Sold, Sold and Sold again

One of the best ways to find accurate data as to home prices and appreciation levels is to find homes that have sold a few times recently, that have had no upgrades since the time they were built.

Sold New on 3/30/93 for $210,000

Sold again on 2/27/03 for $349,300

Sold again on 7/8/05 for $466,000

Sold again on 6/25/08 for $540,000

Appreciated by 66% in the first 10 years.

Appreciated an additional 33% from 2/03 to 7/05

Appreciated an additional 15.8% from 7/05 to 6/08

No granite countertops or stainless steel appliances.  No upgrades except maybe some updated paint colors.  A run of the mill 2,300 sf four bedroom 2 1/2 bath home in a good school district.

It was on the market for 75 days or so and had a $50,000 price reduction before it sold for $10,000 to $15,000 less than that.  Would it have been worth closer to the original $600,000 list price if the market hadn’t slowed down?  Probably.

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

40 thoughts on “Sold, Sold and Sold again

  1. Or to put it another way, if it has sold on 6/25/07, it probably would have been close to $600k. So that 15% appreciation is deceiving; it probably appreciated at something like 25% from 7/05 to 7/07, and then -10% from 7/07 to 6/08. Or 22/-7, or something like that.

  2. I agree Larry. Maybe listed at $599,950 and sold for $575,000 or better instead of $540,000 or $535,000. The tax record and mls don’t agree on the sold price, which is why I am showing both.

    I like this example because it has no functional obsolescence issues, no deferred maintenance issues, no kitchen or bath upgrades, nothing to confuse the pure numbers.

  3. I had typed out a whole thing about case-shiller and clicked Say It but forgot the email.. when I clicked the back button to add the email the entire message was gone. UGH

    Anyways, in a nutshell.. is this similar to how the case-shiller index is tracked? Can anyone explain how it works?

  4. I don’t like to post actual addresses, but I will tell you it is on the Juanita side of Kirkland in the Lake Washington School District. Hope that tells you what you need to know.

  5. It is similar to Case-Shiller, but CS doesn’t take into account upgrades. It would be difficult to do that on the scale that CS tracks.

  6. Alan,

    The only way I can tell that it didn’t have upgrades is from the photos. That is why I like to use properties built in the 90s vs in the 60s or 70s. The finishes are “dated” but still of reasonably current value.

    If I look at a house built in the 60s with an original kitchen, I would have to downgrade the obsolete features against appreciation.

  7. A more interesting question than how long it was on the market is how long did it take after the price reduction to sell.

  8. 7 days after the 2nd price reduction. What I find interesting is that the property closed within 30 days even though the offer was contingent on the sale of another property.

  9. Appreciated by 66% in the first 10 years for a yearly rate of 5.2%

    Appreciated an additional 33% from 2/03 to 7/05 for a yearly rate of 13.2%

    Appreciated an additional 15.8% from 7/05 to 6/08 for a yearly rate of 5%

    from 3/93 to 6/08 the yearly rate is 6.4%

  10. Thanks Michael. So going back to Mortgage Samson, I would think that 7/05 to 6/08 is also “normal appreciation” given it is the same per year as the first 10 years. Unless he means 5% was “normal for that 10 year period, but not normal for 05 to 08.

    Generally speaking, houses built in 03 should not need a roof yet, but likely had the hot water tank replaced. Heater and siding would be concerns over the next owner lifespan.

    When I look at appreciation, I also look at the cost of major upgrades needed. Usually the #1 cost is siding (if needed ever), the #2 is roof, the #3 is heater and the #4 is hot water tank.

    Are there any other major costs involved in home ownership that we should subtract against appreciation factors over time? In Seattle I see water sewer lines at $8,000 to $10,000 being done, but often they are over 50 years old.

    It would be nice to work out a “reserve study” somewhat like a condo, for the average single family home. I expect that would be helpful to a lot of people.

  11. “Are there any other major costs involved in home ownership that we should subtract against appreciation factors over time?”

    The entire cost of the house. generally, but not always, the structures depreciate in a financial and economic sense. the land increases in value as land is in finite supply.

    I think a reserve study would scare most people away from homeownership.

  12. Ardell, keep in mind that plumbing and wiring that’s installed these days will likely last a lot longer than older types. We really don’t know how long these plastic pipes will last, because we have no failure history on them, but they won’t corrode, and they won’t scale. We’ll all probably be long gone before plumbing installed today will fail from old age. Ditto for wiring.

  13. Thanks Larry. I think the list I use and noted in comment 12 are the ones most homeowners should note.


    I think all homeowners deserve to have a reserve study type of understanding before purchasing a home. Most inspectors provide life expectancy and replacement considerations for everyone who is purchasing a home.

    Deferred maintenance is an appeciation thief. All owners should be aware of that and factor maintenance and replacement costs into their homeowner affordability calculations.

    I don’t think it will scare people. In fact most find it good to know and less stressful to be prepared for expected expenses.

  14. We have a 78 split level home, so our cost is higher than this home owner had, but here’s what I consider major works we have done in the past 10 years:
    Kitchen remodel, new windows, put up siding one side of the house, new garage doors, landscaping and sprinkler system, new roof and gutters, new hot water heater, new furnace, and we are about to get someone to texture ceiling (we removed our popcorn ceiling), paint inside and outside, and replace carpet. I don’t remember all the numbers, but all the work is (or will be) probably in the $65,000 range, which average to about $550 a month. Now we did start with a house with very overgrown back yard, so the landscaping was quite expensive, in hindsight we probably should have picked a house w/ brown grass instead. Also most of the tasks are not absolutely necessary and expensive (kitchen remodel and landscaping), but they did improve our quality of living. I don’t know much about sewer lines as we have never need to do anything for ours, if we only talk about roof, hot water heater, furnace, painting outside every few years, then $200 a month should be enough to cover them assuming roof needs to be changed in 15 years. But wait I didn’t factor in inflation, owning a house is depressingly expensive…

  15. That’s a valid point; it’s not just recurring maintenance like replacing the roof, if the house is older than 30 or 40 years,You may have to plan on replacing single-pane windows and removing popcorn ceiling (which can contain asbestos) and so on. Some things just have to be fixed because they’re outmoded.

    A true ownership cost study should also consider feasibility of replacing an older less efficient furnace with a newer, more efficient one, and other such cost-saving measures. Not that the old one doesn’t work, but you have to decide if you’ll get the money back.

  16. That’s why I used a 93 built house as an example. Not as much to replace. I did include siding as many mid 90’s homes had the type that ended up in class action suits. LP or similar products. Not saying the subject of this post did, but I wouldn’t expect a 90s kitchen to have to have windows replaced or a kitchen remodel. In fact adding too much might not increase the value if it’s overimproved for the neighborhood when finished.

    I can’t guess what might be more “in style” 30 years from now, as in the case of a 78 built home compared to today. I’m pretty sure stainless steel won’t last forever. Maybe 90s white will come back.

  17. That’s a good question. You wouldn’t do it for energy saving (the example I used was replacing single-pane, which isn’t used these days because they lose too much heat), but depending on the type, they can wear. They just may get to the point where they don’t slide properly, or you can’t get parts to replace a broken latch, or the anodized aluminum finish gets worn and scratched. Particularly the cheap ones probably have a limited life. Same for sliding doors.

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