The public is incredulous when informed that distressed houses come in all price ranges . . . Let me repeat, ALL price ranges. Sometimes the house has grown old with its owners and the owners do not have the physical means (either financial or physically) to make repairs. Over time, this kind of home accumulates a lot of deferred maintenance and a need for cosmetic upgrades.
Sometimes the house started out as a second home and just didn't grow up over time to become a primary residence. Second homes may be cabins first with limited time spent by their owners on maintenance because the purpose of the second homes are fun! Over time, this kind of home accumulates a lot of deferred maintenance and a need for cosmetic upgrades. (Hmmm. I seem to be repeating myself!)
Sometimes, the house started out as the cute little farmstead on an acreage. The acres were developed and bigger homes built around it. The value of the little house diminished as the land value increased. These "little" homes don't always have deferred maintenance but because they are older and smaller than their neighbors, the structure itself has lost value making it worth the effort to tear it down and build a McMansion (a big house replacing a little one).
The story behind the house I showed today is unknown to me. It was billed as a rehab. I rejected it as a rehab. There is so much deferred maintenance that it would be a complete tear out job. The good news is the lot has appreciated dramatically in value. Check out the tour and tell me if you would consider this house to be worth rehabbing or should it become the site of a future McMansion!