Home Buying in Haverhill>Question Details

Josiah, Home Buyer in Haverhill, MA

$590,000 house, 150 feet from water, 300 sq ft., built in 2009, on 3.7 acres. Zillow says it should be worth around $425,000. Is that possible?

Asked by Josiah, Haverhill, MA Fri Mar 12, 2010

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Lissa Deminie’s answer
Hi Josiah,

Unfortunately the estimates at Zillow don't take into account the additional items this home offers,such as a deep water boat dock and water view. If you have a boat that you want to dock at your home, that has the ability to go right into the ocean, this is a great home.

The property is new construction with many upgrades, and while typical new homes in Haverhill range from $400,000 -$500,000 this is a unique home that offers so many extras.

If you would like to view the home, please feel free to call or email me any time. I have specialized in the Haverhill area for the past 7 years.

Lissa Deminie
Prudential Verani Realty
Web Reference: http://www.LissaSells.net
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
It is possible. Remember, even zillow says they are + / - 20% accurate. The real answer is find a local realtor and ask them what it is worth.

p.s. not the listing realtor or anyone in his office if possible
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Automated values are good at coming up with "average" values for properties. They have problems adjusting for unique qualities such as waterfront, curb appeal, mature plantings etc. Where did you come up with the $590k? Only an appraiser can give you the spot on appraised value by doing an in depth analysis of your property and the most recent sale data and take into account the unique qualities of your property.

A real estate professional can give you the market value of your property given the current market for properties such as yours using the same data. An appraiser may say that your home is worth X but if there are alot of properties asking the same but with better qualities or lesser qualities your market value might differ either positively or negatively.
Hope that helps,
Web Reference: http://www.MedfordHouse.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 12, 2010
Josiah, are you asking for just an opinion of the Zillow estimate that says should be worth around $425,000? Sure, it's possible.

But for more specific price counseling or opinioning, you need to hire someone, preferably your own buyers agent. (The seller generally pays that fee for your benefit). Smart agents aren't going to take the step of offering you price/value amounts on a public forum -- too many legal issues, too much risk liability.

It's not that we care what this house sells for -- but we cannot willy nilly offer price/value opinions on a proprety we do not represent to a buyer we also do not represent. It just wouldn't be legally prudent. You'd find the same reaction from appraisers.

You can hire a professional agent or an appraiser, for a commission, or a fee, to consult specifically with you to answer specific value questions. But right now, the specific question of 'what is it really worth' is more or less a 'hands off' kind of thing.

I think that living next to the river would be pretty cool, and hopefully, that house isn't really only 300 sq feet :-).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
Ha, Lisa, you couldn't be more wrong. The property suits me perfectly, although anyone will admit that the layout is odd and the cabinets and doors are cheap. This is not subjective but an objective point. I want the property, but I am assessing its value in order to make a reasonable offer -- or not. The houses next to it are identical in terms of land and square footage (especially considering that one "room" is actually just an oversized closet), and they have been assessed in the very low $500,000s in 2006 -- which is a stronger year than 2010. I have a boat, want to use the river, etc., so your assessment of my desires/needs has not been on target. That said, the house is simply not worth $600,000 considering its location (Haverhill schools are rated very low -- not my opinion, but objective fact again (there's a reason the same house in Amesbury would be worth more), it is NOT waterview/waterfront), and other similar properties that are closer to I95, close to the ocean, water view, and in great towns (West Newbury, Amesbury). You keep trying to say the house is not for me because I think it is overpriced. The house is for me, AND it is overpriced. All I am asking for is HOW MUCH is it overpriced in order to consider a reasonable offer, etc.

Thank you for your answers everyone -- you've been very helpful -- but I'm not trying to figure out whether I like the house or not; I'm trying to assess its value. Obviously this is the wrong place to ask since everyone is a real estate agent, whose best interests are in me (and any other buyer) paying full price (or more) for the property and/or contracting their services. I've done my research; I was just hoping for some honest extra input. Don't try to tell me it is not overpriced...it is. Just how much is the question.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 15, 2010
Hi Josiah- I think you got all your answers from others. I am a builder and also a mortgage officer, so I'll throw my 2 cents in. Maybe this house is way overpriced- I'm not sure. But if it was built in 2009, its possible that the lot/land was bought in 2007 or 2008 by the builder and maybe he overpaid for the lot itself, especially if he bought in 2007.
So, he is trying to recoup all his direct costs, plus ideally make a few bucks in profit. That's his goal. Maybe reality will hit after a few months with little activity. That may have to happen before they rethink the listing price.

As far as Haverhill- I'd agree that the public HS isn't that great. But, the town overall has some nice areas that you wouldn't even think were "Haverhill". So it all depends.
If you need any further help, please let me know. Thanks,

Ken L.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 14, 2010
Josiah, any property is only worth what a buyer and a seller agree upon, subject to any lender criteria such as an appraisal.

Zillow provides estimates, not valuations.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
Thanks again Lisa. But the question is, "What is the house worth?" And from the appraisals of the other houses, combined with the town, and what else is selling on the water (often ON the water and a lot closer to the ocean), I just think this house is more realistically priced at $500,000. The layout is very odd -- clearly built by a developer/builder and not designed by an architect. There are useless rooms, cheap cabinets, cheap doors, cheap master bath. The property (just land, but the same land) beside it sold for $250,000 in 2006. There's no way it would be worth that now. Saying that the market has dropped that land to $200,000, I would say that the house adds only another $250,000 value to the land. It "sounds" like a great deal, but it really isn't when you look at it more closely. Not to mention the Beverly hillbillies live next door. I think this house is worth about $480,000. I think that would be a reasonable asking price in 2010. Amesbury and West Newbury are both far more desirable towns, and there are properties on the water, with water view, for under $600,000. It just doesn't add up to pay the same for Haverhill and NOT have a water view.

What do you think?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
zillow gives you estimates that are computer generated. An appraiser can give you a better idea. I have sold homes at prices above zillow estimates as well as prices below their estimate.If a seller has a home listed at zillow shows a value the seller can put in the upgrades and it increases the price.
Web Reference: http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010

If you have spent any time on Zillow you know they have a disclosure sections that states that they are only accurate 80% of the time and that means they are WRONG 20% of the time. If you are basing your decision from that site alone you are going to have a rough go at it. Now that price sounds pretty good to me, but you need to do the research.

Ultimately, if you are a buyer with good financial resources then you may be able to use that leverage and get the builder to come down in their demands. Everyone is willing to negotiate in this market. Best
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
I'm a buyer. The asking price is around 590,000. It is NOT water view at all...it is a walk down to the water, which is at least 150 feet away. None of the land can be developed or sold. Also, the properties right next to it (exact same land options with river frontage) sold for $265,000 in 2004, and $500,000 in 2006 (when the market was peaked!). So I'm really thinking 590,000 is really high. Yes, it is a new house, but so were the other two beside it -- one of which sold for only $500,000 in '06. Also, Haverhill is NOT a desirable area. The schools aren't great, and neither is the town.

Also looked at the yearly taxes the neighbors are paying (houses very similar in size, etc.), and they are only around $4500, which leads me to believe that they are being appraised in the $400,000s.

Anyway advice would be great...and you may even win yourself a client!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 13, 2010
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