Value Village

Buyers are spending big bucks on Fountain Square renos. But has it topped out?
Fountain Square Reno

In 2003, 1218 Pleasant Street—like so many houses in Fountain Square—had fallen on hard times. The three-bedroom, two-bath bungalow, which was built around 1900, was dilapidated and bank-owned when it sold for just $30,000. More than 10 years later, the home has been refurbished into a picturesque Tiffany-blue cottage and sits on the market for $259,900. Though vintage details like 100-year-old oak floors remain, the residence highlights modern renovations in the crisp kitchen with a sleek mosaic-tile backsplash.

The 3,068-square-foot abode, which is nestled on a street of revamped properties, is located in what listing agent Doug Dilling calls “ground zero” of redevelopment hotspots. And at roughly $120 per square foot, it’s in the pricing sweet spot for a move-in-ready three-bedroom in the area. Lately, though, houses have been listing in the upper $200s, which has prospective homeowners wondering if values will continue to climb or whether that’s buying in at the top of the market.

There’s no doubt the Fountain Square housing scene is heating up. Dilling recently sold a place four blocks further east on Pleasant Street; it listed for $289,900 and was purchased in two weeks. “That’s really not walking distance to the excitement of Virginia Avenue and the Cultural Trail,” Dilling says, referring to the heart of Fountain Square’s scene. “It indicates that people are willing to spend that kind of money on a property that far east—and bank on the loan, more importantly.” He also has a transaction pending on a $235,000 residence that was bought in 2005 for $99,000. But will home prices continue to appreciate?

Fountain Square RenoDilling thinks so, adding that the demand for renovated homes is driving the increase. He also points to the community’s average DOM (days on market) as an indicator. “If we look at the average this year compared to the last four or five,” he says, “you’re going to see a lot lower DOM.”


Want to buy it?

Address: 1218 Pleasant St.
List Price: $259, 900
Agent: Doug Dilling, United Real Estate
Phone: 753-9900