I want the house next door to personal res, best way to get it?

16 Replies

The house next door to my personal home is investor owned, rented and neglected (currently has 2 tarps on the roof from tree coming through).  My home sits on an L shaped lot, with the bottom of the L being the rear of that property.  I want it bad, but since I have a personal interest, I'm hesitant to contact. I want the right balance of letting them know I'm here, but not annoying and don't want them to expect a premium b/c of my proximity and desire.

I would love ideas on what you think is the best strategy to try to get it under contract. I have never met the owner, renter does not have a good relationship due to landlord neglect/disinterest. fwiw - Landlord had a stroke about a year ago and has family in the area (son stopped by after Irma damage). 

consistent yellow letters?

phone call?

knock on their personal residence front door?



I would contact that owner and tell him that you are the neighbor and an investor.  Ask him if he knows anyone in your neighborhood that might be interested in selling their property.  (take the focus off of him)  If he is wanting to sell, he probably will let you know.  

I vote for a letter written to them. I'd tell them what you're looking for (without saying I want your hunk of junk, obviously) and that you're willing to purchase a place as-is without any repairs necessary before the sale.  Any idea what comps are and how much in work is needed?

I would do exactly that. Start blasting him with letters every month that look like generic "investor look to buy homes" letters.  And then maybe after 3 months of generic letters, send him a personal letter and tell him that you've been sending out these marketing letters to people and just realized that his house was the one next door to yours.

Ask him if he'd consider selling as it would make owning a rental that much easier being right next door like that. Don't make it sound eager or desperate - just matter of fact.

And if he says no, keep sending the monthly letters. He'll be more likely to pull the trigger with you once you plant that seed.

The fact that he's putting tarps on roofs is a sign he doesn't have the money to keep up with the stuff. So thats definitely an opportunity calling. 

@James Barnhart - thank you

@Doug Woodville  - thank you.  Comps are tough as it is the smallest (1/1, 800 sq ft), worst looking/condition house in the area & we aren't in a neighborhood.  He paid $47k in 2005, assessed at 89k this year, sales range in the last 4 months is 26k-89k. 

Needs so much work - plumbing, windows, roof, a/c, floors, kitchen, bathroom, siding. total gut, we would probably just tear it down and use the land for a pool ;) 

I don't have any input on how to get it vs what has already been said. I do like the tear down for a pool idea though. I would hate having a tenant next door to me.

Pick up the phone and call the guy .

@Mike H.   - Great suggestion, thanks!  & actually we put one of the tarps on and the renter's son did the 2nd.. gaping hole and renter didn't hear from owner.

@Kevin Allen - pool sounds great, right?  Current tenant is a gem of a person, but in general, yes, I agree it isn't ideal. 

@Matthew Paul - thanks for your suggestion! What would be your angle given the circumstance?

@Virginia B. Setting up a land trust may be a good option for you once you know if the seller would entertain an offer. Your name is not on any public record, contract, title, etc. If you know a realtor see if they can contact the owner for you and get a feeling for what they may want for the property. If there is an interest on both sides, you could set up the land trust so that the transaction remains confidential. I’d contact your attorney to discuss further. I would be happy to provide a referral if you’re interested.

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Originally posted by :

@Matthew Paul - thanks for your suggestion! What would be your angle given the circumstance?

Straight , direct and to the point ,  . Mr. Smith , I own the property next to you , I see it needs some work , If you are ever  interested in selling it give me a call ,  Here , let me give you my number .

Now , he knows you are interested , and  you live next door  ( describe your house )   even if he doesnt take your number or remember your name he knows your house and how to reach you .

I would begin by reporting the property to the municipality. Multiple complaints should bring pressure to bear on the owner. Pressure is a great motivator.

After a reasonable period of time contact the owner and inquire as to whether he is interested in selling.

We did send a number of personal letters in a similiar situation and they came back with a crazy price. However, I still would advise a personal letter/contact at some point. If you talk to the son maybe you want to find out what the family wants to get out of it? cash now? no capital gains? if he is sick would they like to keep an income stream by owner financing? Let them know you want to find a way to structure the sale to benefit you both.

On a kind of side note......would you as an investor want to live right next door to your tenant occupied investment? As a tenant....would you want to live right next door to your landlord?

My answer on both would be.....HELL NO. As a landlord I want to be aware of what's going on at my property but not having it staring me in the face every day....if you ever have a conflict with the tenant, it would be weird and awkward to be right next door. And if they are good tenants I can see you becoming a little to neighborly to run it as a business. As a tenant I don't want my landlord right next door....I want a little more privacy than that...

If you can buy it I would tear it down and just add to my property size.....or flip it and let someone else own it long term.

Figure out how you can provide value to the owner. If the property is in bad of shape as you say maybe the current tenants should not be living there? I'm also sure the city or local government would love to know of this potential hazard.... and just maybe the landlord doesn't want to make repairs to this now vacant property. Maybe you can provide value to this landlord by dealing with all this headache... 

Thank you for all the great feedback.  I decided to go with a personal letter and will continue sending them each quarter to let them know I'm still 

@Matthew Paul - thanks, I'm giving it a go.

@Thomas S. - I did investigate this option, but in our county it is not confidential who makes the complaints..If I'm the one complaining, doubt they'd sell to me ;)

@Colleen F. - this is what I suspect will happen, but I am taking your suggestion and hoping for the best! thanks!

@Ned J. - Agree, NO, definitely not ideal. The plan would be to either knock it down (if the inspection comes back as I suspect) or rehab and use as a short term rental/space for visiting family.

have the tenants make the complaints... they are the ones living there after all.

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