Recently I noticed that a home that we built in Old Town in 1997 or 1998 sold for just over $1M.

The reason I was struck by this was that the person who sold it had purchased the house 2004 for just over $1.5M!

Now when he bought it in 2004, the house was then only a few years old and the finishes were all stylish and new.
But when he sold it 15+ years later, the finishes were old and dated. The level of finishes was just not on par with new houses that had gone up in the neighborhood which were now selling for well over $2M.
With the new construction homes nearby priced higher, his house was being presented as a “fixer upper”.
His house has great “bones” (it’s a full masonry house, 3 story + basement).
If he would have put maybe $150-$200k into some updates and to address some deferred maintenance, the house would have compared favorably to the new houses in the neighborhood and would have easily sold for $1.8 – 1.9M.
Instead of losing money, he would have been able to easily put another $500-700k in his pocket.
Most homeowners don’t spend a lot of time thinking about updating and improving the condition of their home on a year by year basis, so it’s not unusual for a home 10 or 20 years old to be in need of some updating before hitting the market.
If like this gentleman, you suddenly find that it’s time for you to move, you may not be prepared. Still, even if he wanted to move right away, the house could have easily been updated and put on the market after he left town.
I felt bad that he didn’t get out of his house what he should have. I wish he had talked to me before he put his house on the market, but unfortunately he did not.
The good news is that the people who bought the house got a great bargain. They did an extensive rehab and the house is now beautiful and compares favorably with new $2M+ homes nearby.
The new owners will do really well on it when they sell!
Bottom line is: Before you think of putting your home on the market, Make sure go through it’s condition and marketability with a professional who can help you to maximize your return on investment!
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