Sunday, January 14, 2007

Busy streets, corners, 2 bedrooms and other hard to sell homes

First, let me say, almost every house I've owned has been on a busy street. I made those purchase decisions fully aware of their pros and cons.

I had two poignant conversations with buyers yesterday at an open house on a busy street in the Rose Garden. This got me thinking (and little does:)) about issues with the "un-perfect" house.

Should you buy a house with only 2 bedrooms?, only 1 bath?, near a freeway overpass?, backing to Cal Train?, on a corner?, on Hedding? - and does this affect value? Do you get a "good deal"?

Some are opportunities - some are strict value plays.

What we love: quiet street, 3 bedrooms, 1 bath with room for expansion - add a bath and you have the perfect product - and you probably bought it at a discount.

Or add a master bedroom to the 2/1 cottage.

But - can you move the house off of Hedding (my Rosegarden house sided to that street). Can you reroute the freeway - not even The Governator has those powers.

How do those things affect value - is there a percentage rule of thumb? Actually for you engineers out there - its a sliding scale. From zero discount in a hot market to huge discount in a pathetic market. So timing is important.

And finally to my conversation yesterday - both couples wanted to buy a house for 5 years and then leave the valley - should they buy an odd bird house or should they buy a cookie cutter 3 bedroom, 2 bath, 2 car garage with 1.5 pets house? Waddya think?

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