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23 June 2014 @ 08:44 pm
How the other half lives  
Just keep in mind, the next time you apply for a loan and have a valuer come through your property, someone, somewhere, is poking fun at your taste in decorating. *g*

One of the fun parts of my job is the opportunity to look at valuation reports - I'm an inveterate stickybeak with a love for real estate so it's easily my favourite thing at work. Usually we play a game called "They Paid HOW MUCH for WHAT?" in which we attempt to out-do each other with maximum dollars for minimum square feet - the leading property so far is a maisonette in Sydney that went for around $1.8 million and was absolutely tiny.

Today we were playing a variant of that game that involved finding the trashiest looking place. We had one come up where the valuer had commented on the "dog excrement" throughout the house, (and we're not talking slums here, we're talking fairly upmarket house with professional owner), one place with matchbox-sized backyard that was being used as an animal shelter and the valuer noted that the smell of animals would deter prospective buyers; he went on to note that there were five kangaroos and at least one wombat in residence (and then he photographed a wombat hole in the yard, as evidence!) More disturbing to me was the kitchen in which you couldn't see a single surface, there was stuff piled high everywhere you looked.

The winner today, though, was a house that I declined to accept as security for a loan, it was that bad. Unlike the others, the problems went far deeper than mess and smell - this thing had holes in walls and ceiling, and was missing half the bathroom fittings. Actually, "holes" doesn't do it justice - it looked as though whole sheets of gyprock had been ripped away and large portions of the exterior cladding were rotted off. Valuer estimated it would cost at least $25000 to complete essential repairs, and the applicant didn't have any funds to do it or the ability to borrow more to fix it either.

That place beat all other comers hands down, including the one with the green swimming pool (I reckon you could have walked on that water!) and the one with the huge electricity transmission tower right next door.
Current Mood: gigglygiggly
Strike while the irony is hot: [EMATE] CUPPAdraycevixen on June 23rd, 2014 11:17 am (UTC)

I have seen the word "maisonette" used in ages. We lived in one in London when I was a kid and Americans always look confused if I use the word... or assume I'm being facetious. *g*

I understand how people might have a different standard (lack of standards?) for how they live but I don't understand how you wouldn't at least try to clean it up if you were have an evaluation done. It's like some people's brains disconnect although I suppose if they could really *see* it anymore they wouldn't live that way.
miwahni: Random No place like homemiwahni on June 24th, 2014 10:53 am (UTC)
To be honest, I had no idea what a maisonette was until I saw that valuation.

I seriously believe that some people just don't care how they live or how their houses appear. And good luck to them, if they're happy like that - but yuck.
Merlin Pendragon: Drapeau SLSJmrlnpndrgn on June 23rd, 2014 12:21 pm (UTC)
the one with the huge electricity transmission tower right next door.

One would assume the house was there "before" the tower?

One reason I would never build/buy on a lot with "no neighbours" : you never know what might come along in the future!
miwahni: MFU  Fascinatingmiwahni on June 24th, 2014 10:57 am (UTC)
One would assume the house was there "before" the tower? If so, you'd have to wonder how the tower ever got built.

Having said that, I remember a customer who bought a couple of acres with a house on it, in a rural residential area. As he was borrowing less than 80% of the purchase price we didn't get it valued but relied on the contract of sale. This was in about 2001. A couple of years later, after that area's prices had skyrocketed, he came back, wanting to borrow against the increased equity, and this time we DID send a valuer out - and his property had decreased in value quite significantly. Or, more to the point, he had paid way over market price - his solicitor hadn't informed him (or hadn't done the searches!) that the back half of his block was marked as easement, being reserved for construction of a transmission tower. Last I heard, he was suing his solicitor!
Merlin Pendragon: Hiver - are we there yet?mrlnpndrgn on June 24th, 2014 12:58 pm (UTC)
his solicitor hadn't informed him (or hadn't done the searches!)

One wonders why we pay through the nose for their services. My sister had problems with their previous house : the guy hadn't told them (or did not research) that the artesien well was not to code.

The city insisted that it was moved.
Plus the contractor who was rebuilding the road in front of the house destroyed the septic tank/septic field.

All of that had to be moved/rebuild on my sister's dime (and her SO) : the city declined responsibility, and my sister didn't have the money to sue the notary (here, contracts and wills do not go through sollicitors/lawyers).

So, they paid for the repairs, and anyway took a big loss when they had to sell the house :-(

I think I watch too many renovation tv shows :-/
miwahni: Pros B&D You'll Be All Rightmiwahni on June 25th, 2014 10:24 am (UTC)
and my sister didn't have the money to sue the notary What a pity. Here, solicitors and conveyancers have practice / indemnity insurance, which you can claim against. Doesn't cost a lot to lodge a claim, and then the insurance company assesses the claim, and pays out accordingly. Which is why I always did my best to dissuade anyone buying or selling a house who wanted to do their own conveyancing; if they got it wrong, they had no comeback.
Merlin Pendragon: Quebecmrlnpndrgn on June 25th, 2014 11:42 am (UTC)
I did a bit of research since I never heard of conveyancer, but it might be that because here, we have the remains of the French legal system. In some of the other provinces (like the more "British" ones), the profession exists ;-/
mrua7mrua7 on June 23rd, 2014 01:29 pm (UTC)
It is amazing what people think or don't think in regards to how their home looks. To have a place in such poor condition and knowing someone was coming to appaise it ? I shudder at the thought. It amazes me how people can be so unaware of their surroundings, and think nothing of it when someone comes into their home. EEEEk!

Your competitions are very funny indeed!
miwahni: MFU  Fascinatingmiwahni on June 24th, 2014 11:00 am (UTC)
Oh I know; as I said to Drayce above I seriously think that some people just don't care.

Actually, that puts me in mind of one report that the valuer refused to sign off on, saying that he couldn't complete it because he literally could not get into the kitchen, and our valuation standards require photos of kitchen. He only knew the house HAD a kitchen because the owner told him so, but there was so much junk stacked in the doorway that he had to take it on faith....
moonlightmead on June 25th, 2014 10:11 am (UTC)
Given that we are mid-purchase, you are not reassuring me here :)

We by-passed a lot of this when we moved into this house: it happened that we moved before selling old house, and our postman rang the bell and said 'You're in a new house! I used to deliver to the old one, too! Are you going to sell it? Because my daughter and son-in-law want to move into that street...'

A friend of mine was involved in something -perhaps installing cables for satellite - that meant visiting a lot of houses. And while it's always fascinating to see how people live and there were some very nice places, he was shocked at the utter squalor and shambles of one or two - used nappies all stuffed down the back of the sofa, that sort of thing. He couldn't believe what went on in some houses, and was baffled to imagine that they were willing to let other people see it.

Of course, the problem with the house with the nappies down the back of the sofa - a heap of them, spilling out over the top - is that if there are nappies, presumably, somewhere in the place, there are children...
miwahni: Pros Ray frownmiwahni on June 25th, 2014 10:31 am (UTC)
Given that we are mid-purchase, you are not reassuring me here :)

Look on the bright side - you could be the high point of a credit assessor's day. *g*

It's amazing, some of the things you see. I had friends once who, if you called in unexpectedly (and sometimes even if they were expecting you) would open the front door a crack, call out "Just a minute" and the slamming of the door would be followed by furious crashing and bashing as they rushed through the house gathering up crap and throwing it into one room. One occasion I can recall her looking for coffee cups, having offered to make coffee; firstly she searched under the lounge chairs and dug out around eight cups with varying degrees of mould inside, then she had to hunt up fresh milk. The first two bottles she got out of the fridge were doing yoghurt impressions, so SHE PUT THEM BACK and kept hunting. I ended up declining the coffee....
Ah, the stories I could tell! They were lovely people though.