more open houses

We got to visit two more open houses in the neighborhood so let’s update what we’ve seen with houses on the market in our housing division and price range…

BTW what type of homes are these? Less then 14 years old, mostly two stories, with full brick (meaning the first floor is completely bricked exterior walls), mostly over 3,000 square feet, with two (some three) car garages and generally four bedrooms, 2 and a half baths, with either one living and eat in kitchen or two living and two dining.

Comparable homes on the east coast would demand twice if not three times this much so take it into account that I live in the cheaper SW and homes are priced accordingly:

House #3 @ $250,000


Extremely clean home with fresh wall paint and mouldings. The paint was a medium khaki with white trim.

House was staged well with the right amount of furniture. There was no overcrowding or too-empty feeling. However, there were too many paintings on the walls, especially those with a religious feel.

Additional, higher end, moulding over doors and crown moulding throughout especially downstairs near the entry.

Large floor plan that flowed easily. Although for me personally, I don’t like the formal dining and formal living being placed on either side of the entry as you come in. Something about this room flow removes privacy for me.

Clean and appealing curb appeal.

Hardwood and Tile all downstairs; carpet in the bedrooms and stairs.

Had a greenbelt behind the house (protected watershed).

Extremely clean (2 car) garage with new floor.

Large laundry room.

Covered porch.

Had large kitchen pantry.

Back half of the living areas had a light of natural light.

Master was downstairs, with three bedrooms up.


WALLPAPER! In at least 50 percent of the house, including dining room, the formal living room, the kitchen and two of the bathrooms (powder room and the master) and wallpaper trim in the laundry room and boy’s room.

The kitchen – while clean and neat, had significant issues. The counters were 4×4 tile! That is way outdated and with the grout lines looked horrible. The cabinetry were a medium yellow oak that is outdated. The cabinets had a plasticky feel to the surface – not sure what was up with that. This kitchen could easily be updated and needs to be. No cabinet hardware and the kitchen is smaller then ours.

The bathrooms were also extremely dated and cheap for a house in that price range. For example, the master bath had the cheap Delta fake plastic crystal central knob you see in APARTMENTS! You must be kidding me!? The two baths had cultured marble counter tops with builder grade cabinets and in one the bathroom hardware was installed wrong on the doors. The powder room, while large, had a pedestal sink (put in by the builder). Overall, the bathrooms were clean, large, well lit, but boring, forgettable and dated.

The lighting fixtures were not noticeable so I guess not a plus or minus.

No privacy fence in the backyard. If you had young children or dogs this would be an issue.

The hardwood floor downstairs was some sort of cheap laminate. Did not like it at all.

Some elaborate window treatments that were dated. Just remove them people.

Overall, the dated kitchen and the dated bathrooms would be my guess why this house has not sold. Personally, if I was paying in this price range ($50,000 more then our house!, same neighborhood) I would have expectations of granite and new fixtures in the bath and especially the kitchen.

House #4 @ $230,000

Now we are cooking with gas! This has all the same redos we are talking about. This was the first and so far only house I would make an offer today if I wanted to replace the house we were living in with something comparable or a bit better.

The agent said that it used to be almost completely wallpapered but had recently been redone and the price dropped $10,000. Which IMO if they had started with the improvements most likely they would not have had to drop their price:

Best floor plan to date with many usuable rooms. Master down, 3 beds up.

New granite counters in kitchen. Island distressed black, and cabinetry was hickory.

Crown moulding throughout painted white. Walls throughout were in Khakis’, green, and gold. Mostly mid-to deeper toned neutrals.

Hardwood floor or tile throughout the main floor of the house.

Upstairs all the same carpet. I’ve asked the agent to email me the color, brand and installer. The carpet was a wonderful neutral with a slightly deeper plush then you see on builder grade.

All lighting fixtures and fans upgraded to contemporary oil rubbed bronze.

Bathroom fixtures in master, powder and kitchen upgraded to oil rubbed bronze.

Extra full bath had the cultured marble double sink but had upgraded faucets and lighting fixture as well as cabinet hardware. It made the counter liveable.

This is the first master bathroom we’ve seen COMPLETELY upgraded. Granite counter, additional storage installed, tub with contemporary tile front, and oil rubbed bronze lighting and light fixtures.

The only minuses were that the powder room and the additional full bath had wallpaper but at least it wasn’t horrid and everything else updated it a bit.

Now what will be interesting is to see how quickly this house sells now that it has been redone. I would guess within the next 45 days.

An interesting side note – the agent confirmed to me what I had just been discussing with hubby 10 minutes before we entered the house. We bought this house when we were in our early 30’s ad leaving the neighborhood in our late 40’s. Too many residents are trying to sell a house decorated for an older generation — the couples the agent is seeing are in their 20’s and 30’s and want contemporary, neutral styling with NO fussy, big cabbage rose wallpaper! LOL!