Water, Water, Everywhere... Trashing the House...

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Results Realty

Water, Water Everywhere... Ocoee RiverWater is essential for life.  Without it, everything dies.  But... sometimes it can be a pain in the butt... like when it is in the wrong place in the house... or outside of the house...

I have a buyer that is under contract on a beautiful home... or more accurately, a home that could be beautiful.  But it has problems.  Water. 

The biggest issue is one that people usually don't think of...


There are several damaged gutters around the house, and some that we suspect are clogged.  Furthermore, the downspouts are in less than great condition... blocked, broken or poorly moving water away from the house.  This has led to damaged window and door frames, as the water has caused rot in several places.  It has also led to damage to carpet in the basement, erosion around the deck supports and erosion of the landscape.  

All of this is easily correctable... or at least the direct causes are easily addressed.  The damage is more involved.  in fact, we don't know how much damage there might be... we are currently dealing with contractors to see if we can get a handle on it. 

And there is another issue that people often don't think of...


As mentioned above, there are several damaged window and door frames.  While the water is the damaging agent, the reason they could be damaged is that the paint was seriously lacking.  The home is only 7 years old, but the trim hadn't been repainted, and the original paint wasn't super high quality. 

Again, the base condition is inexpensively and easily corrected, but the damage that has been caused is much more involved. 

Water, Water Everywhere... Tellico RiverAnd the last problem is another one that usually escapes notice...


Ok, admitedly, I'm not talking about grass here... I'm talking about landscape design.  As it stands, the ground around the home is actually channeling water TOWARDS the house rather than away.  It is a testement to excellent waterproofing by the builder in the basement that there aren't any places where water is coming in.  But there are actually places where the erosion is trying to undermine concrete slabs and footers. 

Here, the correction is a little more involved... but still not terribly difficult.  The lot will need to be re-graded with a slope away from the house.  Additionally, a swale will need to be built into the landscape design to route water coming on to the property well away from the house.  French drains will need to be installed, and the downspounts routed into them... all in an effort to move the water around the house. 

Finally, the landscape design needs to incorporate appropriate plantings and ground covers to stop the red clay from splashing up on the sides of the house.  It is likely only cosmetic, but the bottom two to six feet of the house is stained red... requiring the house to be repainted. 


When we do inspections and look at homes from potential problems, the things that usually concern buyers are systems like the HVAC and electrical, or areas like the roof or deck.  But, from this house we can see that it is VERY minor repairs and maintenance that have caused the problems.  Keeping the gutters in good repair and trim painted are both simple. 

Water, Water Everywhere... Smoky MountainsThis home hasn't had a real "owner" for a few years.  Depending on the estimates, it may soon have one.  Homes NEED people in them. 


This should be a good case study in why keeping up with the little things can be very important... spending a hour cleaning out the gutters and $100 on trim paint might save $5000 in repairs later.  In this case, $1000 in gutter cleaning and trim painting may have save $15,000 or more in damage.  And the value of the home might have been $50,000 or even $100,000 higher. 

That is a solid RoI (Return on Investment). 

If you are looking for a deal, they are out there, but many "cheap" properties are actually money pits that will require way more money than they are worth.  This one should give the buyer a solid equity position when they are done.  And, as with most properties that are "deals", they require resources... money, time and skill... being invested BEFORE they return that equity. 

Call me if you want a deal in or around Gwinnett County... especially 4+ car garage homes, as well as homes in and around Lilburn. 

(I am NOT including pictures of the home because my buyers haven't closed on the property...  They are aware that I am blogging about it, but I don't want the property identified.)

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Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

So many gutters are not run far enough away the house and from the basement.

Sep 17, 2009 01:44 PM #1
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

I showed a house late this afternoon that all of the wood floors in the living room were warped.  I'm talking about thinking you were walking on the deck of a ship in the middle of a storm.  We could not see any evidence of a water leak but obviously there was one somewhere.  My advice to the buyers....RUN AWAY!

Sep 17, 2009 02:04 PM #2
Joel Weihe
Realty World Alliance - Wichita, KS
Helping you to use your VA home loan benefits

There should be required home maintenance 101 to buy a home.  I've run into so many who had no clue what to do now that they'd bought.  I'm working on a home-maintenance course to send my new buyers too due to this. 

So many homes end up this way - don't do the $100 fix and now they're in for thousands.  It's so sad!  All these homes need are proper love and care and they flourish.   I hope your buyer's estimates come in well and that poor abused home can get some love!

Sep 17, 2009 04:06 PM #3
Terry & Bonnie Westbrook
Westbrook Realty Broker-Owner - Grand Rapids, MI
Westbrook Realty - Grand Rapids Forest Hills MI Re

So many owners don't do maintenance on a regular basis only when it becomes a big problem. Just a bit of paint and attention can save thousands.

Sep 17, 2009 04:24 PM #4
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

All good advise.  As an insurance adjuster I saw clogged gutters cause a lot of damage.  The water will actually get up under the roof into the attic and home if it cannot flow in the gutter. 

I had a tradition of cleaning my gutters on Thanksgiving weekend while putting up my Christmas lights.  If I am going to be up on a ladder git r done.

Sep 18, 2009 04:47 AM #5
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Russ - I had an inspector that was telling me about the splash blocks and how about 95% of them are the wrong way...

Cindy - Was the HVAC off?  Sounds like a humidity issue.  Sometimes the boards will uncrown when the air gets dry again... but often they still need to be scraped and refinished. 

Sheree - That is a good idea...

Terry - Guilty as charged... 

Gene - I don't put up Christmas lights... but luckily my gutters stay pretty clear...

Sep 18, 2009 07:02 AM #6
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