Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Do You Ever Give a House a Second Chance?

I bought the ugliest home in Palos Verdes.  At least that's what I told my friends in Florida upon returning from my house hunting adventure in Los Angeles over twenty years ago.  They thought I was kidding, but when they saw the photos they nodded in silent agreement. 
You can imagine how excited the agent on duty was when I walked into the Palos Verdes real estate office and informed her I was here for four days (two already spent in Malibu, Pacific Palisades and Pasadena) and planned to make an offer before leaving LA.  The agent called for backup and requested an hour to set appointments.   I returned to her office after a quick lunch and we set off to find a million dollar home.
Sounds easy, but I needed five bedrooms, a big yard for a big dog and easy freeway access.  I wanted the best schools, clean air and a safe neighborhood.  It was a long list and only a short list of homes made the cut.  I looked at all of them day one and fell for none of them. Okay, this was not going to be an emotional decision.

I was faced with a timeless buyer's dilemma--the houses I liked I couldn't afford, and the houses I could afford I did not like.  I arrived back at my hotel discouraged, but determined.  I scattered all the flyers and brochures on the floor and began imagining my family living in each house.  Some were easy to eliminate, others were tough to let go but price dictated the decision.  By 2:00 AM there was only one house standing.  It was ugly, but the location was good, it had the required number of bedrooms and a big half-acre lot.  The pool was a bonus and the price left $100k for a much needed facelift--we spent $200k, but who's counting?

On day two I returned to the house I could not wait to leave the previous day.  It was still ugly, but this time I opened the heavy drapes and saw wonderful views from most of the windows, and they were plentiful so natural light was abundant.  The floorplan was good with plenty of space for my four children.  I walked the grounds and adored the stone walls and meandering paths.  This could work.
Sometimes a house deserves a second chance at being the one.

Norma Toering - REMAX Palos VerdesNorma Toering & Team RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
(310) 493-8333 / Office Phone: (310) 831-0800
PalosVerdesLifestyle- Nominated by as one of the top ten Los Angeles area real estate blogs. Chosen by as one of the best Los Angeles realty blogs. Awarded 5 out of 5 stars by Lender411 blog review.  Ranked by Technorati in the top 1% of all blogs. As seen in the Daily Breeze newspaper.
South Bay Los Angeles cities I sell real estate, property, houses and homes in: Palos Verdes Estates, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Long Beach, Torrance, Lomita, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. Based on information from the Association of REALTORS®/Multiple Listing as of the initial date of this article/blog publication and /or other sources. Display of MLS data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS. The Broker/Agent providing the information contained herein may or may not have been the Listing and/or Selling Agent.
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