If you are thinking about buying a home in the Sarasota area, chances are your search involves looking in neighborhoods that have similar floor plans available for sale. In most communities, especially newer homes, the builder offers only a handful of floor plans. So, at any one time, there could be several of the exact same models on the market at different prices.
If the floor plans are exactly the same, why are the homes priced differently? First, let’s take away the greed factor of the homeowner. Some sellers just think their home is better than everyone else’s when it isn’t. Or perhaps they owe more on the home and therefore want to “try” and get it back. That strategy of listing your home for a certain price because you “need” to get X dollars is not the way to price a home.
At the end of the day, if the home purchase is funded with a mortgage, the final value rests with the appraiser. However, there are a few valid cases as to why the same floor plan in the same neighborhood can have different values.
Property condition can have an impact on a list price. Just this week, I was showing homes in Parrish. I was in two homes that had the same exact floor plan, same square footage, etc. One was in pristine condition. It looked almost brand new. You could tell that the homeowner definitely had pride of ownership. The inside had been freshly painted, the carpet looked brand new and it was nicely decorated. Home #2 was not maintained, the carpets were stained and the kitchen cabinets were damaged. Home #2 was also located on a corner lot.
Home #1 was priced $10K higher than Home #2. Which one do you think my buyer chose? The more expensive home. Sometimes ugly is good, but only if you can get a deal on the home. The cost to repair home #2 would have exceeded the difference in the list price of home #1.
Property location also can impact the price of a home, even in the same neighborhood. If there is one true rule of thumb that has stood the test of time in real estate it is location, location, location. For instance, I have a home I am putting up for sale in a newer neighborhood. This home sits nearby a busy road and you can hear the traffic noise. This house does have a water view, but the noise will be a factor. If you moved that house to the back of the neighborhood and gave it the same water view, that home would sell for more money.
Same is true with corner lots. Corner lots in a neighborhood normally provide less privacy and also has development restrictions, for example where you can put your fence. Some homes can even back up to the sides of other homes and also reduce privacy. Those lots normally sold for less when the builder initially had them. The only thing that can fix a less desirable location is the price.
Upgrades can also increase a home’s price. Is it possible to over-improve a house with too many upgrades? Yes, it is. Most upgrades are not a dollar for dollar return. Swimming pools are a great example of not getting the direct cost back. Major improvements such as swimming pools or impact glass doors & windows are expenditures that should be spread out over a period of time.
As the old saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In this instance, beauty for a home can be upgrades, location or condition. And those qualities can make the same floor plan in a neighborhood priced differently.
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