The sale of 201 Beaumont Ave., a house on a quiet, tree-lined side street in Catonsville, is a good example in today's housing market that a little work goes a long way toward buyer and seller satisfaction.
Marybeth Brohawn, an agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, relates the details of the transaction that brought new owners to the bungalow built in 1925.
"There were two list cards for the house, the first one priced at $319,000 in April 2011," she said. "While very charming, the kitchen was small, and there was no air conditioning; over and over, people commented on that."
A few parties showed up to have a look; one even made a very low offer. After that, the owners pulled it off the market, deciding to remain in their home a while longer.
"It came back on the market the first of April 2013, and someone who had heard about it was begging to get in on it early," Brohawn said, adding, "They actually came and saw it even before we got [the listing] in the computer."
The asking price this time around was $329,900, and that is exactly what the buyers paid for it.
So what happened in two years? For starters, the market had improved, but what really clinched the deal was that the previous owners added air conditioning and opened up the walls between the dining room and kitchen for a more spacious and contemporary feel.
The improvements appear to have made the difference.
"What we're seeing is that people are very particular when homes need work, and they will [end up] having to put their time and money into it. The sellers take a disproportionate hit on their asking price," Brohawn said. "If the house needs a couple of thousand dollars' worth of work [and buyers] see that it needs air conditioning or the kitchen needs remodeling, they offer even less."
The home features a traditional floor plan, with a living room dining room and kitchen. There is wood flooring throughout and a wood-burning fireplace on the main level. Three large bedrooms are on the second level.
"I think people really love the small-town feel that we have here in Catonsville," Brohawn said. "They love being able to walk up to the village center or bike to it. We have the state park [nearby] and the Trolley Trail with access to Ellicott City. You just can't beat it from a location standpoint. …We've got a lot here, and a very strong market in Catonsville."
And with that strong market, Brohawn encourages the seller to take the time and money to upgrade. "Both speak for the success of the sale the second time around," she said.
Address: 201Beaumont Ave., Catonsville, MD 21228
Sale price: $329,900
Year built: 1925
Selling agents: The Meg and Marybeth Team, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.