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gma2rjc 07-26-2011 01:29 AM

What would you do?
 
The house next door to me was foreclosed on last summer. Over the past 2 weeks we've seen realtor's bringing mostly young couples to look at the house.

I don't know the age of the house, but I am friends with the previous owners and over the past 3 or 4 years have heard the complaints about what needs to be done to the house... major electrical issues, plumbing problems and continuous problems with the furnace and heat registers that aren't hooked up to a duct.

I really want to have new neighbors living there, but every time I see someone get out of a car to walk through the house, I want to go over there and tell them what I know.

I'm pretty sure the bank that owns it isn't going to disclose any of these issues as they most likely don't know about them.

What it all boils down to is that I don't want to see a young couple buy the place, only to lose it in a year or two because they can't afford a mortgage payment and maintenance. That, and the previous owners were always worried that the place would burn down because of the electrical problems they found.

What would you do in this situation?




Barb

DannyT 07-26-2011 02:17 AM

id let your conscience be your guide. thats the problem with forclosures it's "as is". maybe you could just recommend that they get a house inspector before they commit to buy. i know we did. some people dont want to spend a few hundred that might save them thousands. what are you gonna do?

rusty baker 07-26-2011 10:15 AM

I've been in the same situation. The house next door to me has changed hands 5 times in 20 years. It has a lot of hidden problems. I quit trying to tell potential buyers, they just seem to think you are trying to keep it empty.

TJ_in_IL 07-26-2011 01:54 PM

As I am not expert in the subject, I am currently in the process of assisting my MIL with the purchase of a forclosed house. From what I understand, the deal is "as is". There is no room for negotiation once an offer is accepted. Some finance groups require a home inspection, or a full test of utilities, before they will finance the deal. The home inspection can be used as a no-penalty way out of the binding contract, if it reveals serious issues (major structural or utilities issues).
In our case, a home inspection was not required, but working utilities was. Finance company would not cut the check because the water could not be tested (house winterized, but maintenance company was lazy, and did not want to de-winterize to test). After some strong-arming, finance will go through, with a $2000 escrow for repairs, if needed. I did a 3 hour, in-depth inspection. The house was built in 1988, and in really great shape, with exception of typical issues due to sitting for 1-1/2 years (furnace and water heater).
My suggestion would be to causually approach a suspected buyer, once you have seen them there a few times. Somebody that is truly interested will be there several times, maybe with or without the agent, to check things out. Once you find out that they are interested, and will be or have put in an offer, then disclose what you know, and suggest they get an inspection. Of course, unless they are already know about the issues, and they plan on a total gut/rehab.

Willie T 07-26-2011 04:49 PM

Hypothetically...... what if you knew nothing? And let's say you know nothing about the house being sold across the street, down six lots away.

What would you do?

And realistically, you actually only know what you have been told. Nothing more.

I wouldn't worry too much about it........................ unless, of course, you're a Jewish mother personality, and just HAVE to get right in there in the thick of things. :wink: Then you'll do what ya gotta do.

gma2rjc 07-27-2011 12:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Willie T (Post 694114)
I wouldn't worry too much about it........................ unless, of course, you're a Jewish mother personality, and just HAVE to get right in there in the thick of things. :wink: Then you'll do what ya gotta do.

..... :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

I just looked online and found the house in the foreclosed listings. Holy smokes! I didn't know there were so many foreclosures. This is a small town and there are 7 pages of them. That's sad.

Anyway, it's a big, 2 story house with an attached garage and stairs leading up to the huge room above it, nice big fenced yard and full basement. They're only asking $62,900 for it. So I'm hoping that anyone who sees that price will figure out that there's a reason for it being so low.

Is it common practice for a person who is interested in buying a house to knock on the neighbors doors to ask questions? If I see someone over there and they've been there to look at it other times, I think I'll find something on that side of the yard that needs attention - pulling a weed or two out of the flower beds - and start up a conversation.

Barb

ghostlyvision 07-27-2011 01:59 PM

When we were looking for a house two years ago we had just viewed a likely candidate, we knocked on doors of houses close by to ask them about the neighborhood, the only one who answered said what he liked best about the neighborhood is his neighbors kept to themselves and left him alone. :huh:

If I were outside and someone came to view the house, I might mention the need for a thorough inspection of *any* property they planned to buy, but otherwise, I wouldn't chase them down to tell them of what I heard 'round the hood about that house.

Doc Holliday 08-02-2011 09:39 PM

From watching a lot of HGTV and the show Property Virgins where mostly young couples are out to purchase their first home, they have a home inspection done and it is used to negotiate the final price, foreclosures included.

You can simply suggest to these people to have one performed, or ask if they've seen the inspection report. That should put the agent on the spot and more than likely he or she needs to be put in their place if they're being unethical about it and not saying anything to the potential buyers.

Good for you.

Leah Frances 08-02-2011 09:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gma2rjc (Post 694481)
Is it common practice for a person who is interested in buying a house to knock on the neighbors doors to ask questions? If I see someone over there and they've been there to look at it other times, I think I'll find something on that side of the yard that needs attention - pulling a weed or two out of the flower beds - and start up a conversation.

Barb

It may not be common but it's smart. When we were looking at our AS-IS home (but not foreclosure) we asked our real estate agent if she knew anyone in the neighborhood. She sent us to a neighbor around the corner who has lived in the neighborhood since 1950!

We knocked on her door on a Sunday evening and told her we were looking at the house and wanted to know about the neighborhood. She had us in for tea (awesome, right?) and told us all the neighborhood gossip, including info about the house. She gave us a lot of derogatory info about the house, but it wasn't anything we didn't already know. For some people, her attitude may have been offputting, but I love my nosy-little-old-lady-neighbors. In part, we bought our NEIGHBORHOOD as much as we bought our HOUSE.

If I were in your shoes (in fact, I have been with a house for sale across the street) I would answer honestly when asked questions about the neighborhood and the house. I would be 'available' like your weed pulling idea and striking up a conversation is simply a nice and neighborly thing to do.

But, do keep in mind that just because they are young doesn't mean they are dumb or that their eyes aren't open. Say it to yourself, "It is not my job to get into these young folks business, UNLESS I'M ASKED."

I have been known to keep my dogs inside when the house was being shown.

rusty baker 08-02-2011 10:16 PM

Years ago, my house and the one next door, both belonged to the same family. When they sold the one next door, they kept 20' of that property which puts my property line within 2' feet of that house. There is a fence dividing most of the yard, all except the front yard. Every time the house is for sale, I explain to the agents where the property line sits, hoping I won't have a problem with the buyer. It never fails that they lie to prospective buyers anyway, I guess to make the sale easier. Two of the buyers have had it surveyed after purchase and found out that I was right. But it seems to make them mad at me. This time I put a 1' decorative fence between the yards. We'll see if it works.

coderguy 08-03-2011 09:34 AM

Most of us 'young home buyers' will see a house multiple times. As if it were going to magically change the 2nd or third showing. (Amazingly, some did)

If you see a couple at the house more than once; I think it is appropriate to say hello. We would have really appreciated it. Asking about their inspection is just conversation :whistling2:

I wouldn't go introducing myself to everyone looking at the house; but anyone who is visiting multiple times is probably returning with a more serious intent and will be curious if their neighbors will be bearable. So you are offering the service of letting them meet you before buying as well.

fabrk8r 08-03-2011 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gma2rjc (Post 693713)
What would you do in this situation?


After the home is finally purchased, I would drop by one day, introduce myself and say "When you get your internet up and running, you may want to check out this forum that I frequent. It's called diychatroom.com. You can thank me later!"

Then find out their email address and send them a link to this thread.

gma2rjc 08-03-2011 10:31 AM

Good idea. This forum is a like a gold mine of information.

Barb

amyevans 08-03-2011 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coderguy (Post 699406)
Most of us 'young home buyers' will see a house multiple times. As if it were going to magically change the 2nd or third showing. (Amazingly, some did)

If you see a couple at the house more than once; I think it is appropriate to say hello. We would have really appreciated it. Asking about their inspection is just conversation :whistling2:

I wouldn't go introducing myself to everyone looking at the house; but anyone who is visiting multiple times is probably returning with a more serious intent and will be curious if their neighbors will be bearable. So you are offering the service of letting them meet you before buying as well.

I think this is very good advice.

And if it was me that was purchasing a home I would want to know all I could about it. I would very much appreciate the neighbours being forthcoming with information. It'd also be nice to know that the neighbours are friendly, since that seems increasingly rare in todays world!

DoctorWho 08-08-2011 05:30 AM

As long as it's a bank, then I don't see any problem with informing potential buyers of what they might be in for. I would love to see the realtor's face when you come over for a friendly chat with their potential suckers...I mean, clients.


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