Alabaster, AL Foreclosures: Would You Buy This Home?

I was doing some appraisal work in Alabaster, AL recently and came across this home.  It made me think of an article  Ryan Lundquist recently wrote.  He writes a blog about the Sacramento, CA market.  This particular post discussed how some foreclosure properties have not been kept up and have overgrown weeds and grass.  This can leave a bad first impression of the neighborhood.
Short Sale/Foreclosure with overgrown lawn

This particular house is only about 13 years old and is probably in pretty good condition, however when potential buyers see the home their first impression is that it has not been taken care of and there may be other problems that may need repair.  When this happens they may want to make a low ball offer, when one may not be warranted.  I believe we are doing our neighborhoods and their homeowners a disservice when a home is sold for below market value, when this may not be necessary.  If the lawn was mowed, how far would this go in helping get a good offer on the home?  What do you think?  Do you have similar homes in your neighborhood?  Has this caused the home to be sold for lower than necessary?


  1. John Macomber says

    Tom and Ryan,

    Both great points. I agree 100%, these homes look like eyesores in neighborhoods, and time and time again I’ve heard stories of banks taking a heavy hit on homes that with a little curb appeal could merit much higher sales. Not to mention, the property values of the surrounding neighbors being at least temporarily reduced due to those lower comps.

    We service hundreds of lawns monthly for local realtors, and large government owned entities to be nameless, but there are hundreds more that I drive by and see neglect. We only service vacant and foreclosed homes in Jefferson and Shelby counties. Between the homes abandoned with no bank note that will eventually go for tax sales, and the properties that banks wont invest in, it only encourages the neighborhood to head into neglect. Bravo for Ryan, doing the right thing, I would as well.

    • John, You must be busy these days! You are right, with a little investment in curb appeal, the long time residents of the neighborhood would not have to be so negativily affected by the foreclosures.

  2. Thanks Tom for the link. You are too kind. I think it’s a tragedy for surrounding neighbors when houses sell for less. It’s a loss for everyone really. This is one reason why I am willing to mow my neighbor’s front lawn when it is a foreclosure. If the bank is going to drop the ball, even though I know it’s not my responsibility, I still believe that the look of the property will do something for the ethos of the community (and hopefully the property value…. but that’s probably wishful thinking).

    • Ryan, exactly. It would be good if everybody had the same attitude. It seems we can’t rely on the banks to look out for the community.

  3. Real Estate Appraiser Tips says

    Hi Tom, Great Post and Points! Yes, I think a $500 to $1,000 investment by the owner (bank) would save them thousands in losses. Clean up the yard, clean up the inside, do a little touch up painting. I don’t know about your market, but it seems like this time around an REO market, the homes aren’t in as bad of condition. Most I’m seeing really just need yardwork and minor interior cosmetics! Bill Cobb

    • Bill, that’s the bad thing. I am also finding them to not be in overall bad condition but the initial negative impression sets the tone for the negotiation process.

  4. This is a similar scenario to what happens in my market. Maybe half of the bank owned properties have yards and landscaping that is overgrown and needs work. I think you are right that this adds to the fact that these homes sell for less than market value. When I see a yard like the one pictured above I always expect the worst when I walk inside.

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