HELP!! Can't sell my beautiful flip because of house next door.

10 Replies

Hello every body! I have been reading this forum for few months, gotten some great advice from people and like to introduce my self My name is Alex Ali, I am a RE investor in Houston Texas. I have been investing in REO properties for last few years. I bought this house few months ago, did not notice any thing unusual since only looked at property few times before buying. Come to find out the next door neighbor having some kind of school/social group for handicap people meeting every day next door to my house. There are mini van coming in and dropping people off and picking people up all the time, learned more about this when we started the rehab. After listing had many showing but all the response we get from showing realtor was that their client prefer to not live next to a that kind of property. There are definilty people living there as well and then many people coming in and out everyday in mini vans...some sort of school for mental handicaps is what I am told from another neighbor. I have put in too much money in this property to be stuck like this, talked to HOA today, she told me not much they can do since they cannot observe that in their monthly inspection. All they can do is send a letter and if I complain again they can send one more letter and then I have to take it up with the board. Not sure what to do....need some help!!

I know you are frustrated, but to try to shut down a meeting place for the handicap so you can profit, is that really what you want to do???

I would market to the families of the home and the employees there, one of them may love to live close to their hangout.

There are some things in life more important than money.


Yeah, you definitely want to approach this one carefully. The HOA probably can't do much, but they may be violating a city ordinance by operating a business out of the home (possibly even if it's volunteer). This is the exact reason that these laws exist, so that a residential neighborhood stays residential. I'm sure the other neighbors would have trouble selling their homes too.

Have you talked to the owners yet? Can you try to schedule showings during certain hours so it's not as noticable? We make it a point with every house we buy to introduce ourselves to all the neighbors and explain what we do. People are often more receptive and will even help you sell your house.

Rob, I know what you are saying, I just don't think a residential neighborhood is a place for them to be conducting a business like this espcially if it effects your neighbors. There are deed restriction to protect the neighborhood and property values. They can lease a commmercial property or unrestricted property for that purpose. I also found out that the house is being leased to them and the owner has been notified before about the violations and he does nothing about it. Obviously he is making money and sees nothging wrong with it. I also talked to the owner across the street who just had a lease broken only after few months, people didn't feel comfortable living there with small kids is what he was told.

--By the way does any one know how I can fix my post headline? it was late at night and I screwed it up pretty well--

Location, location, location...... BUT - lets have a little compassion here!! It is a handy capped meeting place you are talking about AND it was there before you bought. How does the place look? If it is a nice clean well run establishment, I am surprised that there is concern. It it looks in need of some TLC, maybe you can pull together a community group to do some volunterr work and tiddy the place up. It would be a win win!

There is a major opportunity here! If you can't beat them...join em.

The first thing I would do is go over there and introduce yourself with some refreshments. Tell the operator of the place you will give him $1,000.00 if he will refer a buyer to you for the place.

Offer to cover 3% at closing so the buyers has to come in with next to nothing for the place. Offer credits to make the place handicap accessible at closing. Do whatever it takes. During the busiest time of the day at the place, hand out fliers and make it happen! Good luck.

After reading this thread twice, it still seems as though you're going to try really hard to shut down your neighbors as a means to make as much money as you can. I really doubt there's a deed restriction on the specific property you have mentioned. Do you know what one is? I don't suspect you do, based on what you have typed.
It may be another issue(a few come to mind), but I'd hate to help someone shut down a place where handicaped people keep to themselves and have a bus come by once a day to pick them up. They have minivans dropping people off a few times every day! Oh my, I wish that was my biggest problem.
They were there first. Interfering with their enjoyment of the property they're at would be wrong in my opinion. It's your own fault for not sniffing out the "mental handicaps" before buying the home.
It's amazing how ignorant people can be. It's really sad that you feel no shame in trying to throw these people out to make a few bucks. I really doubt they've done anything wrong here. I think you're seeing this situation wrong in many ways.

I think we can glean a few points here:

(1) definitely, as already mentioned, market to the folks next door. Toback made some great points. Try like hell to make this work. In fact, if it doesn't, I'd even go find some larger city/state/county-level organization that works with people with mental/physical disabilities and use the neighboring property negative as a positive to sell your property.

(2) Your due diligence was definitely lacking on this property. If nothing else, lesson learned!

(3) I agree that you have some valid points regarding the zoning infractions - that said, you can already see which side of the morality fence most people are on. But its your choice - if this is the route you take, just be aware that you're going to run up against a lot of backlash, so make sure you go in with your head on tight.

Also - consider locating another property for them! Find another REO elsewhere, rehab it, and sell or rent it to the school for a cost that puts you to break-even. You will pick up more costs in holding your current property, sure, but compare that to the discount you'd have to offer to sell your property and see what the difference is.

I agree with most of the comments here. Lesson learned for you - make sure you fully complete your due diligence before you buy anything!
That said, marketing to the people next door is a wise option and if nothing else, give as many concessions as needed, even price drop so that you can exit property without losing money, even if that means breaking even.

I read in the news that the police recently shut down some kids for selling lemonade. Every body gets all upset picturing some poor kid with a pitcher of lemonade being harassed by the big, evil policeman. In reality, the kid had coolers upon coolers of supplies and was selling dozens and dozens of glasses of lemonade in a public park. He wasn't running a lemonade stand. He was running a lemonade enterprise and he didn't have a permit, so they shut him down. In my city, you can't have a yard sale more than 2 weekends in a row without a permit.

If there are vans constantly coming and going it sounds like a nuisance to me. Call the city clerk and they will direct you to who you need to speak with. Probably a code enforcement issue.