As a real estate agent, I have seen some pretty scary listings over the years. I know the signs to avoid when it comes to a house listing. Although, that doesn’t really stop me. Believe it or not, the scariest homes I have ever been associated with are ones I have purchased! Yikes! I have a fascination with haunted houses and all things horror from my childhood. In my adulthood, this fascination has morphed into buying scary homes aka houses with the most daunting problems houses can have. I am talking about problems that would make most buyer’s run in fright.
For instance, Airlie house built in the 50’s had very significant water intrusion issues, that produced puddles of water in the middle of the floor each time it even sprinkled. That was probably because the lower level had a basement that had actually been dug-out by hand and shovel by the previous owner AFTER the house was in place. Think about that for a minute! The basement was dug out after the house was built. I’m not sure what the owner was thinking (or may have been trying to hide!)
My personal favorite scary house was the 1922 renovation I took on with asbestos wrapped ducting, lead pipes, and decaying knob and tube wiring. Every day was a frightening surprise with that one!
Here are a few other scary signs to look out for in a real estate listing.
No interior photos. Photos make or break interest in a home. Bad photos are bad but no photos are a bad sign.
Scary words like ‘as is’ ‘fixer upper’ or needs some ‘TLC’ can be enough to scare many homeowners. Those phrases typically mean you are going to have to pay more than the price of the home to get the home to a livable condition.
Homes that have been sitting empty for a long time could be a little scarier than most. It may mean that something is wrong that no one else has wanted to tackle. It also means that since the homeowner isn’t on the property it’s not being maintained like a lived-in home would be.
An overpriced home. Paying more than necessary for a home makes me shutter! It’s rarely a good strategy to buy the most expensive home in a neighborhood. Do your homework and talk to your agent to make sure you are paying market value.
This affinity I have for enjoying the fear makes me a great agent for people thinking about buying an older home. You have to be fearless. You have to expect everything including a burial mound in the back yard, or a lingering ghost in the attic. It also makes me a the right broker for seller’s of vintage homes, I know the task you have bravely taken on.
I would actually purchase an older home with ghost and all! In fact, I’d pay more for the ghost.