What do you see when you look at the photo above? A weed? A beautiful plant? A weed which has an unusual but pleasing shape? Whether this is beautiful or ugly is all in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?
I came across this bit of greenery while walking my dog, and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one of these before, so I stopped to take a photo. It reminded me of a compass rose, or an 8-pointed cross. Maybe the cross of St. George superimposed on the cross of St. Andrew?
It’s a lot like real estate: different people can look at the same house and see it as ugly, or beautiful, or something in between. When prospective buyers tell me they don’t want a ranch, or they don’t want a split-level, I try very hard to show them only colonials or custom houses, but every so often one of those same potential buyers will see the indoor photos of a ranch or a split-level, like them, and ask me to take them to see it.
There’s a lot you can say for looking beyond what’s popular at the moment, because when there’s a lot of interest (demand) in a particular style, or town, or neighborhood, prices tend to move higher and you’ll have to pay more. Likewise, if there’s little demand, prices will head lower, and you might be able to pay less. If you can look at a property with little demand and see what the potential can be if certain changes are made, you can get very good value for the money.
As an example, think about the Victorian houses in Cape May. Right now people love them, and in addition to being used as private homes, many were transformed into beds and breakfasts, and restaurants. However, not too long ago the real estate market in Cape May was flooded with Victorians, and nobody wanted them so the prices were very low. The same house today is worth several times what you could have bought it for back then.
I can think of several nice Rumson-Fair Haven homes now priced below their assessed values because there’s something about them that decreases their demand. It might be the sytle, the size of the property, or the floor plan. I’m thinking of one particular property right now- it’s a large, 4-bedroom home nicely situated on a large property. There are lots of things to like about this house- it has a modern kitchen with granite counter tops, cherry cabinets and custom-installed tumbled marble tiles lining the walls. Although the house was built around 1950, the current owners are very energy-conscious, and updated it with multi-zone high-efficiency heating and cooling systems and lots of insulation in the attic floor. You even notice small “green” touches, like an induction cooktop. Why is it priced below assessed value? Because it has 2 bedrooms on the first floor and two on the second floor, and many buyers prefer 3 bedrooms on the 2nd floor. This house has a large, walk-in attic that easily could be converted into a master bedroom suite, and an astute buyer who can see such possibilities can buy a home which can substantially increase in value after a little renovation.
So, let’s go back to the photo at the beginning of this post. Take another look at it, and what do you see? If you initially saw it as a weed, you might still see it as a weed. But in your mind you also may have transformed that weed into an interesting plant, worthy of a second look. By the way, if you know the name of that weed/plant, please let me know what it is. Thanks!
Diane Turton REALTORS® – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760
(732) 239-0739 (cell) (732) 530-6686 (office)