Friday, May 18, 2007

Spin the Pricing Wheel at the Ranch

JTS has a 2+ year old development called The Ranch in Wilton. The homes are all 2900+ sq ft and come on 2-6 acre lots, although they just started building a 2500 sf model a few weeks back. HOA fees are $158 a month and include someone that mows the grass between the road and your fence a couple times a year. Before you can plant a tree, you must submit an application to the HOA ($300 per app) and provide them with considerable documentation as to your plans. If you complete your landscaping and decide you want a few more plants or trees, it's another $300 app. We rented there for about 6 months and went through this process with the owner and the HOA. The first two submittals for landscaping by the owner were rejected (no, they did not get their $600 back either). It took 3 months from the time they first submitted their plans to the time they were approved. And no, the plans were not written on a bar napkin. They were professionally done the very first time, but were sent back for "clarification" and another check for $300. But, I digress.

The place we rented was purchased for $700,000 in May of 2005. It was about as bare bones as possible. The owners bought it as an investment and were losing about $2,700 a month when we were renting it from them. At present approximately 35% of the 2900 sq ft model homes are investor owned.

Below, you'll see an MLS list of all the active and sold homes at the Ranch that were the same 2900 sq ft model. I've broken them down by homes sold by JTS and homes sold by private parties. The only structural difference between the homes is that some offer a 4 car garage. As you can see, there is a significant pricing disparity. The 4 homes for sale range from $729,000 to $910,000. The homes that have sold range from $699,900 to $870,000. The high and low extremes on the sold end are both directly from JTS. Take a closer look at the three bolded sold properties by JTS. The house with "Over 78K in upgrades" sold for $124,100 less than the house with "Over 55K in upgrades."

Looks like JTS is sticking it to the resellers with those two recent $699K sales. I'm still trying to figure out why the one listed for $775 sold for $824K. The tax record isn't up yet, so I can't tell what sort of financing arrangement took place.


12901 S Rimfire Dr - $729,000

12921 Furlong Dr - $750,000

9660 Show Jumper Ct - $819,900

12820 Rimfire Dr - $910,000


12801 Riding Trail Dr - $699,900 – 5/15/07
List price - $795,000
Seller – JTS
From listing – “Over 78K in upgrades”

9660 Livery Ct - $699,900 – 5/11/07
Seller – JTS
List price – $1,008,658
From listing – “Many upgrades included”

9580 Stablegate Rd - $824,000 – 5/9/07
Seller – JTS
List price - $775,000 (started at $890,000)
Sold for $49K more than list
From listing “Over 55K in upgrades”

9136 Meadow Ln - $769,000 – 6/3/05
Seller – Private

9690 Stablegate Rd - $790,000 – 4/17/05
Seller – Private

9421 Barrel Racer Ct - $870,000 – 10/16/06
Seller – JTS
List price - $955,990
No mention of upgrades


patient renter said...

Those comments about the HOA and landscaping change requests are incredible. Sounds more like dictatorship than home ownership.

Gwynster said...

Repeat after me "HOA's are deal killers".

My guess is that first plans had tree and someone didn't want their perfect view spoiled. It's all hoh wash.

What I want to know is who sits on the committees and how did they get there?

Unknown said...

HOA are a great thing. It saves you from having 'artist' neighbors that think they know what color to paint their house, what trees and flowers to plant - and enjoy the ability to have cars up on blocks in the front lawn. It forces people to maintain their property because no matter what people think - common sense is not common.

AgentBubble said...

HOA's are not always a good thing. In a cookie cutter development, they seem to work and keep people from painting their house lime green. But in the custom development we lived in near Elk Grove for 5 years, we never once had a need for an HOA because the people took pride in their homes.

Some people will only buy in an HOA community. Some never will. I belong to the latter group.

patient renter said...

"It saves you from having 'artist' neighbors that think they know what color to paint their house"

Yeah, I know. Nothing like a good old sea of grey and beige, eh?

Max said...

I've always been "a mans home is his castle" type. However, if people want to choose to live in an HOA neighborhood and pay the dues, that's fine by me too.

$300 to plant a tree seems outrageous to me, though. Just as HOAs are supposed to prevent "negative" improvements, they should encourage positive ones. The HOA should have a free (or very cheap) review process for things like this.

AgentBubble said...

If you haven't been out to the Ranch, it's not your typical development. It's actually pretty nice and quiet compared to living in a tract development. I have to hand it to JTS, they did a good job on the layout. I just wish they didn't have the HOA because we'd probably buy there. Yeah, the fees are a little odd, but that's what our landlord told us was going on and he was pretty frustrated as well with them. If I remember correctly, he even said the HOA changed management not long ago. Still, $158 is a lot of money for mowing the grass. There's also a riding trail between the houses, but even so, that's a big pill to swallow every month. A few weeks back, I think I remember seeing HOA fees of $350+ somewhere near Fair Oaks. Puts it all in perspective I guess.

Gwynster said...


In West Sac, there are condos in the 240K range off Touchstone with HOAs of 300+.
Check out MLS #: 70040281

The HOA is what is killing their resale value.

Big Rig said...

We visited The Ranch a while ago and one thing that place could use is more trees.

AgentBubble said...

You should go back out there...We noticed the same thing the very first time we were there, but now that people have started landscaping, it looks quite different.

Anonymous said...

I dont like that you can't park a horse trailer on your property, especially in horse "equestrian" estates! What about animal cruelty??? How are you suppose to take care of your animals? This should be illegal. Illegal to charge $300 dollars for plans to build a building large enough to store your horse trailer in. The garage doors are so low that you can't park a horse trailer inside!!!!!!!!!!!!! This really bothers me. Maybe animal rights organizations would be willing to fight the HOA on this one.

Anonymous said...

The Ranch HOA is nearly broke. I suspect this could have something to do with the fees for landscaping. The neighbor's view certainly has nothing to do with it, there is quite a bit of space between the homes. I can't see anyone who pays $700,000 - $900,000 having a car on blocks in the yard. If there is one, its probably a classic you'll see at the Concours de Elegance next year.