I’ve been looking at homes in New England for a couple of months now.
Every single one of them under a million dollars is absolutely beat to fucking shit.
The rental I’m in now was built in 2005.
The other houses on the street are about the same age.
Every single one is missing shingles from the roof.
The siding is rotting.
The attic is 50% mouse shit.
It sold recently for over half a million dollars.
We looked at other houses in the area.
All of them are like this.
Yes, I know, New England has harsh winters.
So the fuck what.
I lived in South Dakota. My first house was in Chicago. My next was in Omaha.
I’ve lived in places that had winters every bit as harsh but there they didn’t let the homes go to shit.
It’s like preventative maintenance isn’t a cultural norm up here.
Part of me wonders if it has to do with how old everything is. Like, if you buy a house built in the 1700s or 1800s, there can be a few centuries of damage to it, so you just accept your house being weather worn. And that becomes the norm so when you buy a house built 17 years ago that looks like it has 50 years of weather damage to it, that seems perfect normal to you because everything has 50 years or more weather damage to it.
We rescinded an offer on a home because the previous owner let dead leaves sit in a spot on the roof for so long they rotted the shingles and started to rot the plywood underneath.
The house inspection revealed that.*
For a house that was asking $600,000, I wasn’t going to buy it to drop on a $50,000 roof.
I told the seller that, their response was “someone will.”
*It shocks me that New Hampshire will nitpick your car to death during the annual vehicle inspection and fail you for things like fender rust, but you can sell a house with a rotted out roof and siding, and more radon in the basement than the nuclear weapon test range, and home inspectors just let it go.
I just can’t fathom why when people are forced to pay so much for houses, they let them become rundown, dilapidated, shit boxes.
15 thoughts on “What’s killing me about homes in New England”
Not just there. I see the same thing on the Left Coast.
New England is particularly bad. I think most folks that live there, “live a life of quiet desperation.” Your either rich and can handle the taxes there or your not. If you are just barely getting by – maintenance is the first thing to go. Really smart people – but you can’t live, where you can’t afford to live.
You can thank alot of the real estate companys who sell houses at inflated prices. This area gets people from ny , nj, conn, ect who left high price living and come here. Its been going on for years. The bubble will pop and many will be under water again… the only saving grace for me is my place is paid for… good luck in your search. Oh and winter isnt as bad here as others would lead you to believe.
@Curby: The houses wouldn’t sell…if no one bought them.
Demand bumps up the prices. Lack of demand would lower them.
Can you say “liberalism”? Either the people voted for that shit or the elections were/are stolen, either way, the people put up with it.
NH has no building codes either, for better and for worse. Just keep that in mind.
I’ve found NH to be a strange combination of high property costs with small town or depressed former mill city heroin and meth vibes. People in general I think also don’t mind things like lots of equipment and scrap in the yard or some less than pleasing aesthetics of the structure for function and purpose. Not everyone and every where but it is much more predominate.
Love to buy ya a beer some time, I’m not a resident but I own property in NH. I know a couple of nice stores and shops depending on where you are too 🙂
I’ve asked why there are no developments and few new built hikes in New Hampshire, because I’m from the South where they put in developments as fast as they can air nail them together.
I keep being told “we don’t want developments to ruin our New England esthetic.”
You mean you don’t want a nice new house to highlight how everything else is just a worn out old shitbox.
And yes, the scrap and garbage in yards from centuries of shit just being dumped is ugly.
I think there are also tax reasons, lots of big land parcels are in current use. That basically makes the land nearly free tax wise and the purpose is “to preserve the natural beauty and woodlands of NH”; you cannot develop on land in current use. Supposedly to take a parcel or a portion of a parcel of land out current use, you have to pay all back taxes on it from the date it was put into current use. That makes it very expensive to develop any of those areas and suppresses development. Property taxes are also supposedly a bit higher in NH since there is no income or sales tax, but I’ve never done a real comparison.
In general I will say it seems like towns and cities have been trying to improve looks over the last few years compared to the past.
@Lenard: People told me that the property taxes would be higher than in the People’s Republic of MA due to no income tax (although there are taxes on investments, including retirement accounts(although that is in the process of being phased out)).
They were actually a bit lower.
It’s relative. When we did the tax numbers for the house we made an offer on, the annual property tax was a little lower thsn my and my wife’s combined state income tax and property tax in North Carolina. So it’s high for property tax but my overall tax burden was about the same. I just would pay more into property tax escrow and not have income tax taken from my paycheck.
@Rick. For sure cheaper than MA and most of CT and NY.
Just more expensive than the rest of the country, but I guess that’s New England anyways lol.
Well, J, if you end up looking in the Lakes Region, gimme a buzz and we can go out to dinner.
I’d be willing to meet for a beer but my job has me splitting my time between Exeter and Portsmouth, so I have to live somewhere in that region.
I’m over the the west side on the state. At least for Portsmouth you’re a hop skip and a jump to Kittery. Be sure to visit Kittery Trading Post!
Thirsty Moose Tap House in Portsmouth was fun.
@J. Kb: Fair enough. Good luck with the search.
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