October 16th, 2010 categories: News and Views
Do we repurpose large homes in St Petersburg and Pinellas County when they don’t sell? Sometimes dropping the price isn’t enough to sell a home (though there’s ALWAYS a price at which a house will sell) because buyers don’t want or can’t afford the maintenance and carrying costs. If large homes are left empty and not maintained, they become a blight on the neighborhood. What’s to be done with them?
This isn’t a new problem; history tends to repeat itself. Look at the large homes in the Old Northeast, particularly those closer to downtown. Many large homes were built in the 1910s and 1920s that later became rooming houses or were divided into several small rental units. Over the past several years many of these have been made back into single family homes – but we’re facing many much larger homes that have been built around the county.
An article from last fall Reinventing the McMansion gave some options, ranging from adding a business use to renting rooms to group facilities. One advantage mentioned for the typical McMansion is that each bedroom typically has its own en-suite bathroom, and perhaps a sitting room or snack kitchen as well. Often there are restrictions from zoning ordinances or subdivision restrictions. My thought is that perhaps the very large homes could be divided into condos or townhomes. As a neighbor, would you rather have an abandoned property, short term rentals, an institution, or homeowners? Often these homes have garages for several vehicles, so dividing the property wouldn’t necessarily mean on-street parking.
Some people believe that when the economy turns around, we’ll return to life as it was. Well, the economy will certainly recover, but I don’t think that means returning to life as it was. If you want to look ahead, I’d suggest reading Richard Florida’s book “The Great Reset“.
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August 23rd, 2010 categories: Market Updates
The demand for large homes in declining in Pinellas County, just as it is across the country. Trulia did a survey and found that only 9% of the people surveyed said their ideal home (not even affordable, but ideal) was over 3,200 sq ft. There was an interesting articles I read this week on CNBC.com: ‘Death of the ‘McMansion’: Era of Huge Homes is Over.
Buyers are more concerned with ongoing costs and ask about the maintenance costs, the property taxes, the insurance, the utility costs. They no longer want to pay each month for space that they use infrequently or use for storage. Drastic price reductions bring the purchase price within the range of more buyers, but often these buyers can’t afford the operating costs for that larger home. More buyers are concerned with practicality, with “greenness”; they’re more concerned about quality than size.
In the last six months, 299 homes over 3,000 sq ft sold in Pinellas County, down from 446 in the same period five years ago. Here’s how size correlates with time on the market here in Pinellas County:
Single family homes over 3,000 sq ft: 18 month supply
Single family homes over 4,000 sq ft: 31 month supply
Single family homes over 5,000 sq ft: 53 month supply
Single family homes over 7,500 sq ft: 216 month supply
Single family homes over 10,000 sq ft: ??? None sold in the last six months
The number of homes sold in the last six months compared to the same six month period five years ago in 2005:
- Over 3,000 sq ft: down 33%
- Over 5,000 sq ft: down 50%
- Over 7,500 sq ft: down 75%
There are currently 897 single family homes on the market in Pinellas County that are over 3,000 sq ft. If you ARE looking for a large home, there are some great values out there now.
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