Million-dollar homes and curb appeal

Castles in the Sand

Three months pass by really quickly. Just think about where you were three months ago mid-December; wrapping Christmas gifts, planning a New Year’s Eve party, getting your heating system checked for the cooler weather ahead and possibly organizing your winter guest calendar.

The one thing for sure you weren’t doing is getting worried about something called the coronavirus, canceling vacations and stocking up on non-perishables as if it were hurricane season. But here we are and you either roll with it or, well there is nothing else to do except roll with it.

The one thing that appears to be consistent, however, is our real estate market, so in a few more paragraphs we’re going to see just what the million-dollar and over marketplace looks like. First let’s consider a few tips on how to make your house stand out from the others, whether they’re $1 million or not.

There’s a whole theory about curb appeal that most real estate professionals learn from experience. Most professionals will tell you to make your home as appealing as possible so that potential buyers will want to get out of the car and step inside. You would be surprised by the number of buyers who refuse to even take this simple step when looking at a home; usually it’s a big mistake that buyers may come to regret.

What you want to do is to never give the buyer a reason not to get out of the car. Start with the front lawn, the most basic of basics is to mow the lawn, trim the bushes, pick up the trash and the kids’ toys and paint peeling trim. Now if you’re able to get a buyer that far, consider painting the front door a special color. We live on an island, so many of our doors are tropical and fruity, but how about a red door, which means welcome in America and protects from evil spirits in China. Also, if there is any way to get your neighbors next door or across the canal to tidy up, you will be doing not only you but them a big favor.

Everyone knows that curb appeal has value, but it wasn’t till recently that we knew how much value. In a recent study in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, researchers have started analyzing that very thing. These researchers compared Google Street View photos to sales data and have determined that homes with good curb appeal sold for 7% more than similar homes. They’re also expanding this research with the hope of providing information to banks and Fannie Mae in determining value for home financing.

Well, back to the $1 million and over analysis for the months of November, December and January in the three cities on Anna Maria Island and in Cortez. The closed sales are from the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s office website and the available properties are from realtor.com at the time of this writing.

Cortez did not have any $1 million or over sales, same as last time. The City of Anna Maria had 16 ranging from $2,550,000 to $1,000,000, double from the last reporting period. The combined cities of Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach closed 24 $1 million or over properties ranging from $5,850,000 to $1,000,000 – way more than the eight closed during the previous three months.

On the market as of this writing there are four in Cortez ranging from $1,600,000 to $1,200,000; last time there were two. The City of Anna Maria has 63 properties $1 million or over listed. The range is from $6,850,000 to $1,045,000. Out of these 11 were $3 million or more; in the last analysis, there were 59.

Finally, in the combined cities of Holmes Beach and Bradenton Beach there are 93 properties listed over $1 million, 12 between $7,995,000 and $3,100,000 and 60 between $2,995,000 and $1,044,500; last time there were 73.

I hope the next three months don’t have too many surprises and that we all stay healthy enough to prepare for hurricane season. Oh, think about that front door.