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Old 11-10-2009, 09:40 AM
Hank Outlaw's Avatar
Hank Outlaw Hank Outlaw is offline
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NC Mountains
State: North Carolina
Professional Status: Certified Residential Appraiser
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Smile "Big Box" house. for lack of better description

With the decline in the market, I'm seeing a few builders that have started building a product that is cheaper to build, offering more house for the money, but lacking in curb appeal, i.e., a big box vs. a design with more character. I'm working on an appraisal right now selling for $218,000 with 3045 heated square feet (photo attached), vs. some neighboring homes of a more traditional design selling for $25,000 - $50,000 more in the 2400+- sq. foot range. I've looked at several "big box" style sales vs. the more traditional designs (same/similar sq. ft., new) and see a 5-10% difference in price that I believe reflects the design / appeal of the properties (all else being equal / similar).

Just curious of your experiences and how you would describe such a house (see photo) in terms of architectural design, i.e., colonial, traditional, etc... Pretty plain vs. neighboring homes.
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Old 11-10-2009, 09:45 AM
Mike Kennedy's Avatar
Mike Kennedy Mike Kennedy is offline
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Location: Southern Hudson Valley
State: New York
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Contemporary Colonial
Kill the Contract Review Bull$eye - Now.
Old 11-10-2009, 09:46 AM
Terrel L. Shields's Avatar
Terrel L. Shields Terrel L. Shields is offline
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Location: Springtown, AmeRica
State: Arkansas
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American Cheapo Garish....
Narcotecture (puts you to sleep)

seriously, it is a 'big box' - you describe it correctly. I would argue that it is "fair" quality vs a higher level and not be too concerned about pigeonholing it otherwise.
"Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is much the same." Oscar Wilde
Old 11-10-2009, 09:52 AM
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Mr Rex Mr Rex is offline
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Box on a slab, doesn't get much cheaper than that. I'd almost bet that the walls come in on a truck pre-fabbed. Speed base throughout and faux 2 pc crown (mdf) in the main living areas. Then they slap some cheap ceramic tile on the floor in the kitchen and baths, some boxed cabinets ( mdf with wood veneer faces with maybe solid wood doors) put down granite counters in 2 available colors and you now have the infamous lip sticked pig. Dumbarse buyers and Realtors will coo over the square footage for the money and want you to compare it to custom homes with more angles than straight walls and real quality features.
You talking to me?
Old 11-10-2009, 09:53 AM
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CardFan CardFan is offline
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State: Florida
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We have seen a lot of these down here, especially by one particular builder that has built a lower quality version. Lots of GLA for the price.

The builders were able to get pretty good prices for them new, but the resales have been very low, especially with the lower quality builder's models. We pretty much have to be sure to comp with nearly identical models to get it right, or try to figure out a quality adjustment that makes sense.

What's worse, is the builders were aggressive in getting people into these homes, so there are a lot of foreclosures on these things. Most of them went into a neighborhood that went crazy beyond any reason during the boom, and is now our worst area for distressed sales.

I think we simply called the style 2-Story or 2-Story Ranch, although I'm sure there's a better description. Contemporary sure doesn't seem to work. Big Ugly Box sounds good to me.
Old 11-10-2009, 10:19 AM
Ted Martin Ted Martin is offline
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Location: Topeka, KS, USA
State: Kansas
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I've seen a few of these and in a couple of cases have had to discount them up to 40% for quality. The trick is figuring how much of the discount is the quality and how much is because of the size. They also tend to suffer from other design characteristics which adversely impact their marketability.
Old 11-10-2009, 10:24 AM
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jlabauve jlabauve is offline
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State: Louisiana
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Quoting another poster (I don't remember who it was, or I'd give them credit because it's the best and most descriptive term I've seen in a long time)

"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom." Mahatma Gandhi
Old 11-10-2009, 10:45 AM
Caterina Platt's Avatar
Caterina Platt Caterina Platt is offline
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Location: Central New Mexico
State: New Mexico
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Wow, Hank. My first mental association was Pulte. Then I looked closely at your photos and Pulte's looking pretty darned good in comparison.

Like Card, I generally call them 2 Story Ranch and then go on in detail about the underwhelming features.

Fast Food Housing, Supersized???
Old 11-10-2009, 11:25 AM
Mike Boyd Mike Boyd is offline
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Location: Santa Rosa, CA
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CA suburbs are famous for these mega-monsters. As an aside, Joe Montana has his house for sale. Naturally listed for $49 million, it is in NE Sonoma County on 500 grapes. The newswriter who wrote the article quipped that with 20% down, the monthly payments would be $240,000+ per month. It has 9,400 SF with all the accoutriments(?).
Old 11-10-2009, 12:10 PM
Tom Woolford Tom Woolford is offline
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Looks like the ones around here that sold for $300,000, and are some of the crappiest construction I have seen. Most, it not all went to foreclosure, and can now be had for as little as $95,000. Subfloors were cheap lauan plywood, and they didn't even bother to stagger the seams. Plastic bath fixtures, prefinished doors and trim, just plain old crappy construction.
Some mornings, its just not worth chewing through the restraints.
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