Could It Now Be Functional Obsolescence

Dated: 08/09/2018

Views: 200

Functional Obsolescence - depreciation caused by a design or a condition that is contrary to popular buyer demand. 

There are only two forms of functional obsolescence that  want to go over. The first compartmentalized older homes. They can have lower ceilings and not as open floor plans. Walls between kitchen, den, and living areas. Long halls, small rooms, not much closet space. The second is the flipped floor plan. Kitchen, dining and lining on the second or third floor. This is great when it is for a stunning gulf view. Surprisingly you run into it time to time when there is no view and was not a view at the time of the build.  

So would these effect the days on market or the desirability of the homes? As with everything, it depends. Second homes are often on the rental market where they are rented an average of twenty something weeks of the year, by groups coming a week at a time. If you are here for a week you probably will not mind a flipped floor plan. You will probably even prefer it if being elevated gives or enhances a view. My theory is if you have the energy to travel to your vacation destination then you can handle a kitchen on the second floor for a week. The other side to that is for big family vacation you can not leave the matriarch  behind or make her climb stairs a minimum every meal every day. Also it knocks out the buyer who wants to vacation to the home till retirement then move in it. View or no view I believe that a flipped floor plan is not that big of a deterrent. With it being a second home market it is pretty common. A home for sale does not have to appeal to every buyer, just the right buyer. 

Older homes all over the country share some fashion of functional obsolescence. Thing were done differently in the past. It was not that long ago air conditioners and ice makers did not exist. I mean technically there was a point when power did not exist. I do not know a life without color tv and microwaves. Now children do not know life without a cell phone or tablet at the age of two. Back to talking about houses. If you did not have an efficient air conditioning unit you probably did not want tall ceilings. Or with inefficient single pane windows you probably did not want floor to ceiling windows everywhere. Older homes tend to be more compartmentalized and can give a closed in feeling. I have been in plenty new homes that between the kitchen den and dining the only segregated area was a pantry and a bathroom. A dated home with a closed design I feel amplifies the depreciation of the year built. Often these older homes are on larger estate lots which is what is usually where the value is. 

Ultimately something is worth what someone is willing to pay. There are plenty buyers and plenty sellers. Not every home is a match for every buyer. I have seen older segmented homes and flipped floor plans I liked and I have seen flipped floor plans and older segmented homes I did not like. It is something to think about when sitting out of town searching homes from your computer. What will it feel like in person? Are this pictures of the kitchen on the second floor? Agents do not always explain this in the description, or name the picture second floor kitchen, or even mark it right in the mls as being on the second floor. 

So, keep these things in mind when searching

Jonathan Hill
Broker Associate 

30A Local Properties 

Emerald Coast Association of Realtors Political Action Committee 

Emerald Coast Association of Realtors Young Professionals Network Committee 


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 text "jonathan" to 850-306-4107 for my home search appJonathan Hill Rosemary Beach

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Jonathan Hill

Jonathan grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and vacationed from 30A to Destin every time he got a chance while growing up. He attended The University of Alabama where he double majored in finance and busi....

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