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Thread: Penalized for being frugal?

  1. #11
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly View Post
    We did all the inexpensive updates per our realtor. And we paid a stager as well. We put a ton of money into the important stuff. Rebuilding our chimney, replacing our collapsed well, replacing our aging siding, having the entire interior painted, etc. New roof too. But that is not the flashy stuff.

    We've been in the home for 32 years, it was paid off a long time ago so I will be happy to lower the price. It is way too big for us and we are looking forward to a much smaller home with a lot of plans for travel. I'm ready to move on to the next stage in life. And if that means lowering the price, I'm fine with that.
    Oh right, that is another thing, the non-flashy stuff isnt seen.

    people here still buy old houses with old and soometimes some original windows without understanding what that means.
    It is the quartz countertops that matter!

  2. #12
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    In addition to being frugal, I am also ecology conscious. I was perfectly satisfied with my kitchen and never saw a need to rip it out because my neighbors were doing so. I didn't like the color of one of my bathroom sinks, but it was in great condition, and I couldn't bring myself to see it go to a landfill because I didn't like the color. It was a soft pale yellow - so not terribly offensive. If it were pink, that would be a different story!

    I had a serious case of affluenza in my 20's, but quickly recovered when we got over our heads in debt. Our goals then became focused on being debt free. I considered that more of a status symbol than granite countertops. So yes, the price of the house will get lowered and hopefully we will find a buyer who enjoys remodeling projects.

  3. #13
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Where do you live, Molly? Just curious about the general area and the real estate market. It is interesting to compare different parts of the country. I think our archaic kitchen and the fact that we converted this to a 1 bedroom house would not even be relevant if we sold. The market here is flaming hot, and small old houses like ours are tear-downs, or semi-tear-downs where they essentially drop a big new fancy house over the old one, keeping the existing footprint. We could probably get the same price for our lot, even with no house on it. We are a little bit north of Boston. The town recently voted to build some nice new schools, and apparently that is playing a part in our hot market.

  4. #14
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    The market/location you are in will determine demand. I would lower the price if you are ready to move on. We sold our 2-1 out-dated cottage in Austin two years ago for $450K because the land it sat on was (and still is) very sought after. It could have had only a dog house on it and still would have brought the same price. I just checked its current value and it is now at $550K. Darn...should have waited another year Where we have moved to, buyers are much less "sophisticated" so all the upgrades aren't necessary. At least not yet...

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly View Post
    We have our house on the market. It was built in 1978 and we've been here 32 years. It's a 2200 square foot house in a nice development. Problem is, we have had lots of showings, but no interest so far.

    We were never big wage earners, but we were frugal. Top priorities were getting our kids through college debt free, being debt free ourselves, and retiring early. Mission accomplished.

    We fixed things in the house when they were broken. We have a new roof, driveway, heater, air conditioner, and well. House has been professional painted inside in a neutral color. Every bit of flooring has been replaced over 32 years, but it's worn and needs to be updated.

    We never remodeled our kitchen or bathrooms because we were content with them (a nice colonial Williamsburg look). They still look nice but dated. But millenials want granite countertops, tile floors and stainless steel.

    We priced our house accordingly. We have a good agent, reputable and experienced. If our house had the upgrades, we would have priced it at $30-40,000 more.

    Our house is structurally sound, and just needs cosmetic updates.

    Is no one willing to do that anymore? Do buyers want instant gratification? What if the colors aren't to their taste?

    Just venting here. And maybe looking for encouragement.
    Someone will buy it. Houses are selling in my neighborhood, built in 1950, 1250 to 1500 SF, old driveways not all paved, no one has central air, and I doubt granite or stainless steel either though I haven't peered in everyone's windows.

    There are many people other than upscale double income millenials who dream of a home of their own. Who is your realtor targeting as potential buyers? Maybe that needs to change, or you need a different realtor who has connections in a variety of socieconomic groups.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    My ex is a contractor and when we were trying to figure out what to do with our folks home to sell he told us only to upgrade areas that were necessary for a loan. Beyond that he makes all his money by pulling out brand new remodels done for a sale and replacing it with what the new owners want. He was right, we priced accordingly and that house that had not had anything done to the kitchen or bathrooms since it was built in the 60's went as soon as we put it up.

  7. #17
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simplemind View Post
    My ex is a contractor and when we were trying to figure out what to do with our folks home to sell he told us only to upgrade areas that were necessary for a loan. Beyond that he makes all his money by pulling out brand new remodels done for a sale and replacing it with what the new owners want. He was right, we priced accordingly and that house that had not had anything done to the kitchen or bathrooms since it was built in the 60's went as soon as we put it up.
    That is true, mortgage companies care about roofs, fixing foundations, HVAC systems. Not cosmetics. Well, for the
    inspection anyway. The mortgage holder’s appraiser, that is different. Appraised value will reflect old kitchens and old bathrooms.

  8. #18
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    Molly, your post could have been written my me. We sold our house about a year ago under the very same circumstances. All the systems (HVAC, plumbing, etc) had been maintained meticulously. The house was built in 1977. Additionally, we updated kitchens & baths frugally when we bought the house in 1996 (as in DH refinished kitchen cabinets; replacing the blue & harvest gold bathrooms with neutral white tile, replacing some old carpet with hardwood floors). Realtors and viewers were aghast at how "90's"and outdated the house looked. People wanted "mid century" look with an open concept kitchen (think every HGTV episode). I had never watched HGTV in my life. Started watching it and finally understood the mindset. We would have probably broken even re: price if we had stayed and done the updates ourselves but who needs that risk, the potential to find more problems and the headache only to break even. We eventually drastically lowered the price (luckily we were able to lower price as house was paid off and we bought at low point of market in our area) and got on with our lives and the new downsized place where we are now. But who knew? Our values was to save for retirement and our kids' instate tuition, and not home renovations to a perfectly good functional (& to me attractive) kitchen, etc. I have no regrets. Trendy renovations get old fast, but my retirement account never needs a new roof. Good luck to you; I know what you're going through.

  9. #19
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I read a decorating article recently that opined that "open concept" was the biggest mistake ever (I couldn't agree more wholeheartedly), but I won't hold my breath waiting for that attitude to filter down to tract developers.

  10. #20
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    Yes who wants to look at your dirty dishes when sitting in the living room? Also the noise level is louder especially if you don't have carpet. We only had 1 home that we did not upgrade while living in it and it sold fine. If the kitchen cabinets were in decent shape we always worked with them by either refinishing, painting or refacing them. Much, much cheaper then new ones and then we install a really nice countertop.

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