Villa Riva – Riverside’s Shining Jewel!

Villa Riva Exterior

You’ve made the decision — you’re ready to downsize! The kids are gone and you love to travel but you just can’t bear the thought of a tiny condo and, gasp…waiting for an elevator every time you want to go somewhere or need to walk the dog!

Problem solved — move to Villa Riva — a luxury building in the heart of Jacksonville, FL’s Riverside neighborhood that many of of Jacksonville’s influential people call home.

libraryOne of only four terrace level units, in this space you’ve got over 3,000 square feet with 3BR and 3BA’s. Eleven foot ceilings, your own private two car garage, full size laundry room, gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, gas cook top and a stunning wood paneled library with custom built cabinetry are a few of the other special features.

Although this is a terrace level unit, you’ve got tremendous river views because the building is built up over the parking garage, so effectively, you’re one story up.

If you’re a gardener, you’ll fall in love with the large garden terrace which gives you tons of space to develop a lovely container garden. You’ll also enjoy fantastic amenities including top of the line gym, guest suite for overnight guests, business center and Riverfront swimming pool. Give us a call today to see this outstanding unit that offers a wonderful transition from single family living!

What’s the Best Way to Determine the Value of a Home?

CalculatorYou’ve decided that you’re ready to buy a home! Great decision — it’s a buyer’s market and now is the time to get a great deal! But how in the world do you determine what a great deal is?

A lot of realtor’s use a method called Price Per Square Foot or (PPSF). To get this, take the asking price of the house (say $200,000) and divide it by the number of square feet in the house (let’s say 1,800 SF).

So, in this example, the asking price of the house is approximately $111 per square foot.

The house that you’re interested in is renovated with a nice kitchen and bathrooms (more value) but lacks that awesome garage (less value) that you really wanted. It’s on a nice quiet street (more value) so you won’t be woken up by the rushing noise of passing traffic.

As you can see with this example, the price per square foot gives you a “jumping off” point or a good starting place but then you need to manipulate the figure based on the improvements, location and supply. Are there a lot of houses just like this one (less value) or is it unique (more value).

Beginning to get the picture? The valuation of a home is an art, not a science. You need a realtor who specializes in the market where you’re looking and who has seen thousands of homes to compare it against.

A realtor knows how much to add for the quiet street and can look up homes that’ve sold recently (within the last 4 months — essential to pick recent sales in this rapidly changing market) as comparisons.

Sometimes, things cannot be reduced to a simple equation — there’s the BIG picture to be factored in — how quickly do you need a home? Do you LOVE this one? —  the advice of a realtor specializing in the area where you’re looking can guide you to a proper evaluation of price.

Caution – Be Careful with your PPSF?

cautionWhat is PPSF anyway? It stands for Price Per Square Foot and is a GREAT tool for helping establish the value of a home. To get it, you take the asking price of a home and divide it by the number of square feet it has (air conditioned space only) and ta-da — you’ve got the price per square foot (PPSF)!

With PPSF, you can easily compare one home to another. This applies to homes that are available for sale as well as ones that have recently sold.  

A word of caution — PPSF is only good as a starting point! Why? There are lots of differences in properties that heavily influence what a proper price per square foot should be. Take a look at the example below.

  • House #1 is listed for $300,000 and has 1,000 square feet of living space so it’s ppsf is $300. 
  •  House # 2 (the one next door) is listed for $400,000 and also has 1,000 square feet so it’s ppsf is $400.

House #2 must be WAY overpriced! Right? The answer depends on a lot of factors. 

House #2 might have an awesome kitchen, a much larger lot or a brand new swimming pool, fancy outdoor summer kitchen and an awesome guest house.  Or…maybe the owner of house #2 is just dreaming! 

If you’re a buyer and trying to determine what a fair price for a house is, call a realtor that works in the area and ask for a list of recent comps (comparable sales).  In the tough real estate market that we’ve been experiencing, the list of comps can only be four months old or less. A local area expert has probably seen many of the homes on this list personally and can help you determine what the factors are affecting a home’s ppsf.

If you’re a seller and wondering what you might be able to sell your house for, it’s critical to know that buyers will be using the PPSF method to evaluate your home and you’d better be prepared to defend your price! Call someone who works in your area to get an honest opinion of what your PPSF should REALLY be!

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll join me for my next discussion of real estate in the Avondale, Ortega and Riverside neighborhoods.