Real Talk Ken Edwards Summer market remains strong

July 30, 2018

Our real estate sales dollar total, while less than last week’s total, was still strong, coming in at $38 million. That represented the sales of sixteen single-family homes, two condos, a two-family and a co-op. The average sale came in at $1.9 million and days on market, a key statistic, had a respectable median value of 60 days.

The “buy of the week” selection was another back country estate sold for $10.5 million. That was 38 percent less than the tax assessor valued the property at. More on it later.

My “sale of the week” selection was a 12-year-old home in the hot Riverside community. It went to contract in only 35 days at over-asking. Perhaps more significantly it sold for more than two and a half times its 2017 tax-appraised value.

To be fair, tax appraisals are not meant to predict a sale price, as real estate appraisals are, but they do offer an interesting metric to start the conversation of value. A licensed professional appraiser’s opinion of value is the best predictor of sales price and I recommend getting one before setting your expectations too high (or too low).

Buy of the week

It’s hard not to select this sale as my “buy of the week” given the value and purchase price of this estate.

Listed for $28 million in 2008 but purchased for $16 million in 2011, this Conyers Farm estate was snapped up for $10.5 million last week. With nine bedrooms, eight full and three half baths, seven fireplaces, and an indoor pool in the 21,344-square-foot main house, plus a guest house we’re talking major real estate value. Put it all on almost 22 acres on the southeast corner of Converse Lake, and you have the makings of a spectacular lakefront estate at 37.5 percent of its previous owner’s original asking price back in 2008.

As you would expect it has it all and then some. Like a floating dock on the lake, a heated and gated entrance and all the latest technology, of course. This estate’s separate guest house lot was also included in the sale.

Sale of the week

This “sale of the week” is new construction on land that was cleared and originally offered for $1,450,000 a year ago. The newly constructed center hall colonial home with a one-car garage was sold in 35 days at $25,000 over its asking price. With all the open-architecture construction and nicely staged for potential buyers it didn’t take too long to move this property in this very hot Riverside community.

With 4,900 square feet of finished space this home features 6 bedrooms, 4 and a half baths and 2 fireplaces. It has a level fenced back yard and sits on a little over a quarter acre of land. Plenty of space indoors and out for an active family, this home is within walking distance to three key destinations: the Riverside RR station, Riverside Elementary School, and Eastern Middle School.

This one’s a no-brainer for any young family shopping in the under $3 million price range.

Careful on those bathroom updates

I typically advise my seller clients to hold off on major bathroom updates since they represent significant costs that ultimately get factored into the asking price and may not be what the buyer pool is looking for. I.e., your tastes don’t necessarily equal their tastes.

You also delay your sale for the time it takes to finance and complete the update as well as the increased sales time in marketing your home against higher priced homes.

I’m not saying that if you’re selling a 1953 home you should leave the pink/green/yellow bathroom plumbing fixtures that were all the rage back in the 50’s. But if you do decide to gut the bathroom make sure you avoid these common mistakes.

Small and intricate tile patterns: If you like small and intricate tile patterns use them as an accent in the shower or above the sink(s). Large rectangular neutral-colored tiles sell best.

Hardwood floors: I know you love hardwood floors but they’re not bathroom-friendly. Wet wood will warp, stain and/or decay over time. Use the ceramic tiles that look like wood instead.

Exposed plumbing: This isn’t a European hotel bathroom you’re doing. The exposed shiny chrome plumbing tends to turn off most buyers.

Antique furniture bases: If you have to use that antique chest you found as a sink cabinet realize that if it has a wood top you’ll be wiping and drying it on every use. Otherwise you’ll wind up replacing the top with a marble top later at great expense. Better to do it up front.

Good luck with your reno!

This Week’s Success Quote

“Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia.”

— Charles M. Schulz

Ken Edwards is the principal Broker for Edwards & Associates Real Estate and has lived in town since 1974. All opinions expressed in this column are entirely his own and not those of this publisher. Comments, questions and suggestions may be sent to K_W_Edwards@Yahoo.com or call or text him at (203) 918-4444.

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