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Old 20 May 2014, 01:38 AM
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DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
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Throw Tomato My mother's house is being sold

As you may know my mother died last September. My brother has been in the process of cleaning out her house and prepping it for eventual sale. I won't even bother to go into all the stuff she had--and kept! Shocked De-am! Anyway we both thought that the house would sell for $X, but when my brother showed it to a realtor, he got a real surprise, and some things were not so surpising. First off, all the wall paper is so 1980s--not popular anymore. Seriously? Who gives a flying damn about that? And the tiles in the basement? Asbestos. And? Look, they've been there for 50 years and it's my understanding that asbestos is only a hazard if it's moved or disrupted. I know you need special equipment to do all that. OK, I get that. But the biggest, most insurmountable issue is the fact that the basement gets water in it every time we get a hard rain. My parents were told that there were underground springs when they bought the house 60 years ago, but that they were dried up. Riiiight! Thing is, my parents never liked sump pumps and never bothered to get any installed. Apparently my dad had one in a previous house and it didn't work, so that turned him off of them forever. Not the best decision in the world! My brother is probably going to have to sell the house as is, which is not necessarily a bad thing. He doesn't have to fix it up, but we wouldn't get as much for it as we thought. Sigh.....
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Old 20 May 2014, 01:42 AM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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I'm sorry. Been there. My mom's house ended up being a short sale.

The wallpaper thing I kinda get, just because getting rid of it is such a pain -- labor-intensive.
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Old 20 May 2014, 02:12 AM
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DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post

The wallpaper thing I kinda get, just because getting rid of it is such a pain -- labor-intensive.

This is true. DH and I are in the process of stripping some old wallpaper in our own house. However, it was starting to peel anyway. A water/vinegar mix will take it right off..
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Old 20 May 2014, 02:35 AM
dfresh dfresh is offline
 
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I deal with asbestos, and certain lenders will not lend on a property with asbestos in it. yes, it is only harmful to human health when it is disturbed, but odds are it will be, at some point, so the lender doesn't want to touch it.
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  #5  
Old 20 May 2014, 02:45 AM
Aud 1 Aud 1 is offline
 
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My house had asbestos siding. It was severely damaged during a storm a year before we bought the place and they put vinyl siding over it. The first company we got homeowners insurance from dropped us after a couple months when they finally got around to reading the disclosure. They could not insure us because they need something from the state (a rider?) saying it is okay to insure this sort of asbestos. We easily found another company that was happy for a business.

Anyway, you have my sympathies. I might suggest getting a real home inspection done.
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  #6  
Old 20 May 2014, 02:45 AM
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DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
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Dfresh: interesting. The water in the basement is the biggest issue. We're not talking enough water launch toy boats in, but who wants to deal with that? I know my parents discussed waterproofing many years ago, but decided against it. IIRC, it was the probably cost. They probably should've gone ahead and done it.
The previous owner of my house had it waterproofed, and believe me, I'm thankful for it! I've never had a problem with the sump pumps. I'm thinking that when my father had one in a previous house, it was either defective, or sumps were new technology at the time, and thus still a bit buggy.
The realtor did tell my brother that the house (my mother's) had potential, but the issues I've outlined here cannot be easily resolved.
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  #7  
Old 20 May 2014, 12:29 PM
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Lainie Lainie is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnStorm View Post
This is true. DH and I are in the process of stripping some old wallpaper in our own house. However, it was starting to peel anyway. A water/vinegar mix will take it right off..
Yeah, but you have to soak it, then scrape it. . . It's not difficult, just a pain in the neck and time consuming.
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Old 20 May 2014, 12:30 PM
Elkhound Elkhound is offline
 
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Perhaps instead of selling it he can rent it out. Perhaps on a lease-purchase option.
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  #9  
Old 20 May 2014, 01:41 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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Dawn, is your parents' house in the same county as you (and me)? If so, while those items are issues for someone who wants a move-in ready house, the "potential" might be the location. The water especially might be what turns people off. Someone who wants it for a tear down or build over, in this county things go for more $$$ than you might think.

In addition to a real home inspection, I suggest talking to at least 3 realtors.
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  #10  
Old 20 May 2014, 06:58 PM
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Die Capacitrix Die Capacitrix is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
Someone who wants it for a tear down or build over, in this county things go for more $$$ than you might think.
As soon as the water problem was mentioned, this is what I was thinking.

My grandmother's house was built (by my grandparents with friends and family) in the 1940s above a spring, she has sump pumps, old wiring, it's small, etc. It would never pass any kind of home inspection test. As long as she's able to live their, the house stays, but once she's gone, only the land is worth anything.
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Old 20 May 2014, 07:04 PM
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The same thing happened with my grandparents house, the land was worth way more than the house was. Mind you if I'd had the money back then to buy the house I'd have done it. I don't care how many problems it had, I loved that house and still miss it.
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  #12  
Old 20 May 2014, 07:07 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
Dawn, is your parents' house in the same county as you (and me)? If so, while those items are issues for someone who wants a move-in ready house, the "potential" might be the location. The water especially might be what turns people off. Someone who wants it for a tear down or build over, in this county things go for more $$$ than you might think.

In addition to a real home inspection, I suggest talking to at least 3 realtors.
So if it is the lot that's valuable, without the house, you want to find the most profitable way to get rid of the house. Ummm, are the insurance premiums paid up? Just asking. And no one is living in it, right?
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  #13  
Old 20 May 2014, 07:11 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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Eh, around here you don't even need to commit a crime, I mean accident. People pay insane amounts if it is in a "good" district or close in. If it is in a good district AND close-in, forget about it.
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Old 20 May 2014, 08:10 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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You should always talk to more than one realtor.

You should also ask the realtor for the lists of comparable houses on which the estimate is based.
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Old 20 May 2014, 08:26 PM
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DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
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Dr. Dave: yes my mom's house is in this county. Not sure if the Wheaton/Silver Spring area is a good district though. It ain't Chevy Chase that's for sure!
I'll ask my brother if he's gotten a second opinion, but knowing my brother, he's covered all the basis.
(I've offered to help with things, but was told 'that's OK')
The house is located along a bus route and not that far from a Metro station. The backyard is a quarter acre, so whoever gets it better love cutting the grass! The house is in great shape, but its age does present issues. Everything's paid up too. What's not to like? Oh yeah, the basement.
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Old 20 May 2014, 09:09 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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I'm not an expert, but yeah, although that is not the super "high rent district," close in, on a bus line, near Metro, 1/4 acre backyard- so what 1/2 acre total? It should sell easily.
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  #17  
Old 20 May 2014, 09:16 PM
lavender blue lavender blue is offline
 
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Dawn, we ended up with a bidding war a couple of years ago (including a 2-page begging letter from one of the potential buyers) for my grandmother's house, which had major electrical and roof issues. Surprised us all, as all we did was paint and refinish the wood floors. We can only guess that the market was so tight people considered it a bargain even when told of the work that would have to be done. We ended up selling for about 20% more than the initial asking price.

Last edited by lavender blue; 20 May 2014 at 09:18 PM. Reason: my math was wrong
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  #18  
Old 20 May 2014, 09:50 PM
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DawnStorm DawnStorm is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Dave View Post
I'm not an expert, but yeah, although that is not the super "high rent district," close in, on a bus line, near Metro, 1/4 acre backyard- so what 1/2 acre total? It should sell easily.
I hope you're right! We were thinking that the house was worth $X, but the realtor my brother spoke with said the house would only sell for $Y.
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Old 20 May 2014, 10:05 PM
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Plurabelle Plurabelle is offline
 
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Being someone who just bought a house and is currently selling one, the suggested price is often a surprise to the seller, in either direction, though you should of course consult multiple realtors.

The longer you live in/know a house, the more skewed your opinion tends to get; plus, the market has been fairly nutty and what buyers are looking for/not looking for in general is always changing.

My hub and I set a max amount, and general area, and looked at about 21 houses. We found one we LOVED but got outbid (for the better in the end anyway), then found the one we just bought.

We had a list of total dealbreakers (had to be completely structurally sound with good roof, infrastructure, no mold issues) and "to haves" -- we were negotiable on the "to haves" as long as we worked the cost of changing XYZ into the buying price. So, for example, if we NEEDED "to have" a hot tub (riiiight...) we'd be happy to take a house without one less the cost of us putting in one ourselves.

Wallpaper and carpet were definitely undesirable to us both because with the wallpaper, we both have large art collections very important to us and wanted to feature the work, not some rose print pattern; and with carpet, we have 4 dogs and 2 cats and both paint a lot -- not a great combo for carpet.

We ended up buying a house covered in hideous wallpaper with decent carpet throughout. But we paid less for the house to accommodate our budget AND do the requisite changes (plus putting in a fence for the dogs, etc).

It's riskier for the buyer because doing work on a house almost always costs more than you're quoted, but hub and I have done enough renovations between us we're okay with that.

So cosmetic/minor things might make it a bit harder to sell, or reduce the price compared to the gorgeous 100% neutral and customizable house down the block, but the difference shouldn't be tremendous.

All that said, the older the house, the more "character" it tends to have, and my husband and I saw houses with character where we said "ew" and with this one we quite loved the character and do plan to keep some of the wallpaper/carpet, plus little details like a (disabled but antique) woodstove, stained glass windows, etc. To each their own!
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  #20  
Old 21 May 2014, 03:38 AM
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Arriah Arriah is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plurabelle View Post
All that said, the older the house, the more "character" it tends to have, and my husband and I saw houses with character where we said "ew" and with this one we quite loved the character and do plan to keep some of the wallpaper/carpet, plus little details like a (disabled but antique) woodstove, stained glass windows, etc. To each their own!
I pretty much refused to make an offer on a house that DH loved because it was 'perfect.' To him, it meant no remodeling, to me it was someone else's perfect house. Houses with character always win out in my book and a little water or asbestos wouldn't put me off.
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