So I found a short sale opportunity around Denver. Bank had it listed a couple months back and just lowered the price another $30,000 after nobody was moving on it. Problem is the house has structural damage that was repaired but "water is still leaking in". Has anyone ever dealt with something like this? How did it turn out and how risky is something like this? Any recommendations for somebody who could quote/repair something like this?
The question is too broad to make a real assessment.
Any recommendations on who I could contact for further advice?
You need to talk to a structural engineer.
"Water still leaking in" could be lots of things. Was there roof damage, wall damage, foundation damage, other? Where is the water coming from and where is it going to and what is it damaging along the way? Are there now mold issues or other contamination due to the water intrusion?
Have you seen the property yet and know the answer to any of these questions? Or are you looking at the deal "house-unseen"?
Foundation work is expensive, more so than other structural elements, but none of them are anything to be terribly scared of. Yes it's extra work and more problems, and more of a process to manage, but then again REI is the field of problem-solving so if you can address big problems then you can create big value and profits.
The bank had it listed and it's a short sale? Is this on an auction site? Generally an agent has a short sale listed. If it's a short sale and you feel the banks value is too high internally you may be able to dispute it with supporting documents showing the structural damage.
@Dustin Frank with that kind of issue, if you don't know then it's not a project for you. Now if you want to learn about it, then the devil is in the details and you need to expect to pay for it. As @Mark Ferguson said, you need a structural engineer to start with. They can tell you what's wrong and how to fix it. You then need a contractor to tell you how much it will cost to do what the structural engineer says needs to be done.
If you want an education and have a few hundred dollars to pay for it. Hire a small structural engineer (one man shop type) that specializes in residential construction to give you a couple hours of their time. Tell them you want a verbal evaluation and if things work out you will hire them to prepare a plan. Pay them for their time. Unlike contractors who get paid by the job, engineers trade time for dollars. Have them meet you at the house and give you a verbal evaluation of how to solve the problem. At this point you don't need a letter, just their knowledge. After you have that you need a contractor (the engineer should be able to give you a couple referrals). Hopefully one of the contractors will give you the time of day and will meet you there and give you a ball park for the cost to repair.
In my experience, rarely does the sales price spread give you sufficient dollars to make a quality repair.
There are a few rehabbers in the area that specialize on houses with structural issues. It's likely the price has not yet reached the point where the costs are covered with adequate risk/reward ratios.
Thank you @Bill S. this is the exact kind of information I was looking for!
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