Older sells faster and for more

It may surprise you to know that older and even oldest sells faster, and for more money on a price per square foot basis. In the last six months the median days on market for homes sold in King County was 50 days and the median price per square foot was $219. But you may be surprised that older sells faster and for more money per square foot.

Built prior to 1930 sold with median days on market of 33 and a price per square foot of $251

Built from 1931 to 1950 sold with median days on market of 40 days and a price per square foot of $244

Built from 1951 to 1969 sold with median days on market of 49 days and a price per square foot of $228

Built from 1970 to 1989 sold with median days on market of 56 and a price per square foot of $212

Built from 1990 to 2005 sold with median days on market of 63 and a price per square foot of 210

Built from 2006 to present sold with median days on market of 52 days and a price per square foot of $207

Surprised? Don’t be. It’s the old “Location, Location, Location!”

Every time someone built a house, going back to Seattle’s First Hill, by and large they chose the very best location to build on. Chances are if you were to go out right now and find the absolute best place to build a house, there will already be one built there.

Often people will assume newer is better and new is best. Not so. Most often the place where a builder can put up more than one house and as many as 50, the location is inferior…and consequently available.

If you ever doubted the mantra “Location, Location, Location!” then look at the proof. Older sells faster and for more money on a price per square foot basis because people choose location over house…almost always, and rightly so. And most often best location equals oldest house.

122 thoughts on “Older sells faster and for more

  1. But that’s only true in a small section of the PNW. If you take a look at older homes in the Midwest, even GREAT neighborhoods, where location is considered excellent, will sell for LESS than a new subdivision on old farmland.

    I put forth the theory that Seattle-ites and PDX’er’s are smitten with old houses because there are very few of them about so a premium is paid for them.

    Those same bungalows that sell for $500K in Seattle cannot fetch $150K in desirable neighborhoods in the Midwest.

    You can promote Seattle’s weather, terrain, etc. all you want, but that’s a different location argument.

    In the Midwest, old homes aren’t considered “hip and trendy” like they are in PDX and Seattle.

    I would say the “hip and trendy” factor of old homes in the PNW is what drives the price per sq. ft. higher.

    What say you?

  2. It’s not entirely location. When you get to pre-1930s the houses simply have a better feel and charm, especially if they’ve been maintained and remodeled well (including not painting over the woodwork.) And there’s some stuff from the 50s and 60s with a great feel too.

    This doesn’t surprise me at all. When we were looking last year we excluded anything built this century. Very unappealing product (at least in our price range–I’m sure there’s some expensive stuff that is well built).

  3. BTW, I’d guess that the average square footage is smaller as you get older, so that’s probably also part of the reason for the increase in price per square foot (larger homes sell for less per square foot, all other things being equal).

  4. Kary,

    That’s what I thought, but not so.

    The median square footage of homes built prior to 1930? 1,910. The median squre footage of homes built 1990-2005? 1,760.

  5. I’m not surprised by this at all. The wife and I really dislike these newer developments for the most. The location is part of it but it’s also the tiny lots and the houses themselves. They look boxy, ugly, cheaply made and just downright soulless. So I can see why people would want to be in older houses that are closer to city cores.

  6. Shane wrote: “So I can see why people would want to be in older houses that are closer to city cores.”

    It doesn’t even need to be closer to the city. We bought in unincorporated Renton in an area developed in the late 60s and 70s. The neighborhood just has a better feel. It really is like stepping back 30-40 years.

    But we do have a gang problem. There are two groups of Boy Scouts competing in this area for donations. 😀

  7. The median price of homes built prior to 1931, sold in the last six months, was $100,000 more than those built from 1931 to 1950.

    There were also more of them, discounting Fred’s theory that it is because there are fewer of them. 901 homes sold in the last six months were built before 1931. 764 were built from 1931 to 1950.

    The age group of 31 to 50, had the smallest median square footage of 1,560, but not the highest price per square foot, discounting the theory that higher price per square foot is due to the home’s size.

    So oldest wins based primarily, if not solely, on “location, location, location”. About half of them had a lake view. The ones with a lake view had a median square footage of 2,730 and a price per square foot of $280.

    So anyway you slice it, smaller does not account for the higher price per square foot, nor does fewer. In fact the median square footage and price of the oldest homes built with a lake view beats everything else hands down and by far.

  8. # 5, square footage / ages of homes

    The pre-1930’s houses generally have half their square footage in the basement (non-daylight basement), so the 1990 – 2005 built homes likely are small due to the majority or all of the square footage being above grade, and daylight.

    Brightness counts for a lot around here!

    And, I’ll bet Fred is right. We have a very small supply of OWC Old World Charm homes here.

    And, I’d venture to say that agents who mainly sell in-City charmers, have a pretty high sales price to list price ratio — simply because the best ones are rare, and very often sell for a premium, higher than listing price, even today.

  9. Another factor that bolsters the value of the oldest homes is that the locations that contain the oldest of homes also have the most “teardowns to new”. The spot build of new homes between the oldest of houses in neighborhoods like mine in Kirkland, Green Lake, etc… helps to hold up the values.

    Also many of them have been expanded. Mine was originally built in 1921 at about 1,200 sf, but is now 3,370 to 3,550 sf.

    A home built in the 50s is more likely to be a teardown in neighborhoods like this, and the oldest ones with “soul” (thanks Shane) more likely to have been lifted and expanded to three floors.

  10. Kary,

    As the post said, where CAN you put a development of new homes? Someplace where no one chose to live heretofore. Under the power lines, next to the power lines, flood plains…you name it. Why is it devoid of homes and so ready for a developer to build on? Too far out? Lots of reasons.

    Exception is the teardown of old, making way for one new home or a couple of townhomes at a time.

    This has been true most everyplace I have sold real estate on both coasts, even going back to Cherry Hill NJ in 1990. As to the midwest? I haven’t a clue.

    The “hot new development” in Jersey when I started in real estate was built over a toxic waste dump :).

  11. When buying a new home you might ask, “What was here before these houses?” Best answer I know of is “farm”, then check for flood area even if it’s “100 year flood” vs. “50 year flood”.

  12. Leanne said: “The pre-1930’s houses generally have half their square footage in the basement (non-daylight basement), so the 1990 – 2005 built homes likely are small due to the majority or all of the square footage being above grade, and daylight.”

    That would be an argument for pre-30 selling for less on average price per square foot; not more. So even with the underground portion valued at less, the overall is still selling for more. So the above ground square footage in those locations is SO much more, that it compensates for the basement factor. Even when diluted for the underground portion…it’s still higher.

  13. P.S. Often the reason is lot value. Sometimes the lot value price per square foot of a small oldest home is more than the “as built on lot” price per square foot of another home built later.

  14. “But aren’t older houses usually smaller”


    In the timeframe studied, the median square footage of homes built prior to 1930 was 1,910. The median squre footage of homes built 1990-2005 was 1,760.

  15. I think “not smaller” has something to do with built prior to the crash of 1929 vs after the crash and after the war. Some of the smallest, boxiest and soul-less of homes were built in the 50s. The 3 bedroom, 1 bath ramblers.

  16. I thought older houses were better because they are the ones that were built to stand up well over nearly a century of use.

    Not that all houses were built that well in the 1920’s, but the ones that were are still around.

  17. In my experience, Alan, it’s more the ones with enough character to save vs. those not worth saving. Not necessarily some “stood up well” and some didn’t, but some torn down while others not.

    I’m from Philadelphia where old is really, really old 🙂 It still amazes me sometimes that the oldest of homes here are still so “new” by comparison to what I am used to, and even what I grew up in.

    I remember when we got the “new built in tub” in the 2nd bath when I was a kid, and how much we liked it better than the free standing one with the feet. In my current home I wouldn’t let Kim take out the 1921 bath with the freestanding tub with the feet :).

    Maybe the older you get the more you appreciate old? Certainly was true in my case. Seems to hold true for people too. Old and “of good character” is a whole let better than just plain old, don’t you think?

  18. Hi Alan,

    You made a good point. Homes built in the 20’s had plaster walls, wood windows, hardwood floors, and gorgeous woodwork. They will stand up beautifully over time as long as they are maintained. When I moved here in the 80’s, I had come from Boston and would only look at older homes. Ironically, I ended up buying a newer home that was very contemporary, because it was something I could have never bought in New England.


    Hi Ardell,

    The age of the home is important when looking at the quality. But even within an age range, quality varies greatly. For example, Ardell in your last comment about the 1950’s rambler with the 3 bedroom/1 bath. Many of those when built were small and boxy.

    But in the1950’s there was a great community built called Hilltop in south Bellevue, which was cutting edge for the time. The homes were built on large lots with big windows to capture the views of the mountains. A very wonderful spot and homes built with mid-century character.

    Getting back to the boxy homes with no soul, I do understand what you mean about these homes. However, when many of these homes were built, they were the affordable housing of the time. These homes in Bellevue, particularly Lake Hills, were cutting edge in the sense they were built to meet the need for affordable homes. Lake Hills boomed in the 1950’s, as did much of the south part of the eastside after the Mercer Island floating bridge was built. It was pretty exciting for people at the time to have their own home with a yard. It was the 1950’s affordable housing.

    On another note, ten-15 years ago on the eastside, buyers would only look at new. I would show buyers “older” homes built in the 1960-80’s and they wouldn’t buy them, even though they were close to their jobs. I sold a lot of homes out on the plateau during those years.

    Now my buyers all want to fall out of bed and be close to work. Hence the stronger appreciation over the last few years for homes that are closer in and do not require the long commute.

  19. Debra,

    I saw three things that affected people wanting to be closer in happen in the last few years.

    1) The snow storm where everyone had to leave their cars and walk home up hills. (the 1st snow storm a couple of years ago)

    2) More light and away from neighborhoods with an abundance of tall pine trees blocking the sun light.

    3) Gas prices

  20. And, all those reasons are why most in-city neighobrhoods carry such a premium, many buyers competing for few properties.

    Ardell, my point about the basements wasn’t a cost point, but a reasonable idea as to why the newer ones are built smaller – the different modern floorplans allow more daylighted living spaces. Just a design comment, not a price comment.

  21. Hi Ardell,

    I think you are right. All of these things had an affect on people’s choices. I noticed so many people getting sick of traffic that they began to reconsider buying farther out, just because they could get a newer home. I also noticed more remodeling going on with older homes that were closer in. Put the two together and the homes that appreciate the best in any market are those that are close to conveniences, jobs, and transportation and are remodeled.

  22. Debra,

    Let’s define “closer in” for our readers, as it changes from neighborhood to neighborhood.

    In Bellevue “closer-in” usually means closer to Microsoft.

    In Kirkland “closer-in” means walk to Downtown shops and lake.

    In Seattle it changes.

    Closer in can mean walk to Green Lake.

    Closer in is often walk to shops and that can be Ballard, Fremont or most any neighborhood.

    What besides the above do people want to be “closer in” TO in your experience?

  23. Now that the light rail is nearly done in Mukilteo, and the one from Edmonds to King Street Station is done, and in 2009 we’ll see the light rail to the airport completed, so we can anticipate that the Shoreline/Edmonds/Mukilteo/Whidbey corridor will see a gain in popularity too. Prices are so much more affordable, and with an easier commute into downtown,many of my clients are already considering north options.

    And, I happen to like a lot of the 1950’s and 1960’s architecture, even the boxy boxes! The hardwoods are real, the windows are usually large, and they often have great circular floorplans. I love the open beamed styles from that era too.

  24. I hope the era my home was built is selling for more then $228/sq ft, I bought it for $178/sq ft 7.5 years ago and poured almost $100k in standard non-fancy upgrades. Still have another $30k to go to finish the landscape. I’m only the third owner but the first two each lived there ~ 20 years and were on the older side so did little upkeep and maintenance. Only the dishwasher wasn’t the original appliance installed, and that includes the furnace. Problems with electrical since houses built 45 years ago weren’t wired for the mounds of plug-ins we have now. Garage too narrow to fit a standard car (Passat). This was not a tear down condition house, structurally it is sound, just every bit of it old. Metal single pane windows, an inch of attic insulation (none in walls), poor attic ventilation, burnt orange shag carpet, weird laminate/cracked tile floors (some areas had hardwood underneath, explain that logic!), no storm doors, crumbling and leaking chimney, nasty popcorn ceiling, paneled walls. Not sure you could pay me to buy an older house again. So why do we stay – location. Yup, close to MS, Lake Washington Schools and just 2 or 3 miles from downtown Kirkland, Bellevue and Redmond, house is smack in the middle. Can walk to numerous parks, grocery stores, schools and bus line. So I’d say location is a selling/sticking point!

  25. Liz,

    The prices per square foot are “medians” meaning many are more and many are less.

    LOL…sounds like our new listing in Bellevue! You are cracking me up! FYI that listing will be $280 to $285 per square foot, so your answer is the King County median does not apply to your home due to your location.

    As to floorings over hardward, it’s like a Believe It Or Not! When hardwards were popular as they denoted better construction, they were not popular as to actually seeing them and were often covered immediately after the house was built, with wall to wall carpet. The vinyl areas were not usually hardwood underneath, but the carpeted areas were.

  26. My lawyer-spouse does construction defect litigation. He wouldn’t even consider a house built after 1980 or so (we close on a 1930s house in a few weeks). New construction brings him lots of business, though.

  27. Ardell,

    What’s the sq ft of the Bellevue one? I’m just shy of 1,200, 3bd/1bth. No way to add a second bath without an addition, researched it last year. I’ve wondered if only 1 bath will be an issue when selling. I know new houses require work too, just get annoyed when people comment, “Wow your house was only $250,000, what a steal.” Why yes the sales price alone was $250,000 but add up all the improvements, not maintenance, and you’ll find the end price is much, much higher. I agree with the other poster on larger windows, one part I love about the house! Oddly ours is a rambler that no other house in the neighborhood resembles. We think the owner of the lot didn’t sell to the major builder because the exterior and interior are nothing like the others. Many ramblers look long like trailers but ours is a cottage shape. Old houses have nice surprises, the hardwood for one, copper plumbing another. Plus they have history.

    What areas on the eastside were built in the 30’s? For the most part I’ve seen 50’s and 60’s. Have you heard any scoop on the DR Horton development going in Redmond off 85th st? 132nd & 85th has a new 12 unit plat going in. Well, the tear down house is still standing but the large white Public Notice/Future Site signs are up.

  28. Liz,

    The smaller homes like yours with 3 bedrooms, 1 bath are selling for about $350 per squre foot. The ones not selling are asking about $380 per square foot. There aren’t a lot of them.

    The one I have coming on shortly is in Ardmore off 148th and 166th over where the new school is being built. It’s 1,850 sf and has a master suite with a bath, a hall bath and a guest powder off the laundry room. Huge kitchen. But all in pretty much original condition.

    No orange shag carpet though 🙂

  29. # 30 Ardell, yes, I find many of my buyers love those 50’s and 60’s houses. The key is the combination of a great house on a great lot — and that may be a home in stellar condition, or it may be a fixer, but finding that combination is the key to future resale.

    One thing I stress with my buyers is that if it takes us longer to find that special house today, when they sell, it will be a much easier sale than if they jump for something not so special. Be picky in the beginning, make more money and sell easier at the next point.

    To be honest, those 50’s houses are much cooler than things built in the 80’s or 90’s. IMHO. I’m not much for the little Cape Cod style homes, the ceilings are too low, and the rooms too small, they were mainly built around 1935 – 1948 or so, and of course, there are some exceptions. They have a pretty exterior ‘face’, but just don’t measure up as well inside. Eastside doesn’t have very many of them anyway.

    And, the 50’s and 60’s stuff in Lake Hills, Eastgate etc, is generally just average stuff, some is nice, but most just didn’t get built as well as a lot of that era did in Seattle, I’m thinking they were a step in price below most of the Seattle ones when they were built, not sure why. Do you know Lovell homes? Those are dandy too, if you can find one that is in decent condition, some were let go too long.

  30. Homes on the Eastside built prior to 1930:

    563 of them are in 98033 Kirkland

    148 in 98034 Kirkland

    135 in 98052 Redmond

    199 in 98004 Bellevue

    21 in 98005 Bellevue

    40 in 98006 Belleuve

    8 in 98007 Belleuve

    56 in 98008 Bellevue

    317 in Issaquah

    86 in Kenmore

    185 in Bothell

    If a house says it was built in 1900 it may have been built in the late 1800s as county records calls everything 1900 or earlier 1900.

  31. Do you find when houses are in the original condition buyers tend to want credits to offset their upgrade costs? We didn’t request any and paid $2,000 under asking price but after closing so many people said we should’ve required the seller to give flooring allowance or appliance credit. I’m wondering if you’re facing that issue and how do sellers respond? We have a very old couple in the neighborhood who’ve lived there since it was built. They’ve hemmed and hawed over selling and got very upset when a realtor said they’d need to give a $30,000 “discount” because the interior is still 1960. Now my grandparents tend to say “Well I bought that for $100 dollars just a few years ago so it should be worth $90.” A few years ago being 10 or 15!

  32. Leanne,

    Significant architects in Seattle in the 50s include Victor Steinbrueck who I believe did the original design of the space needle, the Faculty Club at the University of Washington and designed several of the better homes of the mid to late 50s period in Seattle.

  33. Ardell –
    I wonder how lot size fits into this. It seems to me that most older homes also sit on larger lots (in outer areas, much larger) especially compared to houses build recently (1′ “lot” around your shoebox).

  34. Liz, I think allowances are determined more on how the buyers perceive the value of your home in the first place. If they feel the price is somewhat fair, they probably will ask for allowances, or closing costs, or maybe both.

    If they feel the price is too high, they might discount their offer price, and ask for the sun, the moon and the stars too :-). But if buyers feel the asking price is really great, well, they are not as likely to ask for much of anything.

    It’s not uncommon for some buyers tol overreact to flaws or work that needs to be done, simply due to lack of experience in how much things actually cost, or they may view a pretty simple task as very difficult. A lot also can depend on if an inexperienced buyer is working with a seasoned agent or not, as often a seasoned agent has explained along the way (in other houses for example) what certain work might cost, such as new carpets, new kitchen countertops, new floors, whatever.

    Offering to credit a buyer $30,000 at closing is difficult, since lenders are going to want to see that money actually get “spent”, either towards buyers closing costs (and they are not too likely to be $30,000 !), or towards actual repairs. Getting repairs or updates done prior to closing can be a stressful thing, and unless it’s something like a roof that needs replacement now, or a health/safety issue such as a cracked heat exchanger in a gas furnace, I’d recommend pricing the property very well and not getting into the doing work for a prospective buyer game. Ask your agent what kinds of work can become lender-required “work orders”.

    Roofs are going to be important to lenders these days though, so make sure yours has 5 or more years of life left in it before you sell. Roof certs provided by some roofers may or may not cut it with an underwriter, so make sure before you go spend money on a roof cert, that you consider if you should just replace the roof instead. And, many roofers will agree to install the new roof during the month of closing, and be paid out of your escrow proceeds.

  35. “Do you find when houses are in the original condition buyers tend to want credits to offset their upgrade costs?”

    What we have seen in the past and what will happen in the future may be two different things. Everyone will have to get a bit more creative as we switch out of a strong seller’s market.

    In one of my most recent sales the price came down and the large downpayment was decreased to provide the funds to do the repairs. While lenders have credit limits, there are ways to juggle everything until everyone is happy and the buyer isn’t stuck with things they can’t live with, and have no money to fix.

    We may have to utilize something I brought up several weeks ago where escrow or an attorney holds funds earmarked for certain improvements after closing. I haven’t seen this for many years since the last buyer’s market…but it may be making a comeback.

  36. b,

    Nope. Larger lot is not the answer to the higher price per square foot.

    1/3 of the oldest homes built in 1930 or earlier were on lots of 4,000 sf or smaller. More than 2/3rds had lots of 6,000 sf or smaller. The best locations had the smallest lots and the highest price per square foot.

    There were only 43 of 906 with lots larger than 10,000 sf and those homes had a median price of only $440,000 while the smaller lots of 6,000 or less had a median price of $505,000.

    It’s all about location.

  37. That is interesting facts about the older homes but I would bet you it would be the same for our area up in Bellingham. Your right its all about the one thing you cant change and that is LOCATION.

  38. Ardell- I don’t want to say too much lest the house is identified (and by extension, us). The house was built in the 30s, farmhouse, completely redone from top to basement, in northeast Seattle.

  39. Thanks Jo, just wanted a rough idea, not an exact location. Of course I haven’t enjoyed anonimity since…well maybe ever. Even when I was a kid I couldn’t get away with anything. No one knew my name, but they all knew I was “Joe the Hat’s kid” 🙂

  40. Liz,

    I pass that going to be Horton development at 132nd and 85th all the time. I would expect them to be in the $650,00 give or take range depending on the model. The plans will likely be similar to Vista Park in Issaquah Highlands or Timberlake Village.

    I know DR Horton from back inthe mid to late nineties in Florida. I always liked them better than Centex who also built in the same places there as Horton, but my favorite was Pulte who I used to build a house both in Florida and in Sacramento. I don’t see them here, though I would think they would travel wherever Horton and Centex went.

    Not custom builders for sure…but fairly good designs. As to location…85th and 132nd. What else is there to say?

  41. Rhonda, can you comment on this? “We may have to utilize something I brought up several weeks ago where escrow or an attorney holds funds earmarked for certain improvements after closing. I haven’t seen this for many years since the last buyer’s market…but it may be making a comeback”

    I’ve always found that holdbacks are difficult to get lender approval on, unless there is a strong reason, such as weather — we had a holdback to install a roof after closing due to snow. Lender required seller to holdback 1.5 times the amount of 2 roof bids. Seller wasn’t too happy about that, but we got it done.

  42. Leanne,

    What they’ve allowed in the past and what happens in the future may be different. Lender guidelines are changing all the time. Anything that guarantees the lender improved and stronger collateral for their loan will likely be doable in this environment. May not be doable for all and by all, but most times I can make a strong case for why it is best for the lender and get it done…just as you did. Could be too much work for most agents and lenders, but in some cases it will be warranted and doable.

  43. #42

    We were happy with our purchase price ($2,000 under asking) until others informed us we should’ve asked for this or that to be paid/credited by sellers! We had a good idea what the house needed for updating and other then the decaying masonry none of it was structural so I didn’t think it was the seller’s responsibility to pay for them. However, I get the impression buyers are now more demanding or searching for perfection.

    We had a $1,500 holdback at closing because a few soffits had decay and the bank wouldn’t lend without being repaired. Holdback was a pain and took four months to get money back. We had specific criteria in finding a contractor, had to submit before & after pics along with canceled check and the contractor had to send written notice work was complete. Taking a step back I see the benefit for the bank, keeping value in line with loan, and us, work gets done, but the process could’ve been smoother.

    Like many new owners we would’ve spent the $1,500 on fun stuff -paint, furniture, mirrors etc and ignored the soffts for a year! Thus recognizing the benefit of holdback.

  44. “Like many new owners we would’ve spent the $1,500 on fun stuff -paint, furniture, mirrors etc and ignored the soffts for a year! Thus recognizing the benefit of holdback.”

    LOL!!! I would definitely like to meet you some time. You are definitely my kind of people. Honest and not afraid to tell it like it is.

    Wasn’t the “holdback” from the seller’s funds and not yours as the buyer?

  45. ARDELL, I just want to comment on the price per sq footage. In Poinciana FL it is between $70 and $80 for a 1800 sq ft home!!! Your’s in Seattle is 3 times. That’s incredible. I guess it’s all about the location, location, location. But go figure, we have beautiful sunshine and you have rain yet your properties are selling for 3 times as much. So maybe it’s really about jobs, jobs, jobs.

  46. BB,

    I don’t think so BB, as many parts of CA are very expensive in areas where earning power is only high for very few. I think it’s West Coast vs. East Coast as to your home prices to some degree. As to Central Florida, I was told it was all Disney’s fault for having so many minimum wage jobs. I think the locals have been saying that since Disney was built.

  47. BB,

    P.S. I’m pretty sure I read that Poinciana was pretty much blackballed by the lending industry and it’s near impossible to get a mortgage on the homes there. If people can’t finance homes, that drives prices down and keeps them down.

    We had one complex here near Microsoft that had lending woes during the rise in prices, and they were the only complex that saw only modest gains while everything else was going up. Difficulties in financing aimed at a particular complex or area, inhibits price increases dramatically.

  48. We, the buyer, had the holdback. The seller didn’t want to do the soffits and said they couldn’t afford to (she was 87) but agreed to lower the sales price $2,000 (yeah, I didn’t understand it either because in directly she paid for the soffits by lowering the price). The bank agreed that was fine but required the work be done and use holdback. Had we gotten the work done prior to closing could’ve skipped holdback but we were more focused on nightly dates to Home Depot.

  49. I’m confused by “soffits” which are usually interior. Do you mean rotted eaves (wood) on the exterior? What was rotted about the “soffits” and where were they. I’m surprised the lender picked up on that. Was it in the appraisal?

  50. Yes eaves, I guess they were connected to the soffits? It was the ends of the wood that stuck out from supporting the roof and gutter. It was in the inspection report and appraisal. I believe on the appraisal because the roof was new and the appraiser noted that but said some of the wood hadn’t been replaced and was rotting and to be valued at $250,000 needed to be fixed. It was ~ 3 inches on the end so a contractor came and cut the ends off and installed new. We did 100% financing (this was just when 80/20 loans started and pre subprime) due to the dollar value of upgrades. We had some money to put down but the lender agreed to do 100% , we pay PMI, and pay cash for upgrades as we went. The other option was financing a higher amount to pay for the upgrades and put money down. Either way we had to pay PMI so opted for 100% financing and not have to pay interest on the money used for repairs.

  51. LOL! I thought so! I’ve seen enough rotted eaves in my day and rarely does an inspection NOT note rotted eaves. I have never seen a lender call them, as they don’t usually have the inspection report, unless you tried to do a credit for them and the lender saw that addendum.

    In any case, the prevention technique for future rotted eaves is to take the same roof shingles and cap them now so they are more protected from getting rained on. I’m sure there are others and maybe even better ones, but that remedy takes about 20 minutes and $20 bucks.

    I really appreciate your being so open, as readers really like to hear from “real people” and not just agents all the time.

  52. Broker Bryant – you have a lot of FLAT land there in Florida, we sure don’t have much of it here. We’re an extremely hilly region, with lots of steep ravines for streams and rivers to flow down to the lakes and Puget Sound. The mountains that provide the snowmelt to fill the streams and rivers are as close as 40 minutes away from the City of Seattle. All that water, hills and mountains means great beauty, but also means a very limited supply of buildable land for housing.

    The Seattle housing region is bounded by Puget Sound waters to the west of downtown Seattle, Lake Washington to the east, and the Cascade Mountain Range beyond Lake WA. Our close-in properties are more expensive per sq ft due to very limited land availability due to our geography.

    In-City growth is very limited without growing vertically, which increases density, which has its’ own set of issues. Our geographic region limits housing supply, which means prices increase, so long as good jobs are available.

    And, we do have great employment here, with well-paying jobs. We are a very lucky region to have both strong employement, as well as a very beautiful region.

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