Thursday, March 12, 2015

Pricing Waterfront

One aspect of pricing waterfront properties has to do with the direction the house and views face. Let's compare the sales prices for waterfront homes on the east and west sides of Lake Sammamish in King County, for example.

Waterfront homes on the west side of Lake Sammamish face views to the east, and the rising sun. Some people love to wake up to sunrise and early morning light to take the chill off the night. On the southern end of Lake Sammamish, residents have close proximity to Timberlake park and to Lake Sammamish State Park. On the north, is Marymoor Regional Park.

The median sales price for the six home sales on the west side of Lake Sammamish (facing east) was $2.3M ($650.64/sf), but took 81 days to sell.

The median sales price for homes on the east side of Lake Sammamish (facing west) was $1,919,000 ($531.58/sf). These sold in just 61 days.

Because of the low numbers, it is difficult to draw any solid conclusions. Do people like sunrises, better than sunsets? Or are there several other factors, such as the location on the lake, slope of the lot, linear feet of waterfront, and age of the house that should be taken into consideration here?

Using the stats from my previous blog, how would we price a 4400 sf home with 67' of waterfront on the southwest side of Lake Sammamish?

Using the $511/sf median of sold comps for all of Lake Sammamish, this house should sell for around $2,252,580. But let's add in some mitigating factors for a very steep lot, and an awkward interior lay-out, which will tend to discount the price.

The Realist program of the NWMLS, which many brokers use as a guide, give the estimated value of this house as compared to other houses with similar features, at $2,352,000 - similar to the calculation I did above. It does not take into account the slope of the lot, nor the design of the house, nor the linear feet of waterfront.

Zillow, which many buyers will consult, lists the Zestimate value of this house at $2,575,000. I would definitely promote this valuation in my marketing materials for this house, although I certainly would not list it at this high a price.

So I think we have defined the top of the range, and in making the pricing decision, it would be wise to build in discounts for the slope and interior lay-out of the house. Since the three closest comps all sold within 18 days, I would expect to receive an offer on this house within fourteen days, if it was listed at the right price.

For a complete list of waterfront homes with amazing sunrise or sunset views, please email me at or leave a message at 888-621-4999.

Happy Investing!

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