Entries from November 2010

Perfect Open Kitchen & Great Room

November 30th, 2010 · 10 Comments

The caption for this photo reads, “Open kitchen.”  More like open the phonebook and call a contractor and open your checkbook.  I like how that 2nd refrigerator looks like it’s about to fall back over the “railing.”

fixer-upper kitchen looks terrible bad construction Phoenix Arizona home house photo

Shifting to the left and looking back, we can indeed see the 2nd refrigerator on the edge of the raised platform.  That railing doesn’t look very secure.

fixer-upper kitchen looks terrible bad construction unsafe Phoenix Arizona home house photo

And take a few steps down and you’re in the incredible great room with wood paneling and orange carpet.

ugly old orange carpet wood paneling fixer-upper great room Phoenix Arizona home house

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Tags: Carpet · Kitchen · Phoenix Homes · Wood Paneling · Fixer-Upper

Aflutter With Clutter

November 30th, 2010 · 2 Comments

Seven homes from around the country with home staging difficulties.  Better to pack it away before selling.  The first 4 homes are from Phoenix.

A sock monkey and a bunch of visual distractions.

cluttered living room sock monkey poor home staging Phoenix Arizona house photo

Master bedroom with a blocked window and a whole lot of stuff.

cluttered master bedroom blocked window poor home staging Phoenix Arizona house photo

Six camels, a giraffe, and a lizard.

six camels giraffe lizard cluttered living room poor home staging Phoenix Arizona house photo

Fire hazard?  Lamp near combustibles and a blocked escape door.

fire hazard lamp near books cluttered room poor home staging Phoenix Arizona house photo

Randomly angled TVs plus two vacuums at this Columbia, South Carolina home.  Could be a really cute sun room with the right home staging.

two vacuums TVs cluttered room poor home staging Columbia South Carolina house photo

Indoor swap meet in Paterson, New Jersey?

indoor swap meet cluttered room poor home staging Paterson New Jersey house photo

A whole bunch of foolishness and mayhem in Springfield, Missouri.  Yes, that’s an Elvis painting!

stuffed animals cluttered room poor home staging Springfield Missouri house photo

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Tags: Staging · Living Room · Bedroom · Clutter · Phoenix Homes · Stuffed Animals · Other US Cities

Impressive Back Yard

November 30th, 2010 · 8 Comments

Loving this back yard.  Especially the tile shard garden.  Very zen-like.

ugly tile mosaic broken shards damaged fixer-upper back yard Phoenix Arizona home house

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Tags: Landscaping · Phoenix Homes · Back Yard · Fixer-Upper

Horribly Outdated Wallpaper

November 29th, 2010 · 9 Comments

Dark flowery orange wallpaper.  Whee!  And mirror tiles on the wall too.  That’s the kitchen.

ugly dark flowery orange outdated wallpaper kitchen mirrors Phoenix Arizona home house

Here’s how the kitchen looked when they tried to sell it for $238,000 in 2006.

ugly dark flowery orange outdated wallpaper kitchen mirrors Phoenix Arizona home house

Another photo from 2006.  Check out that light!

ugly dark flowery orange outdated wallpaper kitchen Phoenix Arizona home house

It didn’t sell for $200,000 in 2007 either.  It went to foreclosure and sold in September 2010 like this for $38,000.

ugly dark flowery orange outdated wallpaper kitchen fixer-upper Phoenix Arizona home house

Here’s how a bedroom looked in 2006.  Squidward doll and MatchBox car collection.

cluttered bedroom MatchBox car collection Squidward doll Phoenix Arizona home house

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Tags: Kitchen · Clutter · Foreclosure · Phoenix Homes · Wallpaper · Lighting · Collections · Fixer-Upper

Two Tiled Bathrooms

November 29th, 2010 · 8 Comments

Same house.  Both baths have interesting tile.

Master bathroom.  Some are going to dislike the tile.  For those who like it, ditching the vanity and finding the right paint color will really help.  That’s a Roman tub (sunken bathtub with vertical walls).

interesting blue green tile pattern bathroom bathtub shower Phoenix Arizona home house

Not sure if the other bathroom’s shower tile is going to appeal to many buyers.

ugly tile pattern bathroom bathtub shower Phoenix Arizona home house

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Tags: Bathroom · Phoenix Homes

Leftover Turkey

November 29th, 2010 · No Comments

Couldn’t resist a post-Thanksgiving pun.  Turkey flag on the wall.  Roll the dice and make an offer; maybe they’ll throw in the Yahtzee game.

Turkey flag hanging on the bedroom wall Yahtzee game box Phoenix Arizona home house

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Tags: Staging · Bedroom · Phoenix Homes

Happy Third Anniversary, UglyHousePhotos.com!!

November 28th, 2010 · 15 Comments

Yes, it’s true.  UglyHousePhotos.com has been up and running for 3 years now.

85.6 million hits in 3 years!

6.4 million page views in 3 years!

2.8 million unique readers in 3 years!

About 6,000 unique readers every day!

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Thank you, everyone, for visiting us!  We hope you’ve been amused, disgusted, and educated.  We truly appreciate your comments.  Keep them coming.  Let us know what you want to see more of or less of.  People seem to really enjoy the vintage home decor photos.  Please send us your ugly house photos too (to info @ uglyhousephotos.com).  Thanks!

The future:  We’re working on a Best Of series to start soon featuring the highlights (or lowlights) of the past three years.

The present:  In the meantime, enjoy the next post (Real Estate Horror Stories).  Our gift to you.

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Tags: Phoenix Homes

True Real Estate Stories - Tales of the Weird

November 28th, 2010 · 7 Comments

True Real Estate Horror Stories as seen first-hand and experienced by Leif Swanson.  Enjoy!

They Did What?
         House closed escrow.  Got a call from the buyers’ agent that night asking me, “What happened to the toilet seats?  They’re all gone.”  Seems that the seller removed all of the toilet seats and threw them away.  When asked, the seller replied, “Doesn’t everyone do that when they move?”  She makes a good point; who wants to sit on a used toilet seat?

Why Is Water Coming Out of the Garage?
         On a whim, I stopped by to check on one of my vacant listings.  Good thing I did, because I noticed water coming out of the garage.  The water heater had cracked, probably that morning.  The garage was wet, hot, & steamy.  I managed to shut off the electricity and water to the heater and then called the home warranty company.  A new water heater was installed the next day.  Luckily, no damage was done.

What’s That Smell?!
         I stopped by the water heater house a few days later to let in the home inspector and was overwhelmed by a horrible smell outside.  I traced the smell, unfortunately, to the back yard where I discovered a dead cat.  Poor thing was probably dead for 3-4 days; it looked “melted” in the 110-degree July sun with maggots everywhere.  I’ll spare you the morbid details.  The home inspector and I were able to properly remove the animal from the property, after I dry-heaved a few times.

Mushrooms On the Ceiling?
         This was a good one.  I previewed a vacant house in Mesa and was blasted with a strong musty odor.  One of the bedroom ceilings was covered in nasty mold.  Apparently the evaporative cooler had leaked through the roof to a bedroom.  The moisture was so bad that mushrooms grew from the ceiling!  I immediately covered my mouth and ran for the door to get my camera.  Mad dash inside, held my breath, clicked, and ran for the door.  I called the listing agent, coughing violently, to tell her about the serious mold problem; she said, “Oh, it’s not that bad.”  The photos are posted here.

House of Horrors
         A lovely house in Mesa featured a dead iguana (!), rubber bats hung from the hallway ceiling, black walls in the bedrooms, assorted skulls and bongs, nude pictures, and two huge half-full aquariums in the living room.  I grabbed my buyer’s arm and said, “Let’s go.”

Moles
         One old house in Mesa (what’s up with Mesa??) had piles of dirt in the living room.  When asked, the tenant said, “Raton grande.” (Large mouse in Spanish).  She had moles coming up into the house!

Age Appropriate?
         I went on a listing appointment and was shocked to see the seller’s 14-year-old son’s bedroom.  At least eight semi-nude and nude girlie posters adorned the walls.  Mom said, “Oh, I haven’t been in his room in awhile.  I made him take them down before.  I guess my husband let him do it again.”

Attic Hideout
         With newer construction, builders now put light bulbs and switches in attics.  During a home inspection for my buyer, we discovered that the seller liked to hide out in the attic.  We found a folding chair, a bottle of rum, and a box of printed “romantic” e-mails.

Creepy Pets
         One time on a Realtor home tour, we were all greeted at the front door by a rat in a cage.  We also saw a second rat and two ferrets.  Couldn’t tell you what the rest of the house was like; we all left immediately.

Termites, Termites
         Over the years, I’ve seen my share of termites.  The best ones are those that have taken months to crawl from outside, up walls, across one or two rooms, and then down from a ceiling.  I’ve also seen doorframes and kitchen counters completely destroyed.

Close Encounters of the Turd Kind
         Can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen animal feces inside houses!

Light Fight
         My buyer was excited to move into his home, but he discovered that the seller had switched out the beautiful dining chandelier.  We had photos to prove it.  The seller got mad that he was caught.  Instead of returning the stolen chandelier, he bought a $200 Home Depot gift card for my buyer and actually threw it at the buyer, saying, “Here you go.”  Poor sport.

Cats, Cats, Cats
         The quickest home showing I’ve ever done was 10 seconds.  The buyer and I entered a condo with at least 6 cats, two of which were perched at eye level at the front door.  The smell was so bad and the condo was so filthy, we didn’t go more than 4 feet inside before running for the door.

Can’t You Wait Just 5 Minutes?
         Instead of waiting until we left, the sellers each lit up cigarettes inside while I showed their house to my buyer.  This has happened on several occasions in my career.

Why Do I Feel So Sleepy?
         A run-down mobile home, I mean manufactured house, had several add-ons.  What was really scary was the stand-alone fireplace.  The sellers used the flue pipe to heat the house by running the pipe along the hallway!  Over 20 feet long!

Picky, Picky
        One overzealous home inspector wrote up several “problems” with one of my listings.  “Minor incrustations on the faucets” (yeah, it’s called calcium and lime deposits from the hard Arizona water) and my favorite “Disposal blades are rusty.”  Duh! 

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Tags: Real Estate News

Afghan Blankets Keep You Warm

November 28th, 2010 · 3 Comments

Winter is almost here.  Time to get out the afghan blankets.

Wausau, Wisconsin home with afghan blanket, ugly couch, pink telephone, and those braided rugs.

ugly couch sofa afghan blanket floor rugs Grandma's house home Wausau Wisconsin photo

Different Wausau home with an afghan bedspread.

afghan blanket bedspread bedroom Grandma's house home Wausau Wisconsin photo

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Tags: Afghan Blanket · Rugs · Ugly Couches/Chairs · Other US Cities · Grandma's House · Bedspread

Plastic Flooring

November 28th, 2010 · 9 Comments

Nothing protects carpeting like plastic.  It will look fresh and stain-free 20 years later.  Why enjoy your carpet now when you can enjoy it much later?  From a Wausau, Wisconsin home.

plastic covered carpet protection Wausau Wisconsin home house real estate photo

Same home.  And, yes, this is 100% real.  It’s not just a plastic runner, it’s the entire room covered in plastic.  A relative of Dexter?

plastic covered carpet protection Wausau Wisconsin home house real estate photo

Using plastic to protect the floor from bird poop makes sense.  From a Bismarck, North Dakota home.

plastic covered flooring parrot bird cages pets Bismarck North Dakota home house real estate

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Tags: Carpet · Pets · Other US Cities · Grandma's House