Lisa and Jim's Northern Nevada Real Estate Blog: The Neighborhood Looks Rough ... Should We Buy Anyway?

The Neighborhood Looks Rough ... Should We Buy Anyway?

Many neighborhoods in Carson Valley and Carson City  just don't look the same anymore.  With families having to move on an involuntary basis, foreclosure, the landscaping has transitioned to "REO Landscaping", dead or dying.  When driving through a neighborhood with several homes featuring REO Landscaping it can look rough to the home Buyer, but keep your eye on the potential. 

Your home purchase is a long term investment, and it is important to look at what the neighborhood will be like during the course of your home ownership or when you go to sell.  The current economic situation, serious as it is, is not permanent.  Some neighborhoods have been impacted more than others due to the demographics of their occupants, but they will recover in time.  You can be a part of that recovery and profit from your participation. 

The depleted nature of the homes is temporary ... important to keep in mind as you look at making a real estate investment.  A little paint, landscaping, care and love and you will have a wonderful home to live in ... and a good investment.  What is misfortune for some becomes opportunity for others.  Don't let the visual blight keep you from missing a fine opportunity that will be good for your family and your pocketbook.  

When you look at an aesthetically deficient property be sure to consider what it will take to get it up to a livable and saleable standard.  Though you won't be selling immediately, you should always think about how you will get out of a property as you go in.  Is it a matter of replacing the lawn with new sod, or does the entire sprinkler system need replacing?  Will it take $5,000 and two weeks, or $50,000 and two months.  You can evaluate the cost, time, hassle, and potential return to determine if it is worth your time, money and effort.  Remember, every other home on the block in a similar condition is getting the same scrutiny from other Buyers.  What you see now won't be what you'll see in time ... be a part of the cure. 

Our advice:  Consider your own instincts when you look at a neighborhood.  Think about what it was ... and what it will be - a lot can happen to a neighborhood in five years.  Considering the cost of repair, the hassle factor, and the results - make your offer accordingly.  You didn't create the problem, and you don't presently own the problem.  You can help cure the problem and should be rewarded for your efforts if you opt to buy the problem.  All of that is taken in to consideration by all parties - Sellers and you, the Buyer.  Let the negotiations begin! 

Listen to your agent ... and to your gut - not emotion.  Real estate investment is the best path to wealth, and the best investments come when you can find the proverbial "diamond in the rough" and solve the problem associated with it.  It isn't always about the subject property - you can anticipate the neighborhood transition and profit that way. Make sure your agent is active in the market so they can help you spot trends in - pricing and transition.  When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs... Experience is Priceless!  Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates, 775-781-5472., 

For all your Northern Nevada Real Estate Needs ... Contact Lisa Wetzel and Jim Valentine  Visit us online at

Comment balloon 4 commentsLisa Wetzel • June 03 2009 10:08PM


Great post...thanks!

Posted by Troy Jowers, New Orleans Realtor (Pogo Realty, LLC) about 11 years ago

Rough neighbourhoods in this present downturn are certainly temporary in many cases, but when you get into older more established neighbourhoods that are becoming gentrified... be careful. Some communities really do see a renaissance, while others just don't have the legs for it. If you end up buying a home in the latter category, that long term investment can turn into a long term nightmare!


Posted by Stephen Hodge (Chestnut Park Real Estate Limited, Brokerage) about 11 years ago

Lisa,  Thanks for the perspective.  It is important that agents and buyers set aside their emotional or visceral reaction to properties that temporarily look bad, and look ahead.  Nice post.

Posted by Jim Valentine (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) about 11 years ago

Great post, 4th paragraph is defiantly important info to consider. Consider the cost, that's always good advice!

Posted by Matt McLaughlin (The Pest Force) almost 11 years ago