Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pre-listing repair frustrations

While I've been waiting for the bidding period to end for the house I made the offer on, I've been looking at other houses. Today, I went with my agent to see a nice Tudor at the lower end of our budget.

The interior was very different from what I had expected - more Art Deco than Tudor. The kitchen was tiled in yellow and green, with many original cabinets, as was the breakfast room. The kitchen even included a massive, tiled exhaust hood for the stove. There were nice built ins and details in the dining room. The first floor bathroom was tiled in green and purple, and the second floor ones, in pink and green. The tile work was clearly original and mostly in good condition. The wood casement windows, also original, operated well, and even included all the original storms and screens. They even had a crank mechanism that was inserted through the screen, allowing the opening and closing of the windows without removal of the screen. There was plenty of ugly carpeting and wallpaper to remove as well as walls to repaint, but nothing major.

All in all, it seemed like a decent house with some potential. There were some issues, but all things that could be corrected with time. If we don't get the house we put in the offer on, this house seems worth considering.

Then, at home, I looked at the fact sheet, prepared by the seller, detailing the work that was done in the past year. Much of it was mechanical upgrades, which I completely support. Then, I realized that all of the things that had mucked up these perfect rooms had been done to prepare the house for sale! All of the bathrooms had new toilets and sinks, and one a new shower. The new cabinets in the kitchen!

Yes, they'd taken out what were probably jadeite green toilets (though perhaps in the upstairs, pink), and replaced them with basic, boring stuff. I'm sure they did it because they were told they had to to sell the house. Not an unreasonable idea - how many people are there out there who want a pink or green toilet? But when you have a bright pink tiled bathroom, does a white toilet really make that much of a difference?

I know that the amount that this bothers me is excessive. But it seems so wrong, that the sellers spent all this money to fix up their house for sale, and I'm just going to have to spend even more money and time to unfix it.


Jenni said...

So true... The cost of unfixing houses is huge!

StuccoHouse said...

Oh, you had me with this house and it's original tiles & cabinets. When you mentioned that they yanked a pink toilet (my life's dream is to own a house with pink fixtures) out for sale, my stomach actually tightened. What are these people and their nitwit realtors thinking??? Maybe you can ask the sellers if they donated the items to a salvage down there and retreive them?