 to 3% offer off list..it was because of Va and FHA loans, I wouldn't take a chance on being 4 to 5% off list by negioating lower then having to lower again on apprasial because that would put me lower than what I was willing to accept. The market was crazy and the new rules on apprasing had just gone into effect and they were bringing in people that wasn't even from in state. I did have another offer from a B.Gen but that was 3% off list and she wanted a years garantee on the septic..that was a deal breaker.
MM, 1) Lifetime waterproof warranty is generally a VERY good thing. You should ask for details about this, such as who waterproofed it (then check out the BBB, Angie's List and/or checkbook.org records for the company--BBB is free the others aren't), whether a sump pump system was installed, etc. The seller should have the paperwork. Under ideal circumstances, the house has a good, newer sump pump system with the interior trough built around all areas of the basement where water could flow in. It should have a battery backup that will click on if the power goes out during a storm. This would have cost thousands. Check whether the owners have maintained it properly. It's possible that the waterproofing did not involve a sump pump if there isn't a sloped lot or other reason why a lot of water could flow toward the house. Check for signs of recent water damage in the lower level.2) I think the sellers would have been better off to do some minimal landscaping, even though it won't look great at the beginning--it's a small yard, and improving the landscaping can be a lot of hard work, but doesn't have to be expensive. But this strikes me as very advantageous for you because it is turning off others, who are perceiving that the whole house is as badly maintained as the yard, when it may not be.
Arkey,No, the conversation shifted more to where she'd like her down-sized home to be, but then hasn't really progressed since then. I'm torn about that too, because as much as I'd like her to be near me, she has made a life on the Cape, and I selfishly would like my kids to spend time there like I did growing up.... And it's not as if the places she likes here are any less expensive than Cape Cod. As much as I love my neighborhood, and think it's a great place to raise kids, it's not home to me, and I sincerely doubt it ever will be, and it scares me to think it will be "home" for our kids... although the route my best friend is taking in thoroughly indoctrinating her kids that the Cape is their true home seems wrong as well.
gmmary02, I hope you are not forced to move and wish you the best.Cara and others have have offered great advice, esp. about doing more research and talking to more Realtors. I think your advertising needs to push hard on the "green" aspects of the house and the energy efficiency choices you made and how this will compare to similar sized older homes (with evidence).You may also want to emphasize once you begin to market the house how much better your newer home uses the space that you do have, because many older homes with the same square footage may have wasted space in corridors, small rooms that are hard to use, too few closets, a kitchen that is closed off to the entertaining spaces, etc.Here are a few other things, that you may not want to hear:1) the architect who designed our last house said, "people want quality but they often will not pay for it." I think he is right. We know that they won't pay as much as many green features cost, for example, partly because energy costs still haven't gone through the roof.2) People looking in that range who WILL pay for quality may not have the same tastes as you. They aren't going to settle and compromise as much as someone who might buy my current, cheaper home, for example, who will expect to have to make some compromises and changes in my price range. And they would feel uncomfortable ripping out something so new simply because they don't like it, whereas someone entering an older house may have no problems accepting at the right price, orange laminate counters that s/he will soon replace. So the imported tile, for example, that you find beautiful may not appeal to other buyers, and many won't pay for it, even if they are willing to "live with it." About the only thing everyone will pay more for is square footage and land, since that is not taste-specific, and that's why the agents may focus on that.I hope it all works out.
Do I really have to be the first to say this? gmmary02 sounds like a delusional seller that thinks they should get the bubble price they paid for their home, when everyone else is 30% down from peak. I don't see their situation any different than a condo buyer who paid 400k in 2006 and whose neighbors are all selling for 300k today. It sucks to realize you paid way too much for the home you bought, but real estate is a risk just like any other investment. Even more so when you built to your own tastes and desires with all your green options and designer tiles. You can't expect someone else will put the same value on your choices that you did.
And I find it funny that Arkey is claiming to have gotten "list" for her home. Maybe the reduced list the second time it was on the market, like all those realtors that change their list price after a contract to make it look like they got 100% or close to it for their clients.
Jeremy-I think part of that depends on when they made the house in 2006 vs. late 08 or early 09. In the second case you would not have expected them to be that far underwater. Also I think my comment makes sense whether they are a delusional seller or not. Try and sell the house for what you want and if that doesn't work, decide whether you still want to sell it or not.
I'll pipe in. . . It's tough to hear, but what your construction costs were have absolutely nothing to do with what you can sell it for. Construction costs in general are down quite a bit from 2005. Even still, I know where I am looking and will buy in the next 6 months (no longer in nova!, yipee!), you cannot build a brand new house for what you can buy a 1-2 year old house.Ace has some really good points. If your home is custom built it will mean waay more to you than to the person you are selling it to. (Read, you have sentimental value attached to it that a homebuyer would not and you will consequently want more than people are willing to pay). Which is why, if you build your dream home, you generally don't sell it :-). Now if you were your own GC than you should be able to sell it without a lose b/c you've saved a bunch on the front end.Then like cara said, there is just not a whole lot of demand for high end homes and it will likely become a lot worse. If gmmary02 "has to" sell b/c of financial situation you can bet there are many more out there. I would say if you have to sell . . . learn from the front side of this bust, sell 1st!Oh and in my sparetime I've looked in FQ and the prices really depend on where you are, close to 66, Marshall, W of Warrenton, Bealton, etc. If you are anywhere near Bealeton, Elk Run, W of Warrenton you are in a world of hurt. I've seen some really nice homes on acreage for ~500k. I wouldn't mind living in them, but I don't want the drive and I'm leaving!
I just saw a 12 acre custom build (with geo-thermal & real WOOD doors!) go in the 500K's in Loudoun County, yep, it's U/Cjust needed the basement finished & a barn if you kept horses
Once you decide on a realtor, gmmary, I would negotiate their commission down to 2% (so 3% to buyer agent; 2% to seller). Since your house is so expensive for the area, the agent will still be doing well with 2% (if they can sell it).I'm pretty certain that there isn't a huge intersection between Buyers Willing To Pay More For EcoFriendly Construction and Buyers Looking at 4000 sq ft Houses in Fauqiuer County. The kind of people willing to pay for that sort of thing for the most part aren't househunting in fauquier county. cara,glad you are surviving the heat! keep your feet up ;).
ok, reposting this fixer-upper the third time - yeah, someone please have a comment?muchas gracias, amigos!
MM, Aren't you planning to get a mortgage for your home? If so, wouldn't that rule out the fixer? From the description of it, it won't qualify for conventional financing--it's partially gutted and looks as if it would take quite a bit of cash to get it into livable condition.
MM, Given solds in that neighborhood and the tax assessment it's a minimum of $100k off for needing everything done to it to be livable. Can you do everything for 100k? Probably... Can you make that work for you with either an FHA 203 loan or money on hand? Is the total cost after necessary work actually a discount? At a guess, yes, but by now you should know far better than I. The front door/window make it look like a duplex, I don't know why they did that.
Jeremy, You shouldn't imply that I've been decietful with my selling experience. Its been chronciled here almost verbatum. I listed in Feb 09 for 565,000, had a buyer from Fredericksburg that couldn't geta loan because they had a current home..jingle keys syndrome..they put their house on the market and couldn't sell, another couple, military were stationed outside the US not to return till 2010, credit union wouldn't fiancne because they were outside the country..another couple FHA couldn't come to terms so they bought a real fixer upper for 510..we got tired..physically tired.and came off the market so we could enjoy the pool and plant a garden. We went back on the market at 550,000 because that is what our independent appraisal came in at...again we had an offer for 550,000 with us paying all closing costs plus a septic gaurantee..we did try to negioate that with 1/2 closing w/o a 1 year septic gauarnetee and they would not negioate..was offended..look I'm sorry you can't afford to buy but don't imply everybody that owns or sales a home is a liar, thief, crook, weasel or whatever..you are just a loser or your words say LOSER to me. A petty little loser that can't afford jackshit.
MM, looks like it has potential. I'd check foundation and water damage, tho. I didn't like that the support beams looked new on the deck and the removal of the walls by the fireplace. The cost to restore or fix up depends on your finishes. If all 3 1/2 baths need to be fixed..that is a chunk of change..allowing 10,000 per bath adds up but even that depends on who does the work..you or hired contractor. You need to hook up with Va Investor and ask her for contacts for doing work. 1958 is old..make sure its been rewired, windows, roof and such because these are big time costs without any return, central heat/air.
Jeremy said... Do I really have to be the first to say this? gmmary02 sounds like a delusional seller that thinks they should get the bubble price they paid for their home, when everyone else is 30% down from peak.More like over 50% down in PWC.And yes, I was thinking the exact same thing when reading gmmary02's comments. If these real estate folks thought there was even a snowball's chance in hell that the house would sell for what gmmary02 would "like" to sell it for, they would be fighting each other to represent them. The bubble is still a rude awakening for people that thought they had some sort of insular protection from correcting market forces.
The first possible foreclosure is about to hit my North Arlington neighborhood since I moved in about 3 1/2 months ago.The owners abandoned the house about a week ago. There is a sticker on the door saying something to the effect of: "If this house is not abandoned or vacant, please call this phone number. The mortgage holder has a right and a responsibility to protect and secure this property."According to the county tax record, there were 5 different owners (at one time) of the house. And according to my neighbors, there were 17 people living there. Apparently several of the husbands had lost their grocery store jobs. The young children living there would run unattended around the neighborhood, and one child was hit by a car.The neighbors also say the house is overrun with cockroaches and rats. I looked in the living window, it looks bad, but not that bad.The house sold in the mid-$500's in 2007. Supposedly, the owners were trying to refinance, but were unable to. They never tried to sell.I wonder if this is a sign of things to come in North Arlington?
oh shoot didn't think it probably wouldn't qualify for conventional loan. bummer.tks all.
MM,Yup it's not just FHA that requires the home to be livable in order to authorize an owner-occupant loan. You'd need some sort of construction loan with either FHA or conventional. That's not impossible though... Brokers should be bored these days with purchase apps down so far, call one up and ask.
The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan sank to 4.58 percent last week, according to Freddie Mac. That was the lowest since the mortgage company began keeping records in 1971.Mortgage rates to 4%! ;)I remember bemoaning to myself a little bit last year that I was not going to be able to get 5% interest rates most likely as I figured rates were going to zoom up. Life is full of surprises.Of course, now that I am expecting to be able to get 5.5% or below over the next three years something will happen to make me wrong.
Wow Arkey, must have struck a nerve. As for what I can afford, well I could easily afford your home way out there in PWC - but I want something better. A commute like that would kill my quality of life, which to me is worth paying a bit more for the same size home.Aren't you retired to your dream home now in Arkansas or something? Why are you so bitter? You should enjoy the years you have left.
Jeremy, you did strike a nerve. I've tried like the dickens to get some of you to consider the other factors that were seriously impacting move up sales last year. I'm not bitter but still trying to absorb everything we went through.The newly wed couple that tried for weeks to get finacing and couldn't because they were both upside down on their homes and didn't want to sell...the Md. couple that were on the way to write their offer when they found out their loan approval got yanked. Yes, I still feel bad because those people I've mentioned those potential buyers as all buyers fell in love with my house. The only thing I actually chuckle about is the realtor that went on vacation before writing up an offer and we sold while she was away but I still feel for those buyers. I'm just giving you the tip of the iceburg. My list price didn't or had very little to do with finding a buyer. I just needed and finally found a move up buyer without a current residence.Yes, I'm retired on 57 acres if you think you can retire and maintain 57 acres.
Here's a seller who is losing his/her delusions, slowly but surely:Down $1 mill. and dropping
Ace-I don't know that area very well, but I think the house is pretty ugly and they will need to continue to lower the price a couple more times.
Cara: The front door/window make it look like a duplex, I don't know why they did that.My old GC eye says that used to be a grand entrance for a two level colonial. In parts of Houston (can't remember where zactly) there was a similar home model from the 1960's that had a three door opening. The left door and right door opened away from each other and the center pillar was removable (latches). It created an entrance more than six feet wide which was handy sometimes. Rarely see that anymore. The photo looks to me like a similar setup, but someone changed it to a single door and the left window was put in place of the original door.Agree it looks weird.
gmmary:Don't just go by what agents are telling you, some will blow smoke. (There are many very good ones as well) Search Realtor.com for similar properties, and research those agents. Bring three names to this board, and any of the agents here can go ingo the MLS and determine the agents credibility for you. They can report back here annonomously. You can find out how many withdrawn and expired listings they have had in the last few years, as well as other info. You need an egant that is very familiar with CLOSING that type of property. Any dummy can LIST properties, you want someone that will market it uniquly, and close it. Like others have said, you may not like what you hear, but you need to know what the buyer pool will bear for a property like yours. Buyers at that level may be well capitalized, and financing may not be a problem.
I just want to jump in on gmmary's Fauquier house.I don't know that there are really any comps in the 1 mil+ range in Fauquier. It's not a competitive market like tract homes - someone will either fall in love with the house or they won't. And if they do, they'll pay asking price.The houses that were posted here that are near north Marshall/Delaplane are notoriously cheapish, because that's an inconvenient area off 66. If by Fauquier county gmmary means close to shopping - Warrenton or even Bealeton, it's better, the former commanding higher prices.I would suggest just putting the house on the market for the price I wanted. Interest rates are rock bottom. 1 mil+ isn't a big deal to some people for good construction and geothermal.You might try calling the Lohr team for a 2nd opinion. They do high-end, but they're with a regular broker.
Arkey, How did you get the closing costs you paid to not show up as a seller subsidy? I thought franklymls included seller paid closing costs as part of the seller subsidy amount, but if I'm wrong about that then many of the homes I've been tracking may have sold for even cheaper than I thought.
Ace,another COUNTRY CLUB HILLS home with big price drop, and it's a new built Bed/Ba/Ba½: 4/5/2orig - 7/10/2009 $3,195,000sold - 7/6/2010 $1,850,000yikes!
Hey MM, I feel like I've seen decent updated houses in that Spy Hill neighborhood for the low 600s. So to me that makes the gutted house not a great deal, unless they will take a crazy lowball. Look at this house in the same nabe from last fall: http://franklymls.com/AR7117296It is a good area to browse--for whatever reason (lack of charm?) prices are cheaper there than in most other north arlington neighborhoods. I have a friend with a child at Ashlawn who is very happy with the school, FWIW.
also, jeremy, did your wife see this house yet? the pictures are not good (or else the kitchen is very oddly shaped and missing some counters and a fridge) but the location (on a court) is nice.http://franklymls.com/FX7382002
GNMary:"spared no expense on finishes, construction quality, or HVAC (geothermal system) because we were going to be here forever."Stay then
gnmaryyou may need to market into the eco community....
DC has 3rd highest foreclosure pricehttp://lansner.ocregister.com/2010/07/07/calif-has-4th-largest-foreclosure-discount/71667/"4th highest average sales price of distressed properties at $246,272 behind Hawaii, New York and District of Columbia."
Meshell,Yep, we were planning on squeezing in a visit to that open house between lunch with friends and the World Cup final. It is in our favorite neighborhood. If it were a contemporary I think we'd be testing out the response of the Redfin agents, but we can wait on the open house for this one.As a personal pet peeve, why do no homes post pictures of the inside of the garage? I care about that as much as she cares about kitchens - maybe I'm just weird.
Jeremy-I think most people don't really care they just assume the garage will be a big empty space that can fit 1-2 cars and there isn't any reason to show pictures. I think particularly in this area most guys are not really into do it yourself projects so they don't need a garage works space.
hb, jeremyIn my neck of the woods you have to be careful on garages, just because it says 1 or 2 car garage doesn't mean you can actually fit that many of today's cars through the door. (and we have a civic.)We measured our car with the mirrors, allowed 4 inches of clearance total, and then required the inside to be wider such that doors could be opened and people get in and out. Fully half the 1 car townhome garages are purely a storage/work area, and some of the house ones were just as bad.So, I'm with Jeremy on this one, not all garages are equivalent. Maybe this isn't a problem at his price point, but I'm naturally cautious...
Cara-Good point I was thinking about most of the older colonials with two car garages, because of the last house that was posted and because I used to live in one of those colonials. With the colonials there tends to be enough room, but good point about garages not being large enough. I can imagine being very mad if I forgot to check before buying a house and my car didn't fit.
I'm guessing laziness plays a factor too. Most of the houses I've seen were cleaned up or even staged, but not many people took the time to clean out the garage - especially those who used them for storage rather than a place to park their cars and perform maintenance.
Jeremy,A few of the ones I saw, moving everything and anything into the garage was pretty clearly how they staged the house. That $30/month storage rental and $50 uhaul rental would apparently have broken the bank...
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