Seems like I just get used to all the lingo they use out here in Kommifornia, and now I have to learn a different set of rules for Colorado!
At least they seem, how do I say it......"more honest" than here in LaLa Land.
Still, *all* the real estate websites have some things in common that I've noticed, starting with the photography used.
1) They Photoshop the living daylights out of the pictures in regards to brightness, contrast, hue, and saturation. I've seen pictures of places that remind me of some of the things I'd seen on Friday or Saturday nights when I was in college!
2) They use wide angle lenses that make a 9x9 room seem HUGE. And I've seen some traces of the artifacting that results from using a fish-eye lens with the software used to "straighten out" all the distortion that occurs.
3) And I've seen some very good, tasteful photography that shows a property beautifully without being all hit-you-in-the-face gonzo about it.
One thing I learned is that if the basement is "finished", the additional square footage of the basement is included in the square footage of the house. I stumbled across this by accident when was looking at some of the "fine print" in the online listings.
I was wondering why a 3br 2ba house had 2400 square feet when the pictures and room dimensions didn't seem to indicate anywhere near that number.
Ahhhh.....there's an additional 900 sq ft of finished basement included!
And since most of the house have basements, there's more emphasis on how "oversized" the garages are.
To me, and "oversize" garage is a separate 30'x40' structure out back!
With two roll-up doors, a couple of entry doors, and some nice windows....
Still, most of the garages seem decent, except for those poor houses that only have a one-car attached garage.
Unless they're on a 12,000 sq ft (or bigger) lot, and there's enough room on one side to put in a driveway leading to a "Dr. Jim's Workshop" out back (I'm pricing Armstrong Steel buildings, just in case), those get crossed off the list.
And I've also seen the prices dropping on the properties I've tagged to watch. Some of the ones I tagged at $350k have come down to $300k, while some that started at $285k have dropped to $250k. Unless something was seriously misrepresented on the real estate websites, it looks like homes aren't selling super fast in the Fort Collins area.
Meanwhile, here in the Land of Fruits and Nuts, our little 3br 1ba 1170 sq ft house has an "estimated" value of between $410k and $450k!
If we had a second bathroom, you could tack another $15k on that.
At this point in time, if we sold, we'd walk away with about $185k of "profit" after the dust settled. That would make a really nice down payment on a $300k house.
Since my wife is 18~24 months out from retirement (it takes the school district 45 days to generate an estimate of your retirement earnings!), I just hope, pray, and cross both my fingers and toes that "The System" hangs together long enough for us to make a graceful transition.
Time will tell, I guess.......