John & Shelby

Queen Anne
4 Bed/2.25 Bath
JG Square

When you’re hunting for houses, your options can range along the “home improvement spectrum”. On one end, there are the tear-downs and “fixer uppers”, value priced parcels that can be developed if you have the time, patience, resources and budget to do so. On the other end, remodeled homes come with a higher price tag, but they’re gorgeous, modernized and move-in ready.

John and Shelby wanted to start a family and longed to live in a classic Queen Anne house. For years, they lived in a tiny Queen Anne condo and diligently saved their money. Thanks to panoramic views, a charming restaurant and retail district, and close proximity to downtown Seattle, Queen Anne homes are among the most expensive in the city. I searched diligently for a house with good bones and the best opportunity to increase in value after recouping remodeling costs. A gorgeous 3040 sq. ft. Dutch Colonial fit the bill; it featured crown moulding, French doors, multiple fireplaces, and a built-in ADU (auxiliary dwelling unit) that could provide separate living quarters for a nanny — but it was in pretty raw shape.

The difference between enjoying a This Old House dream remodel and a nightmare cash drain reminiscent of the Tom Hanks classic, The Money Pit, is having an unbiased home inspection and knowing exactly what you’re getting into. Use caution when relying on a home inspection supplied by the seller; while most people are honest, it just takes one overlooked or minimized “issue” to bring about financial hardship.

Our inspection included video scopes of the sewer line as well as a complete building inspection. Despite competing with multiple other offers, we structured a strategic bid. We came out on top, paying a modest 1% over the asking. Often, panicked buyers drive the asking price well above the value of the house — we avoided that by focusing on excellent contract terms that we could offer. $707K for a giant house in Queen Anne is an incredible deal. Even after the remodeling budget was factored in, equity in the finished house provided a healthy return on investment. As soon as the remodeling was done, my clients’ first baby arrived. The gorgeous house provided the ideal setting for this growing family to live the life they always dreamed of.

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