I’ve spent a lot of time with Beaumont on my radar lately. I have had 3 buyers this year who picked that area. That means that before we made the offers, I had to do a lot of research on days on market, what you get for the money & why, compare past sale prices to see how much of a hit the area has taken, etc.
One thing that has really stood out to me is that there is about a $100k gap between an almost new house and one that is about 10 years old. I mean, we’re talking similar size, features, lots here! Why the big difference?
It all boils down to the finishes. The houses I have been in and seen that have or will sell for north of $500k are newer, have granite, trendy lights, hardware, lever style door handles in either bronze or nickel. The ones that are worth about $400k have laminate counter tops and a lot of brass. Some of the older ones don’t have as open of a floor plan, but enough do to make me not think that is the only reason for the big gap.
Here is what you do get that is similar: About 4000 square feet, 4 or 5 bedrooms, 1/4 acre-ish lot, most have finished basements, same popular school district. In an era where exotic hardwood in wider sizes is popular, almost all the houses I have seen up to about $550k have the same 2 1/2 inch wide oak in a honey looking stain.
So, what is a buyer to do? Well, if you have the time and money, I think the way to go is to buy one that is a little outdated and update it. Let’s take a look at what you can do: Want a dark stain for the hardwood? $5-6k will get you floors that look brand new. Granite? $5-7k will impress everybody. Stainless appliances? Unless you go pro, figure $6k. Update all the kitchen cabinet pulls, put on those bronze level style door handles….maybe $1500. So far we have only spent about $20k. That leaves about $80k for stuff like the master bathroom, new carpet if needed, a killer deck or patio, a man cave basement or anything you want. Or you could just pocket that when it is time for you to sell!