I feel bad and it’s not for me

I recently lost a buyer that found a great deal.  But the sad news is that they are buying an unusual house.  It has a wood basement.  In Michigan we have cinder block basements, and poured walled basements.  And a few Michigan basements that are made of stone.

These poor kids are buying a house that will have poor resale value.  I wish I was their realtor that I could have at least given them some sound advice.  When you buy a unusual house to the surrounding area you will have problems selling it.  Some examples are:

  • Dome houses
  • Log Houses in the suburbs
  • Berm houses
  • Wood basements

Another example that I can think of is a house I saw that had all 3 sides of the family room and living room that was floor to ceiling windows.  There was no place to put anything against the walls without the back side being exposed to the outside.  It sat for a long time before it sold.  Any house that has unusual structural characteristics or is unusual from the norm will lower the number of possible buyers.  People are afraid of the unusual.  If they can’t understand or don’t know about it it makes them nervous, afraid to close on the home.  I don’t know anything about a wood basement but it scares me.

I have never heard of a wood basement before.  To me wood rots.  Moisture destroys wood.  We have termites in Michigan.  We have been told for years not to put dirt up again the house higher than the cement basement wall.  Wood eventually rots in the ground.  Even cedar posts which are naturally rot resistant rot.  I wouldn’t want my house resting on a wood basement.  Not in Michigan, not for my safety, not for my investment.

I feel bad for those first time home buyers.  They didn’t know how that wood basement will affect their chances of selling the home in the future.  They don’t know that their home will always sell at a discount to homes that are built to “normal” Michigan standards.  Poured basement walls and cinder block basements are the norm.

So if you are about to buy an odd house, one that is very unique be carefull it will be harder to sell.

May that uniqueness be a good thing.

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