It’s unbelievable to see how much prices have risen lately. Today I want to share one quick visual to show you exactly what I mean. Then I have a couple photos to share based on a conversation my wife and I had about the Gilmore Girls.
BIG POINT: The median price is about $40,000 higher than it should be.
RAPID APPRECIATION: This visual helps show the median price rhythm throughout the year. Normally we see prices go up for about half the year and then they soften during the second half of the year. Well, 2020 was abnormal because there was an uncharacteristic price dip in April (beginning of the pandemic) and then prices basically went up in the fall instead of softening like they should have. In short, if we had a normal year in 2020 it looks like the median price should have been closer to $445,000 for January 2021, but it’s now $485,000 (orange line).
Crazy growth, right?
IT’S THE GILMORE GIRLS NEXT DOOR
The other day I was walking with my wife and we were admiring a brand new contemporary listing in the middle of an older neighborhood (Fair Oaks Village). Then when seeing a Craftsman home on the adjacent lot, my wife said, “Look, it’s the Gilmore Girls next door.” This made me laugh because she doesn’t work in real estate, but she clearly recognized the contrast in design.
Here is a brand new contemporary listing in an older neighborhood.
The contemporary home is located next to much older homes.
SOME QUICK TAKEAWAYS:
1) Gilmore Girls: First off, sorry if you don’t get the Gilmore Girls reference. My wife has been streaming this show over the past few years, so I know quite a bit about it (don’t judge me). Anyway, this show is about twenty years old and it took place in a fictitious town called Stars Hollow. This town is older and has many Victorian homes, which is why my wife made the comment she did. By the way, Sebastian Bach, the lead singer of Skid Row (80s hairband), was actually an actor on the Gilmore Girls.
2) Eclectic neighborhoods: Some areas are eclectic, which means it’s completely normal to have a variety of housing designs. Thus it’s acceptable to see brand new contemporary units mixed in with stuff one hundred years old. It’s like vintage and new coexist and people are good with it.
3) Contemporary vs modern: The words “modern” and “contemporary” are often used interchangeably, but there is actually a difference. Here is a Houzz article if you want to read more (and maybe still feel confused). This blog post is also worth reading and maybe a little easier to understand. In truth I was torn whether to call this home contemporary or not, but I went with contemporary because it seems to blend some styles. Let me know what you’d call it.
4) The principle of conformity: There is an idea in real estate that homes ought to generally conform to the design of surrounding units in order to maximize value. In other words, when a home is so different it could lead to a lower value because it will stand out like a sore thumb. In many cases we accept this as a market fact, but it’s really not true all the time. For instance, in Fair Oaks Village there are many different types of units and the market embraces the diversity. Also, in Midtown we see a variety of newer modern units mixed in with Victorians and buyers are okay with that. Obviously in a cookie cutter stucco box tract it could be awkward to see something else, so it’s possible in some situations to see a negative reaction to different architectural types that just don’t fit. All I’m saying is it’s easy to assume a property takes a hit to value because it’s different, but that might not always the case.
I hope that was interesting or helpful.
Questions: Does someone in your household watch Gilmore Girls? What’s happening in your area with price growth?