Four-bedroom near Rice University for sale or lease

9 Replies | Houston, Texas

Four-bed, three-bath ranch-style home in the Willowbend area of Houston (zip code 77035).  Has been on the market for about four months, so we're getting a little anxious.  List price just lowered $359,500.  Rent currently listed at $2,395, but we're negotiable.

Great area to buy to live in.  But at those numbers, it doesn't make a good property for someone to buy to lease out.   Which I suspect would be the target reader here. 

Yes, it's not a good rental.  I would know -- we've been renting it out for 7 years and it's never cash-flowed.  So basically I'm looking for an owner occupant to take it off our hands, or, in the absence of finding one, a new tenant...  I do think it could be a high-end house hack, in the sense that the market is down right now and we're selling at the low end of the range for a house of this size, and there are some obvious improvement opportunities (e.g., kitchen, master bath).  Someone who would be happy to live in that area for a few years might be able to make an okay profit off of it down the road.

Cool looking place. Given the price/rent ratio, I agree w the above that this is not a good place for REI, you'd likely want to sell to families who wanted to live in a good house in a nice area.

One other suggestion for how you pitch this place: Billing it as "Near Rice" may do more to hurt than help your goal of selling it. I don't think anyone who lives in the loop area would regard this as near Rice; it's more than five miles away. So by billing "near Rice" as the main selling point, you may be bringing in mainly folks who are interested in that feature who are then disappointed. I'd suggest highlighting the house's other many great qualities--nice residential neighborhood, near amenities--rather than headlining one thing that is not really a selling point.

Good luck!!

@Shawn M Hannan Did you sell it?  Your link shows that it is not currently for sale.

You are, unfortunately, right there where we have a ton of activity with flooded houses and those that didn't flood are maybe getting hurt by the values right now.  

What sucks is when you have a great house that just needs a little updating.  People will pay $380 or $400K for that house, man, but you gotta sink $50K into it (or more).  Yours looks good (old photos from Redfin) so might not be that much.  Sell it to an investor, and well, you already know how that works.  But the hardest thing to do is sell to an end buyer/occupant, even at a fat discount, when there are still updates to be made -- hell, you are an RE agent, I don't need to tell you.

So maybe find a local rehabber that has some crews he needs to put to work for 3-4 weeks and price it out.  Let him earn a few grand for the assist.  Renovations aren't my forte, or I would volunteer. 

@Dave Fagundes is also spot on -- bill it as being in coveted Westbury or Willowbend.  The locals will respond better.  Be sure to note that it didn't flood (or did it?).

Here is a really good comp IMO.  A few doors down, didn't flood, slightly smaller.  $160/sq. foot.

They didn't even go crazy with the high-end kitchen.  Could have sold it for more, I think, had they done that.

I think you can get $400K for that house - just don't want to over-rehab it.

Thanks, @Mark Sewell -- appreciate it.  It didn't flood.  My best guess is it would take around $60k to make it attractive enough to fetch $400k.  My obvious concern is that we'd put $60k into it, have it off the market for a while to get there, arrive in September/October and find ourselves having to accept an offer at $380k.  It sure seems like everything, even the places that have been nicely redone, is selling at a discount right now.

Our agent down there canceled the listing and is re-entering it at $347k.