After a quiet morning, we went out looking for open houses to peruse this afternoon. We saw a little bit of everything -- ranging from a low of $409,900 for a ridiculously tiny (786 sq.ft.) 1949 rancher to a high of $1,450,000 (3400 sq.ft.) 1956 home on a third of an acre in Oak Bay.
In fact, when we walked into that house, the first words out of the realtor's mouth were not "hello" or "thanks for stopping in" but instead, "The asking price on this home is one point four five million; if you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer them." The place was clearly professionally staged -- right down to freaking croquet on the back lawn -- but even without the staging, the place felt insincere. I had a good laugh that (a) for all that cash, parts of the basement were still unfinished, (b) the only bookshelf I saw was filled almost entirely with home decorating magazines, and (c) the back yard was pretty much un-landscaped and empty.
Just up the street was a slightly larger home, (4644 sq.ft.) selling for $1,395,000. Thing is, it had been renovated maybe 20 years ago, but it had a much better use of space (despite some headache-inducing wallpaper in the front room), trees in the yard, and it actually looked like a home someone lived in. Oh, and the realtor(s) didn't try to freak us out with the pricetag.
We also looked at one that was waaay up a steep drive and built into the rock (no yard for Kiddo) that was selling for $849,00 (reduced from $929,000) -- you could actually see some of the buildings on campus from the deck.
In amongst the craziness were two that almost appealed to us and one that really appealed to us:
** almost #1: nice little house on too busy a corner $445,900 (reduced from $459,000).
** almost #2: small house with an "unfinished studio" in the back yard, $439,000
** really: (kitty-corner to almost#2), large-ish 1914 house with a separate garage and unfinished basement $479,900 (reduced from $495,000)
Of course, even the appealing ones are more than we would like to mortgage... but the really encouraging thing is that several of the ones we saw today had been reduced. Ahhhh.