Some people spend a small fortune personalising their homes in extreme ways. They have predilections for medieval living and create small-scale custom castles, or their version of a haunted house. Sometimes all the ‘quirkiness’ is on the inside, with things like Velcro walls. The problem with creating your absolute dream home, however, is that it is your vision and other house hunters might not feel the same way. This can make selling your home a problem, even if you’re in a high-demand area.
One example of house customisation gone wild is John Nugent’s home in Andover Massachusetts. Nugent decided that his home needed full-size indoor basketball court with scoreboard, a 30-second clock and three rows of bleachers. To please his sporty kids, he also put in a bowling alley downstairs complete with a vintage scoring machine, and then just because he could, he added an indoor pool with a water slide. The garden boasts a batting cage and pitching machine, locker rooms and a putting green. His quirkiness didn’t stop with the sports theme, as you’ll find out when you see the mural on one wall with pictures of his kids and family pets.
Nugent dream home was on the market for years, originally marketed for $6.5 million (about £4.37 million) but then lowered to $6 million (just about £4.03 million). No buyers have expressed any interest, and so Mr. Nugent eventually opted to put the property in a sealed-bid auction to try to find a buyer.
Not only in America
The UK has its fair share of quirky homes, for example, in 2013 Rightmove had a home with a staircase modelled on the famous art work by M.C. Escher, as well as a Blues Brothers-themed house.
Selling a novelty home
The hard truth is that if you have a novelty home, you are probably going to struggle to sell it. So if you have invested your heart and soul (and life savings) in your dream home, you need to think very seriously about whether you really want to sell it. Other options could include renting out as a novelty B&B or holiday home. If you do have to sell a completely customised house, you need to establish a good game plan. You will probably need to tone down the more extreme features; for example, take down the life-size Blues Brothers cut-outs, store the most unusual décor items and paint the walls a neutral colour.
You might also need to resign yourself to making a loss on your sale, or at least minimising your profits that’s to ‘normalising’ efforts.
Consult property experts to help you make your home more marketable, so you can attract buyers who might not share your visions of a dream home, but who have vision enough to turn your home into their dream.