Profile picture for michael berry1978

Will you advise me on my potential opportunity?

My wife, three children, two dogs and I are renting a house and the owner has informed us that he needs his house back, so we'll have to move in the next couple months. We've talked about buying a place, we make plenty of money combined, but we have both made some poor financial decisions in the past and our credit scores are 507 (her) and 541 (me) are currently our only road block to home-ownership. I was talking to an old-timer in the neighborhood (a longtime resident) and when I mentioned that I need a place to move my family he suggested we buy the house next door. It was owned buy an old couple, the husband had passed away and the wife became depressed and ended up being moved to a retirement home/assisted living facility a couple years ago and the house has been vacant ever since. Nobody has even been over to clean or maintain the place. It is being overlooked by a "property preservation company", but the place has obviously been abandoned and has a lot of potential for my family and I, it would be perfect. I want to contact the owner about letting us rent or even buy the place from her, but she is 91 years old and I'm not sure how "aware" she is. I tried to get a hold of her and someone at the assisted living place said they would have her call us back. How should I go about making a deal here? I did a little research and found that she does have a son that is 71 years old, should I try contacting him to serve as a mediator between the owner (his mother) and I? I'd like to make an arrangement with the owner and her family and leave any realtors (middlemen in general) out of the equation, if possible and keep it simple. I suspect that the house was pretty much left to rot and that there was no one in the family that was willing and/or interested in dealing with the house.
  • May 02 - US
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Answers (4)

Look at title and see who legally owns the property.  If the sweet old lady owns it you might ask the assisted living place who has the legal right to negotiate on her behalf.  I understand you want to leave the "middlemen" out of the equation but it's in your best interest to hire an agent to help negotiate and provide a layer of protection.  If you were to purchase the property below market value and the son comes back with a lawsuit saying you took advantage of his mother the courts would frown upon that.  You want to make sure you protect yourself and you are not viewed as taking advantage of the elderly.

If you can purchase the property try to get a three year+ lease option so it gives you time to clean up your credit.    
  • May 02
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
How will you be paying for the property?   Unless you have enough cash saved up, you'll still run into the same problem getting a mortgage. 
  • May 02
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I'd say contact the son and see where it goes - with your credit histories, what have you to lose? Who knows? Maybe the son is in the position to offer financing. Good luck! (and yes, keep working on those credit scores!)
 
  • May 02
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Will you be financing this deal? If so, I'd work on improving your credit scores first.

  • May 02
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