I recently read a news story about HomeVestors, that company that has billboards and drives vans decked with the words, “We Buy Ugly Homes.”  And they do just that, picking up homes that real estate agents have given up hope of ever selling.  I’m sure there are fine examples in your part of town or country. With sagging roofs or siding so chipped that it looks like psoriasis on a mule, they loom out from the other homes. Often, their home interiors are worse–bedrooms with walled up closets, kitchens that are too narrow for noodles, or five-bedroom homes with a one-half bath.

ugly homes

CNN Money reports that HomeVestors often picks up homes that truly have virtues on the inside, but buyers can’t get past their ugly exteriors. The company has 200 franchisees, each on the look for “diamonds in the rough.”

Here are some roughs, sans any apparent diamonds:

Things might get ugly

real ugly

I’d rather live in a refrigerator box beneath the overpass than move in here. Ugliness abides. There’s an entire website dedicated to the ugly called, uncannily enough, Ugly House Photos.

Gateway to the worst

ugly in St-Louis

Ah, the grandeur of St. Louis–the majestic Mississippi, the splendid arch rising from the shoreline and this turquoise shack along the highway. Almost gives you chills.

Borderline ugly


This freshly painted home in Mexicali (south of the California line) proves that ugliness knows no bounds. It looks like the stencil print children make from tempera ink using cut-out ends of a large potato. Tan feo, hombre!

Beast of burden

honut house

I wrote about his house before on the blog, but it deserves a reprieve. I cherish the tall crop of grass edges and the delightful use of contrasting oil stains on the drive.

Camden yards


This house in New Jersey was among 13 entrants in the Cramer Hill Ugly Home Contest run in 2009 by local churches bent on reforming the neighborhood ambiance. See the details at the Cramer Hill/CCOP website.

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like ugly. I have plenty of other photos, but this is all I can take, friends.

3 Responses to “For sale: Ugly house with “potential”

  1. Mark Carlos says:

    Trying to put a marketing spin on any of these would drive a realtor to the depths of despair. But I do believe the simplicity of the home in New Jersey could be advertised through a lead-in caption of “BURNT OFFERINGS”.

  2. Jerry says:

    Some of these photos remind me of the pics in the NY times the other day, which showed the crumbling buildings of Detroit (from opera halls, to huge factories it…some of Detroit has really fallen in to the Wasteland category.

  3. Randy says:

    Louise Vitton (horribly wrong spelling but don’t care enough to google the correct way)…You have to be kidding me! That house should be demoed and never resurface, that land is tainted forever!

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