Investing

‘Ugliest House of the Year’ tells a tale of tragedy and redemption

This rags-to-riches home investing story has a happily ever after -- for the home
  • The winner of this year’s “ugliest house” competition paints a heartbreaking picture of what can happen when a homeowner’s financial situation becomes unbearable.
  • After pictures show that vision and skilled contractors can have a miraculous impact on a property that many may see as a lost cause.
  • People choose to sell their homes at discounted rates for a plethora of reasons, ranging from pending foreclosures to simply wanting to live in a more attractive home.   

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A company that prides itself on buying ugly homes fast has declared the results of its “Ugliest House of the Year” contest, and the winner could just as appropriately be described as the most heartbreaking house of the year. But the after pictures offer an optimistic glimpse into what’s possible with some good renovations and a lot of garbage bags. Selecting from a list of 35 candidates, HomeVestors -- known across the United States for its catchphrase “We Buy Ugly Houses” -- chose a 1945 Pennsylvania home with an interior that bore a striking resemblance to that of Grey Gardens as this year’s bearer of the dubious title. The Ugliest House of the Year contest rewards franchisees who have purchased houses in deep disrepair and then remodeled them into unrecognizable dwellings. A New York Times piece from 2006 cited HomeVestors CEO and President John Hayes as having said: “The trick is to buy homes for 60 to 65 percent of what they would be worth in good condi...