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Major selling point: Trash can lids
July 11, 2008 3:23 PM   Subscribe

It's lovely! I'll take it! Sometimes, you just wonder what people were thinking when they posted photos in their real estate listings.
posted by Astro Zombie (69 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
A good half of them look like foreclosures or estates that are being liquidated. Grain of salt and such...
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 3:37 PM on July 11, 2008


This is a joke, right? I mean, it's got to be 'shopped.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:38 PM on July 11, 2008


Some of the pictures were actually stomach-turning.
posted by Nattie at 3:40 PM on July 11, 2008


It's not often that I come across something on Metafilter and then immediately think, "Wow, I've got to forward this link to my mom!"
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:41 PM on July 11, 2008 [7 favorites]


Oh, this is just awesome. Several months ago my wife and I were househunting, and we were just beyond belief that some of the listings on $200K houses were absolutely shitty. I've seen people put up better ads for pool tables than some of the stuff I've seen on realtor.com. And in a buyers' market? WTF?
posted by crapmatic at 3:42 PM on July 11, 2008


I don't even understand what's going on in this room.
posted by lullaby at 3:56 PM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


DO NOT MAKE HOUSE ANGRY! YOU WILL NOT LIKE ANGRY HOUSE!
posted by optovox at 4:01 PM on July 11, 2008 [7 favorites]


Oh wow, optovox. I must possess ANGRY HOUSE!
posted by brundlefly at 4:10 PM on July 11, 2008


crapmatic writes "I've seen people put up better ads for pool tables than some of the stuff I've seen on realtor.com. And in a buyers' market? WTF?"

Often when you see complete WTF images in listings (like the one with the cats) it's because the tenants don't want to move so they are being as unhelpful as possible.
posted by Mitheral at 4:10 PM on July 11, 2008


Some of these are clearly from distressed properties, where a) you would never recoup the money you put into it and b) "yeah, it's fucked up" is kind of the selling point because your targets are people trolling for quick flip opportunities.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:10 PM on July 11, 2008


where a) you would never recoup the money you put into it

Where "you" = the real estate agent.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:11 PM on July 11, 2008


posted by mr_crash_davis This is a joke, right? I mean, it's got to be 'shopped.

Nope.
posted by optovox at 4:17 PM on July 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


posted by mr_crash_davis This is a joke, right? I mean, it's got to be 'shopped.

well... it looks like they bounced the saturation a ton.
posted by mrballistic at 4:26 PM on July 11, 2008


Some of those pictures you can almost smell...
posted by Artful Codger at 4:28 PM on July 11, 2008


Unfortunately, I don't think the distressed property theory adequately explains the Pepto-Bismol room. Jeezy creezy, if they were to include a bordello in Barbie's Dream House* this is exactly the design they'd use.

*Bangin' Bordello Barbie sold separately.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:32 PM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


This, though, is cool.
posted by Flashman at 4:41 PM on July 11, 2008


Maybe they're hoping people would think no one cares and it's way below and worthless and what a deal?
posted by Lesser Shrew at 4:46 PM on July 11, 2008


Nouveau-riche (Seattle, No. Calif.).
posted by Zambrano at 4:46 PM on July 11, 2008


Hilarious. Thanks.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:51 PM on July 11, 2008


What's wrong with a green house?
posted by DU at 4:51 PM on July 11, 2008


I've been looking at a lot of house listings lately, and it's pretty surprising what realtors choose to post (never mind the fact that so many people who make their living at this take cruddy lo res pictures on their cell phones and blow them up real big for their postings). My favorite picture was one of an OK house that need some cosmetic work, and the final picture was a street view including some wretched, ragged bum propped up out front on the concrete retaining wall. OK, I think most people looking for bargains are fine with refinishing floors and repairing drywall, but reality or no, no one wants to think that they are going to put a bunch of work into a place and still be plagued by dudes passing out drunk in the front yard. Even though there's a guy who's been sleeping out on the steps leading to our apartment's back yard for the last three years, it's not something that would necessarily charm me into purchasing a piece of real estate.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:55 PM on July 11, 2008


Nice find, AZ -- This also happens to the project of super-awesome MeFite the corpse in the library.
posted by The Bellman at 4:59 PM on July 11, 2008


Seriously, what the hell is going on in this one?
posted by Alex404 at 5:04 PM on July 11, 2008


Can't find it now, but my favorite from when we were house-hunting a year ago was a listing where they had a grainy photo of the bedroom, complete with disheveled dude sleeping in the bed. I mean, he was the opposite of heveled.

My Resting Adonis, I called it in my head.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:20 PM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


wooot! tcitl!! Did she even post this to projects yet? Oh, wait, I totally know the answer to that because I totally check projects frequently.


maybe I will now.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:35 PM on July 11, 2008


Several months ago my wife and I were househunting, and we were just beyond belief that some of the listings on $200K houses were absolutely shitty.

Well come on over to California, then! We have MILLION dollar homes that are shitty! Yay!!! Want to buy a 2 bedroom 1 bath crap apartment for $700,000? This is the place, my friends!
posted by miss lynnster at 6:14 PM on July 11, 2008


Yep. This is what 700K buys you in Vancouver. And it's not even on the West Side.
posted by jokeefe at 6:42 PM on July 11, 2008


Some of us discussed similar issues two years ago. In my case, the condos all sold, and the neighboring property was renovated to 5 condos, which sold, too, for up to $650,000 per unit.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:58 PM on July 11, 2008


Wow. $700K in my zip code will get you this, plus two new Lexus ES 350s.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:00 PM on July 11, 2008


The fun isn't limited to real estate. I don't have any cool aggregate links (anyone?) but I love looking at pictures on sites like Craiglist, from 'for sale' to porn stuff, because I'm fascinated by the stuff in the background. My favorite is hardcore gay porn with un-blurred family pictures overseeing the action. And if there is one universal, it's that pretty much everyone has a junk desk with mangled computer/electronics cords, old stacks of CDs, appliance boxes, and broken keyboards and mice. Some invite you to the challenge of locating the stale, half-eaten sandwich, and you see the occasional dead plant.

Anytime I feel guilty that the house is getting a bit scattered, I can go on and find at least one pic that will guarantee me an afternoon of reading in a relaxing hot bath.
posted by troybob at 7:03 PM on July 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fun post, thanks Astro Zombie!
posted by amyms at 7:12 PM on July 11, 2008


mr_crash_davis: Yeah, but you have to live in, you know, Utah.
posted by djfiander at 7:17 PM on July 11, 2008


Related, and oh my.
posted by cashman at 7:44 PM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Nice find, AZ -- This also happens to the project of super-awesome MeFite the corpse in the library.
posted by The Bellman at 4:59 PM on July 11 [+] [!]


It's actually on projects! Right NOW!!. Go vote for it!

I'm glad you posted it to the blue, AZ. The wall paper was bad enough on this one, then she had to go and point out that they didn't flush and I threw up in my mouth a little and on the floor a lot.
posted by sleepy pete at 7:47 PM on July 11, 2008


Um, I just came across a site, but I won't post a link because there is a major warning involved...it features 'horrifying gay amateur interiors'. And really, the pictures are not safe for work or home. Raw male nudity and hilarious decor: luriddigs.com
posted by troybob at 7:53 PM on July 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I remember seeing a house like the one with garbage can lids, in a seller's market about five years ago in LA, where the house was a wreck and full of garbage and all that, and underneath the bones weren't so stellar in terms of layout either. Neither was the price.

And yet, the house was full of people wandering through and checking it out. The neighborhood wasn't anything special, there was nothing positive that stood out, and other houses nearby we'd toured that day didn't have that kind of traffic. We were, frankly, repulsed, and never figured out why so many people were there.

In retrospect, I wonder if they were all "extras" hired to make it look like someone would grab it in a moment's notice, garbage or not, unless we (or whomever else showed up) bought it NOW.
posted by davejay at 8:16 PM on July 11, 2008


"I counted five more TVs in this house. (I'm judgmental like that, but it's okay because my children play with nothing but organic twigs and rain puddles.)"
posted by yort at 8:32 PM on July 11, 2008


Hilarious. Thanks for the post.
posted by procrastination at 8:33 PM on July 11, 2008


Nice. Thanks!
posted by bigbigdog at 9:09 PM on July 11, 2008


Why are the curtains, (drapes) tied in knots? Is this a new fad?
posted by JujuB at 9:24 PM on July 11, 2008


I just discovered the site on my own somehow. Didn't know it was on projects.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:42 PM on July 11, 2008


I've been house-hunting (well, I haven't progressed past the online stage) and have seen less horrifying in the "30K ghetto crapshack in Buffalo" family of property.

Although I do get edgy when there are ten pictures of the exterior and yards, and none of the inside.
posted by Kellydamnit at 10:32 PM on July 11, 2008


I saw it on mathowie's blog…

My favorite 'computer crap in the background' picture is Really Extraordinarily NSFW
posted by blasdelf at 10:44 PM on July 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


Yay! A "Stuff White People Like" for the Subprime meltdown era.

Though I guess SWPL is technically that already.
posted by Weebot at 10:53 PM on July 11, 2008


mr_crash_davis: "Wow. $700K in my zip code will get you this, plus two new Lexus ES 350s."

$700,000 in my town gets you five bedrooms, 3+1 baths and a freaking olympic indoor swimming pool in one of the most desirable neighborhoods. Beat that.
posted by octothorpe at 11:01 PM on July 11, 2008


ha! I got you all beat. Here in Buffalo I could buy a NEIGHBORHOOD for 700,000.
(or, well, a street if you want to be all picky about drive bys and stuff).
Or if you feel fancy there's your basic five bedroom four and a half bath five thousand square foot mansion on an olmstead parkway sort of thing. Which you will be taxed to hell and back on.

Seriously, my upper limit for a house is about $60K. I could go higher, in theory, but I have a friend who bough a house and now can't make any major improvements since she's already put more in than she will ever ever be able to sell for. Owning is so much cheaper than renting here that it's comical. The rent from one apartment in a four unit would pay the whole mortgage.
posted by Kellydamnit at 11:29 PM on July 11, 2008


Thanks, octothorpe. I'll just sit here and weep quietly.

On the other hand, you might have a nice house, but you're in Pittsburgh! Yeah, that's right! Pittsburgh!

[....]


Nah, I got nothing.
posted by jokeefe at 11:30 PM on July 11, 2008


60K? You couldn't even buy a dumpster and a tarp to keep the rain out of it for that kind of money here.

The most run-down, wretched house within Vancouver city limits would go at around 400K. The market's been slowing a bit this summer, but prices aren't coming down much.
posted by jokeefe at 11:33 PM on July 11, 2008


Thanks jokeefe for ruining the remainder of my weekend.

=S

Hey mefites! So where's the "best" place to buy purely on a $cost/benefit ratio (transportation to work, stuff to do, proximity to other stuff to do, violent crime rates, access to soft drugs, laziness/liberality/competence of the police, the corruptedness of the officials, age demographics, &c&c.) in North America right now?
posted by porpoise at 11:55 PM on July 11, 2008


Holy crap. I just might have to sell out — my home would fetch a ridiculous half-mill once I finish my renos — and move to one of those cheap American towns. I could freakin' retire if I could get a house for a piddling $100K.

Homes here used to cost that little. And that was only a decade or so ago. Californiafriggingnorth is what we've got going on. It sucks.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:03 AM on July 12, 2008


Seriously, what the hell is going on in this one?

It's an upstairs bedroom with a translucent roof and mirrored walls, at a guess.
posted by rodgerd at 1:16 AM on July 12, 2008


and a freaking olympic indoor swimming pool

OK, that's fucking awesome.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:13 AM on July 12, 2008


Oh this is fun!

In my neighborhood a lot of houses with pictures with lots of junk piled in the middle of every room are meant to be tear downs / future sites for 3 or 4 town homes. I always wonder why they bother with the weird pictures. They unfortunately seem to be pretty discouraging for anyone that still holds onto notions of renovating an old bungalow.

We are a nation where many of us seem to have too much crap. I had a house fire when I was 23, lost everything except what I was wearing, and almost 20 years later I am so glad that I don't have any of that stuff. Yeah a few baby pictures would be fun, but they show up here and there in relatives' albums and their rareness makes them fun for me.

The web site reminds me of this ad (hint: look out the windows). That ad is old old OLD passed around the internet back in the day, but it's funny and related so I put it there for the kiddos. Not you folks that have seen it a million times already.

And I kinda like that crazy green house.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:20 AM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I laughed until I cried. I have a new favorite real estate blog.
posted by mogget at 7:44 AM on July 12, 2008


60K? You couldn't even buy a dumpster and a tarp to keep the rain out of it for that kind of money here.
Here I'm thinking a four to six bedroom two bath turn of the century near the Symphony for that. Most likely something broken into rental units which I will treat as a one family since I can't be bothered to be a landlord.
Which will realistically go for closer to 45, but I want a buffer so I can redo the roof and put in new windows and blown insulation before moving in. Since heating 2500 sq/ft is bad. Heating it when the windows and roof are a century old is a sad joke.


porpoise: IF you can find a job you'll get more house for your money in Buffalo than anywhere else in North America, and the average commute is under half an hour each way.
IF you can find a job.
posted by Kellydamnit at 8:12 AM on July 12, 2008


where's the "best" place to buy purely on a $cost/benefit ratio (transportation to work, stuff to do, proximity to other stuff to do, violent crime rates, access to soft drugs, laziness/liberality/competence of the police, the corruptedness of the officials, age demographics, &c&c.

porpoise, you need to specify whether you want more or less of those things before I can answer.
posted by lukemeister at 8:38 AM on July 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why is it that Buffalo is so run down, but the Canadian side of the falls is so nice?
posted by empath at 8:42 AM on July 12, 2008


Why is it that Buffalo is so run down, but the Canadian side of the falls is so nice?

Because they're two different countries dude! Also, Canada's side of the Peace Bridge\Niagara Falls is not treated as the armpit of the country.
posted by autodidact at 8:46 AM on July 12, 2008


Why is it that Buffalo is so run down, but the Canadian side of the falls is so nice?

Along the same lines, Detroit is just across the river from Windsor.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 8:51 AM on July 12, 2008


The thing across from the Canadian side of the falls isn't Buffalo, it's Niagara Falls NY.

It's run down because it was dependent on chemical plants that largely moved away.

Buffalo (or at least Buffalo + Tonawanda + Amherst) isn't nearly as run-down as Niagara Falls NY.

The parts of greater Buffalo that are run down are run down because the steel mills and other factories closed, and people moved away.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:53 AM on July 12, 2008


Why are the curtains, (drapes) tied in knots? Is this a new fad?
Before we moved into our current house, I hired a company to come in and clean the carpeting and the floors. I noticed after they were done that they'd tied the curtains in knots in some of the rooms, presumably to get them off the floor while they cleaned.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:07 AM on July 12, 2008


I love you. This is the first thing in a long time that's made me feel better about my horrible, horrible apartment.
posted by sondrialiac at 10:26 AM on July 12, 2008


Why is it that Buffalo is so run down, but the Canadian side of the falls is so nice?

uh... a lot of our industry is gone. so there's that. some to over the border where they don't have to worry about paying for worker's healthcare for one thing.

and there's the whole "city at it's peak had hundreds of thousands more people than now" thing. Leads to a lot of empty houses. Empty houses lead to minor graffiti. Which leads to squatters, heavy vandalism, and arson. Which drags down the property of every other person on a block and causes them to move away.

oh, and new york is pretty poorly run. Property taxes are like three times the national average, business is taxed at a high rate, and the rates for state taxes are set looking at the state as a whole.... I'm taxed on the same scale living in the second poorest US city as someone living in one of the wealthiest, on the other end of the state. (which also has advantages. I qualify for HUD grants despite being upper middle class by urban buffalo standards).

Oh, and the place I see looking over the border? Fort Erie, not Niagara Falls. And Fort Erie isn't exactly a prize peach, either.

so really, it's apples to oranges. might as well ask why buffalo's so run down when atlanta is nice.
posted by Kellydamnit at 1:21 PM on July 12, 2008


kellydamnit has clearly never been to Atlanta.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:36 PM on July 12, 2008


This is a joke, right? I mean, it's got to be 'shopped.

That house is over by my Mom's place - that's pretty much the color - although maybe a little less "glowy"
posted by The Light Fantastic at 4:23 PM on July 12, 2008


Wow, I am suddenly feeling a lot better about the crappy houses I am looking at buying now!

Sometimes the pictures just don't convey the awesomeness/awfulness of some of these homes. My favorite so far has been the rancher with shocking green shag carpet in the living room, hot pink shag in one bedroom, and leopard shag in the other bedroom. The kitchen was carpeted too. And all that wonderful carpet was imbued with about 35 years of stale cigarette smoke.
posted by medeine at 4:38 PM on July 12, 2008


Am I the only one who can't connect to the site? I so desperately need to feel better about my living situation, but I keep getting timeout errors.

Actually, I live in a pretty nice apartment, but would still like to check out the link.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:16 PM on July 12, 2008


Astro Zombie, a great find indeed and what a reflection it is on the home owners, looking at these places.
big up the corpse in the library./

jokeefe, that, is a good deal, by Toronto standards. check the area, Botanical Gardens, golf course, Queen Elizabeth Park, close to downtown... That would be a teardown, in Toronto, new building would sell for $1.5M depending on number of stories and appointments.

For instance, this place, 72 Brunswick Ave went for $907,000.00 and needed upgrading, a real fixerupper, but in a great neighbourhood, the Annex.

For 7K, I'd like the one in Buffalo
kellydamnit, those Buffalo prices make me weep.
we Canadians shop there a lot. Watch the Bills. And get our cars fixed, outfitted with new parts and dine, visit the Premier Liquor store. Great prices. Great service.
The prices rival the old Eastern Bloc./
posted by alicesshoe at 8:06 PM on July 12, 2008


They really do... which is why I plan to stick around.
The biggest downside is the city school system. You can get an amazing amazing house for under $60k, but then you have to deal with the crap schools. The charter and magnet ones are great, the normal ones are... um, not. Me, I'm not a fan of the anklebiters, so I'm cool. But then there comes time to sell and that could be an issue. I'll hedge my bets that they pull heads from asses over the next three decades. Hopefully.

I think the west side will make a comeback of sorts, though. Lots of people seem to be moving back or thinking about it since gas has gone so high, and the west side was never as far gone as the east.

kellydamnit has clearly never been to Atlanta.
well, not in a decade. But I remember thinking "THIS is the ghetto? THIS? My lord, it's nicer than my grandmother's neighborhood!"
posted by Kellydamnit at 9:33 PM on July 12, 2008


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