Home Buyer Dis: “Looks Like Too Many Trips to Home Depot”

What makes a home “stuck in Pergatory?”

Too much Pergo, for one thing (sorry, bad pun).

For those who don’t know, Pergo is a laminate made to look like hardwood floors, and is about half the price per square foot as the real thing.

Those savings are less than meets the eye, however, because the majority of the cost associated with installing hardwood floors is for labor, not materials.

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

The other problem is that Pergo doesn’t really fool anyone.

On the contrary, the minute I see an ocean of Pergo, I immediately look for other shortcuts.

Like . . .

—Cheap replacement windows (usually vinyl).
—Off-brand appliances and plumbing fixtures.
—Bargain Kitchen cabinets and counters.
—Cheap mill work and doors (millwork is all the wood and wood trim in a home, including doors, mouldings, baseboards, arches, etc.).

“Never Just One Cockroach”

That last one in particular always strikes me as penny wise, pound foolish: nothing torpedoes the feel of an otherwise well-built home than opening a cheap (and hollow) aluminum front door.

Once you’ve toted up all the visible shortcuts, your attention (legitimately) turns towards what you can’t see (or don’t initially focus on).

Such as, the status of the home’s plumbing and electrical systems; the condition of the roof (if it’s winter and covered with a foot of snow); the furnace, a/c, and water heater; and the home’s light fixtures.

I still remember one of the most devastating ” and succinct ” comments I got from a prospective Buyer while holding a Sunday open years ago: “looks like too many trips to Home Depot.”

P.S.: Stagers and home sellers love Ikea because it’s so stylish and cheap. Long-term homeowners . . . usually don’t.

**The place Dante wrote about is spelled “Purgatory” (“Purgatorio” in Italian).

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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