UGLY houses??

My eventual-to-be-ex husband (wonderfool) will soon be trying to sell our house. Unfortunately, since we had been severely broke to the point of bankruptcy, we took what we could get to save us money from living in an apartment.

In other words, the place definitely qualifies as ugly. Or a piece of shit, whichever you prefer.

Anyway, I don’t know about other states, but here in Texas there are tons of billboard-like ads offering the buying of ugly houses. As we obviously qualify, I’d like to know a little bit more from anyone who’s used them before I get my hopes up too high.

So, Dopers? If’n you have, is it a difficult process? Do you have to do any fixing up to complete the sale? Do they offer you a decent price or is it an unworthy (even by our home’s standards) amount like the much reduced bit from pawn shops?

All experiences would be appreciated. Gracias.

Most of those we-buy-houses places won’t give you as much as you’d get from a regular sale. ERA, a real estate company in our region, has a program where they buy your house for twenty percent less than its appraised value, but you have to buy a house that’s being sold by an ERA office afterward.

Really, your best bet would be to sell the house yourself, “as is” if you don’t want to do any work. I’d stringly suggest, though, at least doing a lipstick-and-rouge job on the house, meaning weeding the flowerbeds, painting rooms which need it, shampooing the rugs, and generally trying to make it look as nice as possible.

Then, run ads in the paper, and put a “For Sale By Owner” sign in your yard. If you use an agent, you may get a quicker sale, but they’ll take a chunk of your profits.

One of my neighbors recently died. He was very old and hadn’t done much of anything to his house in a long time. Rather than fix it up, the children decided to simply sell it as is to one of the “ugly” home buyers.

As near as we can tell, there was nothing wrong with the house that a little cosmetic work wouldn’t have cured, but they were willing to take less than market value in exchange for a quick sale. The house went for about 20% - 25% less than what comparable houses on the block had been selling for.

If it has four walls and 90% or more of the roof, you should be able to sell it.

The stuff I saw a few months ago when home-shopping was stunning. $525,000 for the lovely rambling wreck with no usable kitchen and two 15-amp fuses for the whole house? $539,000 for one with no roof at all on the garage? No problem. :eek:

If people can sell homes with significant structural issues, “ugly” shouldn’t be a problem.

My friend is looking at selling to one of those “we buy ugly house” dealers here in Houston…

She bought the pit for $40,000 about 10 years ago, and it has actually gotten to be in worse shape now than when she bought it through neglect and entropy. She was offered $37,000 on the spot and a possible high of $43,000 in a week or two if it “went to auction” (?) through the company. The lot value is 15,000 per the apprasial district. Houses in the neighborhood are selling for around $75,000-$80,000.

Honestly, it doesn’t seem that that bad a deal for her- she hates the place, has no idea how to, or skills to, fix it. I’m afraid it would be condemned if anyone ‘in charge’ got a look at it. The sub floors are rotten and I fear the toilet will fall through, the wiring is dangerous (it’s already caught fire once), and she had a remodeler out once who took a bunch of walls and flooring out then disappeared with her money. Ug-ly.

The buy-it guy gave her a couple of days to think about it, but I have not heard from her about what she decided to do…

Thanks everyone. :slight_smile:

We paid $38,000 and the neighborhood has improved around it. However, wonderfool will be moving into an apartment (obviously, I’m elsewhere) and has a brand new job to keep up with and graduate courses too. So doing even minor cosmetic repairs might be too much of a hassle, although I’m not sure. And boy does it need it.

I mean, the kitchen cabinets are chartreuse! :eek:

Plus, there is some problem with the carport pulling away from the house, the antiquated AC system from like 1950 or something and the area still not being all that great. However, the plus side has hardwood floors (but not refinished), some bead board in the living room, a quasi sun porch with French doors and a small hot tub in a huge back lot. Three bedrooms as well (the garage was made into the last), but only one tiny bath with tiny closets throughout. It was built in '38.

I do like the red roof. Howard Johnson’s anyone?

::: sigh :::

I don’t know how much any of that would help or if the market would be as good as Houston.

If it is though, I’m sure he’d certainly take that kind of cut to be out quickly and away from awfool (my mother – who holds the note). Therefore, we’ll look into it.

If there are more stories out there that ya know of, please share. I’ll be showing him this thread whenever he arrives back from work.

Again, it’s all much appreciated.

Have you talked with a real estate agent? It might be worth it to have it listed with one. It sounds like the place is just old rather than a deathtrap. It sounds like it just needs some cosmetic work for the most part.

There are a few cheap things you can do to increase the appeal.

Spread fertilizer on the lawn. Curb appeal is very important.

Paint. If a room looks a little tired, or is an unusual color, paint it Realtor’s® beige (antique white.) You don’t want a buyer to say, “Well, we’d have to paint this before we move in.”

Clean, ruthlessly. In the rooms you don’t paint, wash the walls. Clean the carpets, then do it again. If you’ve moved out, get everything out.

If you’re still living there, get half your stuff out of every room into a rented storage space before you show it. Clutter makes a room seem smaller than it is. Turn all the lights on for a showing. If you get enough advance notice, bake a batch of cookies before you leave it to the Realtor. The aroma will smell like home to the buyer.