04 December 2009

Property Values: What to expect for $250,000 to $350,000

In this new series of posts, I will explore how much modern home per Dollar you currently can expect in SE Florida. With asking prices as of yesterday ranging from $179,000 to $42,000,000, expectations from a modern home at $75 per square foot surely differ greatly from one for $2,100 per sf.

In the first installment today, I will look at modern homes listed between $250,000 and $350,000.

In this price bracket, over half of the listings offer three or more bedrooms, but the houses are certainly not huge. Square feet under air – assuming that you want to live in air-conditioned space or don’t count your car port as living space – range from 1,020 to 2,274, with one lonely outlier of (unverified) 3,542 sf. The average lies somewhere around 1,800 sf.

Half of the homes in this price range have a pool, 55% have a garage. What you do not find in this group is new construction: the majority was built between 1950 and 1970, the youngest house in this group is still 21 years old.

But the homes are often in good to very good upkeep. Updates are quite common, but not always in the spirit of modern architecture: Mexican or some funky tile on top of terrazzo, lead-glass front-doors, country cherry kitchens with stainless-steel appliances and granite counter-tops or bow/bay windows are quite typical.

So either a remodeling budget or willingness to live with a stylistic mismatch for a while are helpful. Occasionally I see homes in original condition, often even well-kept: those are much easier and more fun to update in period style than a house that needs to be de-renovated.

From the houses on my for-sale list (remember that there is no “modern”-specific search in the SE Florida MLS) between $250,000 and $350,000, I chose six examples typical for this range:

Fort Lauderdale: 2/1 with room to expand, ca. 1020 sf, pool, carport, short-sale listed at $249,000. Notice the original corral wall and clerestory windows.

Boca Raton: 3/2, 1896 sf, remodeled, keystone entry, fireplace, marble floors, cabana bath, pool. $298,000.

North Bay Village: 4/3, 2577 sf, remodeled, pool, $349,000. Note the kitchen renovation: corner window meets cherry cabinets.

Lake Worth: 2/2, 1162 sf, garage, completely renovated, $249,000. Noticeable: crown- and door-moldings in a modernist home.

Delray Beach: 2/2, 1740 sf, PGT windows, sunken living room, diamond-brite pool, large lot, carport, $349,000.

Fort Lauderdale: 2/2, 1102 sf, waterfront with ocean access, move-in condition, new kitchen (with Mexican tile), fireplace, room for pool, short sale listed at $269,000.

In summary: between $250,000 and $350,000, you certainly can find interesting mid-century modernist properties. It helps tremendously if you are not in a hurry or if you are geographically flexible, as the houses shown here are over 40 miles apart.

Interested in more examples, questions regarding any of these properties, or would you like a specialist for modern architecture – that would be me – help you find the right home? Then do let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.

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