Can you see potential? When you walk into a space, do you focus on what is or do you see what it might become?
Seeing potential is about being optimistic. It is about visualizing the best case use of a space, rather than focusing on what the drawbacks are. Seeing potential is easy in some situations, especially when someone has done the work for you. It gets a little harder when you have to look beyond neglect, misuse, down right filth, and more. When you are willing to dive into things that normally frighten other people, that is when you know you can see potential.
For consideration, a house I just toured today. My realtor's opening statement to me was that the house was filled with mouse poop. Not the most appealing thing I have seen in a house.
Mouse poop is always exciting in your cooking areas, right? Who wouldn't love that? Turns out, mouse poop was only the start. The house needs a new roof, evidenced by moisture damage on most walls, crumbling ceilings, and rotting insulation. The gutters are full (and growing their own small forest), it has cracks, weirdness, and more. I was afraid to pull down the attic stairs; I just did not know what creatures might greet me.
There were a few cracks in the foundation, the floors are not quite level, and on and on we go.
Me being me, I did not really mind all that. I saw a darling front porch (which I forgot to photograph but will!), wonderfully old solid wood floors, a large welcoming living room, gracious dining area, ceramic tile in the kitchen, a nice (although dirty!) tub surround, a large master closet, vinyl siding, new windows, thick window moldings, wood cabinets, walk out kitchen, laundry area, large attic and lots of charm. The street is nice, and the location is lovely.
So, while you don't want to underestimate the drama and cost of repairs (which could be a lot in this situation with water, creatures, and more), you don't want to limit yourself because things look scary. Neglect does not mean unfixable. There are houses out there just begging for someone to care for them and restore them to their glory. This house was a sweet little house, calling out to become a charming home for someone.
Don't be afraid.
So, did we make an offer on this water logged, poop filled house? Sure did. Why? Because we see it as a charming home, just waiting to be loved.
What do you see?