House next door for sale... what should I do?

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House next door for sale... what should I do?

Postby angolito on Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:10 pm

The house next door to me is for sale. The guy who has been my neighbor was quiet and kept it mowed, but never did a thing to maintain it. It sits on a lot, and he owns two additional lots adjacent. There is only one other house on the block on the other side of my seond lot.

The handsome Chilean is unemployed, our budget and time frame on our OWN house is shot. I feel like I HAVE to buy this house next door to protect our investment. We would then own the entire block along the street except for one house. There is light industrial immediately to the north, and I am afraid that someone will buy this house and demo it, replacing it with a steel building.

The house is nearly unsalvageable. It has to have a new roof, about 40% of the foundation is questionable. New electric service, plumbing are a must. I would probably just slap a crappy coat of paint on it and see what happens in the short term. Its habitable, but barely. original ( but PAINted) trim and hidden pocket door still there. kitchen is a gut job.

I think I can buy the house and lots for $5k. Its gonna mean selling the dodge dart and some jewelry, and will put me even further behind the 8ball on this house ( which needs its own new roof).

What should I do?
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Re: House next door for sale... what should I do?

Postby Josiecat on Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:13 pm

If you can get it for $5,000 I'd grab it and hold on until handsome chilean is re-employed.

Same thing happened to a beautiful but dilapidated queen anne house on my street. It is a mess. I BEGGED my neighbors to go together and buy it and hold on to it so a nice family could buy it. They refused and a slum lord bought it. It is a complete mess now. They have a lot of regrets about not buying it when they had the chance. :(
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Re: House next door for sale... what should I do?

Postby KristenS on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:16 pm

It's so hard for me to imagine what buying vs not buying would mean to you right now. So I can't give advice. But I can empathize with the incredible worry that someone else might buy it and do something monstrous. Feeling like you have no control over that must be incredibly frustrating. I can completely understand why you are considering buying it, even if it means that you have to sacrifice some other things you love.

In my imaginary world... You'd buy the house and lot. Then, the house would be lost enough that you would need to tear it down and salvage the lovely parts. Then you'd get to plant beautiful trees and wild flowers in the lot. And it would become the area that everyone in your neighborhood cites as what good people can do with good intentions. :) In my imaginary world. :)

Also...cause I can't get this out of my head... 5k?!?!?! That's half my PROPERTY TAXES for a year! I need to get the heck out of Jersey. Right quick.
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Re: House next door for sale... what should I do?

Postby Danno on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:31 pm

for 5k be sure you can save it. Costs a lot of money to take down a house and get rid of it. that could be an expensive empty lot.

Don't you have any friends who are as crazy as you are? Best case scenario is to find someone you know and trust to buy it up. Better yet, have an impulsive friend buy it and when they come to their senses you might be in a better position to make an offer on it.
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Re: House next door for sale... what should I do?

Postby pqtex on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:33 pm

Ouch. Sometimes $5 or $50 or $500 or $5000 can seem as unattainable as $5 million. I don't know how badly the $5000 will affect your short term situation, but if you don't do it, I firmly believe you will be kicking yourself later. I have been kicking myself over and over for not trying to buy two adjoining properties when they were for sale, but they were at market price, and there was no way for me to purchase them. So I ended up with a family on one side who has kids and friends and a corresponding number of go-karts and noisy four wheelers to ride on their 5 acres, and somehow manage to ride on the part right next to my house. On the back side, I got a knucklehead who has seriously let his property deteriorate and look trashy, without actually violating city ordinances.

The $5000 you need reminds me of the nail in this old proverb...

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Your street is your kingdom...

You said it was habitable (barely). Do you think you could find someone decent who would be willing to fix things in exchange for free rent or reduced rent? If the house isn't salvagable (except as salvaged materials), then you're getting a lot of property for $5000.

Good luck...
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Re: House next door for sale... what should I do?

Postby triguy128 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:42 pm

That seems hard to pass-up. the opportunity to not have a neighbro and create a buffer for yourself. Maybe the building could be gutted and converted into just a storage building in the short term until you cna afford to salvage and tear it down. Shut off the utilities and just run an extension cord next door in the short term for a few lights.

If it's habitable, the suggestion above is good. Maybe the neghbor will do some repairs and painting on the home in exchage for rent and maybe even 1/2 the utility bills. He can't really make it worse can he?
Last edited by triguy128 on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: House next door for sale... what should I do?

Postby SkipW on Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:44 pm

I feel your pain, we have a situation where the agents for the bank that owns the defunct development surrounding our house gave us a chance to buy some land for protection of our lot (only one on this side of the road). We just can't afford it ($20k per acre!!!!, turns out to $20k for a 50 foot strip of land surrounding our house) I want desparately to borrow the money but I'm out of work now too. I almost feel we CANNOT afford NOT to buy it. Our home life and property values demand it.

If there is a way you can come up with the $5k, I would do it for peace of mind. If I had the opportunity for $5k I would in a heartbeat. Even if the house is marginal, you might be able to find a renter who, as mentioned, would work for rent, no loss to you. Or maybe you could sell off a lot farther away and keep the house next to you for protection....

Lots of reasons to buy it...but it's not my money I'm spending :twisted:

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Re: House next door for sale... what should I do?

Postby JRC on Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:04 pm

I think SkipW has a good idea. It's possible that the house is actually lowering the value of the land. (the cost of demolition) So, maybe you buy the house and two adjacent lots for $5k. But then, maybe you could turn around and sell one or both of the lots for $5k or more?

Of course, on the negative side, you would then have 2 properties that have needs. Can you squeeze out another couple years from the roofs of both houses, or do they both need replaced right away? From what I've seen, a leaking roof is the fastest way to severely damage a house. The other problems (except the questionable foundation, I suppose) won't destroy the house if they aren't addressed right away.
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Re: House next door for sale... what should I do?

Postby jade mortimer on Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:20 pm

do i correctly recall a story about you selling a house to someone only to have them be a lousy neighbor?? ya wouldn't want to go through that again!

sit down with the handsome dude and make a list of pros and cons...what would be your one, five, ten year plan? is there additional income in your future? can you deal with investing sweat equity in a place other than your home? is there a solid foundation on the old house that you would need to remove if you chose to demolish the house? are there any liens or restrictions on the property?

lots to consider...take your time...
good luck....
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Re: House next door for sale... what should I do?

Postby wletson on Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:45 am

Jeez, tough one. :? If it isn't going to set you back too, too much... picking it up seems like a good idea. And the idea of trying to get someone to live in it and fix it up, if possible, is brilliant!

Owning the land beside you is a total bonus idea. Me, out in the middle of nowhere, with nothing for neighbours but alfalfa, not so much of a concern.

Good luck! Obviously, keep us up to date.
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