Cockroaches: A deal-breaker?

4 Replies

I have an opportunity to buy a performing 3-unit (with 2 additional potential basement units) via private sale from an older landlord who is looking to start stepping back from his responsibilities. He owns around a dozen properties, so if things went well, there could be the potential for more private deals down the road. Most comparable properties in the same neighborhood are listing around 120-150k; I think I could get this one for 90k. BUT-- my friend is a tenant there and she reports that the house has cockroaches! 

This is a free-standing house, not attached. Also, I lived in this neighborhood (albeit several years ago) and never had a problem in my house or saw them in friends' houses. If the current owner has it professionally sprayed, what are the odds of me having to regularly treat this? I don't want to buy a property and have to spend thousands per year on pest control!! Never had to deal with this particular situation so any advice is appreciated. 

Updated over 2 years ago

P.S. I am considering turning the basement units into Air Bnb rentals. It's one thing for a tenant with a lease to see a roach, at least you have a chance to deal with it, but an Air BnB guest could ruin your ratings if they saw a bug, so I want to be very sure it won't be an ongoing issue!

It's been said that when the world is said and done, only cockroaches and styrofoam will remain.  (Glad I'll miss that).  My recommendation would be to find out why cockroaches are attracted to that property:  "Cockroaches have simple needs: food, warmth, moisture and shelter. ...Cockroaches are attracted to food that has been left out on the counter, dirty dishes in the sink, and crumbs laying on the floor. They are also attracted to moisture, such as from a leaky pipe underneath a bathroom sink or a wet bathmat on the floor."  Fix the causes and use Borax; here's the steps to avoid running a roach motel: 

"How Do I Keep Cockroaches Out of the House?

  1. Shuffle things around.
  2. Keep your home dry.
  3. Contain your foods.
  4. Do the dishes.
  5. Clean out bottles and cans.
  6. Keep all lids shut.
  7. Vacuum often.
  8. Borax is your friend."

This doesn't have to be a forever problem or even an expensive one.  Find the cause, fix it, and on with your plans!

It wouldn't stop me. I bought a hoarder house once where the county actually had a biohazard company go in and remediate. They had to remove the bottom third of drywall because of rot and mold from food and junk. There were roaches everywhere. They tore out the kitchen cabinets because of roaches and mold. The clawfoot tub rotted through because she was using the tub as a garbage can and the trash juice ate through the cast iron!

When I got this house there were roach carcasses behind everything - switch plates, things hanging on the wall, etc. The house was sealed and bombed and I've never had a single roach complaint there. 

Roaches are disgusting but can be overcome.