Search This Blog

Monday, February 9, 2015

"Cute but poor finishes - lipstick on a pig."

A couple of weeks ago I showed a recently renovated Key West house to a potential buyer. I showed the house before and knew what to expect.  While driving to the property I told the buyer I thought the owner/renovator had done a nice cosmetic makeover but warned her to look beyond the new kitchen and a slick paint job. The place looked great. When we were outside I pointed out rot in the eaves which was painted over. Then I directed her attention to a section of newly added siding that was applied just below historic siding which had been painted over several times instead of being scraped, sanded, primed and properly painted.  It was obvious to me that while the new siding looked good, the inadequately prepared old siding would require repair or replacement in the near future and might be an omen other shortcuts the owner/renovator may have taken.

Yesterday a couple that I sold a property to went out looking for a potential investment property. I was hosting my own open house and could not be with them. They happened to go to an open house at the property mentioned above. After seeing the place mentioned above my buyer sent me an email that "Cute but poor finishes - lipstick on a pig."

I remember showing a then recently renovated house on New Years Eve Day. It was located at the end of a very desirable lane in Old Town. All of the houses on this lane had been updated. You could not ask for a better location. As soon as we walked inside I immediately noticed things were not as perfect as the asking price would suggest. There was a big gap under the door where I could see daylight shining through. The bathroom had been updated with new vanity with black granite counter top, new fixtures, and a beautiful light above the mirror. However, I could see a sliver of light peeking through the bathroom window frame. The kitchen had new cabinets, black granite counter top,  stainless steel appliances, and a single very elegant light fixture located over the nearby kitchen table. I distinctly remember asking the agent how an owner was supposed to cook in this kitchen at night with that pretty but insufficient light source. We finished off our tour by looking at the newly added pool. The people that bought that house had to obtain an after the fact permit because the pool was built without a permit. They were fortunate that the city did not make them take the pool out.

Beware of renovations that are no more than lipstick on a pig.

No comments:


The information on this site is for discussion purposes only. Under no circumstances does this information constitute a recommendation to buy or sell securities, assets, real estate, or otherwise. Information has not been verified, is not guaranteed, and is subject to change.


Free Counter

Key West

Key West
You could be here!

Blog Archive

Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

My photo
Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.