Last weekend Ian and I started searching for our next home. We are looking for something larger with a larger yard and ideally in the same area we are in now. On Saturday our real estate agent took us out and showed us 8 homes that we were interested in. We learned very quickly that you can't judge a house by it's listing. Real estate agents are expert spin doctors. They can make an ugly kitchen appear charming and can construct a "truthful" sentence about the deplorable condition the bathroom is in that leaves you unaware that an outhouse would be preferable to the indoor facilities.
Here are a few red flags that we have picked up on:
- "Needs a little TLC, but great potential" Translation: I hope you have somewhere else to stay while you work day and night to make this house livable.
- "Kitchen updated in the 80's" Translation: The only remodeling worth mentioning happened over 20 years ago.
- "Great as an investment" Translation: This house is one broken pipe from being condemned. Good luck. If you survive the remodel you might be able to break even by re-selling it.
- "Occupy existing structure or build new" Translation: "Structure" can mean so many things, why do you judge?