Lost in Real Estate Space Part Deux
Lost in Real Estate Space Part Deux
My buyer Will Robinson and I were standing at the front door of the colonial home we had looked at, getting ready to go back in and check it out some more when Will’s friend, Dr. Zachary Smith, pulled into the driveway in a shiny brand-new Land Rover. He jumped out of the vehicle and said he was just driving by and saw Will, so he thought he would stop in. Will said, “I like your new Rover!” to which the good doctor replied, “Best vehicle on this planet or any other! Remember the one we had on Mars?”
We explained that we had been in the house already but were somewhat Lost in Real Estate Space because when we entered we found ourselves in the attic. “Ahhh,” said Zachary, the old time space continuum problem!”
“Yes,” Will said, “I think we have that problem fixed now, but there are some issues in the attic I would like you to look at if I decide to buy this place. Let’s check out the rest of the house first.”
We entered the front door and made our way down the hallway to the kitchen. We quickly realized that we were in a very dated but truly immaculate home. It was so dated, in fact, that you felt like you were in a time warp of sorts. The kitchen had harvest gold appliances, new Formica counter tops, shiny linoleum floors, and a bold flower pattern wallpaper. There was a brand-new Mr. Coffee drip machine still in the box on the counter! Beside it was a crisp copy of the Laconia Citizen which was the big tip off. The Citizen is long gone, it should the Laconia Sun! We looked at the paper and the date was May 12, 1973! A roll of six cent stamps sat next to a rotary dial phone beside the paper.
I looked at the MLS sheet of the property and the description clearly stated that the kitchen had been recently updated with stainless appliances, granite counters, and tile floors! Were we in the wrong house? Looking in the living room I found gold shag wall to wall carpeting instead of the advertised hardwood flooring.
I once again heard the now familiar voice squawking from the kitchen, “Danger Will Robinson, Danger Will Robinson!” Will was standing by the sink looking at his watch and trying to shut off the alarm. Dr. Smith rushed into the room and said, “Don’t worry, it is just telling you that the wiring is not grounded in this house and there are no GFI receptacles.” The home inspector in him had kicked in as he continued, “This is not up to code! Not only that, the attached garage does not have a fire rated steel door nor does it have a finished sheetrock ceiling and mate wall as required by today’s code!”
Will responded, “Calm down Zachary, clearly there is still an issue with the time space continuum here. I think we are in a bit of a time warp of sorts. And what was code in 1950 when this house was built is not what is code today so don’t get yourself in a panic. Just because a home has some things that aren’t up to today’s standards doesn’t make this a bad house… I am more concerned about the shag carpet then the GFI’s.”
“Well, clearly, the listing agent has seen this house much differently then we are seeing it now based on his description. The property disclosure even says the electrical has been updated,” I said, “How do you fix this time warp we are in, Will?”
“I think that the only way this issue will resolve itself is when the current owners come back home. The house has to revert back to its present-day status or the owners will have to be a lot younger than they currently are. That would be an entirely different problem and highly unlikely. We should schedule another visit in a couple of days and see what this house looks like then and what kind of shape it is in real time. I bet everything will look a lot different at the second showing.”
So, if you find yourself Lost in Real Estate Space like this, remember building codes have changed a lot over time so many older homes will not meet all of new codes today. That doesn’t make them illegal or bad houses…they might just need some updates at some point. A seller might be willing to do some updates for you but a house doesn’t have to meet all current codes to be sold. Also, remember to take a second look at a house as it could appear a lot differently to you the second time around.
Just then Zachary yelled, “Look at my Land Rover!” He was standing at the window looking out at the driveway. Sure enough, we looked out and his shiny new Rover looked like a much older utilitarian version out of an African safari movie. “Now, how are we gonna fix that?” he exclaimed!
There were 91 single family homes sold in April 2018 in the fourteen homes covered by this Lakes Region of NH Real Estate Market Report. The average sales price was $372,704 and the median price point was $275,000. Last April there were 89 sales at an average of $314,707 with a median price point of $242,000.
Data compiled using the NEREN mls system.