Little Known Secret: How To Find The Best Buys In Housing In Every
Market. Buyers Learn How To Sniff Out Bargains!
When it comes to prospective purchasers viewing properties, there
is much truth in the old saying, "One never gets a second chance at a
first impression." A house that shows signs of personal neglect
immediately turns off many buyers. While everyone is, of course, more
attracted to a well-kept home than to a pigsty, some of the best
bargains to be found in the housing market are often discovered
underneath a mountain of newspapers, old clothes, and just plain
'junk'. For the savvy buyer, a house that needs a little TLC could
turn out to be the buy of a lifetime.
Just to be certain we are on the same page, a cluttered house is not
necessarily a 'handyman special'. While most fixer-uppers ARE
cluttered, not all cluttered homes fall into the 'handyman special'
category. The largest difference between them is that the former
normally needs structural and cosmetic repairs, while the latter
usually requires a few large trash bags and some soap and water.
The biggest error that slovenly sellers commit is in not realizing how
much their sloppy habits will cost them when they go to sell their
homes, and the biggest mistake naive buyers make is in thinking that
careless housekeeping automatically means negligent maintenance of the
major components of the home.
Some of the most conscientious and responsible homeowners in the world
may also just be pigs ... or pack rats! The smart buyer will see past
the personal habits and living style of the inhabitants, and
concentrate on the dwelling itself. That is not to say that buyers
must disregard the condition and appearance of a house when making a
bid. To the contrary, a house that has not had a good cleaning, or
seen a patch of empty floor space, since Bush was president is a good
candidate for a lowball offer. Buyers can logically argue that they
have a great deal of work ahead of them to make the place habitable.
They can, legitimately, point to a "cream-puff" comparable home and
deduct not only the cost of the actual work to be done, but also the
value of the labor they will have to expend. This "sweat equity" is
usually calculated at a rate far in excess of the actual cost of
getting the work done.
It is not unusual for a cluttered home to bring thousands of dollars
less in a sale price than does a house in move-in condition. Most
buyers steer clear of properties that need a little work. Clutter
gives buyers a reason to pause. If a buyer needs fast possession, he
may think: "How are they (the sellers) ever going to be out of here in
two months?" Or, a buyer may wonder, "Maybe there isn't enough room
for my stuff," since clutter makes rooms and closets look smaller.
To make certain you properly assess the
merits of every home you see, here are two tips that may help you see
past the clutter, and give you a glimpse at a true diamond in the
The Tape Measure Is Mightier Than The Eyeball. Do not rely
upon your eyesight to judge dimensions. Get accurate measurements.
You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that a room you believed
to be small was, in actuality, much larger than it appeared to be,
simply because it was loaded to the gills. By the way, taking
accurate measurements is a good way to avoid being disappointed on
the other end of the scale. Sometimes smaller rooms are artfully
decorated to give the appearance of being larger. This is especially
true in model homes, where the 3rd or 4th bedroom may be more
diminutive than it appears.
Happiness Is A Home Inspection Firm. Having all the systems
and components of the property checked out by a professional home
inspector means you don't have to wonder if this is simply a
cluttered house, or a true fixer-upper. Concentrate on the features
of the home, and leave the technical stuff to the experts!
When all is said and done, keeping an open mind about houses that
are less than perfect may ultimately buy you a lot more home for a lot