Recently, I wrote about the house in my neighborhood that was on the market as a ‘short sale’, and shared my frustration that people who can fully afford their mortgage payments are allowed to just abandon their homes.
When I wrote about this house previously, it had originally been offered ‘for sale’ normally at $299,000. Over the course of less than 6 months, it became a bank owned property and the price had dropped to $238,000. Shortly after that, the house did indeed sell, but for $208,000.
I recognize that most of you do not know where I live or have an understanding of housing prices in my area, but a 2800 square foot house in a city with an excellent school district selling for $208,000 is an incredible bargain (for the buyer). Of course, this sale will kill the comparables in our neighborhood, and my home’s assessment did go down dramatically. I have no way of knowing how much this short sale affected my assessment, but I assume it had at least some impact. Since we are not moving anytime soon, it only helps my tax situation. However, for those that plan on moving, this house being sold at such a bargain-basement price can not be good news.
For Some, A Great Deal Is Still Not Enough
The other day, our new neighbor was outside doing some yard work. Thankfully, they have been spending a lot of time fixing up the inside of the house, and they are now tackling the outside. The house never had much curb appeal even when it was occupied, but after sitting all those months, the outside of the house is a mess.
While talking with the new homeowner, he was very frustrated- he was almost disgusted with the state of the yard. I empathized with the guy, but then I thought “well what did these new homeowners expect?”. This house was purchased at such a low price because it needed work inside and looked rather unkempt on the outside. You can’t expect to get a deal on something and then then be frustrated when it is not perfect.
This conversation took me back to my point in another previous post where I figured that if banks (or whoever owns a property) put just a little bit of money into a house (and yard) that is for sale, the payback would be more than worth it. Had a landscaper spent five hundred dollars just sprucing up the yard and made some minor changes to the outside, how much would the sale price of the home increased? I am guessing by quite a bit more than 500 dollars.
The Lesson When Buying and Selling:
Next time you are selling ANYTHING, make sure it shines. Do not let emotions rule you decisions, but use your common sense and possibly involve a third party to get an impartial opinion. If you are looking to buy something, consider items that have cosmetic problems and appear to be undervalued for that very reason!