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I can't "give my house away"

Posted by coloradomomof5 (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 17, 12 at 14:23

The story.. About 3 years ago, we decided to purchase some land, sell our current home, and make plans to build a new house. We had an appraisal done on our home and it came back at $700,000. We were thrilled. The house is a 5100 sq. feet custom two story on 5 acres (horse property), 5 bed, 5 bath, with many many upgrades and unique features. We were the original builders/owners. For example, a "secret" room behind a bookcase, spiral stairs off the mudroom as secondary stairs, gourmet kitchen with two dishwashers, two laundry areas, 3 fireplaces,etc. etc. We decided to start out at $25,000 LESS THAN the appraisal. This was March 2010. It started out slow, but we had showings but no offers. Feedback on the house itself was always "excellent," but no offers. We lowered the price after a few month to $650K. Still showings, people loved the home, but feedback was things that I could not change, like "I can see telephone poles or too far in the country, or you back to a road." I could not change those things, so we lowered the price again, then again to $600K. Feedback still was good, PEOPLE WERE INTERESTED, but the new twist was I realized that our realtor was not calling back the realtors whose clients were interested (from the beginning)! She was a newer realtor and I guess did not understand that sales was part of selling it. We still hung on and lowered it one final time to $560K. Most feedback was still excellent, with the thing I wanted to hear, "priced right," even though people had said this all along, but since no offers (we did have two early on where we were there 2nd choice and chose the other home) kept lowering it. Another strange thing is of all the showings over the past 2.5 years, we had more cancellations that actually showed up. Meaning, they would schedule a showing, we would work our tails off getting it ready, then they would cancel or not even call to cancel, just not show up. I realized there were a lot of unprofessional realtors out there right now. Another thing is that your appraisal doesn't mean anything! We are almost $200K under ours and it doesn't matter. After husband and kids being very frustrated at the process, we took it off the market. We did take it off for a month about a year ago too. We are re-evaluating what to do. We are now in the process of interviewing 4 new realtors and hiring the most aggressive marketer and one who has been a "top performer" in our area. I've been around here long enough to hear right PRICE is what sells, but come on, $200K undervalue. I am to the point where I literally am giving the house away and can't go much lower on the price or we can't re-build. Thanks for listening.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Picture of house front and inside


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

We went thru something like that 10 years ago, dealing with Realtors not familiar with the area. Finally my brains worked and we got a person that knew, liked and lived in the area and 2 weeks sold. Sad, but we waited over 2 years, the one difference was we were up in the mountains on a dirt road and the agents were not honest with those wanting rural property. The person who bought it had been looking in our area for 9 months, and both her agent and mine claim that they did not know what was avaiable. Sometime you have to be quite hardnose with some of the agents and tell them how to sell!!!!


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

A home is only really "worth" what someone is willing to pay for it. An appraisal usually only ratifies that, and I'd highly suspect that your appraiser was more in touch with boom era pricing than current era pricing.

BTW, 5 acres isn't "horse property" and I hope you aren't attempting to market it as such. It's enough to hobby keep a pet horse, but no way is it enough for anyone who really is serious about riding or breeding horses. They will want a nice sized riding ring, at least a 10 stall barn, and some grazing room, and that usually starts at around 10 acres to be able to get that for even 3-4 horses.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

5 acres is most definitely considered to be horse property out west. Our horse property is 2.5 acres and many in the area are only 1 acre. 5 acre plus properties are few and far between. We have several serious, and very successful, warm blood breeders in my area who manage very nicely with 2.5 to 5 acres, thank you, and my neighborhood also has many reiners.

The average home barn out here is more likely to be 4 stalls, and we do not rely on grazing as the primary source of nutrition for our horses. Heck, DH and I consider ourselves fortrunate to be in an area that has irrigation!

Although I am in the Phoenix area, a good friend relocated to Colorado, and her horse property in Littleton is approx. 3 acres.

FYI, with the exception of a couple of rescues, my own horses are serious competition horses (one was a Zone Champion as a 3 year old - now schooling FEI level dressage, and another has just recently passed her Mare Performance Test and will probably be bred next year).


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Since your house looks and sounds great(no major renovations needed or problems in the house) if it has not sold in more than 2 years its overpriced.

How many comps did that appraiser provide? What are similar homes selling for now? Are you including basement in that sq footage?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I think you are right to look for a different realtor. It's time to revisit comps and marketing.

Are you in the Denver area? We flew out in Jan '11 to look at houses in the Denver area in the $500K-$750K range. You don't have an interior picture, but from photos provided, your house looks nicer than than the many we viewed. We had just built a new home here. We were really disappointed in everything we saw. Our realtor had suggested if we made an offer on anything to start at least $75K under asking. We were afraid to spend that much money in Denver's economy especially with a dropping market. Dh's company decided not to transfer him so we didn't pursue it further.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I've had lousy realtors in the past. I'm currently testing my hypothesis that a good one can make a difference, because we took our time selecting one this time around. I'd recommend that you get one of the local offices to print you a report from the MLS of YTD sales. Look at the top 20 or so, and work to find reasons you don't like them, to narrow down your list.

Some ways to do this:
1. View their online listings, and see what your impression is of how well they market with their photos, descriptions, etc. Poorly edited photos with clutter, misspellings in the listings, all point to lack of attention to detail, and you've got a higher price-point house, so you need someone to do a professional job. Cross them off.

2. Go to open houses and get a feel for how well they work for the sellers. Something that impressed me: a realtor that had drawings of the lot lines on a larger lot property, and was actively soliciting and answering questions. Things that turned me off: poorly-prepared substitutes who didn't know anything about the house, agents watching TV or heads down texting, houses that weren't ready for an open house (unmowed lawn, stacks of paper on the office floor, vacant house that was cold because the agent didn't get there a little early to turn on the heat). You want an agent that will go the extra mile to make sure it shows well.

3. Ask the agents for a list of the homes they've sold in the past year. Look for people that have sold houses like yours (either on the buy or the sell side). If their solds are all in a different part of town, or mostly foreclosures, they're probably not a good match for you. You want someone that understands the market for your price point and neighborhood.

4. Ask your appraiser to update the appraisal based just on new sold comps (no need to come re-measure or anything).

Then invite the smaller group in to interview. They will all have a marketing pitch about how they put it on 152 web sites and their agency is the biggest, etc. But to me that's not the important stuff. You want to know:

1. How would you price my house and why? I'm much more impressed by those that can give me a rationale than by those who use a dart board. If you've looked at your appraiser's comps, you can have an intelligent discussion about the numbers.

2. How will you market my house to other agents? Look for stuff that goes beyond the MLS and involves lots of one-on-one communication, follow-up, etc.

3. What changes do you suggest to make our home more appealing to buyers? You want someone who will give you constructive feedback, not tell you everything's rosy. If they can't find anything to improve, they're not looking closely enough.

4. Ask them some situational interview questions. I asked them to describe a difficult seller, a difficult buyer, and a difficult transaction where the parties weren't meeting to get a sense for how they dealt with and solved problems. Mr. Weedy's favorite question was "what would you say if a buyer (or his agent) said they didn't like X?" We wanted someone who quickly came up with an answer that eliminated the concern (e.g., "you could hire someone to change X for about $Y")

I also found it interesting to hear and consider different opinions, for example whether we should have an open house, an agents' open, whether to put flyers out or not, etc. Strong feelings on both sides of all those issues. I'm on the fence about whether it's good or bad to go with the super high performers (would they devote enough time to market my house?)

Through all the questions on their strategy, their knowledge of the market, etc., you'll get a good feel for whether you're on the same wavelength and whether you can communicate well with them.

Around here, DOM resets after being off for 60 days. Keep it off while you take time finding a better agent, and try again after the first of the year.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

With two years gone I wouldn't consider your 2010 appraisal dispositive any longer. Get another one done. All of your pricing sense is based on this one, now quite outdated appraisal. And it's possible the original appraisal was off, too. Was it a real appraisal or just a CMA from a RE agent?

Also, maybe it's just me, but the pictures of your house look like they show deferred maintenance because the outer cladding is so discolored in places. What's up with that? In a dry, cold climate like Colorado, it's hard to imagine that's mold issues, so I don't know what to make of it. If I was scouting houses on the 'net, however, that alone would move your property to end of, or entirely off, my list. Perhaps it's just a photographic artefact? To see what I see look closely at the picture of the front. See the dark blotchiness on the higher gable end wall at the left? See how it extends down towards the side of the porch. And again it seems to be just above the roof of the porch under one of the windows on the right? And on the chimney end too. It makes the house seem untidy, or worse, subject to some ventilation or wall-asssembly problem. I'd get that seen to and retake the pics because to my eyes it says a showy new house with cheaped-out construction materials that have not been maintained. Now, don't get mad, because I doubt this is true, but perception is all when house shopping and if your area is a slow market with lots choices buyers may quickly move on, even on unfair and inaccurate assumptions.

If the pics were taken for the original listing, you'll have the advantage of taller and more-mature looking trees than two years ago.

The other "marketing" issue visible from your pictures is that the house looks like it is in a barren, windswept, bleak area. (Keep in mind that while I now live in leafy, well-forested NY, but I grew up in a dry area so it's not just a different perspective.) The house seems like it's not cozy, that it would feel too exposed. The pictures seem to emphasize this as they are taken from a point of looking up at the house. Different pictures taken from a different height would change that perspective. Also the far shot of the snowy mountains, while demonstrating the view, doesn't work for me. It just makes the site seem more moon-scapey. Maybe you could show the view somehow framed by the house, or though a window opening, or framed in some way to make the house and site more sheltering while still showing off the asset of the long vista?

I hope you will take my suggestions in the way they are meant: to help you get your house sold for the best price you can.

L.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Weedyacres-your diligence about finding the right fit for you and your realtor was what inspired me.

These were photos that I took of the exterior of our home-not the ones professionally taken by the last realtor. "Also, maybe it's just me, but the pictures of your house look like they show deferred maintenance because the outer cladding is so discolored in places. What's up with that?" Believe it or not, IT RAINED (we live in what is called "a high desert" and not alot of rain here) and the photos were taken the morning after it finally rained. So, what you see as discoloration was wet stucco!

We are rural, horse property meaning, horses are allowed, we are not in the city, we have flat land with little trees for grazing(pasture). The only trees that we have are ones we planted. In Colorado Springs most people that want property in the country(more than a postage stamp lot) either go for views of Pikes Peak, like where we live or get a treed lot, which around here means tall Ponderosa Pines. The lots with both a view of Pikes Peak AND trees are very expensive and fewer. We went for the view and figured we could plant trees. Thats just how it is here. "The other "marketing" issue visible from your pictures is that the house looks like it is in a barren, windswept, bleak area." Thats because it IS-see previous. Think little house on the prairie!

I am hopeful for the new year. :) Here is a photo of the secret room door. I can't figure out how to upload multiple photos at once, so here are a few, one at a time.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Weedyacres-your diligence about finding the right fit for you and your realtor was what inspired me.

These were photos that I took of the exterior of our home-not the ones professionally taken by the last realtor. "Also, maybe it's just me, but the pictures of your house look like they show deferred maintenance because the outer cladding is so discolored in places. What's up with that?" Believe it or not, IT RAINED (we live in what is called "a high desert" and not alot of rain here) and the photos were taken the morning after it finally rained. So, what you see as discoloration was wet stucco!

We are rural, horse property meaning, horses are allowed, we are not in the city, we have flat land with little trees for grazing(pasture). The only trees that we have are ones we planted. In Colorado Springs most people that want property in the country(more than a postage stamp lot) either go for views of Pikes Peak, like where we live or get a treed lot, which around here means tall Ponderosa Pines. The lots with both a view of Pikes Peak AND trees are very expensive and fewer. We went for the view and figured we could plant trees. Thats just how it is here. "The other "marketing" issue visible from your pictures is that the house looks like it is in a barren, windswept, bleak area." Thats because it IS-see previous. Think little house on the prairie!

I am hopeful for the new year. :) Here is a photo of the secret room door. I can't figure out how to upload multiple photos at once, so here are a few, one at a time.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Master Bedroom


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Master Bath


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Kitchen-I think GW is expanding these photos up large and making them blurry. Sorry...I don't know how to fix. Large eat in kitchen, two dishwashers, kettle filler, farm sink, microwave in island


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Mudroom with built in cubbies. Back "spiral" stairs to upper bedrooms.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Call this what you will. We call it our music room.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

To me, the blotchiness looked like a recent rain that hadn't completely dried off yet. If it were something else, I'd run.

The lack of trees in the landscaping don't bother me because that seems typical of Colorado. The state is not really as lush and green as everyone thinks it is. The mountains catch a lot of the clouds and get more precipitation so you get a lot more vegetation growing up in the mountains. The lower areas don't get as much rain. Colorado is more of a high desert. Water is a major issue.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

To me, the blotchiness looked like a recent rain that hadn't completely dried off yet. If it were something else, I'd run.

The lack of trees in the landscaping don't bother me because that seems typical of Colorado. The state is not really as lush and green as everyone thinks it is. The mountains catch a lot of the clouds and get more precipitation so you get a lot more vegetation growing up in the mountains. The lower areas don't get as much rain. Colorado is more of a high desert. Water is a major issue.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Sorry, this is my last one. I do love my view. Here is my "moon shot." lol Liriodendron-you said it "It just makes the site seem more moon-scapey."


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RE: I c an't "give my house away"

I cross posted while you were posting. I love that view.

I showed the pictures to dh. He agrees that your house is a lot nicer that the ones we saw. He thinks you may have a better idea of price after the tax issues get sorted in the new year.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I didn't even think about the wet stucco looking like anything else, but, well, wet stucco after a rain. Colorado had record 100 plus degree days in a row last summer, then we had a huge fire here in Colorado Springs that burned down over 347 houses, so we were all excited about any rain at all. This is a link to a time lapse of the fire. I did not film this, but the view is from a bit North from my house and you can see the tip of Pike's Peak in the center of the frame. When I saw this, it made me think, this is what "hell on earth" looks like. We watched this happen in front of our eyes and it was very surreal.

Here is a link that might be useful: Colorado Springs-Waldo Canyon fire


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I feel your pain. We bought a lot to build and have been for sale for 3.5 years. We can't lower our price anymore (if we want to build or buy) even though it's well below all my comps. Mine has had good feedback but it's a less common style house and hasn't been the top pick. We've now had our lot for sale for 2 years just so something will sell. I'm not sure if we will bre able to build or not now.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Colorado mom - I know what you mean about the fire. We had the same thing here a little more than a year ago. The Bastrop complex fire. I see the effects of it daily as I drive to work. It really made us change how we think about putting trees and landscaping in relation to the house as well.

I do think as others mentioned that an updated appraisal is likely needed. Also some of the interior pictures look a bit cluttered for a house on the market. I realize you are not now, but might want to consider when you are again. Also I would consider painting over any leaf stencils. That is Such a personal choice and you want to appeal to as many as possible. Maybe go and look at some model homes to get some ideas on what to do for staging and make your home appeal to the masses.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

lyfia- I was thinking the same thing about the stenciling.

@coloradomom- my personal opinion is that your house looks very clean and nice, but some of the decor is distracting because it looks dated. I think you would truly benefit from some professional staging. No offense intended- just want to help you see what outsiders are seeing!


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

The appearance of the both the interior and exterior is of a large home with finishes that don't match the square footage. Yes, I realize that you are in the high plains, so I'm not expecting trees. But, at your price, I'd be expecting a lot more landscaping. Xericaping would be a bonus, but a lot more of it. The home still looks like it's in the middle of the plains, and hasn't yet been "domesticated". Larger beds, and more of them can fix that.

The interior lacks the details that I would expect a home in that price range to have. Moldings, high quality cabinetry, wood floors. I see a lot of "builder beige" everywhere. From the carpet, to the walls with the stenciling that needed to go YESTERDAY, to the builder grade choices in the kitchens and baths. I would skip over this home based on those reasons alone. It says "we ran out of money" and I'd have to worry about what other less visible budget choices were behind the walls. It appears to be a starter home that someone just magnified the plans for and built about twice the size of the original plans. If I were shopping for a home there, (and we did consider relocating in the general area a couple of years ago), and I saw the home without any information about it's price, I'd peg the home as being in the 3-400K range rather than the 700K range where you originally had it. A home in that price range would have all of the upgraded finishes that I mentioned, plus be in a prime location closer in than Colorado Springs.

It either needs some money spent on bringing up the finishes several notches or it needs a pretty big price cut. I doubt the location would support the expense of putting in 100K worth of upgrades just to keep the price where you currently have it. That leaves the price cut.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Everyone, thanks for the feedback. We are using these next few months off the market, to re-evaluate everything. I am definately open to criticism and understand this is a forum for Buying and Selling homes so best of intentions received. As for price, I am willing to go to mid 500's. For those of you not from Colorado Springs area, land and views are king here, well except for legalized Marijuana now :) and 5 acres of raw land alone goes for $100K starting price. So, I need to figure the price of my home, accounting for the land and go from there. Is this house worth $450K, plus my land? That is where we are at.

Live wire oak and others- what do you think people are looking for in a $450K home? This is what is in this home: Extensive wood flooring (multi-width planks), complete tile baths, gourmet kitchen- maple dove-tailed cabinetry throughout home, farm sink, kettle filler, 2 dishwasher, large island, gathering room w/french doors, foyer with staircase with wood treads/iron railing, art niches, kids bedrooms with built in window seat storage, 4.5 bathrooms (one jack and jill) tray (sp) & vaulted ceilings, mudroom with 2nd laundry area hook-ups with back stairs leading to upper rooms, office w/ french door, finished walk-out basement with wet bar, rec room, another laundry room, guest bed, bath, "secret" room behind bookshelf, 3 fireplaces-stone or tile all w/decorative iron fronts, 3 outdoor patio areas -brick, flagstone, trex decking.

A few more details, but we filled it with many upgrades and things you would necessarily find in other custom homes in this area. So I keep asking myself, what can I change or would I? Again, what are you looking for in a $450K home? What would you add? Thanks again for the feedback.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Coloradomom - don't worry about live-wire. They have no clue what they're talking about. They probably can't afford your house to begin with, so it's easier to tear you down.

I think your house is very nice, your kitchen is to die for, you have plenty of hardwood floors and ceramic tile, plenty of landscaping, and the stencils or the "beigeness" doesn't bother me. I'm smart enough to realize I can personalize it myself if I wanted to, and what I see in the pics you provided would not scare me off from buying it.

I feel your pain - I've been there. We had a house that took us forever to sell. We had already moved into a new house, and we were "forced" to rent the vacant house for 2 years, hoping the market would get stronger. We actually came out ok with the renting, but it's not something I'd suggest you do.

I'm sure you already figured this out - but the longer a house sits on the market, the harder it is to sell. People think there is either something wrong with it, or they are just sitting and waiting for another price drop. These buyers today have no conscience - everything is about them, and how much money they can save.

If you can afford to do it, I would take your house off the market at least until spring. Then when you put it back on, you need to beat out all competition by purposely pricing yourself way below them. If you give people a bargain, you are going to be able to sell it. If you give them a "fair price" - well you already know that isn't good enough for these blood suckers.

Good luck


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I would agree with the above comments.
I think your appraisal is much too outdated to use to price your home. You need to be working from one within the last 6 months, maximum.

And, for such an expensive house, I think you will do well to hire someone for a few thousand dollars to redecorate/stage your home. It will be money well spent.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I definately am not thinking the appraisal is current as we were priced $150K below it. That much below the professional appraisal seems fair after 2.5 years and am not looking to sell my house for $700K. It is off the market now and will be until mid Feb or March. Yes, I so agree about is being on the market for sooo long. The "I wonder what is wrong with it" creeps into the thoughts of potential buyers. Also, with the price getting lower and lower...:) Since we haven't started the new build, I don't have to or want to rent it out, but just stay here. But, paying for the new land with only a 5 year loan is the bigger deal. We bought a more expensive piece of land than this one, never figuring we would still be here after 2.5 years, paying our house mortgage and another "mortgage" more than actual mortgage of our first two homes! And, this new piece of land doesn't make us a dime, it just sits there waiting for us (taunting us).

I'll also be using this time to update some decor, even though I've never liked the fact that I decorate for someone else and not enjoy what I like. It should be my HOME that they look at (structure), not my THINGS. Yes, I know it goes along with staging/selling a house.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

If the home has hardwood, then why do I see so much carpet? If the home has upgraded baths then why do I see cultured marble tops and builder grade vanities? If the home has an upgraded kitchen, then why wasn't attention paid to using something other than a plain veneer back to the island, or doing stacked cabinets to the ceiling, or a slide in range rather than a free standing one, or something other than a floor tile as a backsplash?

Where is the molding? The baseboards are miniscule. There is no crown molding in most of the rooms at all. The kitchen cabinets have a small token crown molding rather than something more substantial and built up.

If you have those things, then why aren't they pictured!

At a minimum, paint over the stencils, declutter the bath and kitchen, especially concentrate on removing all of the STUFF over the cabinets and the valances. I'd add in an inexpensive granite for the bath vanities and remove the wall of mirror in favor of individually framed mirrors. The rest of the house needs some neutral color to give it some oomph. Something a couple of shades darker than what you have in all of the rooms. The walls and ceiling and carpet all fade into each other. There's a difference between "neutral" and blah.

I'd also retake the pics after you do that. You need a nice distance shot of the house with the scenery in the background. THAT is why you bought the house, and it's why someone else will too. Place the home properly in it's setting and show what type of view you wake up to every day! That should be the "beauty shot" at the beginning of your listing. I'd do the shot at dawn or dusk, whichever one gets you a bit of color to the sky behind the house, and get down low enough to get a lot of the sky and mountains in the pic. Put all of the lights on in the house. All of them. There's your sale candy.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

The housing price is determined by the economic condition of the area that you are trying to sell/buy. For example, we just bought a home in our town for $455K which will be a rental. It has 3 bedrooms and about 1700sq ft. This is considered a starter home in this town.

Do you have the economy to support the price of this house in this particular neighborhood? Who would buy there and what type of employment do they have to have? In some areas of Colorado, much of the nicer houses are bought by young families where no one in the family needs to work for a living. (amazing but true because we have friends that live so and all of their friends are such folks.) You need to find a realtor that understands the market for your house and know what the potential buyer may want. You need to make the house fit that...

For example, the desired market in your area maybe the lot only and not the house. Most rich people do not want to inherit someone else's decor and design preference. They have the money to redo it all. If they don't want it redone, they want it done well enough so that it is mostly what they want. Your house may not quite fit that. Therefore, your competition is really an empty buildable lot with a view. The buyer may have to factor in the cost of huge renovation when buying a home such as yours.

Without knowing the specifics of your market, no one can really advise you.

Real estate is a fickle market. Good luck. The smaller the town, the harder it is to sell the nicer homes.... My friend bought a 70K house in a dying town in Maine. She was one of 2 surgeons in the little town. She said she will never be able to sell the home because no one in town can afford to buy it. She has since moved away and keeps it rented for tax purposes....


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

The buyers have told you it is overpriced, by not buying.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I wonder if you could do something to make your front door and exterior entry more inviting and more like a front entrance. I had thought that was your back door with a storage area under the porch. I can see now that it is the front.

You need to declutter even more and put away pictures and frilly accessories. Go for a somewhat stark, scaled down look that is more generic or impersonal and seems more spacious.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Yikes, I didn't realize my snapshots were that bad. I just measured my trim mouldings and they are 4.75 inches tall. What is the moulding height going for these days? I remember when we lived in a tract home, they were miniscule at 2 inches or so and that is why I chose these ones.

Hollysprings, so you would answer my question (what do you expect to see in a $450K home-structure vs. decor) by wanting crown moulding, taller baseboards, cabinetry other than maple, something different on the back of my island, taller cabinets, other tile on my kitchen backsplash (currently travertine over oven), and double ovens vs. two ovens in one, and cheaper granite vs. marble in the bathrooms?

The reason I asked this question, is the REA asked this of everyone that came through our home-"if you are not interested in this home, what about it did it not have that you were looking for." We were truly interested and wow, NOT ONE ever said any of those things above. I got things like, I can see telephone poles, too far out in country, backs to a road, main floor too small, want a theatre room, less traditional style, wanted more horse than 5 acres can hold, more trees. I just literally reviewed all the feedback forms from the beginning and during the process was willing to change things based on the feedback from the families who came through. 99% of the feedback were of things I could not change (except plant more trees).

Maybe the people were "just being nice" and didn't want to tell me why they really didn't like the house. Yes, some said price, but most loved the home. Strange. But, I will take these suggestions into consideration and over the next few months, get it ready again. I can't imagine doing any smajor cosmetic changes because of a quote from my husband, "we are not putting another dime into this house." We'll see honey. Did I mention I have 5 kids. Boy, are they gonna love all this. ;)


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

COmom--Some people don't understand that expectations vary in different areas and are consistently rude.

There are nice ways to give "bad news" and there are rude ways to give "bad news." Chalk it up to poor manners. And keep in mind that people can't always tell quality from a photo.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I agree about getting rid of the valances in the breakfast nook/kitchen area. Very outdates and draws away from the home.

If lookers were cancelling before showing up - there must be something "on the way" that is very negative. Are there old small run down homes between your home and the main town where most lookers come from? Or mostly cheaper homes and yours is the highest priced in the area? Something is making them do "no shows" before they enter your door. What is it?

Your old appraisal is worthless as far as comps. You cannot assume that because you are $X below the appraisal that you are good. It is worthless other than the measurements.

You must get comps again on homes sold in past 6 months.

Keep in mind - usually in "far out country" locations, the price is much lower than a comparable property "closer in". But the much lower price is what entices folks to deal with the long drive/remote location.

FYI, your house is not a $450k/house...unless you are asking $450k. If you are asking $550k, then it's a $550k house. You cant separate it from the lot because the comparable $450k homes also have a lot that is not free. It's the home AND the land that is being sold.

the view is awesome. Your flyers and MLS need to be talking about the great view from the start. Show several photos of the view. Horse property, blah. I can see you dont use it for that and looks like most of your neighbors dont either. Sure, you CAN, but most folks just want the large property as an estate lot. Dont really push the hype for the horses, push the hype for the large lot size where neighbors are not that close. This is what your buyer will be most likely. Horse type buyers already want a barn and fencing.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Thanks for the feedback everyone. Keep it coming, I can take it!

Sweet tea, so you think I should take my curtains and valances down in the kitchen (go curtainless-oh my) and just leave up my woven shades, or whatever they are called?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I just took down the valances in the kitchen/nook area and it "closed in" the room and made the ceiling appear shorter. The windows are not tall and the valance gave them an additional 17 inches in height. What is better, "dated" valances or the room off balance. I'll post a new photo soon of the difference.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Kitchen nook with valance


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

kitchen nook without valances. I couldn't take off the slider one because I had glued it directly to the top of the woven shades! I think this makes the room appear to look shorter and throws the balance off a bit because the windows are not that tall.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I don't so much mind the valances and I would keep them for the reason you stated in the breakfast area, but maybe look for something different for the master. Something maybe in a solid and a darker color for some contrast.

I think I would remove the ruffled skirts on the stools and like I mentioned before check out what new construction model homes are doing. You'll find the current trend there. You can't do it all but you could achieve some of that feeling with what you have. Also the model homes would reflect local taste and that won't be here as we all live in different areas and there are regional differences. You need to evoke an emotional response in the buyers with your home, but when it is too personalized unless they have the same taste that is hard.

I think sweet tea is onto something about the no shows. Is there something negative around you? Could just be that the backyard backs to a road like you already got feedback on. That was a big negative and something causing us to cross several houses off the list when looking, as was a gravel road.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Colorado:
None of us can tell you what someone in your town is looking for in a $450K house. In some markets that's a starter home and in others that's high end. We can guess, but our markets are different from yours. The pattern here, is that if you post photos of your house, everyone will rip it apart pretty unsparingly. You need to cull through the advice, figure out what makes sense FOR YOUR MARKET and ignore the rest.

To find out what your market expects, you have to look at the competition, and you need to figure out what counts as your competition based on your local market.

Here's how we did it for our current house: I followed everything in my zip code from $400-600K (we're listed at $525K). I looked at the listing photos online, went to open houses, and followed that group of properties for a year, seeing what eventually sold, what dropped off the market, etc. You have to be realistic and avoid getting starry-eyed just because you love your house. Our house has finishes that match houses <5 years old, but our bones are 18 years old, so we're not going to get the same price as a newer one even if we look the same.

Once I had a feel for the market dynamics, we had an appraisal done and I had some back-and-forth to make sure I understood the comps he picked and I suggested a couple more for him to include.

Our current agents say "you have to either be a diamond or a deal." Most GW people seem to focus on being the deal, with the constant advice to drop price. We've focused on being the diamond, but are priced realistically. Right now, if someone wants a house with our finishes, there are only 2 houses in our school district priced lower than us. One is a 5 year old house with a pool on a small lot and the other is a brand new house with 1/3 less square footage and a tiny ("garden") lot. So if someone wants a fully updated house our size, we're the best deal unless you don't need/want a yard. That's a more precise positioning than all houses of a certain square footage or in a certain neighborhood.

So if I were applying this to you, I'd figure out what your competition is. Perhaps it's price range in your zip code, perhaps it's "horse property" lots in a wider circle. Get to know those properties: what has sold and what is currently listed. And go from there.

Now, a good agent should be able to do this kind of thing for you, but lots of them aren't this analytical. I had to do it myself to be able to better judge which agents knew what they were talking about.

If you do some footwork and come back here, I'd be happy to give you more input on analyzing it all.

BTW, your photos are a little fuzzy, but it looks like the decor is on the "country" side. That may or may not be the style that buyers in your area are looking for (again, you need to see what has sold and what's listed for what price). If not, it's considered "dated." How old is your house?

BTW2, to post multiple photos in a thread, you need to upload them to a site like photobucket and then paste the HTML code into the body of the message.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

WELL, we were sued by our HOA (5 year lawsuit, we won, they ate $100K in their own fees), so that could be it. People can google our neighborhood and find out about it as it is called "lawsuit springs." We have "neighbors from hell" we call the crazies, maybe that is it too, or how about google Colorado Springs HOA lawsuit and our names come up and we have literal strangers calling us asking how we did it (fought back and won). Yeppers, it could be some big 'ole negative around us that is causing our home to have a stigma. Oh yea, one more thing, we broke the cardinal rule in homebuilding and built one of the largest homes in the neighborhood. Besides that, I don't know what could be keeping people away from our home. :)


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Weedyacres-thanks for the tips on all fronts. Btw, our house is 7 years old. "So if I were applying this to you, I'd figure out what your competition is. Perhaps it's price range in your zip code." This is what I want us to be comped to. I want and hope this realtor will comp us to our zip code and not just homes in our neighborhood, which most are in foreclosure. There is not another for sale like ours that is a regular listing, just foreclosures.

We are interviewing realtor #1 of our new group tomorrow. We'll see how it goes. After all the time and everything that has happened over the last 5 years, I AM STILL HOPEFUL.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Good luck, with the current state of the economy I think the 500+ range in CO is still tough especially if you are in an area that isn't a commute to a city.

I am south of Denver and anything under $500 is gone very quickly unless it is nasty or priced wrong.

It does sound like the realtor is a problem. One reason for the no shows could be that the buyers didn't like the location, so make sure your listing is correct. One of my friends checked her listing and the realtor had it in a less desirable school district, subdivision, and the sq footage was low!


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I live in a similar climate here in New Mexico. To me, your landscaping looks consistent with what one would expect. Most people tend to not have a lot of landscaping, so I would not worry much on that front. The fine details in the house also look pretty consistent with what one expects out here. Crown molding is a rarity.

My guess would be just the price range you are in. That is definitely an upper bracket, it is a large house and not everybody wants that much property or the drive time to live in the country. Not to mention, many people have rigid ideals of what they want when they live in the country too. If you desperately want to get move on, I would get a competent realtor and price it very, very aggressively. If you can afford to hold tight and do not mind living in the house you are in, I would just stay put for a while. I will re-emphasize though, the house and landscaping look very consistent with what one would expect here in the West.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Colorado... Being the nicest, largest home in the neighborhood is tough, especially being in the middle of a recession. I just sold a home in this situation for $300,000, when on paper it was worth $320,000. You will take a hit. So when comparing your home to other comps you need to find out if they are the same or not. If not, you need to compensate.
Since you are having so many "no shows", my bet is that they drive through the neighborhood and don't like the fact that your home is surrounded by smaller, less expensive homes.
All of those feedback comments can be summed up by the buyers saying that "the home is nice, but not at the asking price".
BTW... I was surprised to see cultured marble in the master too.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I don't think the house is that much larger than others. Seems according to zillow it is similar to others although a bit larger and with a few much larger. I'm betting that the lawsuit issue in your neighborhood scared some off. Probably thought who wants neighbors like that. Otherwise looks like a nice neighborhood.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Yeah, I have to say, if you can readily find out all of that information online, those lawsuits are what are totally driving the no shows. I certainly wouldn't want to live in such a subdivision! Add in the fact that you are the largest and most expensive house in the neighborhood, and it's the kiss of death before you even start. If you have to sell, then price is the only way you'll do that, and only with someone who doesn't know enough to do their due diligence. Even the cosmetic renovations that I suggested won't make up for the fact that the neighborhood is nuts and sue happy. No real amount of drop in price will make up for that.

I think staying put for a couple of years and letting the news fade into old news might be the only thing you can do.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

"we broke the cardinal rule in homebuilding and built one of the largest homes in the neighborhood. Besides that, I don't know what could be keeping people away from our home."

And now you will pay the price.

What are other house in your area in your price rage (and you need a new CMA or appraisal) like?

The HOA now has $100k left in its reserves (maybe they had some insurance to cover part of the loss) and the entire place is branded with an incurable defect.

Purchasing in such a location with lawsuits pending would be a real crap-shoot.

The money has to come from somewhere, and the owners are the cash-cow that WILL be tapped.

It looks like a nearly statewide problem through for Colorado.

One more place to just stay away from.

HOAs sound like a great idea until they start running amok.
Better REALLY like your neighbors.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

On your window treatments: given that you don't have any window casings, they do look bare without the valances. I'd put them back. You could update (or "de-country") the look by de-ruffling the existing ones. Take out the gathers and make the bottom edges straight, looking more like the one over the slider.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Perfume on body odor.

Lower the price.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

OP, the new house you plan on building....it will be smaller, I hope, yes?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

The HOA thing has got to be a big part of the issue. I got curious & looked up the CCS lawsuit. The HOA board is crazy. A loyalty oath! Are you kidding me! You'd have to pay me to live there with wanna be Hitlers running the HOA.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I agree you have a big HOA problem, lower your price, move on.
I would never consider the property because of the HOA, I'm sure others feel the same way. Life is more important than staying to make more money.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

OK, I got curious and went and looked up the lawsuit stuff too. :-) That sounds like the kind of thing that might make realtors steer potential buyers away.

You can test that hypothesis. Since it's an issue tied to this specific subdivision, and not neighboring ones that otherwise are comps, can you get a list of what has sold in your subdivision (with stats on square footage, acreage, etc.), and what has sold in nearby similar developments, like the one with a similar name down the road? That will help you see if it's truly a deterrent. For example, if nothing has sold in your sub and 14 have sold in the other one, you're definitely tainted. Or if the prices are significantly different, that would deliver the same message. See what the comps say about how low your price would need to be to sell.

Are the issues with the HOA settled down now? Are the same Hitlers still running the board? If things look like they've changed, then waiting a bit might take care of it. If not, you need to try another coup. :-) In any case, this is a good couple questions for your agent interviews: "What detractors do you see about my house?" (you want an honest one that will mention the lawsuit, not one who pretends its a non-issue) Then, "how would you recommend we deal with that?" And hopefully they'd talk about how they'd let other agents know that the lawsuit thing is done, there's a new BOD, the assessments for the legal fees are paid, so a new owner won't inherit any legacy from the lawsuit" or something like that.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I think you'd better sell the land. You're not going anywhere any time soon unless you DO "give" away the house. I don't know of anyone anywhere that would willingly buy into a subdivision like that. Even the control freaks would be freaked out by living there!


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

You let this post go THIS long before you let us in on the fact that you already know the reason why your appraisal came in at $700,000 but you can't give it away?
Your property has an incurable defect like Brickeeye says. I bet this is also why there are so many no shows. I did not read the story about the lawsuits, but You may even be in the position where you also need to disclose pending material facts.
So, you live in an over improved home in a neighborhood ran by HOA Nazis. You may want to consider "The Painfully Low Pricing" startegy, and hope to stir up multiple offers.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I googled Colorado Springs HOA lawsuit but didn't see anything. How do I find it?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Cherry creek springs Colorado hoa lawsuit


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

"No one wants to live in a troubled community. Especially with so many houses on the market right now. This kind of thing really damages your reputation."

Read more: http://www.gazette.com/news/judge-41454-lasley-hoa.html#ixzz2CpDx4U5e

That about sums it up!


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

LuAnn, I don't think that your link is complete. Can you use the Optional Link URL at the bottom of the page to post it again?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Last lines of this article are OH SO TRUE! (Even the next door HOA is seeing issues with REA turning clients away... how do you expect your neighborhood to survive this reputation?)

Here is a link that might be useful: a gazette article


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I agree with the last couple of post here after pulling up and reading the article about HOA. If you would have posted that article in the intial post 5 days ago, everyone here could have confirmed what I'm sure you knew had to be part of the problem. I can tell you when we were looking to build I pulled up all kinds of information on our neighborhood, the neighborhoods around us, schools, property taxes, by-laws and the county in general. If I were searching in your area I surely would have came upon your HOA's court room article and would have definitley "kept it moving" with so many properties on the market to choose from (no need to deal with that headache). When we were selling our home our agent advised us that she does her homework on houses and normally unless its something glaring takes feedback with a grain of salt because most of the time agents do them out of courtesy or aren't honest on them. Some of the seller's agent are probaly the reason for no shows as well. If they are looking out for their clients then I'm sure they would be disclosing the lawsuit information to them even if your agent was not. For example, if the agents were all being honest with their feedback, don't you think the lawsuit issue would have been conveyed to you within the last 2 years?

I feel bad for you because its not your fault but I think the "crazy" HOA will hurt not only your subdivision's resell ability but the ones around you as well. I think the correct advice was already given as I personally wouldn't spend alot of money on upgrades. The only things I see that are going to sell your house are time (away from the article and hopefully the HOA board memebers have been replaced) or a drop in price!

Just my .02 cents FWIW

Good luck!


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Wow. I know some people like HOAs for the security they provide (no ones lawn looks like a garden gnome convention) and others live in an area where most other options include living next to something they find objectionable. But holy bleep this is why I am so happy we don't live in one.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

deleted my own post

This post was edited by cas66ragtop on Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 11:31


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

This explains the number of cancelled showings also.....many buyers start looking on the internet for homes and have a "must see list" they present to their Realtor prior to the day of actually meeting their Realtor and viewing homes. Many times there are more homes to view in a day than time and when a Realtor has "Face" time with a potential Buyer it is easier to disclose the HOA knowledge than to do so over the phone or via email....your home is probably one of the first to get culled from the list.
Lender underwriters are very picky with HOA lawsuits especially if there are any unsatisfied judgements. Fannie/Freddie has HOA criteria also that could be an issue in obtaining a loan.


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RE: I can't

I was curious about what a loyalty oath was and found this story from 2007. See link. There appears to be more to the story than individual homeowners defiantly violating HOA rules. I doubt I would have signed off on that loyalty oath unless I had been under duress. I would hope that particular HOA board has been ousted.

My neighborhood has an HOA that is still under control of the developer. Overall, they've done a good job so far. We have a few neighbors that drive around to look for people to turn in. Sometimes unexpected rules get made. The most ridiculous complaint so far was about one family growing a visible garden with corn in it.

Here is a link that might be useful: 2007 article


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I don't know if I am typical or not but when we were buying a house in an acreage community I did research and find out everything I could about the HOA. There had been a lawsuit with the developer and I did research to make sure things had been resolved.

I don't know how your situation has been resolved but the loyalty oath thing would cause me to not want to live in your subdivision.

We had a house that took a year to sell and we sold it for about 80% of our original listing price -- and we had told our agent we wanted to price it attractively and wanted to sell quickly.

Ultimately after taking it off the market when we interviewed new agents they gave us $X price to use to list it. Then I asked them what price do you think it would need to be listed at if I told I really wanted to sell it within 3 months. They then gave a price that was about 5% below $X in the next lower price bracket. We priced it there and sold within 2 days of listing.

We were recently listing some land we wanted to sell. Agent gave us a price to list at. I asked the same question. The new amount they gave us was much lower. We ended up choosing a price slightly higher but still in a lower price bracket than the original price they gave. We sold for full price in a matter of days.

In both cases, it hurt to list for those prices, but it was effective.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Looking at the pictures of your home, and reading the description I'll give you my East Coast opinion:

You have what I call a 'sheet rock mansion'. Yes, it may have two dish washers, and two laundry areas, and a secret room - but to me it lacks character. Five bedrooms and five baths (why? - how many people have that many kids? who will clean all those baths?). The master bath with 'cultured marble' sinks and fixtures look like HD quality. The master bedroom with the ivory shag carpet is dated. The kitchen cabinets - the color and style of paneled door is non-descript. The interior isn't colonial, nor modern, it looks 'builder'.

All in all I think you have managed to build an average 1960's looking home - but this is 2012.

Maybe folks in Colorado have different tastes?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Yep, that would be an East Coast opinion. The OP is in Colorado. Her house is representative of the type and quality of what is available in Colorado for that price.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@adellabedella: "Her house is representative of the type and quality of what is available in Colorado for that price"

Well hold on. I take it that she selected the components for the home. If I had $700k, I would have spent some of that money on a real designer / architect, rather than the size of the home (who needs 5,000 sq/ft?).

Take a look at the master bedroom - the fire place looks so out of place, it's just stuck there - it screams - modular - out of the box. Plus a fireplace in a room with wall to wall? Why?

Sorry, but it looks like the home owners either were not engaged in the project, or, they don't have a sense of taste. The end result is the home looks like a $150k builder home on steroids.

I think for $700k they could have made much better descisions.

IMO this is a primary reason why it's not selling. I could think of others....


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I'm pretty sure they didn't pay $700,000 for it. That was a value given by an appraiser after they had lived in the home a number of years.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@adella- "The most ridiculous complaint so far was about one family growing a visible garden with corn in it."

Friends of ours were cited for simultaneously allowing their grass to grow too long and failing to pick up their dog's poop. Call me crazy, but if the grass was THAT long, wouldn't it hide the poop? I mean, they have a small dog :)

For everyone: A difficult HOA is a hard thing to knowingly buy into and i would avoid it. I wonder, if the HOA board has been replaced, how could or should that be communicated? Aside from a block party, that is ...

I mean, what could the OP do to mitigate the damage?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I'm from Colorado. Grew up there, and lived there a long time. Other than the valances, I don't have a problem with the home. Ostentatious, no. Practical and easy to maintain, yes. It's a home on acreage, not in the middle of the burbs. Life is different there.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@Doug

You may not like this house and that is fine. Both of your posts have been unnecessarily rude to the OP. You haven't said anything helpful.

The house was appraised for $700,000. That isn't what she was asking for it. She was asking $560,000. There are five acres of land and a breathtaking view. That is worth a large chunk of asking price. The remaining amount of money doesn't buy a designer and custom high end finishes with Colorado's high cost of living. You may not want a 5100 sqft house, but the OP has five kids. That extra square footage probably comes in handy at times. While you may not like OP's choices, this was probably a dream house for her at one time. There was absolutely no reason to say some of the nasty things you said. This house is not out of ordinary for the area. There are other people out there who would love this house with all of the extra room, acreage, and view.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Maybe drop the price to $489k. Or $475k if you really want to move badly.

I like it better without the curtains/valances in the breakfast room. also too many chairs in the breakfast room. they are windsor style which seems country style and seems outdated. this could make the home itself feel outdated

I know you have a large family, but consider 4 chair at the table for showings. Find a place to stash them just before the showings. and consider cheap modern chairs (straight) if you have the budget. target or ikea would be better than windsor style, IMO. You want the home to feel new and upscale.

I agree with other poster about removing the floral from the bar stool seats. It really looks country. anything with ruffles or floral patterns is pretty much out. You want the home to feel new and modern. Floral prints negates this.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@adellabedella: "You haven't said anything helpful."

I think it's really helpful. The owner says she doesn't know why her home isn't selling. I gave her my opinion which apparently is in align with the other people who haven't given her one offer in two and a half years.

Note, I didn't say she was wrong to design / furnish / decorate the home the way it is - I just pointed out why it's not in demand.

Now there are gals here who want to help her do damage control by removing some of the ruffles, flowers, seat cushions. Maybe that will get it sold, but anyone with a critical eye won't be fooled.

@adellabedella: "There are five acres of land and a breathtaking view. That is worth a large chunk of asking price."

It looks like it's in the middle of Nowhere. Is it close to anything? No landscape. The home is just 'there'. It doesn't blend into the terrain at all. I can envision a mission style home, but not a suburban tract home in this environment. Another negative is that there is a HOA. Why would anyone buy acreage with an HOA? Don't you buy acreage so you can get away from that?

When you evaluate everything, there are a lot of mismatches, and thus the home isn't selling.

@adellabedella: "There are other people out there who would love this house with all of the extra room, acreage, and view."

Well apparently not, otherwise it would have sold in 2 1/2 years.

I hope my comments help the owner - she said she wanted to build another home. Hopefully she will take my comments as constructive, and make better choices in her next home.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

More decorating tips here. This is to help sell the house.

-remove all the bar stools from the kitchen area. I first commented to remove the floral from the seats. After reviewing the photos again, I think the bar stools should be removed for the photos and for all showings.

-remove the baby blue chair from the room with the piano. It is in the way, blocks the flow of the room and makes the room seem crowded. Plus the color and style of the blue chair clashes with the decor in the piano room.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

It is very odd that this home would be termed "upscale" merely based on square footage alone. Maybe in 1985 when it was built, the choices were considered above builder grade. Even in Colorado, I'd have to say that homes without crown molding of any kind and with carpet everywhere are not considered upscale homes, even if they are 15,000 square feet. If this were a home in a modern style, with that type of aesthetic, perhaps no moldings would be appropriate. But in a traditional home, it makes it look naked and unfinished.

Take the window in the kitchen. The reason that it looks better with all of the dated drapery than without is that there is no casing on the window, and the window is strangely undersized and set too low in the wall. It's almost like it were designed for a completely different home with shorter ceilings.

As a whole, it appears to be spacious and almost too neutral, but not at all market ready. It appears to have had no updates and improvements since it was built in 1985 to make it show it's best in 2013. However, with that HOA, I don't think you'll get a buyer even if you were to list it at 100K. Take it off the market and do some of the improvements over the next 5 years or so and hope by the next time you list it that things with the HOA have smoothed out and that people don't have long memories. Or, if they do the Google and find out that the fracas was 5 years ago and isn't still ongoing, that they will not let that stop them from moving into the subdivision. However, it will take a completely new (and sane) board and plenty of time in order to lose the massive incurable defect that the home now has just by it's location in that subdivision.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

...and not just homes in our neighborhood, which most are in foreclosure. There is not another for sale like ours that is a regular listing, just foreclosures

Most homes in your neighborhood are in foreclosure? Wouldn't that be a huge defect as well?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

The carpeting throughout is a huge turn-off. Allergy-sufferers, beware.

The trompe l'oeil plant in the mudroom is pretty cute, though.


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Comps

foreclosures are considered valid comps these days. They are usually what is driving the market. Especially if there are more foreclosures/short sales than standard sales.

Use the foreclosures as direct comps.

I was selling a home and once I got wise and used the foreclosures/give away sales/short sales as valid comps, I lowered my price and sold quickly. Before that I threw them away as selling too cheaply. In reality, they drove the market down and I just had to accept the new market price as reality.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

In viewing the pictures of your interior, may I respectfully suggest hiring a stager? Most buyers want to see a house that looks as if no one really lives in it. Honestly. A house that looks as if it was eligible for House Beautiful or something like that. And a stager will do just that and for not that much money. That's what sold our house. Good luck.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Plus a fireplace in a room with wall to wall? Why?

Why not, Doug?

As for crown molding being missing in a traditional house, I don't believe that slapping some crown molding up fools people any more.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

No, I agree that "slapping some crown molding up" will "fool" anyone. But it at least brings the home to a more finished stage. Right now, it's like only the minimum to get into the house was done, and the moldings were a casualty of that and no one ever went back and put on window casing or crown molding or replaced the builder grade carpt or finished the details in the kitchen. While none of those things make this an "upscale" home, the lack of them makes an otherwise upscale sized home appear to be mostly builder grade.

That HOA leaves me practically speechless! I don't think any homes in that subdivision will sell for many many years. I can see why there are so many foreclosures. People would rather "let their houses go" than still live there and they can't sell them.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

"It's interesting how people are saying how terrible the HOA is - when this whole thing started because some of the homeowners were not honoring the convenants or paying dues. So I blame the people, not the HOA. All the HOA was doing was enforcing the covenants and making an example of them so that others didn't follow suit."

The whole thing didn't start because some homeowners were not honoring the convenants. The homeowners were being hosed by jerks on the board.

"The dissidents say the HOA board has selectively enforced covenants and granted building permits for fences, barns, animals and trailers to friends while rejecting applications of others and levying steep fines."

Read more: http://www.gazette.com/articles/hoa-40808-board-group.html#ixzz2DAcpzjC8

I wouldn't want to put up with this either and I'm glad the OP won the lawsuit. I hope the owners sell the house to an attorney (with good legal connections) who can put this cruddy HOA board back on the right track. For everyone's sake.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@graywings: "Plus a fireplace in a room with wall to wall? Why?

Why not, Doug? "

The bedroom looks so silly, the love seat, the arm chairs, the gas fireplace with the silk flowers on top. Doubt that anyone ever really used the furniture. From what I can see of the home, it makes really poor use of space.

Maybe if the fireplace had a hearth, a mantle, some integration - instead they just framed up the 'unit' and attached it to the wall. Could have used one of those fireplaces with the light bulb, and the rotating cylinder with flames on it :)

I'd say the house is worth about $250k.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

The lot is lovely, and the view great. Does the house have an exterior seating area? Maybe a nice stone patio with a big fire pit and several large comfortable chairs? I think with this house you need to focus more on the exterior living.

The decor just looks terribly dated. The floral, the ruffles, the old looking ceiling fan in the bedroom, the glass block in the bathroom, the wall stencils. The wall too wall carpeting too is unfortunate. Maybe this is a house that would show better empty? Honestly, it looks like a "grandma house", but older people probably don't want that much space. Maybe it would be worthwhile to spend a couple thousand to have it update/staged?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I agree with the decor being terrible dated.

I was shocked when the OP said in a post last Sunday:
"Weedyacres-thanks for the tips on all fronts. Btw, our house is 7 years old."

Seven years old!


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

You didn't answer the question, Doug, about why you can't have wall to wall carpeting in a room with a gas fireplace, but I get it that you don't like elements of the house.

Speaking generally, what I infer from comments on this thread is that some people are incapable of separating their personal tastes from an objective assessment of a house. Imagine, a sitting area in a bedroom. Que horror! Let's cut the value of the house in half.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

A spiral staircase, even as a secondary staircase, is not a positive feature.

My usual answer about properties with "defects" is that price can usually overcome most defects, but I'm not sure any price can overcome the HOA issues and other homeowners bailing out too.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

deleted my own post

This post was edited by cas66ragtop on Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 11:34


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

cas66ragtop, you say If resident 1 does something wrong, but the HOA granted them an exception - how does this make it ok for resident 2 to do something wrong? ... to me it's no longer wrong once one person has been permitted to do it.

Can the HOA be disbanded? I admit I don't understand the concept at all, we don't have these in Canada. Doesn't everyone own their own property? I *get* it with a condo, where there are common grounds that need maintaining, but in a housing development?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

cas66: I understand how your interpretation could be correct, if all you go by is the news articles. But the judge, who did see all the facts, tossed it all out and made the HOA eat everything except for one person's fines. Doesn't that tell you that the problem wasn't overreaching homeowners, it was the HOA?

For the rest of you who keep piling on about the decor, that's not going to fix this problem. So I'd say lay off, especially with the remarks that sound like you're looking down your nose at the OP.

Doug: Your approach is not how comps are done. "I'm from the east coast and this is how the house would be perceived here" or "I think it's worth $250K" shows your ignorance about how home values are determined. It's very local. If you don't have something constructive to say (and can't say it kindly), you should just keep your mouth shut. It's not helpful.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I agree weedyacres, lets help the OP not pile on her decor.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

The OP is suggesting they break the rules and build one anyway - that they don't play "Mother may I", they do what they want.

I believe I was the one that wrote that. I also suggested getting on the HOA board and changing the rules.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@weedyacres: " If you don't have something constructive to say (and can't say it kindly), you should just keep your mouth shut. It's not helpful."

Who died and left you boss? What a pompus attiude you have telling others what to say or not to say.

I find Colorado amusing. Here you are there are a billion acres of land - minimal land at that - and folks live in a subdivision with an HOA. As citizens we must put up with the Federal Gov, the State Gov, County Gov, City Gov, and now you want an HOA involved with your personal life? You can't eat a view, you can't live in a view, you can't make a living from a view. What's the point?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Yes, what's the point of enjoying nature's beauty.

Keep posting Doug. The more you write, the more I understand you.


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I can't "give my house away" - No one will take it!

I notice the OP has gone MIA from this thread and I can't blame her for that. For what it's worth I think the price needs to go down...a lot.

That's a big house and it's in a rural area, so what is the school district and access to school like? Can the kids walk or do they get on a bus?

The runaway fast things I would consider: That lawsuit is a huge issue! That canyon fire would make me run right away without even looking at the house or property. And then there are those neighbors, and the corn. Geez, I personally would consider the corn an amenity - lol.

I am wondering why an HOA is needed in such a setting. I'd never purchase a little house on the prairie with an HOA keeping tabs on my place. I hope the house does not have to be given away.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Did the OP state the reason why they were building another house?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@coloradomomof5:

I have the solution to your problem: stay in your home. Obviously it's been built and decorated to you and your family's taste. It has ample room for your large family. With five children, in the coming years, you will have many grandchildren - a large home with plenty of outdoor space is ideal for family get togethers, something many people do not have.

Forget about trying to please all of us people who have expressed critical (not personal to you) comments about the home - it's your home - you don't have to please us, or the idea of what some airhead realtor thinks.

Times have changed with the continuing recession. Many people have been foreclosed, evicted, underwater, upsidedown - property values are a myth. You just can't expect growth or liquidity the way it once was.

Enjoy your home and decide to live in it for the next 20 years!


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@graywings: "Keep posting Doug. The more you write, the more I understand you."

Well you needn't keep writing, since it's obvious that since you can't respond to the main point.
@graywings: "what's the point of enjoying nature's beauty."

You're not smart enough to turn around my arguement/statement by attempting to misconstrue the context of what I wrote.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@weedyacres: As for the credibility of your opinions:

The US housing market didn't collapse because of a couple of greedy banks, dishonest appraisers, opportunistic title companies, or a few shady realtors. Rather is was a mega scale corruption of the highest degree.

I don't know if you are a Realtor, but you and your industry is responsible for robbing the American people out of $7,000,000,000,000 - TRILLION!! dollars in assets from the value of their homes. They just kept pumping up the appreciation, accepting NIJA loans, LIAR loans, Zero down loans, interest only loans, anything to turn a commission. Then the bubble burst - but nobody was at fault.

Realtors are nothing - they aren't lawyers, they aren't financial people, they aren't appraisers, nor are they abstracter's. They are salesmen. That's it. I don't believe salesman talk. It's worth nothing - zip - nada.

So you're going to give me a lecture about 'comparables' - ha - this is the same BS that your lot has been peddling before. Well this has 5 bedrooms, oh no - you can't call this a bedroom - but you can.. let's move the furniture here.. nothing but BS. The problem is that people haven't used their own good judgment to determine what homes are worth. Your lot has worked to create this artificial, confusing reality, just so you have a job.

So shut up yourself, along with all your other OP and other phony realtor abbreviations.

I'm the guy who designed much of the property recording software, and componets of the MERS system. I've found the entire industry to be rotten!


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Wow, what venom. BTW-weedy is not a Realtor.

OP is a common abbreviation found on numerous forums. It means Original Poster.

Yes, I was a Realtor. Not one person whom I helped purchase a home has gone into foreclosure. Maybe I quit because I wasn't a greedy salesperson or maybe I quit because I wanted to return to a career that used my educational background.

No matter, a single profession is not responsible for the real estate collapse. It took many "partners in crime" including MERS. I suppose you are also taking your share of the blame as one that participated in the creation of MERS?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I don't know if you are a Realtor, but you and your industry...

ROTFL...doug, you're obviously new to this forum or you'd see the humor in this ironic comment. Scroll through the threads and read some of my postings if you want to know who I really am.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

That is what I thought, weedy! :)


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@rrah: "Yes, I was a Realtor. Not one person whom I helped purchase a home has gone into foreclosure."

I bet they lost 25% - 30% of their asset value. Over 25% of the homes in the US are underwater!

@rrah: "Maybe I quit because I wasn't a greedy salesperson or maybe I quit because I wanted to return to a career that used my educational background."

Are you telling me you don't know why you quit? It's my guess is that you couldn't sell anymore homes after the depression caused by the Real Estate industry.

@rrhs: "No matter, a single profession is not responsible for the real estate collapse. It took many "partners in crime" including MERS."

I named them in my post - It doesn't seem like you read for comprehension.

@rrhs: "I suppose you are also taking your share of the blame as one that participated in the creation of MERS?"

I'm a computer scientist - I build to 'spec'. MERS didn't happen overnight. What once seemed logical in 1990 was turned into a monster in the late 90's.

Look it's 2012 - and some clown realtor was telling ColoradoMomOf5 that she could get $700k for her home - when 30 months later she can't get $525k. And it seems the clowns keep bringing in the prospects - just like before the bubble. Have the realtors (collectively) learned anything?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

"I bet they lost 25% - 30% of their asset value. Over 25% of the homes in the US are underwater!"

Real estate is local. I live in a location that did not see value declines and saw very modest increases. These increases were modest enough that many were are able to sell their homes without taking a financial hit even after just 2-3 years. No, my former clients are not underwater. So you are wrong.

Perhaps you need to read for the nuances of language. I know exactly why I quit, and it's not the business of you or others.

"I'm a computer scientist - I build to 'spec'. MERS didn't happen overnight. What once seemed logical in 1990 was turned into a monster in the late 90's."

The men that built Hitler's gas chambers also built to spec as did the scientists that built atomic bombs. Shall I go on with further examples of building to spec gone wrong? I suppose those men also bear no moral or ethical responsibility just as you can bear no moral or ethical responsibility?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Sassafras, an HOA can be very valuable in this setting, within reason. A 5 acre lot is not all that large and does not put you that far away from your neighbors. Many people have different ideas of what they want to do on a rural property. HOAs can help to restrict people from having too many horses within the subdivision, or as recently happened in my subdivision, somebody moved in and made a dirt bike track. Lots of noise and lots of dust. A HOA can also be a way of collecting the money necessary for road maintenance including snow removal. The subdivision I live in does not have an HOA, just covenants and is supposed to maintain a road maintenance committee. Basically, people contribute to the road fund based on their own whims and nobody has the power or will to try to force the other homeowners to participate. It is what it is.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Chispa, that was my first thought--- to tell the OP that a spiral staircase doesn't add value, it detracts from value.

I am surprised that the house is only seven years old as it looks at least twice that, judging from the dated interiors. And it is easier for a smaller house to get by with less detail. A large house with minimal detail (particularly molding and trim work, especially the windows) and a plan that looks as though it was simply expanded from a smaller blueprint without thought to the proportions, odd fireplaces, etc. added to the disastrous HOA problems...... I'm sorry but it sounds like you actually might have to give it away.

You don't mention what your actual costs were in building the house. Building in 2005 you would have paid top dollar, and surely do not expect the house to have gone up in value since then, especially if foreclosures are keeping downward pressure on prices. Depending on the size of the loan, some mortgage lenders won't lend on a house in a subdivision where there is an incidence of foreclosure of 20% or more and that could be yet another problem.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

"HOAs can help to restrict people from having too many horses within the subdivision,"

Many couties have laws mandating 'acres per horse' limits.

"or as recently happened in my subdivision, somebody moved in and made a dirt bike track. Lots of noise and lots of dust."

So can county laws and zoning.

"A HOA can also be a way of collecting the money necessary for road maintenance including snow removal."

Only if the roads are private in most places.
You get to pay, and pay, and pay for those roads.

county laws and zoning at least get the HOA out of the enforcement business.

You already pay taxes, let them do some work instead of paying again to an HOA.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

The landscaping is lovely and appropriate for CO.

It sounds like your HOA is a problem, I'm not sure what the solution there is. Most communities in CO are covenant controlled, which I personally like, but there must be a mechanism for voting a board out. The "loyalty" pledge is creepy.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Yes brickeye, the county and zoning can take care of that but it often depends on the county and their appetite for doing that. In our subdivision, the road is not wide enough to be maintained by the county, a rather common thing in our area. The roads are dirt. The nice thing is that we maintain them better than the county would.

The county I am in is rather stringent on rules but their enforcement in my area is lax (too far away from the city of Santa Fe). The problem about enforcement whether it be HOA or government, is that there is little agreement on what is deemed desirable. I think that HOAs can help in that regard if people would treat them as a method of agreeing on the rules they desire for their community but would also seriously evaluate those rules before purchasing a home under them. Generally though it becomes a test of wills with people proclaiming that they do not like to be told what they can do on their own property. I certainly wish I had an answer to the situation.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Doug...you are really a charmer. I live in CO, have HOAs and I'm perfectly happy with them. Most are reasonable, but you make insane generalizations.

Your assessment of the real estate market is so obviously flawed. Realtors followed existing laws and practices, and in many cases got into the same situations their clients did.

I have family in MA, NY and NJ, none of whom have HOAs and in some cases have eyesore properties or out of control noisy or rude neighbors next door. In one case the relative owns the eyesore property.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@gmp3: "Doug...you are really a charmer"

Thanks!

@gmp3: "but you make insane generalizations"

Please state what you disagree with and why.

@gmp3: "Your assessment of the real estate market is so obviously flawed."

Here again - what do you disagree with and why?

@gmp3: "none of whom have HOAs and in some cases have eyesore properties or out of control noisy or rude neighbors next door"

There are tons of laws regulating behavior on the County / City level. You need another layer?

Are you hoping for a 'sanitized' life? I don't know if any HOA has a 'rudeness' clause?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@rahh: It's really a moot point. Our current government - dems or repubs are only interested in maintaining the status-quo, for their own power and the power of the other 500 or so people who actually run this country.

Check this out: The End of Suburbia.

Keep an open mind - this is not some nutcase, EOTW talk.

The modern suburbs have ultimately become an unsustainable way of living. They were originally developed in an era of cheap oil, when the automobile became the center of the way people lived and an era when people wanted to escape the inner city to a more pastoral or rural way of life. However the suburbs quickly evolved into a merely a place to live that had neither the benefits of rural or urban life, and where one was reliant on an automobile both to travel elsewhere and even travel within the neighborhood. The suburbs are not only dependent upon cheap energy, but also reliable energy. The reliability of energy is becoming less so as demonstrated by the multi-day blackout of the North American Eastern Seaboard starting on August 14, 2003. Part of the problem of getting out of the suburban mentality is that a generation has grown up believing it to be a normal way of life, and a life of entitlement...

And it's just not suburbia - look at what Sandy did to NJ, NY. The residents are 'demanding' whatever. FEMA can't even take care of an event that involves less than 1% of our population.

It's comming - the status quo is going to change.

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-end-of-suburbia/


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

The US housing market didn't collapse because of a couple of greedy banks, dishonest appraisers, opportunistic title companies, or a few shady realtors. Rather is was a mega scale corruption of the highest degree.

I don't know if you are a Realtor, but the industry is responsible for robbing the American people out of $7,000,000,000,000 - TRILLION!! dollars in assets from the value of their homes. They just kept pumping up the appreciation, accepting NIJA loans, LIAR loans, Zero down loans, interest only loans, anything to turn a commission. Then the bubble burst - but nobody was at fault.

Realtors are nothing - they aren't lawyers, they aren't financial people, they aren't appraisers, nor are they abstracter's. They are salesmen. That's it. I don't believe salesman talk. It's worth nothing - zip - nada.

I'm a computer scientist - I build to 'spec'. MERS didn't happen overnight. What once seemed logical in 1990 was turned into a monster in the late 90's."

I pray that Doug keeps posting! I think he is entirely correct about the nature of the real estate industry and why the real estate market crashed.

I also hope he shares more specific examples of how those in the industry play their clients.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Nice house, decor could be pretty easily staged to appeal to a wider audience, but the HOA? Eek.

Good luck!


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@dreamgarden: Here is an excerpt from Charles Hugh Smith (economist / author)

http://www.oftwominds.com/blogoct12/artificial-economy10-12.html

The housing market has essentially been socialized, with the taxpayers now funding the entire mortgage market (98% of mortgages are backed by Federal agencies) and endless subsidies of marginal buyers (3% down payment loans, etc.)

The Federal Reserve has committed itself to taking trillions of dollars of impaired or dodgy mortgages off the balance sheets of banks and burying them in its own opaque balance sheet, while also maintaining near-zero interest rates (when adjusted for inflation) to incentivize refinancing and home buying--both of which generate billions of dollars in fat fees for banks.

All this artifice has created an artificial economy on multiple levels. The entire bond market is artificial, the entire stock market is artificial, and the entire housing market is artificial.

One of the more striking quotes I've read recently was buried in a report chronicling the effects of the housing bust on Nevada. The quote was by a woman who had stopped paying her mortgage three years ago and had been living rent/mortgage-free in the house courtesy of the bank, which had declined to even begin the foreclosure process.

Harris, 38, stopped paying her mortgage three years ago after her accounting business lost its biggest client and her home�s value plummeted 52 percent. Some neighbors are also delinquent on their mortgages. "There are so many people like me who aren�t paying their mortgage so they can buy groceries and gas," said Harris, who was rejected for loan modification programs. "It�s creating this whole false economy."

This is an astonishing statement on several levels. That people can only afford to keep afloat if their housing is free reflects an extreme of financial fragility. That the banks are willing to pay property taxes and receive zero income for 3+ years reflects the banks' dedication to restricting the inventory of unsold homes so prices will be forced higher as supply drops below demand.

This strategy, no doubt orchestrated with quasi-official approval, has already paid handsome dividends, as beaten-down markets such as Phoenix have seen sharp increases in home values this year as the number of foreclosed homes entering the market has dwindled. This artificial restriction of inventory by lenders has been well-documented; not only are there millions of homes in the foreclosure pipeline that are not being moved onto the marketplace, there are at least (by some estimates) another 4 million in-default homes that are being held out of the pipeline entirely; this is the "shadow inventory," the inventory that is not even recognized as being in default despite 3+ years of non-payment.

This is a risky game the banks are playing, as this visibly artificial restriction of inventory undermines the belief that this recent surge in home valuations is legitimate, i.e. a balancing of actual supply and demand. Sqeezing inventory does not magically enlarge the pool of qualified home buyers; it "games the system" so those buyers are paying more for the homes that they would otherwise be worth if the market weren't being manipulated. This helps banks by raising the prices they're getting for the few foreclosed properties that reach the market, but it certainly doesn't help buyers.

This strategy is betting that the gains reaped by selling REOs ("real estate owned," i.e. houses the banks own) at higher prices more than offset the losses generated by paying the costs of non-performing loans--property taxes, for example--and the decline in income as homeowners stop making mortage payments.

The real estate industry and the banks are hoping that the increase in housing prices caused by the restriction of inventory will spark a new rush into real estate as people start believing "the bottom is in." But this is based on the expectation that there is pool of potential buyers who are only waiting for the bottom to be identified to jump in and buy a house.

The irony is that restricting inventory keeps prices high, limiting the number of people who qualify for large mortages. Given that incomes of the lower 95% of households have been declining for four years, the foundation of borrowing is crumbling. The Fed has attempted to increase leverage by lowering mortgage rates to 3.5%, barely above official inflation, while relieving banks of impaired mortgages by buying $1 trillion of mortgage-backed securities in 2009-10 and now another $500 billion over the next year.

The idea here is that maintaining an artificial market and reality will somehow magically transform a broken system into a self-healing one. Stated in this transparent fashion, the absurdity of the Status Quo's primary policy is clearly revealed.

Dysfunctional families, enterprises, markets and governing Elites all share this same dilemma: you cannot fix an unhealthy, dysfunctional system by hiding reality behind an artificial reality facade. All you're doing is increasing the instability of the system, which is not allowed to self-correct.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I think it best to ignore some posters, the ones who like to argue will find another playground.

YKWIM??


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I'm sorry you are having such problems selling your house. It looks like a perfectly nice home, very neat and well kept. I don't see that removing the valances or changing the decor is going to make that much difference.

From looking at the other posts of Colorado mom it seems they have neighbors from hell, perhaps that is why she wants to get out of there.

I think you should have another appraisal done, you are probably going to have to lower the price some more.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

About the OP's outdated decor, I think I know why, by putting 2 and 2 together:
!. She lives near Colorado Springs.
2. She haves 5 (!) kids.
3. She home schools (or, if you like, home fools) her kids, thus keeping herself out of the adult work force.

We are not dealing with a sophisticated person, here.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Eggshell finish...what in the world would make anyone attack the OP about her decor choices or lifestyle out of the blue. You are a very hate filled person. There is nothing constructive about your post, but typical of someone as judgmental as you seem to be.

I suppose you consider attacking strangers out of the blue for making different lifestyle choices than you have "sophisticated"?

This thread is the most nasty, bitter thread I've ever read on Gardenweb.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

This thread is the most nasty, bitter thread I've ever read on Gardenweb.

I agree with this.

CMof5, if you are out there, don't despair, there is a buyer out there. Ignore the nastiness, concentrate on what will work.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Having 5 kids makes someone not sophisticated? Uh, ok.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@cmarlin20: "I think it best to ignore some posters, the ones who like to argue will find another playground."

The opinions on this thread were mostly the Status Quo: Get another appraisial, rearrage the furniture, put up crown molding, stage the home....

The fact of the matter is that none of the opinions really considered what is going on in the US. We are still in a depression - the stats have been adjusted so we sweak by.

But really, 25,000,000 people are not in the work force, as they were in 2007. The real U6 unemployment is 18%. 3.1 million people have been added to 'SSI disability' rolls, 47% of the people in the US are on SNAP (food stamps). 44% of the child births are paid for by Medicaid. The employees' FICA contribution has been reduced by 50% - to stimulate the economy - which leaves SS billions of dollars in the hole.

So the poster's on here are talking about 'comparables'. One gal told me ALL her clients had their properties appreciate.

The talk of housing prices on this forum is just a fantasy - where the posters think the Status Quo is going to continue to infinity. Explore the real financial problems: The Federal Reserve buys 75% of the T-Bills issued by the US Gov - that's right - we finance our own debt - this is called printing money (fiat currency), this is the source of inflation.

The US has instutionalized lying and corruption. You needn't dig very deep. The former gov of NJ, Corzine, was president of MF Global - they 'lost' over a billion dollars in investors deposit accounts (cash - not invested). After a year long investigation the US Dept of Justice decided that 'nobody was to blame' - but if you want you can sue Corzine in civil court.

When an entire industry ( Financial / Real Estate ) is a scam - all logic breaks down.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@eggshellfinish: "She home schools (or, if you like, home fools) her kids, thus keeping herself out of the adult work force. "

So I'll ask you: What's so great about two people working at 'wage jobs?'

You warehouse your kids in daycare - let some stranger give them the values and key siganals, rather than you and your husband?

You both work your a**es off, are exhausted on Friday, and then do grocery shopping, meal prep, house work on the weekends.

Then you send your children to 'government schools' where they learn to sit on their a**es, keep their mouths shut, so they can work in a cube farm. The teachers are more concerned about the union and their full retirement at 55, than the children.

Government school has been turned into an indoctrination camp.

Never mind that the SAT scores have remained the same for the last 40 years, even though we've spent 3 times as much money (adjusted for inflation).

People who home school are not all religious nuts. Rather they are independent thinkers. It doesn't take an Einstien to teach children.

In summary, I live in Minneapolis. We spend $21,000 a year/pupil - where only 45% of the children graduate from HS.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

deleted my own post

This post was edited by cas66ragtop on Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 11:36


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

tishtoshnm, I know what an HOA is! Thanks for the lesson anyhow. I was more wondering about the school situation and commenting on the lawsuit issue. Admittedly I am not a fan of HOA and would not purchase a home with one, no matter the size of the property, or the wonderful advantages they offer to a homeowner who needs rules and such. I like being able to paint my door whatever color I want, and no one cares if I plant an acre of corn or if I don't put my car in the garage :)


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

" I like being able to paint my door whatever color I want, and no one cares if I plant an acre of corn or if I don't put my car in the garage :)"

??
I live in a HOA community, and NONE of those things are in our covenants.
Not all HOAs are the same!


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

@cas66ragtop: "Nobody is interested in a bunch of stuff written by some author. So either keep that to yourself, or just reference the book and leave it at that. If someone actually wants to look it up, they can. I read the first couple sentences, rolled my eyes, and then quickly went down to the next post. I suspect others did the same thing. Was that rude of me to say that? Probably - but I am being honest about it."

This is the entire problem: "Nobody is interested in a bunch of stuff "

You don't have to believe me, nor my sources. You can find your own. However you are a good example of the 'problem'. In a recent speech Putin said Obama was elected by the illiterate.

The problem is that you have taken no time to become informed of the real problems facing the US and the world.

UNDERSTAND the Status Quo - what this means is that everything you assume (from your post - it looks like you assume alot) will continue on - to infinity - with little or no changes.

@cas66ragtop: "If someone actually wants to look it up, they can. I read the first couple sentences, rolled my eyes, and then quickly went down to the next post."

This behavior is called ignorance. Forget the facts - I'm going to assume everything is going to continue just like I imagine it to be.

Good luck.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Oh my. I'm glad this thread is going to lock up in another 20 posts. Here's my contribution to reduce that to 19.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I think one of the new improvements to the GW system is to increase the post count of threads. :)


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

deleted my own post

This post was edited by cas66ragtop on Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 11:39


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

By definition, the instigator in this thread is not a true troll but he is certainly acting like one. You know the advice about trolls ...


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

"What does politics have to do with selling a house?"

More than you realize. Doug has expanded the conversation well beyond useful parameters (IMO) but many of his points are valid. Our housing market has become socialized, no doubt about it. Once the home building industry was protected with government subsidized loans for the initial purchase and tax deductions for continued ownership---- to protect lenders from the free market consequences of poor decisions---- the entire enterprise was doomed to failure. It's been a long time coming, at least 25 years, accelerated in the past 10 years by the dearth of qualified buyers that prompted banks and builders to give mortgages to people who couldn't possibly pay them back. All these factors inform the housing market and affect every buyer and seller, regardless of locale.

Unfortunately for the poster in Colorado, her situation is a complicated mess of local conditions, the house itself and the larger national housing market crisis.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

"What does politics have to do with selling a house?"

In this particular case, everything!


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Sass, I am sorry, I meant no offense. I took the question as one of a sort of somebody wondering why on earth somebody would move to a rural area and willing subject themselves to an HOA. I know many people who view rural/semirural living as this bucolic, romantic existence but it just has a different set of potential issues than city living.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I am amazed. I consider to gals to be above average intelligence, education, and socio-economic class.

We don't live in a vacuum, yet many here pretend that they do.

cas66ragtop writes: "Nobody is interested in a bunch of stuff written by some author. So either keep that to yourself, or just reference the book and leave it at that."

Weedyacres writes: "I'm glad this thread is going to lock up in another 20 posts."

cas66ragtop continues: "but I do have a problem with plaigerism. What you're posting aren't neccessarily facts anyway - it's just someone else's opinion," "What does politics have to do with selling a house?"

dee writes: "the instigator in this thread is not a true troll but he is certainly acting like one."

This world is rapidly changing - and we are part of the world. Here's some stats that are right from the Federal government and the BLS you can easily Google them:

50% of the people don't pay any Federal income tax - they aren't going to buy homes.

47% of the people are on SNAP (food stamps) - they aren't going to buy homes.

There are 25,000,000 less people in the work force than 2007 ( yet they are not counted as unemployed) - they are not going to buy homes.

3,100,000 people have been added to the SS disability rolls since 2008 - they aren't going to buy homes.

44% of the children born in the US are paid for by Medicaid.

25% of the jobs in the US pay $10/hr or less - they are not going to buy homes.

The average middle class family has seen their income drop by $4,000/yr.

50% of the recent college graduates are unemployed or grossly underemployed - many grads have $50k - $100k in student loan debt - how are they going to afford a home?
The US debt is $16 trillion dollars - 40% of our tax dollars to paying just the interest. That's about $52,000 for each person in the US!

US home owners have lost $7 trillion in home equity - how are they going to sell / purchase another home for more than the value of their now depreciated home?

Maybe the ColoradoMomOf5's home is depreciated in value - maybe the view isn't worth what it once was, surly the roof is aging, as is the physical plant (heat, a/c, appliances), the carpet is worn, etc, etc. So maybe it's only worth $350k?

Obviously the professional appraiser whose valuation was $700k, and now we're down to $500k - has been shown to be off by atleast 30%. But no - that was a 'bad' apprasiser?

The Status Quo is going to change - this isn't Peter Pan - and globalization and financial markets are a big part of your life - even though you want to pretend that everything is going to continue just like it was ad infinitum.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Doug, I share the same concerns about the economy, economic demographics and housing market you do, however, the OPs real problem seems to be her HOA. If homes in nearby subdivisions are selling, then realtors are steering clear of her area.

In suburban Denver where I live the housing in the 300-580K market is booming, inventory is low and homes are going in a few days provided they are priced well (not low or high) and don't have some huge issue, i.e., backing a busy road. Three friends downsized from homes in the 400-520K market and sold in hours to days, another took about 4 weeks and but didn't have yard signs and only allowed limited showings. All were looking to downsize to the 300-400 range and all had problems finding homes suitable due to lack of inventory and a "hot" market, one ended up renting, the other two took on homes that need renovating because there was nothing else available.

I think the HOA has made the OPs home unattractive to buyers, which is exactly the opposite of what an HOA should do. Regardless of personal opinions of HOAs, HOAs are typically formed to protect owners from having property devalued due to the choices of one owner. They are quite popular in some areas, and that makes me believe they are attractive to most buyers, or they wouldn't exist in most newer developments. I wonder why the owners in the subdivision don't seek redress from the board.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Thank you gmp3! for bringing this topic back to the OPs question!

"I wonder why the owners in the subdivision don't seek redress from the board."

Where would that money come from? Because HOAs are funded by the community that would be asking for redress, I'm not sure they'd really be ahead. Unless, and only if, the board was grossly negligent or they could have some sort of insurance claim. But, in reality, I think that will just put the HOA community further in the hole.

Perhaps they could dissolve the HOA entirely, and let this be a neighborhood without an HOA. But, presumably, they had one for a reason...

In my area HOAs aren't so much popular as necessary due to the way the city requires certain common areas and water retention, etc in these squishy neighborhoods. This would not be the case in a neighborhood made up of 5 acre parcels, however.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Kirkhall, I suppose the problem is that you can't fight city hall. However, if a number of homeowners could prove actions of the board caused a price drop within the neighborhood...

How are the board members chosen? How are they repeatedly elected if they sue homeowners and loose. If they won these suits then it would be lawsuits upholding covenants, correct?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

"I am amazed. I consider to gals to be above average intelligence, education, and socio-economic class.

We don't live in a vacuum, yet many here pretend that they do.

cas66ragtop writes: "Nobody is interested in a bunch of stuff written by some author. So either keep that to yourself, or just reference the book and leave it at that."

Weedyacres writes: "I'm glad this thread is going to lock up in another 20 posts."

cas66ragtop continues: "but I do have a problem with plaigerism. What you're posting aren't neccessarily facts anyway - it's just someone else's opinion," "What does politics have to do with selling a house?"

dee writes: "the instigator in this thread is not a true troll but he is certainly acting like one.""

Excellent post Doug. You points about the corruptibility of the real estate industry fall right into line with the crap that many HOA's pull on homeowners.

This thread would be alot more fun if some of the folks here could put on their big girl panties and address your message(s) instead of calling you names.

If you were in OP's shoes, what would you do?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

"If you were in OP's shoes, what would you do?"

Suck it up and stay put in a pretty comfortable house that seems to meet all of the family needs except for having nice neighbors. Then encourage the kids to make friends in a bowling league or other social activity.

Or, if the finances can handle the loss, drop the price to 300K and see if there are any nibbles at all. If the "want" to move is greater than the "need" to save money, then that's the right choice. The HOA is a permanant albatross that they either have to stay and live with, or take the financial cut that it will take to move somewhere else. Nothing else will sell that home but a LOT of money off.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Doug - the trends you talk about in terms of decreasing buying power, shrinking middle class, etc are real and truly disconcerting. The slightly paranoid side of me made sure I purchased a home that could, if needed, be a mini homestead (enough space and the right light exposure to grow veggies and raise chickens).

It's simplistic, because if the economy really does fall completely apart I can't farm my way to prosperity on a mortgaged piece of land.

In my local market inventory is tight for homes at or slightly below the median because the available homes have some perceived flaw (too close to the highway, schoolyard, train tracks, busy road, other houses). Or they need significant work. Homes in good condition and good locations are quickly purchased if the price is fair. People are justifiably SO afraid of a house losing value that they are unwilling to purchase something with a flaw because they fear being unable to sell in the future. It actually makes sense, but it makes it almost impossible to sell property that is flawed - even for fire sale prices.

There is excess inventory at the high end, homes in the top quartile are very slow to move and people aren't listing unless they absolutely have to. This is one reason that we decided to remodel earlier this year instead of move (it was a big remodel, moving could have been less if what we wanted was available)..

Now, back to this issue of potential buyers being leery of homes with flaws ... I think that is what is holding back the sale of this house. There are probably buyers who look at it and, when they see the HOA issues, think to themselves, "Gee, even if the HOA issues are fixed, how long will this taint the value of the home? How many years until the stigma falls away? What if I had to sell in that time?" Buyers can't commit to this house on a long term basis because everything about this economy feels SO unstable right now.

Is there a shortage of rental property (SFH) in your area? Because that was the other thing we looked at when we bought. I would have preferred to rent but we have a dog and SFH rentals are almost impossible to find in our area for under $3k/mo. With taxes and insurance, our 15 yr mortgage is under $2500/mo ... So, worst case we could rent this place if we had to move out and we would likely cover the mortgage with the rent (or come close to it).

I wonder if renting is an option for the OP? I know it's an expensive home, but still ... It may be an option, unless the HOA forbids it.


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

I sincerely hope nobody believes Doug's numbers or assumptions without Googling themselves, because personally I can't even find the blogpost or opinion page where he got them.

Let's take the 2nd one - I googled "percentage of people on food stamps" and find that the answer is 15% of households, which I doubt is 47% of people.

Even if you don't want to check for yourself, please don't copy & paste anywhere that will allow it to promulgate forever and ever. (Take the recent Facebook copyright hoax under consideration).

Thank you. Off my soapbox now.

And how many posts does GW allow now?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

deleted my own post

This post was edited by cas66ragtop on Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 11:37


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Doug, let's take one of the "facts" you posted: 47% percent of the people receive SNAP. Wrong.

According to USDA, it's 47 million, not 47 percent. Big difference, huh? Let's see, 47 million out of 312 million, that's 15% percent -- a third of your claim. Not great, but nowhere near where you claim it to be.

How about your other "facts"? How accurate are those?


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

Mary is correct that some of Doug's "facts" are not accurate. Just as importantly, the context in which he presents them is misleading as well. For instance, 47 million people ( not percentage) are on food stamps, about 40 pct (not 44) of children's births are paid for by Medicaid, and about 25 pct of jobs pay close to minimum wage.

Even once Doug's statistics are corrected, he makes the common error of listing them as if they were cumulative. They're not cumulative, but in fact they largely overlap. People in minimum wage jobs are often on food stamps, and have children on Medicaid. Look at many Walmart workers - many of their workers fit this profile. They are the working poor and chances are pretty low that they will buy homes.

The 47 pct of people who pay no federal income tax include a lot of these same people. Then for this group we add in senior citizens , many of whom worked, earned salaries and paid taxes their whole lives until they reach their 70's when their incomes go down and their adjusted taxable incomes from savings and soc sec drops them below the federal tax cut-offs. (Although of course, like my own mother, they may pay no federal tax, but she paid a,whopping 75 pct of her income in state and local taxes - not exactly escaping paying for her share of the community burden). This group is not apt to buy homes, but they never were, so that's not a big change at all.

Our country has many problems and our housing industry has been at the forefront of some of those serious problems. However we will be most constructive if we look at actual problems with some basic integrity and adherence to facts in context.

As for the OP, I agree with so many others who think you have a wonderful house in a wonderful setting but unfortunately I also agree you probably should wait out selling the house for at least a year or two more.

This post was edited by hayden2 on Mon, Dec 3, 12 at 8:54


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RE: I can't "give my house away"

In our industry that produces serious software engineering work that meets domestic and international guidelines and standards, we do not use the title "computer scientist" lightly unless a person who is directing graduate students in universities, or working in a "think tank" performing cutting edge research in computer science.

Doug, since you claimed you are a "computer scientist", you would be familiar with providing credible references when you cited them in your writing. Please share the sources with us. Thank you.


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