“It’s in the eye of the beholder”. We’ve all heard it and to an extent it’s true. What one person sees and falls for can be wildly different than what another sees. That’s ok. We can’t go having everyone wanting that single precious thing – it would be mayhem. To the extent that it is not true, is when the numbers don’t work. If you are in fact attempting to make money, and/or a sound investment, the foundational premise of the decision should be based on the numbers. It seems so cold and unfeeling to deny ourselves our hearts desire, but what’s beyond that pretty face can be truly ugly, and breaking up is hard to do, so I recommend making a decision with eyes wide open.
Yesterday I visited two properties. The first on Appleton Street (highly sought after neighborhood) had the following stats:
– Floor through . One Bed . Second Floor Unit . 575 SF/$885. SF
– In unit washer/dryer . AC
– Renovated in 2008
– No parking . Common Roof Deck . Decorative Fire Place
The second on West Springfield Street (not a highly sought after neighborhood) looked liked this:
– Floor through . One Bed . Second Floor Unit . 626 SF/$797. SF
– In unit washer/dryer . AC . Private Deck off Living Room
– Recently Renovated by a South End Developer
– No parking . No Fire Place
I hate to use the word “comp” short for comparable because comparing properties is like comparing siblings – they are all unique in their own way. I get defensive on behalf of my own property, standing up for its perceived deficiencies and expounding on its attributes. We’ve been in it together after all. Alas, I will compare for the sake of this exercise.
At first glance, the W Springfield property is the more attractive. Lower square foot price, a developer: Sam Hassan of Silverstone Developement who is known for his clean lines, great eye, and beautiful mill work details, is responsible for this space. It has lower condo fee, appealing entry, and private deck. One might think that there is really no way to add value to a property like this….yea of little faith. I would take that challenge, but we are not done here.
This property has a nice layout, a railroad kitchen (sits between the main living space and the bedroom and you must pass through it to access either one). You feel the difference 51 SF make as there is no defined place for a dining table. Newly renovated in 2008 is not a selling point to me – even the IRS lets you throw away your tax information after 7 years. It looks a little tired and in need of an update but at $885. the SF price doesn’t give you much from which to work.
I like a challenge and I like my neighborhoods. Did I mention that I’m a scare-d-cat? Well I am, and I don’t pick neighborhoods that leave me afraid to go out at night. I believe in the veracity of this statement: LOCATION . LOCATION . LOCATION. It will pay you back again and again. For my money, I would take Appleton, I would stain the hardwood floors dark, I would paint the living room a beautiful gray taupe, it’s a special mix I picked up from a Rhode Island School of Design Professor that changes drastically with the light the space gets and is sublime. I would rip out that granite counter top and replace it with Vermont Imperial Danby.
So beautiful and tres cher but these are the things one must do if you plan to make a profit. Then I would decorate the hell out of it and put it on the market for $1000. a foot.
Do I seem too desperate? Happy Spring.