Asking to Buy A Property the Owner Isn't Selling (Yet?)

2 Replies

Good evening guys!

I'm 25 years old and on my first assignment with the Air Force in Tacoma, WA. Driving around Tacoma, I came across a small property with an excellent water view. According to the Tax-Assessor's website, this property is a 536 sqft building on .46 acres, and is the definition of uninhabitable. I'm talking decades of neglect, which probably means a teardown to the bones and hoping the bones are still good. The taxable value is $331,400 (somehow up from $82,000 in 2016), and is pretty much entirely land. The taxable value on the properties next door are $874k, $748k, $760k (half-million dollar houses with 3-4k sqft). I'm currently engaged, and love the idea of making this small home livable again, and living in it with my future wife (wedding late next year). I'm thinking the smallest home in the nicest neighborhood. I'd live in it until I get a new assignment, rent it out for a while, and eventually tear it down/rebuild for a better home to rent out. Extremely long term, that would become our retirement home - but for the 3-4 year term, it'd be a live-in flip (once brought to a base level of livability), then a SFR.

The owner is an LLC, which owns a fairly large stack of land along this water view road and a set of other similarly old, uninhabitable houses on completely neglected land. The only indication that anyone is aware that the land exists is the fact that the property taxes get paid every year. I'm hand writing a letter to the LLC, hoping that the owner would appreciate cashing out on the tiny house on the tiny plot of land (relative to the rest of the LLC's holdings).

So, in this letter I'm writing, I'm pretty much including what I've told you guys. Personal story, why I'm interested in the home and what I'm interested in doing with it, etc.

My question for your guys is - are there pieces of this that I shouldn't be including? Should I include an offer for purchasing the property? If so, how much should I offer? Or should I just include my contact information, and hope they get back to me? Are there parts of what I'm saying that make the wholesalers shudder?

Thanks for your time and consideration! 


They are holding because of the value of the land not the value of the house which is probably more than you are willing to pay.  If you say you want to flip the property they are expecting a lowball offer if you say you want to rehab and live in the property you might get a bit further.  However there is most likely a 95%+ chance that you will get no response or a negative response.

Agreed, these guys have assembled a few adjoining parcels and are looking to develop some time in the future. Of course you can try, but forget the goofy “hand written” letter idea.....that’s meant for a more ignorant target.