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Dirt can disguise a bargain buy

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Look past superficial negatives and you may acquire an excellent home at a "bargain" price.

Buyers should not immediately give up on homes which look grubby, cluttered or a bit neglected, advises Rudi Botha, Betterbond chief executive.

Those who are prepared to look past superficial negatives may acquire an excellent home at a “bargain” price.

In a forced sale, where an owner has died, divorced or been transferred to another town, there may not have been time to prepare the property for sale and clutter can easily disguise good underlying value.

However, a dingy home could also indicate long-term neglect and substantial repair bills for a new owner, Botha says.

“But often a closer inspection will reveal that all that is required is a good scrub and a few coats of paint. It is about spotting substance over style, and then being confident enough to negotiate a substantial discount on the asking price in return for the effort (and money) to bring the property up to standard.”


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