Reply
Visitor
Radiorob
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎11-20-2011
0

Lake Washington waterfront advice

We can't afford a "nice" house on the waterfront, but are fortunate enough to afford a bottom of the barrel Eastside Lake Washington house. The least expensive is around 1mil. That would be our maximum. We have passed by a waterfront property that as far as we can tell is vacant and not occupied, and may not be habitable right now. The location and land are ideal for us. Does a knockdown (1 bedroom, poor condition, 1200sqft house) add or detract from the land value? How does one value waterfront raw land? The house is not for sale, but we were successful in the past by writing a letter to a landowner for a piece of property in another state. We would obviously need to engage some experts, land use, etc. but we probably could afford the land now and build in a few years. Are their any experts that could help us?
Contributor
EFArchitects
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎04-13-2011

Re: Lake Washington waterfront advice

[ Edited ]

From an architect's perspective, there could be added value in having a teardown house already on the property.  Assuming things are well sited and functioning, there could be value in reusing the foundation, utilities, driveway and access, etc.  If the existing house is nonconforming as to setbacks (perhaps closer to the water than currently allowed), you may be grandfathered in and can keep some of that value.  All of these things are "maybes", and you'd want someone to review the specifics of the property you are interested.  

 

 

 

Redfin Agent
KathiKB
Posts: 525
Registered: ‎04-01-2009

Re: Lake Washington waterfront advice

[ Edited ]

Valuing waterfront property is hard, there are usually not a lot of comparables and the homes/lot size/views/exposures vary so widely. A quick, simple way to determine waterfront raw land value is to look for recent waterfront sales in the neighborhood you are looking. Try to find one that has some similarities (lot size, view, and/or exposure) to your home. You might have to go back further than 3 months of past sales and adjust later for market trends. Next, determine how much each comparable house might have sold for if it had NOT been waterfront and if it was on a very small lot. Then back that price out of the sold price of the home. Of course, this is just a rough estimate but can give you a basic ball park of land values.

 

As EFArchitects said, there may be some value in the existing home as the foundation, utilities, access may be reusable--you might give that some value, if YOU value it.

 

Hope this helps!

Kathi Kelly-Billings | Redfin Seattle Senior Agent

See all my deals and reviews
Regular Contributor
Dooley
Posts: 113
Registered: ‎07-20-2010
0

Re: Lake Washington waterfront advice

[ Edited ]

The house as you describe  has no value other than liability $$$$$ (lead, asbestos, demo etc.) Having built a few homes on the water, please be VERY careful. You are, as stated, limited to a $1million. The sensitivity and environmental issues on the water along with the cost of design and engineering will crush you if your not financially ready. Waterfront land and architecture will push the "have to have it" agenda ($$$$$).   I can assure you, unless you are buying and building this with unlimited (not limited as you describe) resources, be sensible. I'm quessing your good luck came from hard work as well. The journey getting to the upside will eliminate your "lucky" feelings especially if the market doesn't appreciate your beautiful home.

Visitor
Billy_Wa
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎12-02-2011
0

Re: Lake Washington waterfront advice

[ Edited ]

I'm confused on how the home could prove to have environmental considerations or limitations.  Are you saying that, after the current homes is torn down, it could cost a lot more to ensure the asbestos doesn't hurt the environment?  It just seems like that would be a simple process that a construction company could take care of.  It seems like the larger risk would be the lower valuation fo the land in 1-2 years.

 

- Bill

Regular Contributor
Dooley
Posts: 113
Registered: ‎07-20-2010
0

Re: Lake Washington waterfront advice

Either way new or remodel....This original thread buyer will spend a multiple of what they state they have available for the improvement.. With that said, waterfront can be a outstanding investment/lifestyle oppurtunity.  It's just not cheap.