VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
A number of years back, my mother an I were looking at a house for sale. It was a nice large house, but the problems were everywhere: all the windows needed to be replaced, the kitchen was old, the oven had rust, the electrical wiring was old, the door on the front had 'graffiti' from the family living there, the back door was cracked and you could see sunlight through it, we couldn't get into the garage to see it because they had their dog in there, one of the selling points was a really big and old pool, another selling point was a rotting shed in the backyard, and we couldn't get into the attic because the ladder didn't work and it was infested with bees or wasps (you could see part of the hive from a broken panel on the outside of the house and insects flying to and from it). This house was originally on the market for $400,000; went down to $375,000...then to $350,000....then to $314,000. And their asking price was now $299,900. My mother told them $240,000 for the house. They refused because 'they bought a new house already' and that they needed their asking price to pay for the downpayment.
Result: they didn't sell their house until 3 years later and lost the new house since they couldn't make the downpayment in time. Bonus: Their house only sold for $214,000. The people who bought the house, tried to flip it a year later (only painted the outside of the house) and had it for sale at $300,000. Once again, it didn't sell until a few years later and it was only for $210,000 (so they lost money). A company bought the house did a complete update on the kitchen (it was beautiful) and replaced the windows on the first floor and updated the bathrooms. The attic was also listed, but was sealed off which I don't understand as why would you advertise it if no one can get up there (the ladder was removed; I believe the insects were gone because I didn't see anything on this visit, but the panel was still broken) They were asking the same amount ($300,000) and it kept dropping every few months until someone bought it at $224,000? (It was in the $220,000 range)
While I have learned to look past weird paint colors, dark and weird represents a lot of work to me. Many people want to move in right away and can live with walls that need painted. But those dark weird colors represent something most people don't want to live with even temporarily. Then you have to wonder, how many coats of paint will it take to cover that ugly green or orange.
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MSN REAL ESTATE
If you worry about money after the streetlights come on, these actions may help you rest easier.