How does an Emotion Property Fit Into Theory of Micro-Niches?

So if you buy into the idea of micro-niches, and I’d argue that you’d be silly not to buy in, then where do “emotion” properties fit in? By definition, an “emotion” property is one that has that special something (or those special somethings) that pull in a buyer (or buyers) – usually either an architectural feature, a location detail (i.e., looking out over the Potomac River or the Avenel Golf Course), or an “aura” that’s probably undefineable (another one of those things that you “know it when you see it”). An “emotion” property could exist within a micro-niche…or outside of a micro-niche – and, in either case, does not rely on the micro-niche (or lack of same) for its inherent value.

Now that I’ve got you completely confused (I think I’ve even confused myself!), let’s look at a couple of examples. A recent listing of ours in Chevy Chase, D.C. sat in a desirable subdivision, on a charming street (micro-niche), but it sold fairly quickly in a slowing market in great part (in my humble opinion) to an “emotion” factor. The house  boasted a couple of wonderful additions, the most spectacular of which was a third floor loft/studio with a wall of windows. At the couple of open houses that I held, it was fun to watch people wander thru the first floor (which had its own charm), head upstairs -- and 10 minutes later, reappear with smiles on their faces. The 3rd floor brought the “wow” factor, the “emotion” factor…and the quick sale.

Another listing that we had the pleasure of marketing was in an area of Silver Spring that brought many conveniences, but probably didn’t stand out as any particularly desirable micro-niche. The house, however, was a true stand out. Owned by an architect/graphic arts couple, it had an absolutely spectacular kitchen/b’fst room addition that truly knocked your socks off! The style, design, choice of materials and workmanship were all spectacular. The “emotion” factor brought in many offers and a quick sale.

I guess the moral of the story is that it’s nice to own a house in a sought after micro-niche, but you can also add the “wow” factor to make your house an “emotion” house and overcome (to a large extent) the lack of a desirable micro-niche.

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