“Hey John, what do you think about this house?”

I’m all the time getting questions from my clients about certain houses or neighborhoods……Like, “Hey John, what do you think about the house on such and such street.”  If you ever see me pulled over on the side of the road or standing in the isle at Wal-Mart, odds are I just got an email with a similar question.  I try to point out things my clients may not have thought about which could affect their enjoyment of the property and/or its resale potential.  Here are some replies that I cut and pasted.   Thought it might give you a vibe for what it is like working with me.  I’ve removed the names of streets/neighborhoods that were in question since I don’t want to get hate mail from residents in those areas 😉

Here we go:

“That is a nice area, and you do occasionally see some houses go for more, but they tend to back to the wooded area I told you about, or have a pool, or some really unique feature.  The problem with that area is that once you get up around $350k, you start competing with other neighborhoods is that part of town that are in Dunbar High School or Rosa Parks Elementary. (Beaumont, Palomar, Firebrook)”

“I think the absolute ceiling for that house is in the low $400’s.  I don’t see how anybody could buy it for near the asking price, make improvements, and not end up being upside down on it.”

“You know this one has a rear entry garage, which makes the front look pretty but also means your backyard is the driveway and it making fencing a nightmare……and people who want a fence won’t buy the house when you sell it.”

“I think ******** hasn’t sold because it is a $135k house.  The listing agent is just comping square footage without making any adjustments for windows, ages of systems, attractiveness, etc.  ******* is an area where you can get the same square footage in poor shape for as low as $110k or as much as $160k if it is fixed up nice.”

“This end of this street was an infill project.  It is surrounded by a neighborhood of less expensive older houses.  It is about 100 feet from that same railroad track that is near ************.  This particular house backs to some tiny rental houses.  The other side of ******* is preferred.  Also, these newer houses on ******* have always struggled to sell.  I think it is because most buyers wanting newer houses want to feel like they are in a newer area.  This area feels like somebody randomly decided to build some nice houses.”

“It had been listed with another agent and expired.  The people did some painting and carpet and put it on with another agent.  I showed it last summer.  It is a nice house.  It feels like an extremely outdated house that has had just enough updating to make you think it isn’t as outdated.  The deck is nice.  The backyard has power lines running across the back, right at eye level with the deck.  The basement is disappointing.  It feels like the basement of a church where a youth group would have a lock-in.  It too is over-priced if nobody has bought it in this popular neighborhood yet.  Nice ones that are priced realistically move fast.”

Very nice area.  I am pretty sure that house has a siding material called “Exterior Insulation finishing System”, also known as EIFS. It is a material that caused many houses to rot since it can trap moisture.  I typically advise clients to steer clear of it since it can be hard to resale a property with it. If it is maintained correctly, there is little risk of having a problem. Few people maintain it that well and when people hear the word “EIFS”, they assume the worst.  Google it if you like. I am sure there a videos about it.”

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