PART TWO OF A THREE-PART SERIES: BUYING THE UGLIEST HOUSE ON THE BEST BLOCK
Last month we began this series of articles about strategies “to get more home with less money”. In part 1 we talked about buying an older home versus a new home. This month we are moving on to buying the worst home on the best block – another strategy for getting more for less.
Have you driven through your “dream neighborhood” and wished you could purchase a home there? By “dream neighborhood” I mean one that has the schools you want, is close to where you do your shopping, is convenient to the activities your family is interested in, has beautiful homes, and has neighbors who seem to keep up their property like you do. You keep driving through that neighborhood and you don’t see any homes to purchase, except that “unattractive home that needs a ton of work and has been on the market for an eternity”. Wait! Back up! That is the one!
I have not lost my mind… Just make sure the location is everything you think it is. Ask a real estate professional about it. Ask that agent to share some comps with you. Drive through the area at all times of day and evening and in all types of weather. Check out your neighbors’ homes and lawns. Do you still think it is where you want to live?
Now the question is, “Why would you choose the ugliest home in your dream neighborhood?” For starters, those other well-kept beautiful homes in the neighborhood will bring up the value of the “ugly” home. Next, you can probably get it for less money because everyone is overlooking it. if the seller was inclined to fix it up, it would probably be in high demand and the price would be much higher. Next, use your “vision” and creativity to imagine how you can make the home beautiful – realistically. Does it have potential? Can you save enough on the price of the home that you could spend some money renovating it?
Are there potential pitfalls? Yes. How can you avoid them? Get a thorough home inspection so you know what the issues are. Make sure you have an HVAC contractor check out the heating and cooling. Check out the roof. Make sure you know if there are any foundation issues. Get a termite inspection. Get two or three estimates for each area of concern. Once you have investigated it all, get the major repairs done and start making the home attractive. You are adding value to that home. It will no longer be the ugliest home on the best block – it will be the most beautiful home on the block.
Next month we will talk about our third strategy – comparing the purchase of a mobile home, manufactured home, and stick=built home.
If you have questions about buying an affordable home or selling your current home, please contact me:
Belinda Faulkner, Broker
Moorefield Real Estate