creative way to purchase an investment property

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Ok, so I own and manage several rental properties in one neighborhood. The other day as I was delivering a refrigerator to one of my houses and I started a conversation with the neighbor. She was the daughter of the home owner and she was very pleasant to talk with. She told me her whole life story basically. But the real estate part pertains to the fact that her mother is 93, and not doing so well. Her mother owns the two houses next to mine, and an empty lot next to those. The daughter says that the mother has lived there her whole life, and will die in the home. And as soon as that happens the daughter will sell all three as she lives in another city. I would like to buy all three.

So, during the conversation the daughter asked if I would trim a tree and cut down another tree for her. Shes happy to pay, just wants the job done well, and she seemed to like and trust me... 

So I am thinking this is a good way in for me. I will give her a quote to do some work. Ive already told her I would like to own her properties one day... And so now I am asking my bp people for advice on how I can finagle my way into some sort of agreement on the purchase of these properties without any sort of transaction happening until the passing of this lovely old lady?



Well, I'd hesitate to use the word "finagle" on any deal. What you're looking for is a "life estate". Or perhaps a beneficiary deed or whatever its called in VA. With a life estate you would buy the properties but grant the mom a life estate to live in the property. A beneficiary deed is a type of deed that transfers ownership on death. That's not as strong as having ownership and giving someone a life estate because the owner still has full control and could do another transaction that changes ownership and voids the beneficiary deed.