Smoke and Mirrors (and Pink Painted Hallways)

Today, AOL Real Estate ran an article on how painting your home increases the selling price significantly.

“According to HomeGain’s Prepare to Sell 2009 national survey, the average price to paint interior walls is $500 to $750, but that increases a home price by an average of $1,500 to $2,000 — which can be a 250 percent return on investment.”

While this could be a great thing for an individual selling their home, for renters who live in severely distressed properties, this is just one of many factors that contributes to the disproportionately lofty debt on their buildings.

In about 99% of the properties we work in which are less than a month away from being sold, the hallways, elevators, and ceilings are always freshly painted, usually in a bright and cheery color.

Though the ceilings inside apartments might be on the precipice of caving in and hot water is often scarce, these landlords usually spend the little money they do have on small improvements that do little else but increase the selling price of the buildings.

Yes, everyone has a right to make a profit. And yes, it is certainly a great thing to paint the hallway. But no, this is not an acceptable use of funds when serious health and safety violations are being ignored.

Landlords might deceive buyers in this way, but buyers – beware. What you see is not always what you get, and you might end up paying for it with a foreclosure. It is worth it to peer behind the shower curtain and downstairs by the boiler.  Otherwise, there’s a possibility that both your money and tenants rights will slide ride down those rusty tubes you forgot to check out in the first place.

Read More of the AOL article.


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