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Victorian versus Craftsman

oaklandmomoaklandmom Registered User Posts: 1,076 Senior Member
edited February 2008 in Parent Cafe
A real estate question. Is a Victorian worth more per square foot than a Craftsman just do to the age? For those of you who have followed my adventures, you know I'd fallen in love with a craftsman but it sold before my house in Oakland. Now that my house fell out of escrow I'm in the market for another house again. Yesterday I stumbled across an amazing Victorian. About the same square footage as the Craftsman I fell in love with but about $100,000 more. The Victorian is indeed a house I could fall in love with. From just a quick tour of the house yesterday, I think it needs more work than the craftsman did and I'm trying to figure out how to justify the price difference(or to negotiate a substantially reduced price). The two houses are within 5 or 6 blocks - the block the craftsman is on is filled with craftsmen and Victorian houses. The Victorian stands out a bit in the block its on - the other houses seem to have been built more recently, there are no other Victorians on the block(I'd guess the other houses were built in the 50's and up).
Post edited by oaklandmom on

Replies to: Victorian versus Craftsman

  • mafoolmafool Registered User Posts: 6,453 Senior Member
    How does the price of the Victorian compare to the prices of the rest of the houses in the neighborhood? I would venture to guess that this is the more important comparison.

    Good luck!!! You are due.
  • dg5052dg5052 Registered User Posts: 778 Member
    What does your real estate agent say about comparables in the neighborhood? Nationwide, people are discovering the Craftsman style again and many new homes are being built in this style; Victorian (at least in the southeast where I am) is not nearly so much in vogue--so one would think that a Victorian would be at a LOWER price, but apparently not. If the house needs more work than the one you liked previously AND it costs $100,000 more to start with, this sounds like a very bad idea.
  • oaklandmomoaklandmom Registered User Posts: 1,076 Senior Member
    my agent just sent me a list of comps and its so confusing - prices are all over the place. The Craftsman sat next to a $1 million home. The Victorian is right next to one that sold for $775,000. But both have houses that sold for $335,000 near by but I'm assuming the square footage is less but I can't tell from what my agent sent me. My sense is that the Craftsman style is much more appealing to many people - even myself. I'd not even been interested in seeing the Victorian until I drove by and saw the price had dropped to $420,000 - but I think it does need to come down to under $350,000 to make it work for me. I'm baffled by prices of houses - having just looked at new construction: 5 bedrooms, living room, family room, big yard for $339,000. (same square footage as the Victorian). But the new construction doesn't have any secret passage ways - the Victorian does(oh, I'm such a sucker for older homes).
  • zoosermomzoosermom Registered User Posts: 25,962 Senior Member
    I wonder how handy you are and how much time you have to devote to the house. If you don't have a lot of spare time, spare cash and aren't handy, perhaps the Victorian isn't the right choice. We bought a Victorian three years ago and it is a huge commitment -- one that I wouldn't make again, despite its beauty. We call our house the "life sucker" because it's so demanding. Of course, if you're incredibly handy, love projects and have cash to burn, ignore me and good luck!
  • msteemstee Registered User Posts: 3,132 Senior Member
    Well, if it has a secret passageway . . . I'm a sucker for that, too. I've always wanted a house with a secret passageway!

    Sorry, I'm no help at all on price comparisons -- it sounds like the victorian may be a little overpriced from the information you provided, but if a buyer can be found at that price, than it wouldn't be considered overpriced, would it? Isn't that how real estate works?

    If the victorian has not been renovated and ruined it may be worth more -- all those charming details are worth something. But those charming details cost a lot to maintain, as was pointed out by zoosermom. Some craftsman style homes have some amazing touches too, and I personally feel more at home in a craftsman style house. But than again, there is that secret passageway factor to think about!
  • bulletandpimabulletandpima Registered User Posts: 9,826 Senior Member
    Ask your realtor to pull the tax comps. In our state it will show how much it sold for the last time and what the county says its worth...they look at the big pic, sqft of house and lot, how many fireplaces, garages, levels, type of exterior (brick, vinyl), deck, bedrooms, baths and rooms. There will be no mention of dishwasher, type of fridge, countertops, in other words what makes it sell faster than the other house.

    If the craftsman and victorian are at the same tax assessment, than the difference is based on the demands of clients. Lot location, interior floor plan, fireplaces, everything a client would be willing to pay more for. I always laugh when people tell me Realtors force the price, because to be honest all I do is show you the numbers and the properties...it is you who makes the final financial decision. When I have a buying client I leave the screen up for all of the comps, through the whole process, I also ask my mtg broker to be there so they can discuss it (I do leave the room, I don't need to know everything, all I need to know is that they have been guaranteed a loan for what they wrote the contract for)

    Hope this helped :)
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,581 Senior Member
    I think Craftsman style is more popular right now and more practical in reality. More modern floorplans, less useless trim to maintain, better pure style IMHO.
  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    Oaklandmom: What do you mean by Victorian? I can picture many different styles, some that are more popular in certain parts of the country than others.

    Dave's Victorian House Site - Victorian House School
  • bulletandpimabulletandpima Registered User Posts: 9,826 Senior Member
    I am with barrons, a true craftsman house is more desired for its open floorplan, interesting architectural staircases, stain glass. Victorians typically have gorgeous pocket doors and bow/bay windows, but they have the formal dining room and living room. Most of my clients now, want a very large breakfast room insteasd of a formal dining and a office/study instead of a living room. It's easy to change the lvrm, but I have yet to see a drm converted to a sunroom or another use room without it looking weird (chandelier is an issue)
  • AlumotherAlumother Registered User Posts: 6,233 Senior Member
    Take a look at Zillow - Real Estate Valuations, Homes for Sale, Free Real Estate Information. Not that their estimates are valid per se, but they do have a lot of data.
  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member

    I read the same thing about people not wanting a separate dining room, etc... but, ultimately, it's a very personal choice. It also depends on how soon one would want to resell (I've lived in the same house for 18 years). We have a formal dining-room, pocket doors, chandeliers, bay windows, the lot. We also have an eat-in kitchen. As a result, the dining-room is under-utiltized. However, I'm not going to get rid of it.I hate it when guests come into my kitchen. Cooking is a messy affair and I like to preserve the illusion of order. If only I could install a door that would prevent my guests from trooping into my kitchen and getting in my way as I try to put dinner onto the (dining-room) table!
  • ceebrownceebrown - Posts: 185 Junior Member
    Hi Omom. NO, NO, NO!! This is no time to fall in love! This is the time to get a bargain and keep some money for your nest egg.

    IMO, stop looking at houses and focus on selling yours. My hard to sell house fell out of escrow about the same time as yours and we are in contract with a new buyer. We had to be very strategic and go after people who had looked earlier with a lower price. We will choose a new house after renting for 6 months, prices are still going down in our mutual neck of the woods. This is not a time to pay a premium for any house.

    I think value in our area has to do with condition and finishings of the house rather than style. You can have 2 houses that look similar from the outside and one is circa 1950s inside and the other filled with granite and stainless appliances. People here want done, updated, no work. Fixer uppers of any kind are much harder to sell here.

    You and your realtor get your house sold and then you'll be a powerful buyer and should get something as nice as your original house for 10% less.
  • bulletandpimabulletandpima Registered User Posts: 9,826 Senior Member

    Our new home (new construction)has a formal dr, but I loved everything else, plus I do have 2 tables, not like I need to buy furniture. However, we have a breaksfast room (16 x 18) off of the kitchen and great room. Have a study with a wet bar and a sunroom, but no formal livingroom. Thus I am lucky, I don't need the dr. Victorians are gorgeous and IMHO the market turns alot...look in the late 90's everyone wanted a white on white kitchen, in the mid 2000 everyone wanted stainless, now everyone wants black and dark woods. We also went from ceramic countertops to granite/corian to softstone...it is all about what the client wants and typically they want something nobody has
  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member

    We have a sizable eat-in kitchen as well, sits 6 comfortably. That's why guests keep on trooping into it! The house also has a double living-room, though no sunroom.
    My take is it is such a personal choice. If one is thinking on moving in a few years, then resale value is important. If one is expecting to stay put, then personal choice is important. When we bought our house, we were told that jacuzzis were all the rage and were a good selling point. Well, the only person who's made use of ours was my 6-year old niece who was pretending to swim in it. That was 12 years ago! But the idea that it was a selling point prevented me from renovating the bathroom in a way that better matched my needs. And now, with S2 having only another year of college, we may be moving for real, and it's too late to think about major work.
  • bulletandpimabulletandpima Registered User Posts: 9,826 Senior Member
    As I was saying earlier, the market changes, I have had jacuzzis and or garden tubs, what is my opinion of them...I hat them, they are just dust collectors, The only one in ours now a days are my dogs...that is the truth...I can get both dogs done in 1 shot.
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