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  4 years on market - odd layout
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4 years on market - odd layout Sign In/Join 
posted
This is our 4th summer on the market. Here is the link to the listing http://www.prudentialindiana.com/p/316/201409429. A couple of the pictures are old as we have tried to bring the studio and apartment up to date as least through furnishings.

We inherited the home from my aunt and uncle after caring for them through their failing health. The home is on a lake suitable for all watercraft. The home has a 2 bedroom main house, an upstairs studio apartment and a downstairs 1 bedroom apartment. Both additional units have road side and lakeside private entrances. All prospects that come through are pleased with the main house, but do not like the other units. Many want stairs to the studio apartment, but it is difficult to configure as it is above the garage. We started off on the market for $625,00 4 years ago. Comps in our area are virtually non-existent. We have consistently lowered the price and are now down to $479,000. Lots on the lake sell for approximately $350,000 or higher.

In November 2012 we had a flue fire and 90% of the main house has been renovated. We put in a lot of money to add upgrades as the home was dated. Needless to say, we are frustrated that our home just won't sell and funds are extremely limited as we used our savings to pay the inheritance tax and for the upgrades after the fire.

We are ready to move on, find our perfect home and unpack everything that we have stored away.

We appreciate any and all advice! Thank you!!!
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: Jul 15, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Grapefruit
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The main house looks very attractive! The only turn-off is that paneling! Could you give it an inexpensive painting with a neutral color?

Are the additional units short-term/weekly type rentals or year-to-year? Is this typical for the area? Would this be a summer home only?

What are the realtors saying?
 
Posts: 3270 | Location: central PA | Registered: Jan 08, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The only paneling is in the bedrooms of main house (no complaints), studio (no complaints) and apartment (no complaints). We have not rented either unit for the entire time we have been on the market to keep them show worthy and not have problems with leases.

The big complaint is that there is no access to the studio from the main house. Most want to add additional bedrooms and want to make the studio a master, but nowhere for stairs.

Our realtor had an open house the Sunday after the 4th of July weekend which is a busy time on the lake. 2 people came and nothing.

We haven't even had one offer in 4 years. It is also listed on www.lakehouse.com (Indiana/Lake Lemon). We are about 15 minutes outside of Bloomington, IN.

Not shown much, so little feedback. One person said it was too windy. Most just want more bedrooms as part of main house. It is also a lake home which is a different market for buyers. The value is the land and lake, not really in the home, although we have tried to update where possible to increase buyer interest (granite in kitchen, etc). We tried to price with that and the uniqueness in mind. We don't know what more to do to overcome that objection.

Another uniqueness is the "roadside" view of the home doesn't come across as a "beautiful" home although the lawn is manicured and it is landscaped nicely. It is the "lake side" that is really considered the front of the home, but not visible to people driving by, only boaters.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: TLShockley,
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: Jul 15, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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What does your agent say the average days on market are for lake homes? Is the market good in your area or are people just starting to buy lake homes again.

If people are buying summer homes on the lake rather than residences you are beyond their price range. A nice looking summer home can be bought for half your price.

Maybe you should take your house off the market for awhile.
 
Posts: 7282 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We are at the lower end of the price point for houses our size with water frontage and square footage. Our realtor said we are definitely the lowest per square foot. These are year round homes, that some use for just summer, but others live here year round. These aren't fishing shacks. Lower price homes usually are set across streets (not truly waterfront), but may have an easement to the water. I hope you were able to view all the pictures that also show the lake and peninsula we live on.
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: Jul 15, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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TL, I agree with the previous posters. What does your agent say about the current level of activity? What about comps? Is anything selling? You mentioned lots at 350K. Are those recent, actual sales, i.e. comps or merely listings?

As you may know, I don't place that much importance on potential buyer feedback. Most people, in general, are nice and don't want to criticize your property. So, I agree about the paneling. I suggest you paint all of it out.

Also, more importantly, I was a little confused about the staging. The listing indicates 4 bedrooms, correct? IIRC, nothing was staged as a bedroom. ETA: Hit me later that I don't remember seeing bathrooms either. If I were a prospective buyer, I'd assume they're in bad condition.

Who's the most likely purchaser of your home? Is it a family for vacation use and occasional rentals or an investor who may only use the property personally 1-2 times per year but offer it as a rental 100% of the year? If you haven't already, I'd discuss this with my agent and gear both my staging and marketing efforts accordingly.

Do you need updated photos to highlight the property's assets? The only view I noticed was from the deck. If I'm a prospective buyer, I will assume that anything omitted in the photos doesn't exist (ETA: or is in poor condition/requires updating, e.g. the bathrooms). WRT the view and lake location, the more you can show the lake in your photos from the actual home, connecting the outdoors to your indoors, the better.

The rooms, in general, seemed a little dark. Painting out the paneling in either a very light neutral (e.g. grey or beige - whatever works with your décor) or basic white will help tremendously, IMHO.

Although I understand your desire to maintain the property in good condition by avoiding the hard use of tenants, if your most likely purchaser is an investor, they'll want to see a rent roll. If you can't provide that, they may simply assume that the property isn't a good candidate for their purpose.

Can the property be set up as multiple units? Couldn't tell if the one section had only a bar or if it could be set up as a small kitchen. Also, it appears that you only staged part of the property. So, obviously, I'd suggest that you stage the other sections and set them up in their highest and best use, e.g. bedroom, den, game room - whatever shows off the property best and is the most likely use of your most probable buyer.

Yes, it'd require additional maintenance but you might consider renting it out for the remainder of this season. Also, that'd provide you with a little income to offset your increased costs.

Hope one of those suggestions helps. Let us know how it goes - best of luck to you.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
 
Posts: 532 | Registered: Aug 29, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of real estate lady
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Why would you think no complaints on the paneling? Maybe you are not hearing it but the Realtores are. Paneling dates houses. At least paint it, white and shabby chic the room. The home looks like add on. Paint the house gray for conformity with the roof..for a more beachy feel
and maybe some nautical decor inside.
 
Posts: 9311 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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TLS, I did not mean to imply they were fishing shacks. I did say summer homes for a reason.

I know what you are going through because we too live on a lake and are trying to sell. We screwed up on the price originally and are paying for it. I would guess that people looking for a lake property do not want to rent, do not want to go outside to access the attic and would like larger windows on the lake side.

You are calling the property unique. People seeing it are calling it odd. The only way to overcome that is price. If you really want to sell cut your price and get on with your life.
 
Posts: 7282 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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A couple of questions:

Does the house have direct access to the garage? If so have you looked at a way to put stairs from inside the garage?

Are all three metered separately and what is the zoning?

Did I miss them, or did you not have photos of the bathrooms? People like to see kitchens and bathrooms. Are they all 1950's era?

I don't know about the other posters on here, but I can't make heads or tails out of most of the rooms. I think it would help if you scrapped all the photos and then have a real estate photographer come in and photograph in a logical order that shows the rooms and are not blurred.

Before new photos, I would get rid of the dated stuff. I think the 50's era décor in some parts are chasing potential buyers away. I also think, if it is not really good special paneling (I sold a house with yellow poplar very nice paneling) I would paint the knotty pine with a fresh coat, 2 or 3 of white paint.

Try to set the rooms up for their intended purpose. Perhaps move the exercise equipment to a place of honor in the apartment over the garage?

There's not a lot of curb appeal happening on the front of the house. Perhaps some color and photograph it from the right side almost cutting off that 3rd section to the left. I would not include another photo of that side from the exterior. Sell the house to potential buyers before they arrive and see that it is a little odd. If they like what they see on the inside first they are more likely to get over the somewhat quirky exterior, especially for a 2nd home.

Good luck and keep us posted. However, at this point. Take it off the market, make some changes, interview several real estate agents ask them point blank the issues we've made. Then choose the one, not necessarily the one who tells you what you want to hear, but is honest about what needs to be done.


Fun and Info
 
Posts: 3606 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of rker321
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quote]Info[/quote] According to what you have stated, your house is 3 in 1 correct? but I couldn't picture that after seeing your pictures.
Perhaps you need like they are saying different pictures. and somehow make sure that there is separation between the three places.
 
Posts: 5014 | Location: 0 | Registered: May 31, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Rker, from what I can see they are all connected. The house with garage abutting it and an apartment over the garage. Then there is another of what he calls the studio to the left of the garage abutting it.

At least that is what I see. Did not take virtual tour.
 
Posts: 7282 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of Charming
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One thing the OP's agent has not explained to them - just because houses are selling for $X per sq ft in the area and they are the lowest per sq ft, many buyers are not going to look at all of their square footage favorably.

One part of the house seems very modern then there are the parts that are flash backs to the early 60's. Buyers look at those sections and see dollars upon dollars in repairs and renovations.

In my area we have homes that will sell for $600,000 plus as tear downs - because they are ocean front and are completely outdated and cannot be made to work for modern vacationers.

I think if they take it off the market, update as much as possible - paint and carpet and sell to the first offer in the door, no matter how low and cut their losses.

If they are ready to get on with their life - then find an agent who will be honest with them about the value of the house.

.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,


Fun and Info
 
Posts: 3606 | Location: Coastal SC | Registered: Jan 10, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of real estate lady
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Agree Charming,old, antique decor dates a home.

A few pieces can be focal points.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
 
Posts: 9311 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thank you all for the wonderful points. You all have given us a lot to consider. I may try to take pics tonight of how we have updated in the studio and apartment and get your thoughts. Our realtor has not taken photos, but used what I provided and others that we didn't provide. I am not sure where they were found. I did have the realtor change the wording this year to address the fact that there are 3 units as we were listed in the summary as having 4 bedrooms and 3 baths which, in my opinion, misled potential buyers.

We honest to goodness have not gotten any complaints on the paneling. Virtually every complaint is because there are only 2 bedrooms downstairs and no inside access to the studio upstairs in order to add a bedroom or bunks. There is one closet in the front "solarium" that may work through the garage to add stairs. I just don't know and we just don't have money left to put a lot more into the house. We had a large sum to pay for the inheritance tax and used the rest for upgrades after our fire (granite, duct work for heat pump, new heat bump as we originally had baseboard heat, etc).

We are exhausted and tapped out, but obviously desperate to move.
 
Posts: 4 | Registered: Jul 15, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Picture of real estate lady
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quote:
Reply

paint is cheap
 
Posts: 9311 | Registered: Aug 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bumped to get a current thread above spam.
 
Posts: 7282 | Location: North MN & Northern AR | Registered: Oct 01, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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TL, you've never told a realtor "Nice house" after touring a home because you didn't want to insult someone's ugly colors or poor reno choices?

Trust me, nobody likes the paneling. It's dark and dating your home. Doesn't matter if it's good quality. If you truly want to sell your home, you'll paint it out. It's the most cost effective thing you can do at this point.

And, as I mentioned above, it's all about the view. Anything you can do to open up the view, connect your home to the outdoors and focus your photos on highlighting the view, that's the way to go -

Please let us know how it's going -

This message has been edited. Last edited by: SurfNow,
 
Posts: 532 | Registered: Aug 29, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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