It’s almost daily that I am asked this question by a prospective seller. In a neighborhood like Canton, where you can see a home that sold for $600,000 directly next door to a home that sold the month before for $150,000, this is a great question. What I will attempt to do on this blog post is to answer this question based on the top factors that determine price in Southeast Baltimore’s sought after waterfront neighborhood of Canton.
- Got Width? — This is possibly the most significant factor is determining the pre-renovated or post renovated value in a Canton home. You can always make the home deeper by placing a rear addition on the house, or make it taller by adding a 3rd story BUT you can never make it wider. The average canton home is 12 foot wide “brick to brick,” meaning that after you add studs and drywall, it will be 11 foot wide on the inside. Adding an additional foot of width will add about $10,000 to the shell value and $15,000+ to the after renovated value. The most desirable Canton homes are the ones that measure 13-15 foot wide. It’s rare that you will find a home beyond 15 feet in width but if you do and it’s in a great location, you may be sitting on a valuable and sought after piece of real estate.
- Got Duct Work? — Often as Realtors we will walk in a house that has been “renovated” and quickly find that the inexperienced builder has done a quick makeover on the kitchen (often with poor workmanship) and done a quick tile job in the bathrooms with cheap fixtures and they are attempting to market this property as a “Newly Renovated Home” and compete with the $300,000-$500,0000 price tag that a TRUE newly renovated home carries. As a consumer, you want to make sure that all major systems have been renovated. The only way to do this the right way is to fully gut the house down to only the four brick walls and place brand new electric, plumbing, and forced air Ductwork through the entire house. This is followed by new framing, sheetrock, trim, flooring, bathrooms, kitchen, and a full makeover of the house to bring it into 2015 standards. A good Realtor will quickly point out a house that has had a “lipstick makeover.” You’ll want to cross this house off your list quickly because to truly do it right, the buyer would have to pull out the new kitchen and baths to fix everything behind the walls first.
- Got Parking? — Parking has been the highest appreciating asset in Canton over the last decade. Let me quantify that statement. If parking was worth an additional $5,000 in the market in 2005, that same parking spot has most likely appreciated 150% over the last decade compared with the house which may have only increased 1-2% per year. Why has this happened? As Canton has developed and become the “Hot Spot” for all the younger professionals to move, the rental market has exploded and homes are now renting for $800-$1,000 per bedroom. Most of the homes are two-three bedroom and thus attract 2-3 tenants who at times also have a significant other. This has made Canton streets crowded with at times, 3-5 cars per house. Thus, with supply and demand, parking has become in VERY high demand. A house in an A+ location that has been fully renovated and is 13+ foot wide without parking may sell for as much as $375,000. If that exact same home had a parking spot in the rear, it is likely that the same home could achieve a sale price much closer to $425,000.
- Are you an A,B, or C location? — When I am out with buyers OR working with sellers, I will always provide them a letter grade on the location of the Canton House. I also add (+’s and -”s) into the letter grade to get more specific. Factors that affect Canton locations are as follows: Is the street wide and tree lined with parking on both sides? What is the home’s proximity to the waterfront and to Canton Square (the further South and further West the better the location tends to be) and does the home have anything unusual in front or behind it such as a 4 story building that blocks the roof top deck view.
That pretty much sums it up. If you need an opinion on the value of your Canton home or are considering buying a home in the area, contact us today and we promise to guide you in the right direction.
Tim Kenney, REALTOR