Driving for Dollars, homeowner in jail

1 Reply

Hello everyone,

I'm hoping to get some guidance.

I've come across a real fixer upper in the neighborhood I grew up in. Siding on the house tore off, fence falling down, backyard full of junk, red notices on the door, the works!

It sold for $60k in 2015 when it was still in pretty good shape (relatively speaking). The owner seems to have some serious trouble with addiction. According to public record, he's been arrested 3 times this year alone for possession of narcotics. He is currently in jail, bail set at $25k.

So, I see this as a golden opportunity, if I can figure out a way to get in touch with this guy and make an offer or better yet, the mortgage company (because I'm assuming he can't make payments indefinitely from jail), i can try to but this place. It looks like a ton of work. If the outside is any reflection of the inside, it needs a ton of work! In the current market and in that neighborhood, I feel confident in a ARV of at least $150k (conservative).

My thought is, if I can offer $25k (he could use it to pay bail, solving a problem, right?) I could get the house cheap enough to do a total rehab and make some money. I've got to get a better look at it to be sure.

What do you all think is my best approach? Should I find a realtor who is familiar with the short sale process? Try to contact this guy direct in jail? Is there something I'm over looking? Or is the hassle not worth it?



@Brandon Z. Narcotics addition is never a "one" on deal. When you buy a house from a druggie, the "customers", suppliers, pimps, addicts, and reputation come with it. And the addict returns "all strung out" forgetting he sold the place and you are invading his life and house. There will be needles in places you didn't realize and if you're not careful you or your crew can get "poked". I bought a couple. It was nasty bad. House was broken into and tools stolen during remodel. Took longer to sell because of the reputation. Had to have a crowbar or something else in my hand to answer the door during rehabbing because some unsavory types were looking for the previous owner. All in all, nah, I wouldn't bother again.