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Contributor
stannius
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎04-11-2011
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Things that can be fixed vs. things that can't

[ Edited ]

My wife and I saw a house over the weekend that we would put an offer on, except for one thing. It has a really steep driveway. We tried to drive up it and scraped our car on the pavement. That's something that unfortunately can't be fixed (or can it?) so it's a deal breaker.

 

Other things that can't be fixed:

Location

School district

Road noise

Extensive mold damage

 

Things that can be fixed (though it might cost a lot)

Color scheme

Wear and tear

Outdated kitchen

Popcorn ceilings

 

What else can you add to these lists?

Contributor
Jilliano
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎04-01-2009
0

Re: Things that can be fixed vs. things that can't

Popcorn ceilings are on my "maybe" list. If they are asbestos-containing, you are looking at remediation, which I have had done and I can say it is among the most non-gratifying (albeit necessary) ways to spend money. If it's not, then it isn't as much of a problem. I would add a clause to the inspection section of any offer I made where I was suspicious allowing the removal of a sample (from a closet or other non-obvious area) for testing. Better to know ahead of time what you are getting into.

Super Contributor
GreenAcres
Posts: 321
Registered: ‎06-06-2010

Re: Things that can be fixed vs. things that can't

FYI, home owners can perform asbestos removal themselves in WA.  You do not need to hire a remediation co. and removing popcorn sealings is fairly easy to DIY.  You can find instructions on WA gov't websites that tell you what precautions to take and how to dispose of it.

 

And, asbestos left in situ is not a health hazard.  It's only when it becomes airborne that it's an issue.

Redfin Associate Agent
Daren
Posts: 114
Registered: ‎09-02-2008
0

Re: Things that can be fixed vs. things that can't

[ Edited ]

I think the big things you can't change are:

 

  • Location (road noise, commute times, neighborhood, neighbors, etc)
  • Lot (steep driveway, sloped backyard, views, privacy)
  • Floorplan (small bedrooms, not open, low ceilings)
Lot and location you just can't do anything about.  The floorplan can be tweaked, but it's typically so expensive that the lot and location better be perfect before you'd even want to attempt it.

 

 

And while we are on the topic of asbestos removal, here is what costhelper.com has to say: http://www.costhelper.com/cost/home-garden/asbestos-removal.html

 

Daren Carper | Redfin Seattle Field Agent Lead
daren.carper@redfin.com
Platinum Super Contributor
Nanomug
Posts: 10,375
Registered: ‎05-30-2009

Re: Things that can be fixed vs. things that can't

I've had steep driveways in the past.  The biggest problem is in the winter months when they are icy.  Being prepared for the ice is important.  We chose those homes because they offered much more to us than the inconvenience of the driveway.  We learned how to turn into the driveway with the Civic without scraping the bottom and how to deal with icy conditions.  The view and lot were amazing.  

Contributor
az2wa
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎12-05-2010

Re: Things that can be fixed vs. things that can't

I would add things that can't be fixed:

 

Power lines

Tree intrusion into foundation

lack of yard ( have a 2 acre lot and three foot path to and from driveway which is all the flat lawn you get)

yard so steep the grass is sliding 

 

I agree the biggest deal breaker for us is an unapproachable driveway, that usually go along with amazing views.  I think it should be mentioned in the listing.  Several listings hide this fact with tricky photography.   

 

Silver Regular Contributor
seattleite4
Posts: 550
Registered: ‎05-03-2010

Re: Things that can be fixed vs. things that can't

There was a time when builders could put a house anywhere and someone would buy it.

Not me! I refuse to buy a house on a panhandle lot--You know--where they put a driveway in your side yard and place a house behind you. Ugh!

I think those houses, along with houses that back to main arterial's will be the big losers in the downturn.

Silver Regular Contributor
AvocadoApplnce
Posts: 655
Registered: ‎03-05-2010

Re: Things that can be fixed vs. things that can't

[ Edited ]

There's no question that during the buying frenzy a number of negatives are overlooked, which later become deal breakers during a downturn. Proof is in the fact that you can drive through a ṣhitty neighborhood filled with neglected structures collapsing under the wieght of their moss covered rooves and then see these newly built 5000 sq ft persian palaces erected alongside them. There was apparently a window of time where location didn't matter, at all. Where everyone prior to 2006 had saw fit to put a 1200 sq ft rambler, it was suddenly a good idea to cover the entire lot with an OSB castle. Surely future generations will come up with some kind of name for these as they are anything but biodegradable. I would say good on you blighted neighborhood for having a taste of the tract housing good life, but those places must cost a fortune to heat and upkeep, and I don't believe they'll remain shiny new objects for much longer.

Trusted Contributor
jethro
Posts: 161
Registered: ‎05-12-2009
0

Re: Things that can be fixed vs. things that can't

Good call about the "panhandle lot." The house in front with someone else's driveway along side, and the house in back that's surrounded by neighbors on all four sides, are both no-no's for me.

One more thing that I'd put on the can't fix list is slob neighbors. Nobod wants to live next to the guy with too many car projects and the foot tall grass.

Trusted Contributor
Sleepwalker
Posts: 195
Registered: ‎04-24-2010

Re: Things that can be fixed vs. things that can't

My uncle and father died of asbestos related lung cancer. If you do it yourself, be VERY careful, especially if you're young. I would never consider doing it myself.


GreenAcres wrote:

FYI, home owners can perform asbestos removal themselves in WA.  You do not need to hire a remediation co. and removing popcorn sealings is fairly easy to DIY.  You can find instructions on WA gov't websites that tell you what precautions to take and how to dispose of it.

 

And, asbestos left in situ is not a health hazard.  It's only when it becomes airborne that it's an issue.