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Old 02-18-2011, 10:50 PM   #1
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Beautiful Victorian...3 doors down from former meth lab


I'm looking around at houses right now and have my eye on a few, including this 1872 one, which I believe to be a Victorian Italianate (correct me if I'm wrong). This one I like because it has so much of its original woodwork, both outdoors and indoors (unlike the Craftsmans I'm looking at, which I love, but they've been sadly gutted and modernized inside). This is a larger house and it comes with a vacant city-size lot next to it. It's on a pretty quiet dead-end street. But in 2005 a house 3 doors down (past the vacant lot and one other house) was seized as a meth lab. I know it's reeeeeally unhealthy to live in or near former meth labs, and I've read the horror stories about chronically hospitalized kids, neurological damage, and dead pets... but how close is too close? And how long until it's safe to live near one? Does anyone have experience with these things, or know someone who does? Like, would I be able to have an organic food garden in the vacant lot without the food being contaminated with poisons? Are there DIY soil kits out there? Are they trustworthy?




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Old 02-19-2011, 06:54 AM   #2
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Beautiful Victorian...3 doors down from former meth lab


If you're concerned, take soil samples and have them checked out before you make any offers. Contact a testing company and find out what sample sizes they need. They might just supply you with sample taking kit.
Forget the DIY soil testing.
Ron

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Old 02-19-2011, 08:00 AM   #3
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Beautiful Victorian...3 doors down from former meth lab


That house has a lot of possibilities!

I think,after six years,you are getting worried for no good reason---However,a soil test shouldn't cost to much,

Your realestate attorney could put in a sale contingency based on a safe test result.---Mike---
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:50 AM   #4
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Beautiful Victorian...3 doors down from former meth lab


Never mind, I just noticed the financing options were changed to "cash only" yesterday, so that puts this house out of my league, poisonous soil or not. But I'm sure this is all good advice for the next person who falls in love with a victorian near a meth lab! (And there are sadly so many)...

Anyways, someone's going to have a lot of fun with this house, assuming it doesn't get bulldozed and turned into condos or something. (fingers crossed for restoration)
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Old 02-19-2011, 03:15 PM   #5
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Beautiful Victorian...3 doors down from former meth lab


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Never mind, I just noticed the financing options were changed to "cash only" yesterday, so that puts this house out of my league, poisonous soil or not. But I'm sure this is all good advice for the next person who falls in love with a victorian near a meth lab! (And there are sadly so many)...

Anyways, someone's going to have a lot of fun with this house, assuming it doesn't get bulldozed and turned into condos or something. (fingers crossed for restoration)
Where is this house located and what were they asking?
A "cash only" method of payment is odd as it restricts the number of people able to buy it, especially in this housing market.
Ron
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Old 02-19-2011, 05:20 PM   #6
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Beautiful Victorian...3 doors down from former meth lab


Ron, we bought our home last year (in Delaware) and while we were looking at others we saw several that changed listings to "Cash Only" because there were sufficient issues with the properties that there was no way they could qualify for a mortgage or pass an inspection. I think there may be something similar here.
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:18 AM   #7
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Beautiful Victorian...3 doors down from former meth lab


Just make sure there are no other meth labs in the area first!

This should help you spot them.

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Old 02-22-2011, 11:46 AM   #8
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Ron, we bought our home last year (in Delaware) and while we were looking at others we saw several that changed listings to "Cash Only" because there were sufficient issues with the properties that there was no way they could qualify for a mortgage or pass an inspection. I think there may be something similar here.
Then this is a house for someone with serious DIY skills. The last time I bought a house(1992) a bank only did an appraisal based on condition, locations, size and materials. The inspection as to condition was up to the potential owners. Passing and failing was determined by how much the buyers were willing to accept for the price paid.
Do banks actually say the house is in such bad shape, we're not interested in writing the loan?
Still interested in the price and location, unless it's a secret.
Ron
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:13 PM   #9
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Do banks actually say the house is in such bad shape, we're not interested in writing the loan?
Ron

All the time, when we bought our house we looked at 3 others that were "cash only" one was only because it had a water leak in the basement.

At the time lending was so difficult to get for buyers that the sellers of these houses would get almost to closing only to have the purchasers banks deny the loan at the last minute, after this happens 4 or 5 times many owners found it was easier to just say "cash only"

Our house needed a roof replaced and the seller had already had 2 other perspective buyers denied loans because of the roof.
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:30 PM   #10
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All the time, when we bought our house we looked at 3 others that were "cash only" one was only because it had a water leak in the basement.

At the time lending was so difficult to get for buyers that the sellers of these houses would get almost to closing only to have the purchasers banks deny the loan at the last minute, after this happens 4 or 5 times many owners found it was easier to just say "cash only"

Our house needed a roof replaced and the seller had already had 2 other perspective buyers denied loans because of the roof.
I don't doubt you but the economics makes little sense. The seller, in a buyers maket, has 2 sales fall through because he wasn't smart enough to replace the roof. The 2 lawyers weren't intelligent enough to write into the contract that the sale would be contingent on the roof being replaced within a set period of time or prior to taking possession.
Do banks do house inspections now prior to giving out mortgages? And contingent on their condition?
Or are we speaking about abandoned houses in a derelict condition?
There are ways lawyers can come together to get around a banks policies.
I sold a house, built in 1938, back in 1992. The garage was built the same time as the house but was not written on the Certificate of Occupancy. This was the first year C of O's were used in NYC and record keeping was lax. The clerk wrote, "one framed dwelling" accross the face of the C of O. No listing of the rooms on each floor, just, "one framed dwelling".
In 1992, banks wanted a C of O on each building on the property. Not like in 1978 when I bought the house. Then, they didn't care and I got a mortgage.
So to get around the issue, both sides agreed I would get the C of O for the garage and I put $4000. in an escrow account until the C of O was delivered.
It was never written in the contract.
The paperwork was finally completed about 6 weeks after closing and the new owners got their C of O and I got the escrow back.
I sold the house.
Lawyers got paid.
Bank got paid.
Real Estate got paid.
Everybody moved on with their life.
In the roof scenario, everybody got screwed.
Where's the common sense?
Ron
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Old 02-22-2011, 03:51 PM   #11
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Do banks actually say the house is in such bad shape, we're not interested in writing the loan?
Just closed on a new mortgage. Banker said that because we were putting 20% down they did not require an inspection. Thinking being that the 20% we put down would be a motivation to fix any problems.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:02 PM   #12
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Just closed on a new mortgage. Banker said that because we were putting 20% down they did not require an inspection. Thinking being that the 20% we put down would be a motivation to fix any problems.
Exactly, we put down 20% when we purchased so the old roof was not a loan issue for us, but for those who had attempted to purchase before us they were unable to put down 20% (or whatever the magic number is) and the bank had to have an inspection/appraisal done to ensure that the house did not need to much work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519
Do banks do house inspections now prior to giving out mortgages? And contingent on their condition?
Looks like yes if you are not putting much/any money down, which kind of makes sense as some of these people are getting loans for almost 100% of the cost of the house, if they don't even have a few thousand to put down, how are they going to be able to afford to replace a roof?
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Old 03-05-2011, 11:14 AM   #13
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Beautiful Victorian...3 doors down from former meth lab


Ron6519: The house is in Eureka, California, on the northern coast, and they're asking $299K for both houses plus the empty lot. Now I can't find where it says "cash only." Some of the realtor websites here don't list financing options, and some of them do, and it seems to vary from house to house, which ones list it, so I frequently find myself getting interested in a house, doing hours of research on the neighborhood and surrounding houses, only to find hidden away on some random realtor's website the fact that it is cash only, or a foreclosure being auctioned off (also cash only). Total waste of time (for me, at least, not having that kind of money just lying around).
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:50 PM   #14
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Ron6519: The house is in Eureka, California, on the northern coast, and they're asking $299K for both houses plus the empty lot. Now I can't find where it says "cash only." Some of the realtor websites here don't list financing options, and some of them do, and it seems to vary from house to house, which ones list it, so I frequently find myself getting interested in a house, doing hours of research on the neighborhood and surrounding houses, only to find hidden away on some random realtor's website the fact that it is cash only, or a foreclosure being auctioned off (also cash only). Total waste of time (for me, at least, not having that kind of money just lying around).
If you get preapproved for a mortgage, you can go to closing in a week and they get paid in full. Still don't understand the issue. You write them a check, the bank writes them a check?
Nobodies handing them a suitcase of cash.
Ron
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Old 03-06-2011, 02:21 PM   #15
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Then this is a house for someone with serious DIY skills. The last time I bought a house(1992) a bank only did an appraisal based on condition, locations, size and materials. The inspection as to condition was up to the potential owners. Passing and failing was determined by how much the buyers were willing to accept for the price paid.
Do banks actually say the house is in such bad shape, we're not interested in writing the loan?
Still interested in the price and location, unless it's a secret.
Ron
They sure do (banks). And insurance companies make it worse. So if a house needs a roof and is deemed uninsurable because of that, you can't get the loan without insurance so cash is all you can do.
You can go with the FAIR program but that is a waste of money. And hud with the 203k if you want to mess with all the red tape.
They don't make it easy and where I live there are so many boarded up homes, it is unbelievable.

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