I recently showed a 1 bed/1 bath/500K condo downtown. The client says “what do you think of it?”
Well….do I say “Concrete walls, concrete floors, concrete ceiling, a window…Last I knew…That was a jail cell!” But of course it does have a door on the bathroom, granite counter-tops and cherry cabinets and stainless appliances. You have an awesome view of the interstate and all those dirty roof tops, and you have a balcony, but it’s not quite big enough for a chair. Forget trying to put a grill out there either. Do you really want everyone walking into your bedroom when they come in the front door? But, hey! Short walk to the fridge! No accommodations for pesky best friends or relatives. This seems to be all-to-common in the current Austin Real Estate Market.
Did I mention that parking is only two blocks away? There is only a 15 yr agreement on that, so in 16 years…you may have nowhere to park. Limit one car. But for additional $$$ we can get 2 parking spots. But not together. Don’t get too many groceries or you’ll have to make more than one trip on that 2 block walk…and plan on going only when it’s not raining.
And all this can be yours for a mere $680 per month HOA on top of your already enormous payment for this luxury little gem. Quick, hurry, sign the dotted line, and don’t let this cell get away! People are standing in line to buy them. Do you look good in stripes?
Well………I resisted the temptation! Bit my tongue (nearly in half). Let’s face it…it is MY opinion. Other people could be thrilled as punch to find this little gem. This could be one of those people.
So, I ask “Are you familiar with condo life?” I know there are areas of the country that condo’s are the norm, and you don’t have much other choice. They are fairly new to our area. Let’s face it… They are glorified apartment buildings most of the time, and you’re just buying your own apartment and agreeing to share the expense of the rest of the building. So, the client replies…”Well I have lived in a few in my life, and can’t say I have loved all my neighbors. But I like that when I travel with my job…I don’t have a yard to mow and that kind of stuff.” Well, there was my opening. “Well let’s look at all your options before you decide.” You work from home and travel, so you don’t have to be located close to work. I can get you a 3000 sq ft/3 bed/2 bath home with an office, on an over sized lot, with a nice BBQ patio set up, with an in-ground pool, and an attached 3 car garage. You can get a lawn service to take care of the yard for around $150.00 per month year round. A security service to monitor the property for under $35.00 per month. The HOA’s in most area’s average $30 a month. You could even have a pool service for around $250.00 a month, plus supplies. That would save you around $200 a month, give you a place to entertain, a place to park your car, and plenty of storage. You will have room for guests, and company watching over the safety of your home, no yard work worries, and the pool with a much better view would be like a vacation spot. You would be anywhere from 30-45 minutes away from the airport if you have to fly. And you won’t have to hear the elevator or the neighbors teenagers tromp up and down a staircase with what sounds like size 18 shoes. You are only responsible for YOUR upkeep and maintenance and insurance. Does that sound appealing?
Well…. I peeled him up off the floor. He said he thought stuff like that would be in the multi-million dollar price range. Just wait until Austin ends up turning into the next movie town. Well, we have some of those too…but I can get you all that in your price range. He had no idea! He had only been looking at condo’s. Had no idea what else he could get, or any other areas of town.
Now…I might have shot myself in the foot. He may not want a pool, and only a 2 car garage, and I could find him a very nice home like that for half the price of the condo. But, I have done my job…. I have given him his choices. It is up to him to decide how he wants to live. Not everyone is up to condo life, but then again, not everyone is up to residential life. They like the downtown hustle and bustle. A little noise makes up for being close to all the night life that the city has to offer. He knows I am not out to get him to spend every dime he either has or doesn’t have. I am not out just for a bigger commission. My job is to find my clients a home that they are “thrilled” with. When I do that…the referrals they bring me make up for any amount of money I “might have” missed out on by not trying to sell them the most expensive listing. These are some interesting practices for sure. They love me, I sleep better at night, my referrals are up…… but my last Broker thought I was nuts for not making that bigger sale… But…that’s his opinion!