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

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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.

18312 Wildflower Drive 3 and 2 split level in Wildwood, listed for $310,000

This 1986 stucco home has pleasant lines and is well maintained, has a nice yard, and is move in ready. It has not been fully updated, and the tile, appliances and fixtures are all 30 years old, but the house shows nicely. It’s 1538 square feet, and has a decent size kitchen. You can’t buy this home anywhere near $350,000 except in Wildwood, and based on other homes we have seen with ranch floor plans and similar condition that sell for $325,000 the split level discount seems fair. I think this one will sell quickly.

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.

A Tale of Two Homes, both in Wildwood, both listed for $325,000, both ranch floor plans: 17948 Lake Forest and 10966 Marmot

This is interesting- two houses a block apart, similar in every way except the upgrades and condition-
17948 Lake Forest: the 1984 interiors are worn and look like they have not been upgraded since the home was built.
10966 Marmot: 1978, but clearly updated in the last 15 years, with a new kitchen and bathrooms, and all upgraded interiors.

20876 Chaparral Circle, Lake Wildwood, 95946 Fixer, 1664 sf, listed for $239,000

Every fixer is valued based on the difference between what it will cost to make the repairs that will get it ready to rent resell, and the price buyers can be expected to pay for a move in ready home. We have lots of comparable sales of homes just like this one that are move in ready. We already know, with nice counters and appliances, all the repairs made, the floors fixed, the siding and decks finished and painted, new widows, and certification that the roof has five years or more left, this home would sell for right around $325,000.
A smart contractor might be able to make a buck or two on this house, but nothing jumps right out me and says this one is cash cow. The problem is the limited upside potential caused by the large inventory of Wildwood homes that are similar, already in very good condition, and owned by sellers who will cut their price to sell their home when the time comes. At any given time in the summer selling season there might be four of five homes with similar floor plans listed for sale in Wildwood, and as long as the supply of available homes exceeds the number of buyers shopping at any given time there will be downward pressure on price of the top priced homes in the group. Even if the home has new appliances and is move in ready, you wont go over some threshold price point that is limited by things you cannot change- the foot print of 1664 is still a small house, and it is two stories, even though all the living is on the main floor, and the garage is under the house…. all these factors set a high end price limit of about $325,000.

12896 Roadrunner, a Lake Wildwood, 3 and 2 listed for $279,000

This is a good comparable listing with several homes already on the market in Wildwood this year. Yet another three bedroom and two bathroom house.

The lot is a steep up slope, so this one is not a functional as several of the flat or near flat lots we have seen so far this year. And the house is small, under 1200 square feet, which means some portion of the floor plan will be undersized in relationship with conventional 1300 to 1500 square foot ranch floor plans. In this house, the trimming came in one of the guest bedrooms. While the rest of the home feels just about right, one guest bedroom is just 9 X 10, too small for any bed other than a single. The room was used by the current owner as a sitting room, and did not have a bed in it. Also, to the detriment of the home and due to the steep lot, the two car garage is 40 feet and down four steps from the back sliding door off the dinning area. That means that sliding door becomes the de facto entry for the house, and the actual front door, way off on deck on the other side of the house would never be used.
I don’t think this is $300,000 house, but I do think a price conscious buyer who wants something of a less expensive house, and realizes the discount is because the home is quantifiably less desirable that the flat ranchers for $310,00 to $325,000 that we saw all winter.

12740 Lake Wildwood Drive, 3/2 Ranch home, move in ready, 1485 sf. Listed for $320,000

The market for ranch style homes that are clean, have a few upgrades, are move in ready, and have one or two complementary features or amenities that give the home a unique architectural identity. In addition to clean carpets good paint, this home has an office that could be used for exercise or a desk, or any number of projects. It is a good use of space when combined with the other typical ranch style floor plan.