What Happens When a One-of-a-Kind Home Needs a New Owner?

It's essential to have the right marketing plan, pricing strategy and real estate agent.

When shopping for a home, it’s not uncommon to come across one that truly stands out. It’s not because the home is an old fixer-upper or that it’s a newly renovated home with a designer kitchen. It’s a home that’s architecturally significant or in some way conveys a “different” attribute. For instance, it might be a castle, a church or even a fire station that has been converted into one or more living spaces.

With an unusual home, pricing and marketing can be a challenge. Here are three things to keep in mind when either buying or selling a truly unique property.

1. Buyers should be cautious

As crazy as it sounds, a would-be buyer may want to reconsider purchasing an offbeat home. While it may be a home you love, it is also an investment. A home with a unique, unchangeable structural feature will likely alienate a large portion of the market.

If you’re faced with the opportunity to purchase a unique home, don’t get caught up in the excitement of it all. Think long term. Understand that when it comes time to sell, it may be a burden, particularly if you try to sell in a slow market.

2. When selling, don’t assume buyers will love what you love

As the owner of an interesting or different home who is considering a sale, be aware that not everyone will have the same feeling about the home as you did when you bought the place. While you’re likely to get lots of activity, showings and excitement over your property, a lot of that may simply be curious buyers, nosy neighbors or tire kickers.

Time after time, sellers with unique homes believe that since they fell head over heels, another buyer who might feel the same. But that person could be hard to find.

3. Hire the right agent and have a serious marketing/pricing discussion

A unique home requires a unique marketing plan and pricing strategy as well as a good agent. The buyer may not even live in your local market, and instead might be an opportunist buyer open to a unique property. So you should consider advertising outside the mainstream circles. Media and press can help get the special home the attention it may need.

The buyer may not want to live in your town but is fascinated by an old church or castle. The more you get this out there, the better your options for finding the specific buyer.

If you get lots of action but few offers, you may need to drop the price below the comparable sales to generate interest, particularly if you really need to sell. Just like a home with a funky floor plan, on a busy intersection or with a tiny backyard, the market for your unique home is simply smaller.

With online home listings, blogging and real estate television shows, unique homes stand out and get more exposure than ever. But selling a distinctive or offbeat property requires out-of-the-box thinking early on, and with a top agent. You only have one chance to make a first impression. Be certain to price the home right, expose it to the masses and have a strategic plan in right from the start.

Top image from Zillow listing.

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Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.

Originally published October 10, 2014.

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Go Exploring With This Tiny Home in Tow

A Seattle couple pack up their lives, hit the road in a 200-square-foot camper and launch a tiny home business in Eastern Washington.

Architect Duff Bangs and social worker Ashley Rodgers were ready to leave Seattle — and the nine-to-five grind. Taking a leap of faith, the couple quit their jobs, sold their condo and spent the past summer traveling the western United States in the Adventure Wagon 28, a 200-square-foot tiny home with a 70-square-foot sleeping loft. Now settled in Eastern Washington, Bangs and Rodgers are continuing their business Modern Wagon with the mission of building affordable tiny homes that are ready to hit the road, and donating a portion of the proceeds to housing for the homeless.

When designing the prototype, the couple aimed to include amenities like a bathtub, washer and dryer, and space for a yoga practice. The 28-foot trailer, carefully balanced for weight distribution, features a sloped roof and angled front and rear walls for maximum living volume. The exterior is composed of aluminum composite rainscreen with pre-finished birch lining the interior and Europly cabinets.

Bangs and Rodgers traveled nearly 11,000 miles over three months beginning in June 2017 — heading east to Chicago, back west to Colorado and Yellowstone National Park, and then south to Utah and Southern California before ending up in Eastern Washington. “We stopped at every national park we could,” says Bangs, who still lives in the prototype with fiancée Rodgers. “Living in a tiny home is better than I expected. [We] downsized from a 1,000-square-foot studio, and our lives are so much less cluttered and more simplified.”

Photos courtesy of Modern Wagon

The 13,000-pound tiny home stayed steady, even through storms in Montana and the Midwest. Says Bangs, “The entire journey has been extremely rewarding. It was pretty amazing to set a goal to design and build such a fascinating project within our deadline and be able to have the freedom to travel for three months all while towing our home.”

If you’re curious to hear more, check out the Modern Wagon blog for an account of the design process and road trip, and the website to get in touch with the creators.

This article was written by Jenny Xie and originally appeared on Dwell. Check out more of their content on Dwell.com.

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What’s a Short Sale? 7 Things You Should Know Before Buying

Though buying a house can be stressful, the reward is great. Landing somewhere you love helps make the ups and downs of buying worth it. A short sale may have more peaks and valleys than other home-buying experiences, but with the right expectations, it may be the best buy you ever make. If you’re asking, “What is a short sale?” you’ve landed in the right place.

What is a short sale?

A short sale is when an owner is selling their home for less than the mortgage they owe on it. The lenders may agree to take a “short” on the mortgage to release it for sale. Typically, this is seen as the last step before foreclosure.

Article source: https://www.trulia.com/blog/whats-a-short-sale/

How to Rent Without A Credit Check

Submitting your credit history to potential landlords is stressful for anyone who is navigating a competitive rental market—and doubly so for those with less than stellar credit. In fact, for renters who know their credit score is a liability, the best way forward may be to skip the credit check process altogether. As Rick Drew, a residential property manager of Renters Warehouse in Miami notes, credit scores don’t always tell a landlord the renter’s full story. For one thing, he says, “A credit score might not tell you whether or not the tenant will pay their rent on time,” he says. “It’s really a marker as to how you feel about responsibilities.” Here are helpful tips for how to rent without a credit check.

Article source: https://www.trulia.com/blog/how-rent-without-credit-check/

Best and Worst Places for Millennial Home-Buying

Members of the millennial generation, especially first-time buyers, are already struggling to purchase a home due to student loan debt, trouble saving for a down payment and tight inventory—factors cited in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. According to GOBankingRates, slow wage growth and low unemployment rates across the country are also impacting the homeownership rate.

There are, however, specific locations that may be easier to purchase in because of low median list prices and low monthly mortgage payments. GOBankingRates rated the most and least expensive states across the U.S. to help millennial buyers find affordable housing. The report uses a median income of $60,932 to represent ages 25-34, and the following rankings are based on a 20 percent down payment and a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage.

Top 5 Most Affordable States

  1. West Virginia
    Median Lis price: $154,900
    Estimated time to save for a down payment: 2.5 years
    Monthly mortgage payment: $693
  1. Ohio
    Median list price: $150,000
    Estimated time to save for a down payment: 2.5 years
    Monthly mortgage payment: $704
  1. Arkansas
    Median list price: $150,000
    Estimated time to save for a down payment: 2.5 years
    Monthly mortgage payment: $757
  1. Indiana
    Median list price: $167,000
    Estimated time to save for a down payment: 2.7 years
    Monthly mortgage payment: $757
  1. Iowa
    Median list price: $169,000
    Estimated time to save for a down payment: 2.8 years
    Monthly mortgage payment: $766

Top 5 Most Expensive States

  1. Hawaii
    Median list price: $599,000
    Estimated time to save for a down payment: 9.8 years
    Monthly mortgage payment: $2,584
  1. California
    Median list price: $499,950
    Estimated time to save for a down payment: 8.2 years
    Monthly mortgage payment: $2,168
  1. Massachusetts
    Median list price: $419,900
    Estimated time to save for a down payment: 6.9 years
    Monthly mortgage payment: $1,833
  1. Colorado
    Median list price: $408,068
    Estimated time to save for a down payment: 6.7 years
    Monthly mortgage payment: $1,780
  1. Oregon
    Median list price: $352,000
    Estimated time to save for a down payment: 5.8 years
    Monthly mortgage payment: $1,551

For more details, read the entire GOBankingRates report.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

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