We asked four real estate pros to share tales of the trade from their home bases.
Cindy Goldrick, Wilson & Goldrick Realtors
Most outrageous listing: A huge stucco home on more than 3 acres overlooking Lake Austin that was built in the 1960s and had been used as a place to gamble–such dignitaries as Lyndon B. Johnson were purported to have frequented the place.
Where do buyers want to be? We are seeing action in several south Austin neighborhoods, such as Bouldin Creek and Travis Heights, and also in Northwest Hills. Those areas feature a lot of midcentury modern homes, which are all being easily updated.
Top amenities clients request: Renovated kitchens with Carrara marble counters, open-floor plans, and master bathrooms with large walk-in closets and glass walk-in showers remain popular.
Frank Aazami, Sotheby’s
Hot up-and-coming area right now: Neighboring sides of Paradise Valley and Arcadia are popular. They feature large ranch-style homes on bigger lots with tremendous views, and the location is ideal for growing families. Everyone wants to be near central Phoenix.
What’s topping clients’ wish lists? Great views and privacy: The Valley is a treasure spot for amazing mountain, city and sunset views. Since seclusion is a factor for many of our clients, the Valley’s gated communities offer peace of mind. There are also amenities, such as top-rated golf courses, hiking and biking trails, boating and motorcycling fun.
Val Steele, Pacific Union
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
Older houses vs. new construction: Either–older or newer construction is secondary to the condition of the house. Buyers are hesitant to take on a renovation project in San Francisco, given the cost involved and the onerous process.
What do buyers want? Integrated kitchens are in great demand. This is, of course, driven by the trend of the open-floor plan. We’re also seeing hydroponics for living gardens in the cooking area, so homeowners can grow their own herbs.
Biggest selling factor? A house in move-in condition that feels fresh and new has enormous appeal. The kitchen is a huge factor, as is having a family room or gathering area. Most buyers consider these spaces the heart and soul of a home.
Suzanne Frisbie, Corcoran
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
What’s the most eccentric house you’ve ever sold? It was a rare waterfront site with a dilapidated house, which included a swim-in/swim-out pool, complete with an almost cartoonish sculpture of a cherub and dolphin.
Any noticeable trends: Palm Beach has about 2,500 single-family homes all of which are located in established neighborhoods. Each area has an individually compelling collective appeal. The median age in Palm Beach has been coming down year after year. It’s becoming the homestead of choice for many in the investment industry who are relocating. These buyers bring with them an appetite for a variety of architectural styles, which Palm Beach is well-positioned to accommodate.