“We Buy Ugly Houses” has become the slogan of a franchise company that buys homes in distress. For more than 20 years Home Vestors has been getting homeowners out of trouble on their homes, buying more than 40,000 houses through its network of franchises.
But the company best known for its’ television advertising campaigns reaching out to homeowners in distress has a new twist. Home Vestors has a contest underway to find the ugliest home there is in the nation. Yes, that’s right! The ugliest.
Real estate investors can nominate the ugliest houses they have purchased through Feb. 28, 2010. Voting will take place through May 14th. The Dallas based franchise is holding the contest to find the worst ugly duckling, and they seem to work hard at picking the worst possible homes in America to select from specializing in rehabbing and reselling ugly homes.
With some 200 franchisees in 33 states, Home Vestors is serious about ugly houses, and requires a strict code of conduct to insure ethical business practices, according to company officials.
“Buy my house fast,” is a request Wilmington, North Carolina franchisee Rich Morgan hears a lot these days as foreclosures climb and mortgage payments become unaffordable for more and more people.
Morgan considers himself a real estate professional, not a house flipper as he looks for “diamonds in the rough.” Homeowners in distress feel trapped by a home they can no longer afford or don’t wish to own because of a variety of reasons, including growing unemployment in many areas of the country or owing more on the property than it’s worth in the current market.
“Perhaps the house needs a lot of repairs,” said Morgan. “Worse yet it could be vacant and in disrepair.” Whatever the case, Morgan is pleased to help out if he can, buying homes in the Wilmington area. Franchisees purchased 4,000 homes nationwide last year.
The group of investors came out of Dallas, Texas, where the company was pioneered by a sole real estate investor who took the concept national, teaching franchise-students how to fix up homes, resell or rent them after purchasing and selling more than 100 properties a year.
Morgan is hopeful he might find the ugliest house in the country, but who knows. There’s plenty of competition.