This is a nice looking house, right? It has upgrades galore and is over 4000 square feet. There are five bedrooms, four full bathrooms and a decent-sized lot. This house may be slightly overpriced, but on top of that, prospective buyers have not been making offers. Take a close look and see if you can guess why no offers have been made. What do you see?
Why is this house sitting on the market? While this property has many appealing features, the stairs have been an issue for buyers according to the Listing Agent. Why? Because there are stairs to get to the front porch from the driveway, stairs inside from the first floor to the second floor and stairs from the garage to the first floor of the home. We expect stairs inside, but it can be very taxing for buyers to have to walk up stairs to get into the house from the driveway and through the garage. There is literally no other way to access the house besides going up stairs. This would of course be a great way to burn calories, but it would be a pain for grocery shopping, baby transport and many other everyday details of life.
What is functional obsolescence? It is ”a reduction in the usefulness or desirability of an object because of an outdated (or odd) design feature, usually one that cannot be easily changed” (from Investopedia). We see functional obsolescence when there is a feature of a house that is not useful to buyers for one reason or another. It may have been acceptable at some point in the past, but is now outdated, or it may simply be odd and less appealing. Other examples of functional obsolescence include having to walk through a bedroom to get to another bedroom, having no dishwasher in the kitchen, no laundry hook-ups, or having no bathrooms on the first floor of a house.
This is a very nice home that’ll sell eventually, but since all buyers have passed on this property so far, it’ll likely sell at a discount because of the stairs. While appraising a home in this neighborhood, I chose not to use this listing in my appraisal report because of the stairs. I explained in my report why this property was not a good indicator of value for the market.
Would stairs like this matter to you?
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