I know the market is mostly hot, but a 16,029 percent price increase … YOWZA!! That morning alert certainly sent me clicking away to 1001 Liberty Street, Unit 125 (I use an Ebby link here because Keller Williams wants you to login to see listings). Turns out the property is also for rent and the Realtor, Gary Davis of KW Denton, entered the rental amount instead of the selling price, thus the astronomical increase when corrected. I know, let down city. You expected something more.
Well, there is a little more … and a happy surprise.
This Bryan Place property has been on the market for 57 days, and in that time, it was listed and re-listed on the same day for pretty different prices. It’s dropped again since, but still rests above the initial listing price. Not counting the fat-fingering of the pricing that initially caught my eye.
If you were the buyer, would you offer a penny more than $235,290? I mean besides the fact that you’re close to that anyway? Realtors need to be very careful when entering data, especially pricing data, into the MLS. All sorts of sites slurp the data and make it available to … you know, buyers.
But as a buyer, knowing the prior listing price of $138,900 is just an excuse to spank yourself for not acting quicker. It’s a stark illustration of how the market has moved. Hopefully your salary has increased enough to afford $100,000 more in mortgage.
So as I said in Tuesday’s column, a rookie mistake in pricing. As you’ll see in the pictures, rookie mistake of mostly poor resolution shots (just like Tuesday) and only 10 of them. And I’ll toss in a seller’s mistake of using an agent in Denton for a listing in the urban core of Dallas, 40 miles away.
That said, this unit appears a bit of a bargain for the handy buyer. It’s listed for $250,000 while neighboring unit 121 is pending with a list price of $135,000. Unit 125 is 1,426 square feet ($175 per foot) while unit 121 is about a third of the size at 458 square feet ($294 per foot). Why?
Renovation, baby. Renovation.
The building was built in 1983 and unit 125 shows every bit of it. Unit 121 is newly renovated. Can unit 125 be reasonably renovated for less than $100 a foot? Sure. Here’s how.
Sand the floors back to the Stone Age and stain them in a single color that blends in that questionable border. Yank the fireplace mantle and marble tile out and replace. Better yet, rip out the fireplace (if possible) and square off the room for better flow. Remove the French doors to the study. Not a lot of money needed here — $5,000 to $7,000.
Kitchen: ditch it. Remove the soffits above the cabinets and extend the cabinets to the ceiling. Throw in a couple more lights. Knock down the raised bar to make a more usable peninsula. Extend the living room floors into the kitchen removing the bad tile. Cost? Say $35,000 depending on your appliance tastes.
Bathroom 1: gut it. Looks like the set of a prison shower scene in a 1980s slasher movie. Assuming you’re not moving anything and keeping the shower pan, I’d price it at <$10,000. If you want to add more lights, budget another grand.
Bathroom two: gut. New sink, new toilet, new floor and demolish the bathtub throne. Replace tub with freestanding one that uses the same plumbing. I’d estimate cost at another <$10,000. Oh, sorry, <$10,200 — that high school locker mirror needs replacing too. Again, more lighting/electric, add a grand.
Totting up the totals, you’ve got about $62,000 to spend to make this place really shine. It’s mostly finishes with minor structural work. That would put you at $219 per square foot, miles away from $294-ish the neighboring unit snagged. You’d be in the thick of Deep Ellum and downtown. There’s even the snazzy Sunset Lounge and Bungalow Beach Club within a block to sooth your renovation stress.
So that fat finger mistake got me to click on a link I wouldn’t normally and see a property that’s got some legs. Sometimes life offers happy accidents. If you’re looking for a bargain near downtown that needs work, this unit is certainly worth a peek-a-boo.
Remember: High-rises, HOAs and renovation are my beat. But I also appreciate modern and historical architecture balanced against the YIMBY movement. If you’re interested in hosting a Candysdirt.com Staff Meeting event, I’m your guy. In 2016 and 2017, the National Association of Real Estate Editors has recognized my writing with two Bronze (2016, 2017) and two Silver (2016, 2017) awards. Have a story to tell or a marriage proposal to make? Shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.