Incomprehensible California Real Estate Prices . . .

Is it just me, or can you really grasp the actual dollar-for-dollar value of homes beyond $800k  (or even up to $800k, for that matter)?

I bought my first house in the early Seventies for around $22k. A few years later, I purchased the second house for somewhere in the neighborhood of $37k.

Fast-forward thirty-plus years and the same houses are going for $700k to $900k. As a Realtor, I know how to price homes, but what I find oddly perplexing, is what these prices really mean.

In my market at this moment in time (early 2007), double-digit appreciation on an hourly basis seems to be a thing of the past and values are stabilizing. I think this is a good thing (otherwise no one would ever be able to afford to buy a home – it is difficult enough for the middle class as it is).

When viewing properties, I really scrutinize prices above $800k to determine particular variables. Up to $800k, the number of bedrooms and baths, lot size and square footage of the house, along with the condition of the house and where it is located make pricing it based on comparable sales information pretty standard (if there is such a thing in Santa Cruz County, which there isn’t because the most of the houses are not “cookie cutter” – they mostly have very different characteristics).

Can you really fathom the value difference between $800K, $825k, $850k, $875k, $900k, $925k, $950, $975k, $1,000,000, $1,250,000, etc., etc. (and all of the increments in between)?

How about the difference in value between $1,250,000 and $1,400,000? It kind of gets more and more vague as to what these differences are (could be location, architecture, or just throwing a number at the wall and seeing if it sticks).

I just marvel at the abstractness, at some level, of it all.


2 Responses to “Incomprehensible California Real Estate Prices . . .”

  1. Summer Ryman Says:

    Keep these coming. Good points…..

  2. Heather Scharnow Says:

    I agree.. I look at a house and I put my own value on it and then when someone tells me the actual price I am usually very surprised. It is also really interesting when you look at huge beautiful houses with huge property in the mid west for next to nothing. I guess it’s all about location. 🙂 Very interesting.


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