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.