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Old 05-01-2013, 12:07 PM   #61
RitaE
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I can tell you that around here the market is more competitive in what you would call "move up" homes. People who have been in their starter homes for years are now wanting to upgrade into something larger while interest rates are still so low. It isn't extremely competitive yet, but it is definitely improving.

The starter home market is largely being fueled by Investors and Landlords wanting to buy while the prices are so depressed. However they are not willing to pay anything other than rock bottom prices ... so as soon as things start to heat up they all quit buying and the prices drop again. There is also still enough of the Foreclosure market churning it's way along that is depressing prices.

There are very few young buyers looking to go right into starter homes around here. They can't qualify for mortgages with their student loan and other debt burdens.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:09 PM   #62
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My parents live in a typical Southern California HOA subdivision - all the houses are pretty similar in price and appearance, so Zillow is pretty accurate in their neighborhood.

In my neighborhood, which is filled with mostly 60-90 year old homes, there is such a wide variance in home values (anywhere from a $350k run-down duplex to a $1 million updated and expanded farmhouse or Craftsman) that Zillow is useless. For example, the "Zestimate" for my home is $100k under what my house just appraised for when I refinanced, and from watching the market and talked to local realtors, I know if I wanted to sell and listed at around $120k over the Zestimate it would sell easily for that price within a day or two. Our market has definitely rebounded and there is not enough inventory for all the wannabe buyers - anything that's nicely updated in the $400-800k range and that doesn't have some sort of major drawback or flaw is getting snapped up within a day or two.
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Old 05-01-2013, 02:20 PM   #63
Darcy03231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lost*in*cyberspace View Post
If you are selling in a year, you might want to seriously rethink putting any more money into your house, which you will never get back. It might be better to just do very minor cosmetic updates.

I agree that Zillow is way off on housing price estimates where I live as well.
There's no way we'll be able to sell our home without redoing the kitchen and the baths without taking a much larger hit than what it will cost us to do them. DH is in the construction field, my dad is an electrician and my uncle is a carpenter so we'll be doing all the work ourselves which will cut way down on the costs.

My current kitchen is the original one from 1972 (when the house was built) and over the years the cabinets (builder grade) have warped. Kitchen counter is the original white laminate with gold flecks! It's laid out really well so we're not changing the footprint, just new cabinets, counters and backsplash. We've already replaced the appliances so we're keeping those. We re-did the floor already a couple of years ago (ceramic tile) so that doesn't have to be re-done.

Both upstairs baths are really dated as well (harvest gold tub & toilet with fake "marble" vanity in one) so we'll gut both of those to the studs. Again, we'll be keeping the same footprint and the plumbing is all good so its really more cosmetic than anything else.
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Old 05-02-2013, 10:06 AM   #64
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Our area in Chicago seems to be on the upswing. For the past decade or so, this was the time of year to see the For Sale signs on our street. I don't see one now, and the neighborhood real estate news has been writing about high demand and low housing stock.

Our place is old, not one of the big new fancy condo buildings, and we received a letter in the mail expressing interest in buying our property. That hasn't happened in a few years, though we used to get them all the time. Dh called and their first offer on the place was laughable. Then the called back a week later with a much stronger offer. We're still not selling, but it did make us feel better about the state of real estate in our neighborhood.
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