14426 Lake Wildwood Drive, ranch home in Lake Wildwood, deferred maintenance, listed for $184,000

No doubt the seller thinks he is giving this one away. It is the least expensive ranch style home on a flat lot in over a year. All the other fixers have had really bad floor plans and most had very bad driveways. And most were in a lot worse shape than this one! So, is it a great deal? Well, yes and no. The problem is the upside potential is limited. Do everything, and the home would still only fetch $300,000 or $310,000 tops. And that would require new kitchen, bath, paint and carpets inside and new stain and repairs outside, and likely a new roof and heating and air, and all new windows…. it adds up. How much a of a good deal is this home? If it was on city lot in Nevada City, or even Grass Valley, it would sell in a heart beat. In Wildwood, not so fast.

14837 Sun Forest, A Lake Wildwood 3 bedroom home, list for $239,000

Copy this MLS #: 20181082 and click the link and paste the number into the prompt, and the link will take you to pictures and property profile information from the MLS. Scroll down, click on pictures- (You will be directed away from this page, so watch my video first!)

This home is priced right for what it offers. It is one of the very few homes in the last year that is priced under $250,000 but is not a fixer. It has three bedrooms, but only one bathroom inside the house. A second commode and sink are in the garage along with the laundry hook ups. The home was built in 1985, but it looks like the roof is newer than that, appliances and fixtures all look like they are in good service order, and the paint and windows look OK. The carpet is worn, but not threadbare and it is not stained, nor is there any discernable pet odor.

18031 Foxtail Drive, Lake Wildwood, 3/2 contract has dolled it up nicely, listed for $310,000

Here’s my question: How is the contractor going to make money on this home? I saw this home last year, it sold in March of 2017 for $270,000. It was dated, but clean, and I thought at the time it was fair priced. A contractor bought it, put in a new kitchen, new flooring, painted it, put in new bathroom vanities and fixtures, and now has it back on the market for $310,000. Not much margin in that fix and flip! If this contractor makes money on this home I want him to come work for me! This is a very nice home, and I think it is priced just about right for the market. If you have been watching the Market Report all spring you know a 3/2 in Wildwood on flat lot in this condition would sell for $325,000. The discount for the driveway should be just about right, and I expect this one will sell. Again, I am always watching how the details of the home’s topographic lay out and the way small differences in the floor plan impact consumer sentiment in terms of the time it takes to sell a home and the price sellers get for their offering. We have seen lots of 3 bedroom and 2 bathroom homes in very good condition. What makes them each a little unique is the driveway, parking, and yard. With a steep driveway the discount to the premium is exactly equal to the value consumers place on a flat lot. I will be watching this one and comparing it to the sales price of homes in similar condition that have flat driveways.

17543 Long Branch Court, Lake Wildwood, Tri-level 3&2, listed for $315,000

Sometimes an usual architectural feature can reveal hidden value, but this home is not one of those. The is a bathroom on every floor, so that intrigued me, but the upper floor bedroom has no wall between it and the open cathedral ceilings in the main floor living room. Anyone trying to sleep upstairs would hear and see everything happening on the main floor. The kitchen reflects that “I hate to cook” mentality of the 1970’s with a narrow cooking and prep area that is away from the main living room. These galley style kitchens are the bane of the era. You can’t fix them because in this case there is no way to open it up to the rest of the house. Down stairs, just one bedroom and one bathroom, so it is not really a separate sweet, just a set of stairs up and down between the sleeping quarters and the rest of the house.

We have seen a lot of homes in the $300,000 to $325,000 price range in Wildwood. A ranch floor plan on a flat lot is a much better value, and we have seen several of those for this same price tag. It will be interesting to see what this one sells for. Functional obsolescence can’t be determined from the MLS stats. You have to go and look at the house and ask yourself, how would the space be used? In this house, the answer is, “not well” Does that mean no one will buy it? No, what it means is the seller will have to discount the home to point where buyer resistance to the floor plan is overcome by the discount in the price. That number, that exact “discount” is comparable with other functionally obsolete floor plans, and combined with the stats from the sale of other homes in the neighborhood a complete picture of buyer preferences and the premium buyers are willing to pay for the most desirable floor plans can be ascertained.

11534 Buckeye Circle, Lake Wildwood 2&2, listed for $260,000

Small house on a steep lot with no upgrades or remodeling done since it was built in 1984. The home look like it has been well cared for, but all the fixtures and appliances are decades old. Exterior is in good condition, but again, the home is 30 years old. A year ago, a home like this would have been under $250,000. There is no surprise that home prices rise year over year, but a home like this is very much, as “starter home” entry level home, first home, young family home, and $260,000 is more than most first time home buyers can afford. If this it, if this is the new “bottom price” for a home in Nevada County, then lots of people want homes are not going to get them.

Will prices moderate in the spring? We will watch and see.

14354 Sun Forest 2252 sf 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, two story home, just reduced to $335,000

This is a lot of house for your money. Great condition, clean, move-in ready. Why so cheap? This home was originally listed back in October of last year for $359,000. Since October there has just been one home in Wildwood that sold between $350,000 and $360,000. That price range is difficult, because sellers with much nicer homes, listed closer to $400,000 often times will reduce their price to this range in order to get their home sold. That makes it difficult for a seller to compete with a home that seems like it could sell at or near that same price, in the top of its comparable home sales range. Once you get below $350,000 there are not so many really nice homes to compete with. Unfortunately for this seller, some lessons in marketing are learned the hard way. Start out listed too high, and end up getting less for your home than you would have gotten if you started out at the right price in the first place. Had this seller started at $339,000 last October this home would have sold for $330,000 three months ago. By starting out at $359,000, by the time they get the list price right, the market has already passed by this very nice home, and it might take the sellers down below $330,000 to get it sold. The other side of the coin here is a warning to investors. Don’t assume you can buy a house for $150 per square foot, fix it up and sell it for $200 per square foot. This home is not a fixer, and it is priced under $150 per square foot.

Two Homes in Wildwood: 18435 Lake Forest and 14818 Woodland Loop

14818 Woodland Loop listed for $235,000

18435 Lake Forest Listed for $275,000

Two homes in Wildwood listed on the same day. They are part of the building inventory of new listing in Wildwood. New listing that are selling as quickly as they are listed. Rising prices are inevitable as long as this demand remains strong. How long will that be? In previous years, a quick start to the spring market has meant rising prices through June. In some years the rise never really materializes. Homes seem to go up in value at the beginning of the year, but then in March they flatten out. Two different markets in different years. No way of knowing if real estate is poised for a really big year, or if this year will see a decline or correction due to prices falling.

11801 Swallow Court, Lake Wildwood REO Not a Fixer, listed for $329,900

This is one of the highest priced homes I have looked at in over a year. That is largely because there are so few homes listed for sale under $300,000 I have run out of inventory to preview so I am looking at homes in the next higher rung on the price point curve. The question of will there ever be good supply of homes priced under $300,000 again? Is a really good question. Last year there were about 80 homes total all year that were listed under $300,000. That was just under 10% of the total market place of all homes listed and sold last year. So far, in the first week of January, just two homes listed under $300,000- which is why I am looking for inventory in the next higher price point category.

That being said, this is actually a very nice house, and even at $339,900, it actually represents good value for the consumer. Here are all the things it has going for it that make is nicer than the typical homes I see in Wildwood in the price range where I am always looking. For one thing, it has flat yard, with great separation from the neighbors, and it is at the back of a cul-da-sac a long driveway set back from the street. The siding is in very good condition, decks all look unblemished, and the interior is move-in ready, with four good sized bedrooms, three well appointed bathrooms, and a kitchen that features granite counters and a stainless steal stove and oven. There are hardwood floors downstairs that are in good condition, a river rock fire place, and upstairs has clean carpet without stains or odor. The two car garage is finished. This home has the whole package, and is just $175 per square foot.

Typically, I look at fixers and neglected homes that have the same floor plan as a house like this but are in terrible condition, and they sell for $257,000 to $300,000. There is no way you could fix up a house like this if it needed all the kinds of work the typical REO fixer needs, and do so for less than the list price of this house. I am not saying you could turn around and flip it for a great profit, but the seller is leaving some equity on the table to get it moved. I doubt it will last long at this current price.

13569 Lake Wildwood Drive, a 2 and 2 w/ garage, flat lot, listed for $214,500

The new year will bring the traditional push and pull of buyers and sellers as they work to establish the value of homes in coming spring market. This home might seem like a bit of a warning to sellers who think the market will take off in the spring. The small foot print of this house certainly does cap the top price a buyer will pay, but this home has a lot of desirable features. The floor plan is efficient with a ranch lay out, the carpets and paint are new, the exterior looks like it is good shape, the lot is flat, and decks have been converted to modern composite with metal rails. This home is move-in ready. There has been no better value for a small home in the last 12 months. I don’t imagine it will stay on the market very long before somebody purchases it.