Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Luxurious Entry Level Homes?

I was out today with a client looking at entry level homes. One of the homes we looked at turned out to be a seemingly under-priced townhome. This wasn't of interest to my client, but it did have some interest for me. But, it got me thinking... (regular readers will recognize the danger here)

This was a most entry of entry level properties. Listed at only $113k in an area where the other similar properties seemed to be listed around $140k-$150k. But, it had needs. It needed carpet or other flooring, paint EVERYWHERE, and all of the appliances.

The problem would be that most of my contractor connections are used to doing higher end properties. The kitchen counters needed to be replaced, and using my people would make solid surface (like Corian) about the same price as a laminate (like Formica). Stainless Steel Appliances aren't much different in price than enameled. Wood floors would cost a little more than carpet for the main floor, but not that much.

So, since we've wandered all over the place, perhaps I should move towards the point. Since I spend WAY too much time in houses I can't afford, and my tastes have moved in that direction, am I too far out of touch? Or, simply, would entry level buyers want the similar fixtures and surfaces?

Let's try to keep pricing out of the equation. Assuming that two homes are prices similarly, and one is carpeted, would one with wood floors sell more quickly?

If one home has Stainless appliances that are a bit more expensive, would that home sell faster than one with black appliances?

Would buyers buy a home with oiled bronze or other higher end looking fixtures before a home with builder grade fixtures?

I'd really like to know. Do these higher-end touches appeal to buyers at all levels? I'd love your comments.

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