What would deter you from buying a house?
Emmeline Westin
May 8, 2014 in Design Dilemma
When you're house hunting you know that it's unlikely you'll find your dream home straight away. A dream home might come after a big renovation, a lick of paint or after changing the layout of the rooms. Some homes however, have no potential at all.

What are your biggest property turn-offs?

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PRO
Interiors of Desire by e-Design
Dodgy plumbing!
May 8, 2014 at 3:57AM     
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Kathleen Marineau
Heavy handed HOA rules. Found one house that was perfect inside and out, wondered why 10% of neighborhood was for sale. Researched and found three forums with hundreds of complaints against HOA. Kept looking.
May 8, 2014 at 4:29AM     
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smileyface2013
Location, including town, school district, neighborhood. Beyond that, less than 2 full bathrooms, no dishwasher (or feasibility for one), several acres of land, anything high maintenance like cedar siding.
May 8, 2014 at 5:01AM     
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Pavinia Cotton
I once found a great house, then luckily found out before making an offer that there was a neighbour who would sit scratching the bedroom wall from the other side every night - too creepy for me to handle!
May 8, 2014 at 5:42AM     
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Kathleen Marineau
Ugh, Pavinia. I'd also leave that one behind.
May 8, 2014 at 6:05AM     
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printesa
We were looking for a second property that had quiet a bit of land so we can have some small animals there,,chickens and things like that We found something really nice, but the house was old, which was not a problem, but there were two historic societies that had a saying into what can be done with the house. Everything had to be renovated and nothing could have been added (one bath in the entire house and no place to add a second). So, in the end, we gave up on it. The house would have been a liability
May 8, 2014 at 6:12AM     
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liebenswert
I agree with the HOA rules, Huge red flag of no peace! Look at the neighbor's yard and drive by the house at different times especially on weekends. I also hate rude homeowners that are hard to negotiate with. If you can avoid it, don't make a decision when the yard is covered in snow. And now if I ever buy another home, I will get TWO house inspections. Inspectors really suck these days because they know they will get paid regardless. I few hundred bucks is worth the tens of thousands you will save later.
May 8, 2014 at 6:14AM     
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Emmeline Westin
That sounds terrifying Pavinia!
May 8, 2014 at 10:07AM     
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Heidi Dyke
Location is #1. Commute to work has to be liveable, but also look at proximity to grocery stores, parks, schools, loud places like airports, high tension power lines, water treatment plants, etc.
Second is natural light. Especially up north sunlight is so important to mental and physical well-being in the winter. If my house always feels like a cave no matter how bright the sun is trying to shine, I just start feeling run-down. Also, lack of sunshine indoors means plants won't survive, and that means my indoor air quality can't benefit from having plants inside.
Finally, it has to be a good investment. This is first and foremost a House before it is a Home. Approach it that way. If someone else already bought this place, added whatever trendy finishes to the kitchen, replaced the carpet, and they are now selling it at a mark-up, that's a no for me. Quality of construction, quality of previous owner's care, great location (again), and a little bit of run-down, that's what I want. A house that would be worth $XXX with all the bells and whistles (but doesn't have them) that has good bones and a decent record, that's the house for me.
July 2, 2014 at 9:31AM     
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feeny
I agree that houses that have been flipped, with either flimsy construction or poor design choices in newly renovated areas like kitchens or bathrooms are a deal breaker for me. I know I am paying for the cost of renovation, and I don't want to either rip out a new kitchen or live with a poorly designed one. OTOH, if a house has been beautifully and tastefully renovated, that is a strong incentive as it saves me the work.
July 2, 2014 at 9:51AM     
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PRO
Design Schematic Interiors
Location, location, location!
July 2, 2014 at 9:56AM     
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hatetoshop
Location, condition, etc are all priorities. But if I walked into a house that was covered in wallpaper, I would turn around. The thought of removing it would be too overwhelming.
July 2, 2014 at 10:00AM   
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PRO
Homes Sold Beautifully
Believe it or not, I have seen trophy heads of animals on walls, hunting guns and ammunition on my home staging consultations. Put away any and all hunting objects to not deter any buyers.
July 2, 2014 at 10:02AM   
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ASVInteriors
If I feel it has bad energy or karma. Hard to pinpoint but it is a feelng. If the initial feeling isn't good then walk away.
July 2, 2014 at 10:14AM   
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Lauren Hartman
I'm with Heidi -- we just bought a house pretty much for those reasons. The location was perfect, and the house wasn't "flipped" -- it had great bones and was in great shape, but nothing was "new" and was all original to the house (only 15 years old). So we saw a great opportunity to put our own mark on it. We are loving it so far and couldn't be happier.

We do have an HOA that seems nice enough, but I really hope we don't run into trouble with them! I would love to not have an HOA at all but oh well.
July 2, 2014 at 10:45AM   
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shars55
Location is most important, but I would never buy a house with a pool.
July 2, 2014 at 11:49AM   
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krf9
I'm willing to paint, and can usually see past decor choices to picture the space, but any sort of actual work/construction is something (at this point at least) I'm not willing to do. Unless I'm on a show like the Property Brothers or something!
July 2, 2014 at 12:02PM     
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Kathleen Marineau
I wish I could be in Lowe's or Home Depot when one of the "crashers" is looking for a hapless couple. I'm painting, removing walls, knocking holes in wallboard to make storage cubbies, landscaping and wishing I'd spent another year looking before buying.
July 2, 2014 at 12:06PM     
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LB Interiors
One that has a poor floor plan. If the floor plan is fine but needs work, has great potential with good bones, I love the challenge to customize it.
July 2, 2014 at 12:14PM     
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PRO
Circle Goods Reclaimed
I have to say the HOA, maybe the ones who said that have authority issues haha.
July 2, 2014 at 12:31PM   
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Don Camacho
Location. Anything is possible but you can't change the street signs.
July 2, 2014 at 12:36PM   
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Don Camacho
... Also removing wallpaper is ridiculously easy. You just heat a heat source like steam.
July 2, 2014 at 12:36PM     
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Aubry T
We just bought a house, so these are my turnoffs from our search:

1. location, location, location (commute has to be somewhat decent, there were specific neighborhoods that we liked and were adamant on)
2. NO HOA. We have big trucks and trailers and too many hobbies, and I want to paint my house whichever way I desire and landscape however I want (basically very little).
3. privacy (I don't like people constantly walking by, driving by, looking into the yard/house etc), no road or airport noises.
4. location of the house on the lot (for adding shop space, horses, additions etc.). One house sat way back on the lot, so we would have to build stables and a shop in FRONT of it. Nope.
5. Construction of the house. No tract homes, preferably block home or 2x6.
6. Pool. In Arizona, no pool = no way.
7. Condition of roof and plumbing. We can tackle floorplans and electrical work ourselves, but hate roofs and plumbing with a passion. Also, no noisy plumbing, I don't want to hear toilets flushing in the living room. We actually tested this in every house, when in the living room or master bedroom I'd have the hubby flush the toilet and run the shower in the other bathrooms to make sure it was no bother.
8. No cathedral ceilings. Coming from a house with cathedral like ceilings and plant shelves, I never ever want that again. Yes it seems nice and spacious, but it's horrible when the smoke alarm battery dies (30ft up in the air, at 2am, yes it happened), or when you want to paint or change out the decorations on the plant shelves (yuck dusty).
9. No newer built houses, I don't like the mcdonalds quality and design, so BLAH, I want some character.
10. What do the surrounding houses look like? No point in owning a mansion next to a trashy trailer park.

Other than that, there isn't much I'm not willing to roll up my sleeves for and fix.
July 2, 2014 at 12:43PM   
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soozmacrae
If the house smells!
August 13, 2014 at 9:52AM   
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Joanna Perkins
I adore a "fixer upper"… but subsidence is one problem that's way beyond my risk appetite.
August 13, 2014 at 10:24AM   
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mandyjones14
I live in the UK. What's an HOA? I've never heard of it before. Thanks.
August 13, 2014 at 10:37AM   
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shars55
Mandyjones.....that means Home Owners Association.
August 13, 2014 at 1:07PM     
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mandyjones14
Dear Shars55 Is that like a group that tells people what they can and can't do to their own home?
August 13, 2014 at 3:03PM   
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shars55
A bit...they can't tell you what you can do inside, but they do make rules about the exterior. For example, they can tell you what color you aren't allowed to paint your house, that type of thing. Some people like them because they may help keep the neighborhood looking nicer with no junk cars in driveways, and the yards have to be kept nice. There are other people who don't like being told what they can do to the outside of their houses.
August 13, 2014 at 3:07PM   
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embzop
Not having enough parking in the area is a real turn off for me. In England we have a lot of terraced houses with on-street parking. On a wet winter's day when it is dark, raining and cold it is no fun walking from three streets away with your shopping to get back home.
Also, storage is a big issue. It doesn't matter how nice the house is, if there is no where to store things then the house is never going to be really attractive to live in.
August 14, 2014 at 12:53AM     
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momof5x
There could be many depending really- -

-House structural wise, if there are any land foundation problems or structural issues such as severe wall cracks outside then that would be a major issue.

-Area wise, it would have to in a safe neighborhood, and have good neighbors. Tell tale signs for me would be graffiti, cleanliness of area, and general look of the states of gardens of houses in the street of given house as this would indicate how much neighbours care as a community.

-I would avoid any areas that have had a history of Earthquakes or flooding.
August 14, 2014 at 1:39AM     
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