Stuff you shouldn’t do to your house: Part II

Are you thinking of remodeling? I wanted to give you some ideas of what NOT to do. Like I’ve said before, it’s usually good to stand out in real estate – but not for odd reasons. This is the sequel to my previous post, “Stuff you shouldn’t do to your house“, but this time around I asked some real estate friends to share some of their photos too. Enjoy.

Super size my house please: If you’re thinking about adding on to your house, just don’t add too much because you don’t want to overbuild for the neighborhood. Super-sizing might work at McDonald’s, but not in real estate. This 2-story house in Sacramento is 3,293 square feet in the middle of a neighborhood of mostly single-story 1100-1400 square foot homes.

overbuilding for the neighborhood - photo by Ryan Lundquist

A Bathroom with a View: The sliding glass door to the rear yard is usually found in a master bedroom, so it’s a bit odd to see one in the master bathroom. Hopefully “Tom” doesn’t live next door, right? Otherwise you might be getting YouTube famous. Thanks Realtor Doug Reynolds for the photo.

sliding glass door from the bathroom to the rear of house - photo by Doug Reynolds

Who kept the dogs in? I’m sorry to point this out, but don’t let your dogs pee and poop on the carpet throughout your house. It’s not good for health, and it’s hard for a realtor to put a positive spin on your situation. “Carpet has been loved by dogs” isn’t a selling point. A family with kids was living in this house with their four little yappers. It was disturbing to inspect this one. And yes, I took a shower when I got home after the inspection.

dog pee on carpet - photo by Ryan Lundquist (unfortunately - not his house though)

A rock mountain in the front yard: A friend on Twitter emailed me this picture of a rock pile in the front yard. This house is located in Sacramento and I’m not sure what the “mountain” signifies. The owner is obviously artsy since the house is painted purple and yellow. Thanks @Swellyn for the photo.

rock pile - photo by Sue

Building around the light fixture: If you’re going to remodel your house, it’s not a bad idea to do it the right way. This is a clear example of cutting corners because the owner should have moved the light fixture or simply not added faux exterior finish to the top of the door. If corners were cut here, where else were they cut? Thanks Realtor Anne Graviet for the photo.

building around a light - photo by Anne Graviet

Reverse tub technology: Do you see anything wrong with this picture? The drain should be on the same side as the spigot, but it’s not. This might actually be easy to miss in a house you’re buying if you really didn’t look closely. After all, you wouldn’t expect to see a tub installed backwards. Thanks Realtor Gena Riede for the photo.

tub is not installed correctly - photo by Gena Riede

Shoddy work without a permit: It’s usually obvious when work was done without a permit because the level of workmanship is often lacking in the quality department. These photos come from Realtor Sheena Reithmeier are a perfect example. The county had noticed a non-permitted porch and patio cover on this property and then asked the owner to correct the issue. The owner then ignored the situation and racked up several thousand dollars in fines due to not correcting. When it came to representing a buyer to purchase this house, Sheena asked for the overhang to be removed and for the seller to pay all county fines prior to COE.

Unpermitted overhang - photo by Sheena Reithmeier

Unpermitted overhang - photo by Sheena Reithmeier

Chemical storage contest: It’s not a bright idea to store containers or bins full of chemicals on your lot. This can potentially lead to very bad environmental situations, but it also doesn’t win you points for securing a loan. No lender is going to want to see containers like this on your property because it raises red flags. I snapped this photo a few years ago in North Sacramento.

containers in North Sacramento

Private “reading area” in the crawl space: I saw this photo in MLS a while back and the agent noted there was a “non-permitted toilet installation” in the crawl space. I laughed when seeing the picture because it almost looks like one of those cheesy chain emails that might mention something about a “luxurious” guest bathroom or “mother-in-law quarters.” What’s the story here? Any guesses?

Toilet in basement

The “Dragon house” in Sacramento: While I honestly think the “dragon house” in the Curtis Park neighborhood is amazingly artistic, if someone came to me asking if they should do this to their home, I’d probably say not to go for it. I mean no disrespect to the owner or artist. This “layer” off 22nd Street is definitely something you should check out in person if you’re local. The tile work and level of detail is nothing short of remarkable. Seriously. Watch a video below (or here).

Dragon house in curtis park sacramento - photo by Sacramento Appraisal Blog

I hope you enjoyed the images. Which one did you like best?

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  1. Anne Graviet says

    Great blog post, Ryan!

    RE: A Bathroom with a View
    It’s funny and weird, but it makes sense in the “owner-logic” kind of way.

    The house has a pool and so they cut through the wall – now BBQ guests and soaking wet kids won’t need to run through the entire house in order to use the facilities and Mom is happy because it keeps the carpets clean.

    “Owner-logic” would also rate this sort of modification as superior to its comparables. lol

    • says

      Good insight, Anne. That would be perfect logic from the owner’s standpoint. We’ll have to find out from Doug if there was a pool since he took the photo. I can understand it, yet at the same time, the view is still odd. On a related note, I’m always a big fan of outdoor shower heads, especially when there is a solar-powered water heater connected.

  2. says

    I just stumbled across your blog today and found it to be very well written and informative ! I have bookmarked it and will come back soon to see what you have to say next time

  3. Shannan West says

    Re: “Bathroom with a View” – Go green while you go brown with natural light and fresh air ventilation. (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

    Also, I adore that Curtis Park house – though, I agree, the world probably only needs one of them.

    • says

      Funny, Shannan. I agree about the Curtis Park house. It would be really hard to replicate. What I’m really interested to see is when it resells and who purchases it. My boys love the house too.

  4. says

    The bathtub drain broke the ice with home buyers relocating from North Carolina…we all got a chuckle out of that one. And no, they didn’t buy the house. It also had a wallpaper scene of a beach in the dining room that the kids each took a photo in front of.

    I actually love the Curtis Park home but the art work would not fit in every neighborhood, that’s for sure…

    Enjoyed looking at all the shared photos from REALTORs

    • says

      It’s funny that there were a few conversation pieces that came out of the house. Thanks for sharing the photo, Gena. The dragon house wouldn’t fit in my neighborhood either.

  5. says

    I love this. Thanks for the mention…will get another pic as I said later today…
    PS The dragon house would blend in my ‘hood, except it’s huge…

  6. says

    Great post and pictures everyone. In Anne’s photo I love this, “If corners were cut here, where else were they cut?” Unfortunately, when we see some of these anomalies we start to wonder what the inspectors will find and if the buyer even wants to write the offer and find out. If HGTV hasn’t contacted you yet, they should Ryan. It is time for Ryan’s show, “DIY gone B-A-D ! 😉 Thanks again Ryan.

    • says

      Awesome, Sheena. Thanks for the comments. Wouldn’t it be fun to do an HGTV show? But then again, it would still be work to make it happen. I am always skeptical about the overall quality of a remodel when the little things are not taken care of properly. When I see baseboards not installed correctly, and so many little finishing touches out of sync, it’s a red flag.

  7. says

    Thanks for posting my bathroom with a view photo Ryan. Regardless of the quarkyness, my client still liked the home and we are in escrow on the property. There are a number of other odd things with the home as well. I guess that’s what happens when you have original owners from the 60’s. Hope everyone enjoyed the pic.

    • says

      Thanks for digging out that photo to be used. I appreciate it. It seems like most houses have something odd about them – especially older homes. This particular feature wouldn’t be a deal-killer for me, though: 1) I’d rather not have the slider in the bathroom; 2) I’d be sure to get some nice curtains. 🙂

  8. says

    When I saw this post I laughed out loud. 🙂
    I have seen a few of these “what were they thinking houses” and still scratch my head.
    Thanks for the funny!

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