Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Selling the Ugliest House in Boulder

by Osman Parvez



You know you've got problems when the listing agent describes your property as an "ugly house" and counsels potential buyers to "be brave." I suppose there are many approaches to marketing, but this agent's tactics are a bit surprising!

Only one block north of Mapleton, Bluff street is actually quite nice (I would live there). This particular lot is fairly small at ~4,200 SQFT which could limit future build-out. I'd also advise clients to check how close this property is to Folsom, which carries significant traffic during the day.

The existing structure is only 1,300 SQFT and will almost certainly be scraped by the new owner. On the market only 6 days, this property is listed at $415,000. Given the house next door is listed at $799,900, this could be a nice spot for an end-user to build but probably not in the $1.2MM+ range for a spec project. It's comfortably close to shopping (Whole Foods, Target, Home Depot) and the future Boulder Transit Village, which might add a few additional factors to the equation.

I asked the listing agent about build-out potential, but he wasn't particularly helpful, suggesting I call the city for answers. Having key information available can make the difference in this type of situation, particularly when it's not about the house but all about it's potential. If this were my listing, I'd have a lot plan available and get a local builder to do a back of the envelope evaluation of its potential.


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