Friday, October 31, 2014

Boo! Don't Let Scary Looking Houses Fool You.

The current local real estate market is clamoring for clean, move-in ready homes. These tidy houses are being snatched up quickly while the properties with a few rough edges sit on the market for a while. The general rule for listing a home is to shine it up as best you can before presenting it to the market. But in the past, there was always a strong light fixer market as well with prices hovering just below the values for the perfectionist's pad.

This market seems a little less forgiving. This market is providing a great opportunity for big value in the form of a less "pretty" house. I am not talking about rough fixers here. I am talking about a dated home, with a few bumps and scrapes. I am not referring to properties that need a roof or furnace. Just a bit of updating or cleaning up.

Recently I had the pleasure of helping a great family buy their first home. They have four children. They wanted a house with a nice sized yard and as much space as the budget would allow. $200k was the mark. I showed them many super clean and tidy three bedroom homes but they were hoping for a four bedroom home.

Four beds with a big yard for 200 large is a tall order. I discussed with them the idea of an FHA financeable light fixer. After some counsel they started looking at some of the properties I sent that they had previously rejected. Most of the homes in the $190-$200 thousand range had been clean small 1100-1200 SF on decent lots.

Lo and behold we found a 1979 4 bedroom ranch with 1500 square feet listed at $205,000. The house was no supermodel, but the bones were good and the owner was willing to fix a few things to get it into FHA qualifications. Patience and a willingness to look at homes that don't glitter in the pictures can be a ticket to value. This four bed house had no updates and it just didn't have that shiny polish like all those little three bed homes that sold in a week for the same price did.

Once they apply the "polish" to their new four bedroom house they will quickly have a $225,000 home. But more important than that, they have the space they really wanted for their four children! There are deals out there, they just might not be packaged exactly the way buyers want them. But make no mistake, they are out there.    

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