Author Topic: Offer on an unlisted house  (Read 452 times)

AerynLee

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Offer on an unlisted house
« on: June 09, 2020, 08:34:44 PM »
There is a house in my neighborhood that has the potential to be a really cute house, but as far as I can tell hasn't been occupied in the five years we've lived here. I looked up the public records, and the owner is a 103 year old woman who lives with her daughter in another part of town.

For a couple of years now I've been tempted to write her a letter offering to buy the house so we can fix it up, saving a cute but small house from being torn down to build something larger and uglier. I don't know what the inside looks like, but I'm assuming it would be a nearly full gut job. Given that assumption I know what I'd like to pay.

So the question: If I write a letter do I put an offer amount in the letter? I would be buying it cash dependent only on a visual inspection by me looking for extreme issues (such as a crumbling foundation, or the back half the house falling down that can't be seen from the road).

Any suggestions for how to write the letter?

oldladystache

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Re: Offer on an unlisted house
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2020, 08:38:05 PM »
They may be holding it so the daughter can inherit it with a stepped up basis.

AerynLee

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Re: Offer on an unlisted house
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2020, 08:52:38 PM »
They may be holding it so the daughter can inherit it with a stepped up basis.
Maybe, but the house isn't worth much, especially since it's falling into disrepair. The county and Zillow both have it valued at about $60k and I think that's optimistic. This one is brick, but the wooden garage for the house next door owned by the same woman and also apparently uninhabited is falling down

And the part I left out, because it felt stalker-like and creepy, is that while I've been coveting this house for a couple of years now, I found out today that the woman died two weeks ago, so if they are waiting for a step up in basis, they'll have it now

ETA: I was planning of pretending to not know that she had passed when I wrote the letter since it might seem like I'm trying to take advantage of a grieving family when really I'd been wanting to do this for years and my price hasn't changed. Maybe that's not right? I'm open to opinions on that as well
« Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 09:00:09 PM by AerynLee »

MDM

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Re: Offer on an unlisted house
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2020, 09:18:09 PM »
ETA: I was planning of pretending to not know that she had passed when I wrote the letter since it might seem like I'm trying to take advantage of a grieving family when really I'd been wanting to do this for years and my price hasn't changed. Maybe that's not right? I'm open to opinions on that as well
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SwordGuy

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Re: Offer on an unlisted house
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2020, 10:12:47 PM »
Don't give an amount, because you don't know what you're willing to pay, because you haven't examined the property.

Simple, honest, direct.

Hi, if you would like to sell your house at 123 Maple Ave, I am interested in buying it.   It's fine with me if the house needs some work.   Please contact me at (fill in the blank).

Be sure to give them a cell# and an email address.  Some people are really picky about how they contact people they don't know.

Best of luck.