Price Range: $650k to $1.3 Million

[Note to Readers: The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway (“Berkshire”), or any other entity referenced. Edina Realty is a subsidiary of Berkshire.]

Realtors quickly learn that valuing homes by the square foot doesn’t work.

That’s because the range can be so big.

Exhibit A: two-story homes with about 3,500 finished square feet in Edina, which vary in asking price from $650k to almost $1.3 million.**

That translates to $191 per square foot, to more than double(!) at $390 per square foot.

Edina Housing Primer

What accounts for that spread?

A mix of these four factors:

One. Location.

While Edina may seem homogeneous, it actually has 45(!) different neighborhoods.

In general, the areas east of Highway 100 fetch more than the homes west of 100, and the homes north of Highway 62 cost more than south of 62.

But there are exceptions: some of the Twin Cities’ nicest (and most expensive) homes are located in the Indian Hills neighborhood in southwest Edina.

The draw(s): the large, private lots; and proximity to Arrowhead Lake.

Meanwhile, even in Edina, homes located on busy streets or in the shadow of a highway noise barrier are typically discounted.

Two. Year built.

Surprise, surprise, Buyers prefer new(er) homes to ones built in the 1940’s or 1950’s.

Custom, new construction loaded with high-end finishes command the biggest premium.

Three. Updates (or lack thereof).

Especially as homes increase in size, their condition and updates loom large.

Given that new Kitchens can cost $100k – $150k, and new Baths anywhere from $15k to $30k (or more) apiece, the cost to update a large, older home can easily trip $500k (there’s also the expense of windows, mechanicals, new flooring, siding, landscaping, etc.).

And if the new owner wants to change the floor plan — for example, by opening up walls — add even more.

Of course, the same Buyer who can afford to tackle a major remodel may lack the time or desire to do it.

That reduces the demand for dated homes, which translates into a bigger discount.

Four. School district.

Due to a zoning quirk, an area in West Edina with about 140 homes is zoned for Hopkins, not Edina schools.

While both school districts have their fans, Edina homeowners with school-age kids generally prefer Edina schools.

Result: Edina homes zoned for Hopkins schools are discounted.

In addition to the above, such factors as curb appeal; lot size (and features); and zoning for elementary and middle schools can also affect value.

Bottom line?

Accurately pricing a home in Edina — or anywhere else — requires local expertise, plus familiarity with a long list of variables.

You won’t find that on Zillow, or some other online resource . . .

**The fair market value (vs. asking or list price) for any given home is based on three or more Comp’s (“Comparable Sold Properties”): similar, nearby homes that have sold in the last six months or less.

See also, “Entry-Level Edina: Slim Pickings < $400k (Yup, $400k!)“; “Agent-to-Agent Pre-List Networking: Can You Spot the Most Important Detail?“; and “Coming: Not So Open Enrollment?

Plus: “East Edina Arbitrage ” Housing Market Edition“; “South Harriet Park Knockout“; “Edina’s “Country Club” Neighborhood: Multiple Choice“; and “Bet on Country Club.”

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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