[schema type="organization" orgtype="LocalBusiness" url="http://4salebydonna.com" name="Real Estate Agent Donna Baker" description="Real Estate Agent showing homes for sale and available real estate in Monrovia, Pasadena, Arcadia the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California." city="Monrovia" state="Ca" postalcode="91016" email="donna@4salebydonna.com " phone="(626) 408-7766 "]

Case Study: Home Maintenance

In March of this year, an agent in my office took a listing for a 1910 Craftsman bungalow on North Canyon Boulevard in Monrovia. The home is a two-bedroom, one bath structure with the original woodwork, hardwood floors, high ceilings and wainscoting, situated on a large 9,374 square foot lot. It is 1,245 square feet of living space with a bonus room that could be used for a third bedroom and a two-car detached garage. The house was listed for $375,000, which was lower than most other vintage homes of this kind at the time it hit the market. The agent priced it there to take into consideration the condition of the home.

Unfortunately, this wonderful bungalow had been a rental for over twenty years. Because the owner did not live locally, he chose to defer maintenance for all that time and let the renters be responsible for its care. In addition, he never bothered to ask about the condition of the house, nor was he aware that termites had infested it for who knows how long.

Because of the current passion for older homes, the agent received multiple offers on the property. But when it came time to conduct their physical inspections, each buyer cancelled escrow. It was discovered that the foundation was jeopardized from several significant earthquakes over the years, so the house was barely standing up. In addition, the termites had done major damage to the hardwood floors and to the framing of the house.

Escrow just closed on this property, and the buyer ended up purchasing it for $325,000. Nowhere in North Monrovia can you find a vintage bungalow for such a low price. The seller took a major hit on the selling price because he chose to ignore the property for such a long period of time. For a home of this vintage and architectural style on such a large lot, he could have probably fetched $450,000 if it had been in good or even fair condition. That’s quite a difference when looking at the profit that was lost because of deferred maintenance.

Luckily for the house and for preservationists throughout Monrovia, the buyer is a young man who has a history of restoring older homes. He does most of the work himself and is able to update his properties, while still keeping the feel of the period in which the home was built. He has restored a wonderful vintage house in Orange, as well as two properties here in Monrovia. I have had the privilege of seeing his work, and I know he is the perfect person to have purchased this particular home on North Canyon. I can’t wait to see what it will become when it gets restored to its original beauty and charm.

The lesson to be learned here is to be sure to keep your vintage or character home in good condition. All it takes is a little attention to small stuff so it doesn’t end up as big stuff. If you’ve lived in your home a long time, it would be wise to have a termite inspection done every once in awhile. Protect your investment in your older home and you’ll be happy when you have to sell!


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