Comparing Three Month 2016 & 2017 Home Sale Stats for Zip Code 44113

One of the areas in Cleveland not to suffer as much during the recession is Zip Code 44113. This encompasses homes in both Ohio City and Tremont. If you are not from here, these neighborhoods are the near west side, just west of Downtown Cleveland. These statistics cover single family homes.  These stats are derived from home sales listed with area brokers, meaning there is a record on our computer listing service, allowing me to provide stats.

Let’s start off with interesting findings: Most homes/town homes sold were built after the year 2000. Most of the sold homes had tax abatement – which covers new construction homes and older rehabbed homes – homes that were improved enough to qualify for City tax abatement.  Most interesting to me was that within the time frame I analyzed, 31 homes sold. ‘Sold’ means they filed at the court house and transferred ownership. That was 31 homes for each year during this three month period.

I chose May 16 2016 through August 16 2016 and then May 16 2017 through August 2017. Side by side comparisons. The questions I had: did more homes sell this year, did prices go up or down, and how long did homes  sit on the market, on average, prior to going under contract? Let’s find out.

2016: May 16th through August 16th

31 single family homes sold in 2016 Lowest sale price ($15,000) was same for two homes, one on Seymour Avenue in Ohio City and one on Orchard Park (near W. 41st) in Ohio City.  Highest sale price ($448,895) went to a Bergen Village town home in Tremont.  There were eight homes sold at $300k or more. Seven were in Tremont, one in Ohio City.

Average List price for these 31 homes was $226,857 and average sale price not too far off from that: $223,599. The average number of days on the market for these 31 homes was 97, or just over three months. Average Square foot sale price was $137.42.

2017: May 16th through August 16th

31 single family homes sold during this period in 2017. Lowest sale price was $28,000 for a home on W. 44th Street in Ohio City. Highest sale price of $725,000 was for a stately, beautifully renovated and remodeled home on Clinton Avenue in Ohio City. There were 18 homes sold for $300,000 or higher. 4 were in Ohio City and 14 in Tremont.

Average listing price for these 31 homes was $313,870 and the average sale price was $308,764. Similar to 2016 in that the listing and sale prices were not that far apart. The homes averaged being listed for sale for 87 days prior to going under contract. So just shy of three months.  Average sale price per square foot was $162.01 (compared to ’16 at about $137/per). The average square footage for both three month periods in these sold homes was approximately 1900.

Total sales prices for this 3 month period in 2016 was $6,931,584 and the total for 2017 was $9,571,681. So yes, sales prices went up between this year and last year.

 

 

 

Looking At Actual Sales To Determine Home Improvement Value

Would it be helpful to have a few tips about return on investment for house repair/remodel projects related to future sales of your home? If you said yes, are not alone. It’s such a hot topic (and has been for many years). I’m going to link one article because it’s one of the few that actually mention that there are other factors regarding a sale price (not list price) for your home, besides what you’ve remodeled or enhanced. It’s from the HGTV websiteI caution everyone about trying to attach specific percentage values to upgrades. Yes, basic upgrades like a roof and furnace or upgraded electrical will almost always give you a percentage return on those upgrades. But they are not a guarantee of a certain price!  I’m only going to focus on a few things in this post.  Two things I know to be true, without assigning a percentage value to a home repair/improvement.

If your home is a resale with wood floors, I feel comfortable saying that shiny, clean wood floors are involved in the majority of home sales within the City of Cleveland. Younger buyers are not crazy about wall to wall carpeting and if they are looking at a 1920s Arts and Crafts style home, well they probably want wood floors. Of those 56 homes sold in my last post? 90% of them had floors like the ones in the above photo. They are refinished, clean and shiny. Yes, it may have cost $2500 (what I was told) to refinish the living room, foyer and dining room at the home in the photo but buyers might move on to another home to purchase, one that already has shiny wood floors, if you don’t do it.

An example of a house that sold for more than normal market value in 2017. This house sits on W. 122nd street. Maybe you’ve walked these blocks south of Lorain. To me, these blocks are fantastic. Pretty, well kept homes, yards, flowers.  Still, we’ve just come out of a recession, right? During that time, there weren’t a lot of homes sold.  The above house is special because it’s ‘energy efficient.’ So much so that it has  certification paperwork to prove it. Newer windows, HVAC, insulation, you name it. This makes the house much, much less expensive to operate per month. Lower heating and cooling bills. They DID open up one wall, 1/2 way. So you still did not lose the separation to the dining room but you can talk to people in there.

What’s unusual? Two other homes that sold on this street in 2017, one was a 3br 1 1/2 bath home for $33,500 and one was a 4 bedroom one bath home for $45,000. This house once went into foreclosure, the Land Bank (discussed in an earlier post on here!) took it over, a housing non-profit took it over and here it is. Also, remember how many bedrooms in the other two homes sold? This home has 2 bedrooms and one bath. The first two sales on W 122nd had about the same square footage, in the 1200 sq ft range. This home? 1,089. And yet it was listed at $99,000 and sold for $97,000. Cash deal? I don’t know but not necessarily because this house, via tax auditor’s info, is ‘tax’ valued to sell between $86,000 and $108,000.

Why the heck am I telling you all this? Because getting an energy efficient home is one thing you can do to garner more money When you sell it. Get it upgraded with an energy efficiency certification.

By the way, there is a true market for 2 bedroom one bath homes. (More reasonable than a 500 sq ft rolling tiny home, right?).  But this one’s true value is total upgrading and upgrading to a terrific energy savings level. Which by the way also gave this house a tax abatement (yes, you can get this for your home too) which still has 5 yrs ish to go on it. Currently paying around $400/yr on taxes. Plus the savings on utility bills. So on a  street where a normal, pretty or upgraded home might go for 65 to 79k, this house with really good amenities to offer to garner a sale price almost 20k more.

You will spend money to do the energy efficiency update, no question! But if you bought the house a long time ago and don’t have a mortgage on it, or if you bought it more recently at a below market rate price, I swear this is the way to go. And depending  where your home is located, a lack of  those first two things may not hinder you from making money on your sale.

I suggest everyone: check out an energy efficiency certified upgrade before you do any renovations on your home. It doesn’t cost you anything and gives you something to consider. Both for your own value (less taxes, utility bills) or a future buyer for your home.

Let me know if you have questions or would like me to preview your home to discuss the above suggestions further.

 

 

Jefferson West Park Recent Real Estate Stats

I’m going with the most recent information for the most part, and for a reason. For about 5 years Jefferson’s ‘selling’ season seemed to end around June 30th. But 2017 activity and sales in the Jefferson area of West Park are showing me that the ‘selling season’ has not stopped. In fact it’s still going pretty strong this 2nd week of August.

For those not familiar with it: Jefferson is an area with parks. Jefferson Park, which is on Lorain avenue between W. 132nd and W. 133rd. It’s about the size (and shape) of Lincoln Park in Tremont. A little over 3 acres. There are also tennis courts, a play ground and basketball courts.

Mohican Park is north of Lorain Avenue.  It borders Triskett between W. 140th and Berea Road. It’s larger, suitable for running, biking or walking on the outer trail which is just around 3/4 of a mile. The whole park has a bit over 7 acres of land.  Playground, ball fields and soccer games, both scheduled and extemporaneous. It’s fun to see kids walking to the park to enjoy it.  Life for a kid was meant to be that way!

So when you find yourself at either of these parks you will be in Jefferson!

Housing info for Jefferson…

There are 12 homes waiting for inspections to be done or loans to be approved, so they are ‘contingent’ and under contract.  There are 17 homes ‘pending sale’ so farther along in the process but still not filed at the court house. For both of the above stats, we don’t know sale prices until they file/transfer ownership. So 29 homes, within the last two weeks mind you, have gone under contract or changed contract status. That is how we can determine the most recent activity.

The best news? In the last three months, 56 homes have already sold. Examples: 3451 W. 136th sold for $99,500 (it was listed at $109,000). 3788 W. 139th sold for $95,000 and that was it’s list price.

The average minimum square feet for a sold home among these 56 houses was 888 sq. feet; the maximum square footage for a sold home was 2,485 sq. ft.  The average square footage (not all that surprising for the area unless you’ve added on or finished an attic or basement) was 1,312 sq. ft of living space.

The highest sale price was for a home on Warren Road. It sold  for $192,000. There was also a home sold on W. 140th for $162,500.

And yes, we still have foreclosures so the lowest sale price was $20,000.  What’s nice though: appraisers have adjusted over the years (!) so market value homes, not foreclosures, are more normally used to determine the appraised value for a loan.

The average sale price for the 56 homes sold in the last three months was $81,960.

One other interesting fact: The number of days on the market, on average, for all these homes prior to their going under contract and waiting to transfer ownership? 62 days.

 

What’s The Skinny on Housing Sales This 2017 Season In Kamm’s Corners?

Cleveland is divided into development corporation neighborhoods. There are over 30 neighborhoods, in a broad sense, within the City of Cleveland. The home stats I’m going to be discussing are under the auspices of Kamm’s Corner Development Corporation. Kamms is located at the northwestern end of the Cleveland. For those of you reading this who are not in Ohio currently, Kamm’s western border is Fairview Park and Fairview Hospital (which is part of The Cleveland Clinic) employees, among many others, enjoy living in Kamm’s.  Kamm’s Plaza for shopping, very close to the entrance of the Cleveland Metroparks, easy access to Big Met for golfing and just a general nice place to live.  Added good weather bonus: Kamm’s Farmers Market and every year,  The Hooley ! It’s so popular now, thousands of people come to enjoy the festivities.

How much would it cost you to live here and take advantage of all of the above and more? Prices, like most other neighborhood housing markets, are all over the map. Let’s examine the most popular purchases of late.

One thing has been true since I started in this business almost 15 years ago: Every time I do one of these analyses, I notice that 95% of the homes have shiny wood floors and have been nicely cleaned up for showings. Definitely worth remembering if you are thinking of selling your home!

What’s happening with housing in Kamms 2017? It’s barely the beginning of August so we are still in the traditional home buying season. Let’s start with stats which are most current:

The Past Ten Days  Yes, let’s start there because it’s the most current information.  8 homes had activity during the past ten days. Four homes went under contract and are listed as ‘contingent.’ This means the buyers and sellers agreed on a price, went under official contract and are now waiting for either a mortgage loan commitment or an inspection result and agreement, or both. Initial stages of the contract. These four homes averaged 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, were built between 1940 and 1951. They averaged about 1200 sq. ft. of living space. Their listing prices (we don’t know final sale prices till they change ownership) were: $55k, $94,900, $129,900 and $137,500. Each of the four was on the market less than 45 days prior to going under contract.

There is one house listed as ‘pending sale’ which means it’s not waiting for a loan commitment or an inspection. It’s either been through the ‘contingency’ phase already or it was a cash purchase without an inspection. This home is listed for $63,000 and has 1,120 sq ft and 3 bedrooms/one bath. It was only on the market for 9 days before it went under contract.

Three homes closed, sold or transferred ownership at the courthouse, whichever way you want to look at it! I sold a home on Ferndale. The sale price was $117,500. It has 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, a fenced yard, is a brick bungalow and sold a bit less than it could have due to it needing a more updated kitchen.  It was on the market for 86 days before we had an agreed upon contract between buyer and seller. One home sold on W. 142nd St for $143,000. This home has 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths 1617 sq. ft. of living space. It was on the market for 46 days before being under contract.  The third one sold is on Edgecliff Ave. It sold for $169,833. It has 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 baths, 2,468 sq. ft. of living space and was on the market just over two months.

How about the past three months? Pretty active time! 141 homes sold with the maximum sale price of $281,000 for a home on Scullin Drive. One of the most important stats, since it covers 90 days, is how many days on the market (DOM) were these homes listed before they had an offer accepted by both buyer and seller?  Average days on the market was 51 days.

Kamm’s is close to the City of Lakewood border, 10 minutes to Edgewater Park,  walking distance from most places to bus or rapid transit service,

15 minutes to Downtown Cleveland by car and 10-15 minutes from Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Last but not least, Kamm’s Plaza  It has a grocer, hardware store, Red Lantern (my favorite neighborhood place to eat, yes I live close by!) one of the last shoe repair places you can find in the Cleveland area and is only five minutes east of Weber’s Ice Cream shop… Important detail I think ☺

 

 

General Contractors and Investors, What The Heck Are You Doing!?!

I wander the landscape of NE Ohio, showing any variety of homes to buyers or listing homes for sellers. Some of those homes (more than you may think) were rehabbed by investors. Investors who, by the way, helped our area out during the recession when they were still willing to purchase homes in bad shape and fix them up so they didn’t wind up on the demolition list. I love seeing the creative floor plans designed for the rehabs in many cases (and yes, sometimes those are odd but not usually!) None of this is what I’m going to rant about but I wanted to start out on a positive note! Our vast, older housing stock is much better off because there are people willing to invest in them, give them love and make them livable again. Now to drop the other shoe….

Investors  plunk down a large amount of money to rehab a house. Usually included is a big expense towards a remodeled kitchen. Once you’ve done all that, with beautiful new counter tops and shiny new sinks, why oh WHY would you or your contractors use those sinks as your slop sinks for the completion of the work on the rest of the house? I would say one out of five homes I go to that were rehabbed by people not living in the home do not treat it with much thought to what they are doing to the new materials. If you have spent a ton of money on a marble counter top and your contractor is setting his brush and slop can ON THE NEW COUNTERTOP  while applying polyurethane? You just might now have a permanent stain on that white marble (single slab custom cut mind you!) counter top. By the way, I’ve now seen this several times in the past year. One time it was not polyurethane but some black tar like substance.

1) Investors: do you tell this contractor who costs you extra money due to laziness that their services are no longer required? I sure hope so. I know for a fact, as inconvenient as it might be, I would never let them back in my house again.

2) If you are a contractor: get a clue. Someone (not you!) is spending a fortune on materials to rehab a house but you feel too lazy to go to the basement or better yet outside and instead use the new kitchen sink to do your clean ups? Do you cut wood and pipes (yes, I said pipes! I saw this in action in person last winter) on the new counter tops? Do you even put a work top over the counter tops before doing this? Nope, you do not.   What on earth is wrong with you?

Last year I listed a home that was 95% finished over 5 yrs, lovingly, by the owners. The guy was an amazing craftsman and the work was beautiful with great attention to detail. The kitchen featured a deep farm style black Corian sink. They wound up having to move two weeks before we listed and one small job needed to be painted. So for the first time in all of this rehabbing, the owner (now out of state) turned a small job over to a local contractor. Who used white paint which got onto the kitchen sink when cleaning brushes with oil based paint on them. Paint did not want to come out so he bought something abrasive to try to clean it. Two weeks later, not only was the paint still in the sink but now the entire sink finish was ruined.

I know, Mr/Ms contractor, you do not live in that home. But part of your job as a professional should be to make sure a place looks as good or better than it did when you got there.  Why is this so hard?

The home owners with the black ruined sink put a new one in (flew in from across the country to do so). But investors don’t always seem to want to make it right because understandably, now they have to spend more money again. It’s really simple. Don’t use living space sinks or counters as a work area!

And if you think buyers won’t notice, you are sadly mistaken.

☺Rant over. I really needed to get that off my chest.

Western Lakewood Colonial Open House Tomorrow July 30th 1-3pm

I’m holding an open house tomorrow at 1326 Bonnieview Ave 44107
This is Western Lakewood, South of Clifton, North of Detroit.

This is a three Story colonial with 4 brs, 3 baths, central air, all the beautiful woodwork you’d expect in a home built in 1908. The owners added a crisp, white & stainless steel kitchen remodel.

  

Lots of other updates like refinished floors, HVAC, electrical and a beautifully finished 3 floor.
The private yard is deep (142′) and walking distance to things like  the Lakewood Family YMCA, El Carnicero, Lakewood’s Antique District and Game on Lakewood, a super cool bar/eatery. Residents and real estate peeps all joke there is a bar, a restaurant, a funeral home and a church on almost every corner. A slight exaggeration but we say it with love and admiration!  If you like living somewhere with a lot of brick and mortar entertainment value close by, Lakewood could be for you.

 

Offered at $189,000.

It’s going to be a day, so if you are in the market for a home, stop by from 1 to 3!

How Do You Stabilize a Neighborhood After a Recession? Cleveland Fed Discussed That Today

I wrote about Vickie Harris and her one woman initiative to revitalize her street. It involved taking a vacant lot and making it work for the neighborhood.  The Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank has a really great on line presence, just FYI. Today’s article shows why. We have had 10 years to recover from the recession and all the foreclosures (due to predatory lending and otherwise) that made housing sale prices fall and destabilize neighborhoods. Because vacant houses, especially in multiples on some streets, are about more than just sale prices. Fewer people to support local businesses and service industries, homes used by squatters for criminal activity, etc. No one likes it when it happens in their neighborhood and the discussion becomes: do we tear these homes down and repurpose the land or do we rehab them? Many neighborhoods have found rehabbing costs exceed the sale prices. Not optimal for private purchase or non profit redevelopment efforts. But this is not universal. In most neighborhoods, there are streets (after ten long years!) that are seeing stabilization. Home prices rising being an important indicator. In those areas or on those specific streets, rehabbing makes sense.

Below is a chart from a really good explanation of pros and cons to demolition vs rehabbing a vacant home. It was published by The Cleveland Federal Reserve today. (Chart is from their page)

Read the entire Blight Elimination article here.

What people in the neighborhoods, in city planning, in real estate etc worry about is demolition being so wide spread that it begins to change the make up of the neighborhood. I’ve lived in various states and believe me, the Cleveland area is very fortunate to have such a diverse, architecturally rich old housing stock. In some cities it’s hard to find homes built before 1970! The existing neighborhood and her people, you know, the ones who live and work there already, are why the Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) was established in 2010 to set aside Federal monies to help keep neighborhoods stable.  I lean on the side of caution; on the side of every year having land banks and local governments WITH community input look at their strategies and see if an adjustment is needed.

Read the article and let me know what you think.