Cloister Unit Sales During the Year 2013

Cloister sales for 2013

Includes only those properties where a sold price was posted with the Registrar of Deeds. Properties sold for average of 9% above appraised value…

Most homes sold above appraised value. Two major reasons for lower selling price were:

  • Property was not owned on a Fee Simple basis
  • Interior had not been upgraded and remodeled

Universal Design Makes Life Easier at The Cloister

Universal_Design_Floorplan_LGOne of the greatest advantages of home ownership at The Cloister is the Universal Design features built into every Cloister home. Universal design creates an attractive, stylish space that everyone, regardless of age, size, or ability, can live in or visit. A home with Universal Design makes it easier for us to live in, and for guests to visit now and in the future, even as everybody’s needs and abilities change.

Home Features and Products Using Universal Design

Downsizing to a universal design home is usually much cheaper than remodeling a house with traditional design features although I have seen a ranch style home on Brook Hollow Road in West Meade where the entire front yard was landscaped to change a four step entry porch to a stepless entry front entrance.

Having Universal Design features and products in a home makes good sense and can be so attractive that no one notices them — except for how easy they are to use.

Essential Universal Design features include:

  1. No-step entry: At least one step-free entrance into your home — either through the front, back, or garage door—lets everyone, even those who use a wheelchair, enter the home easily and safely.
  2. Single-floor living: Having a bedroom, kitchen, full bathroom with plenty of maneuvering room, and an entertainment area on the same floor makes life convenient for all families.
  3. Wide doorways and hallways: With your home’s doorways at least 36 inches wide, you can easily move large pieces of furniture or appliances through your home. Similarly, hallways that are 42 inches wide and free of hazards or steps let everyone and everything move in, out, and around easily.
  4. Reachable controls and switches: Anyone — even a person in a wheelchair — can reach light switches that are from 42-48 inches above the floor, thermostats no higher than 48 inches off the floor, and electrical outlets 18-24 inches off the floor.
  5. Easy-to-use handles and switches: Lever-style door handles and faucets, and rocker light switches, make opening doors, turning on water, and lighting a room easier for people of every age and ability.

There are many other universal design features and products that many people put into their homes, including:

  1. Raised front-loading clothes washers, dryers, and dishwashers
  2. Side-by-side refrigerators
  3. Easy-access kitchen storage (adjustable-height cupboards and lazy Susans)
  4. Low or no-threshold stall showers with built-in benches or seats
  5. Non-slip floors, bathtubs, and showers
  6. Raised, comfort-level toilets
  7. Multi-level kitchen countertops with open space underneath, so the cook can work while seated
  8. Windows that require minimal effort to open and close
  9. A covered entryway to protect you and your visitors from rain and snow
  10. Task lighting directed to specific surfaces or areas
  11. Easy-to-grasp D-shaped cabinet pulls
Before and After Bath Remodel

Before and After Bath Remodel

Locating for Retirement

Most of us have done what this news piece suggests……RetirementLocating0001

  1. No state tax except the Hall Tax.
  2. The HOA Board has done a good job holding down Monthly Association Fee
  3. Many Realtors suggest making home improvements before selling. The problem is that the seller cannot recover the cost of major improvements in increased selling price of the Condo. Most buyers want to redo what they buy anyway.

Congratulations! I think all of us made a fine decision by moving to The Cloister at Saint Henry

Cloister Homes Sales History – Last 12 months 2011

Many neighbors have asked for more information about Sales prices. Here it is…..

Sales History for Cloister Sales Over the last 12 Months

Most Cloister units have sold at below appraised value during the last year. Transaction records with a zero sales price are not included.

Sales Price Street Appraised Value Sales Price-Appraisal








































































Sold at Appraised













Three things can influence selling prices……

  1. Was the home owned as Leased property or  Fee Simple property?
  2. Was the home in “Move right in” condition.
  3. Did the home have major inside improvements and appliance upgrades?
Project Avg. Cost Resale Value % Cost Recouped
Replace front entry door with steel door $1,248 $1,217 98
Vinyl siding replacement $10,908 $8,920 81
Fiber cement siding replacement $13,497 $10,710 79
Foam-backed siding replacement $13,369 $10,489 79
Vinyl replacement windows $11,408 $8,766 77
Wood replacement windows $12,410 $9,248 75
Attic bedroom addition $53,780 $39,292 73
Minor kitchen remodel $22,130 $15,973 72
Bathroom remodel $17,383 $11,817 68
Major kitchen remodel $59,905 $39,860 67
Basement remodel $67,455 $41,127 61
Master suite addition $111,857 $67,612 60
Deck addition (composite) $39,270 $22,584 58
Sunroom addition $76,580 $38,661 51

Some of the projects above do not apply to Cloister Condo properties. Others will require Variance approval. To see sample of Cloister variance request see the official Cloister at St Henry website. Contact David Floyd and Assoc., the Cloister Property Manager, for information about the Cloister website they maintain.

Before and After Bath Remodel

The costs recouped on a remodeling project depend on a variety of factors including the condition of the rest of the house, the value of similar homes nearby, and the rate at which property values are changing in the surrounding area. If resale value is a factor in your decision to remodel, consult with a local remodeler about construction costs and look closely at the comps and market conditions in your area. Did the home have major inside improvements and appliance upgrades?

Only three units were sold in Rochford Construction’s Ashley Green in Bellevue over the last 15 months:






















I have counted only properties where a selling price was recorded. There have been no sales in Ashley Green during the last 10 months since May, 2011.

Update on My Previous Post…. “Government Grants May Pay for Repair to Your Cloister Home”

Yesterday the TVA Inspector checked the energy upgrades I had made under the special TVA/NES Grant program I described in my post “Government Grants May Pay for Repair to Your Cloister Home”. I had several things done that resulted in an 18% annual energy savings.

  1. Replaced front Bay windows including main panel and both side windows.
  2. Air sealing to stop outside air infiltration
  3. Duct sealing
  4. Central air and furnace tune up
  5. Attic Insulation to R-38

All the work passed inspection by the TVA and we will be receiving a rebate check totaling $900. The 2011 Federal Energy Tax Credit  will add an additional $500 rebate. This totals to a whopping $1400 total rebates! Registration for the TVA/NES grants expires on December 31. For more information on registering see my post Government Grants May Pay for Repair to Your Cloister Home and my Useful Link…… Save on Utility Costs Free TVA Energy Evaluations and Cost Rebates.

Remodeling and Updating Our Cloister Kitchen

Entry from Great Room

I have learned that whenever Bonney and I are working on a home remodeling and upgrading project it is best to make a drawing and written description of the work we wish done. Several neighbors recommended Tim Stutzman from Kingston Springs for our kitchen remodel. We went over our amateur drawing and written description with Tim. Within a week he came up with some additional recommendations and revised drawings and descriptions and a quote.

Units like ours have the kitchen entry from the hall and some have a pass through to the eating area of the Great room. Ours included a built-in pantry with a door and a boxed in cornice above the cabinets. We did not have a pass through to the great room. The entire kitchen arrangement was awkward and difficult. Here are some of the decisions we took:

Old Feature Modification Result
We removed the kitchen doorway entry from the hall and built a doorway into the Great room Built a doorway into the Great room No longer have to carry food through the hallway
Replaced the origional pantry closet and door. Awkward door and deep shelves caused wasted space and difficult access to back of shelves Installed floor to ceiling drawers with slides Side by side slider drawers and appliance storage on counter top increased storage space
Removed old cabinets and tore out soffit and cornice between cabinet tops and ceiling. Installed old cabinets in garage and new taller kitchen cabinets reaching to the ceiling Provided added storage in both garage and kitchen.
Items in the back of old Base and Wall Corner cabinets difficult to access New Corner Cabinets have rotating shelves Huge increase in corner shelf space
Closing in old doorway with wall left empty wall Converted to a display wall and sideboard arrangement Can use Buffet style for dinner guests just inside kitchen entry.

Moved Kitchen Entry

Moving door allowed decorative wall and sideboard/buffet

Walled in kitchen doorway in hall

Taller Cabinets Reach the Ceiling          Slide out Drawers

Ceiling Height Cabinets

Double Door Pantry Upgrade

To Sum it up….We Love Our New Kitchen

Remodeling and Upgrading Our Cloister Bathroom

After living a few years in our Cloister home Bonney and I knew what we needed to do to upgrade our Master Bathroom. We decided not to completely gut the bathroom but rather to upgrade for safety and comfort. Here is what we did:

We Replaced the Old Toilet

Elongated Extra Height Toilet

We replaced our old toilet with a luxury, or ADA (American Disabilities Act) 17″ height, elongated bowl toilet. The elongated toilet bowl typically is two inches larger in circumference  than the standard version. Its oval shape does  take up more up front space than a typical round toilet bowl. The elongated, oval shape also provides more seating comfort. The sides of the elongated  seat comfortably support the upper thigh, much like a comfortable chair.

An ADA  accessible toilet is 17″ to 19″ in height. Most regular toilets are 14″ to  16″ in height. The difference between ADA and  regular toilets is about 2 to 4″ . Until you need assistance because of a disability or temporary  infirmity you will never realize how important that extra 2″ is for both safety  and comfort. Having had hip and knee surgeries this toilet has been a Godsend.

We Did a Tub to Shower Conversion

Before and After

We tore out the old tub and installed a custom shower. The shower enclosure is 6 feet wide by 2 1/2 feet deep and fits in the same space as the old tub. Grab bars helped with balance and stepping into the enclosure is easy since the shower base has a low 4″ lip.  We chose sliding frosted glass doors with attached towel racks. We added a corner shelf and both standard shower head and handshower with a bar mounted  adjustable holder. We did not get a built-in shower seat since a portable shower seat is more convenient.

We waited several years before we took on this project but we are glad we did it.