Generally, a scraper is another term for a total tear-down. These homes are often 40+ years old (in metro Phoenix), and require a complete gut-and-remodel to bring them up to contemporary livability standards.
Scrapers are usually built on an old floorplan model and have a formal dining room and living room, low ceilings, and a generally dark and dated feel. Owners will frequently tear down all interior walls to the studs, move the mechanicals (duct work, plumbing, electrical wiring, etc.) and then rebuild.
(BTW, for my younger readers, the formal dining room was where the family gathered for Thanksgiving and Chrismukkah dinners. The formal living room was where your Grandma would have kept the "good" furniture covered in clear plastic that nobody was allowed to sit on.)
I've also heard scraper used to refer to a house that needs a complete cosmetic remodel -- you need to rip out and replace every bit of flooring, cabinetry, countertops, appliances and fixtures because it all looks like the Brady Bunch could move right in.
Either way, it's a whole busload of work, not to be undertaken lightly. Remember the old Tom Hanks movie, The Money Pit? Yeah, that's what we mean by 'scraper'. If you're considering a remodel on any scale, contact a knowledgable Realtor to ballpark the return on your investment, and get hooked up with reliable contractors. Live in the metro Phoenix region? Good news! I know lots of reputable contractors, and can give you a great idea of the current market ROI on your remodel. . .
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