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Tricky Situation - How to show interest in 94 yo neighbor's home

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Tricky Situation - How to show interest in 94 yo neighbor's home

Old 03-03-2016, 09:07 AM
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Default Tricky Situation - How to show interest in 94 yo neighbor's home

The thread about serious home buyers got me thinking about this. I remember a thread a few months ago about predatory RE agents trying to tie up an older person's home to resell and I assure you that is NOT what my angle is here. I am not a realtor.

I live in a well-established but blossoming neighborhood. Great school district, residents of all ages, wide range of home prices from non renovated 1950's-era homes to $1M+ custom homes on tear down lots.

My immediate neighbor is 94 years old and has lived in her house since the 70ís. She seems to be in good health and definitely has a sharp mind. I am friendly with her whenever I see her outside (which isnít much) and make a point to clean her yard up, blow off her driveway and sidewalk, etc.

I want to approach her or her family about buying her house, now or in the future. I am well aware this is very sensitive and maybe its best I just forget about it, but itís an awesome corner lot in a fantastic neighborhood.
The house would be a good rental as-is and long-term a builder would tear down and either build a nice big home, subdivide into 2 lots or even build a small condo building. It would give me the opportunity to pick my neighbor in addition to being a good investment.

How would you go about this? Or is it just too sensitive? Or am I overthinking it?

I wouldnít feel bad at all writing the same letter to other neighbors or property owners, but will it be seen as predatory simply because she is elderly? I would be kicking myself if I didnít approach her and she made a deal off-market with someone else.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:11 AM
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I bought a property next to mine . . . gave the owner a life lease . . . they could stay in the house as long as they were able to . . . it worked . . . he stayed for 5 years and enjoyed spending the mortgage payments I was making
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:16 AM
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Are you looking to start a conversation about the future or something more tangible like an option on the property?
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:18 AM
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go on the tax roll and see how it is titled first so you know who actualy owns the house. It could be in a trust or in one of her kids name. Then you will know who you need to talk to. I don't think showing intrest in buying at fair market value is predatory.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:41 AM
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Another option, if it eases your conscious, is to send said letter to the entire street. Otherwise, approach them as it's just business. I like the life lease idea and could be attractive to them from an estate planning aspect.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by oceandansar View Post
go on the tax roll and see how it is titled first so you know who actualy owns the house. It could be in a trust or in one of her kids name. Then you will know who you need to talk to. I don't think showing intrest in buying at fair market value is predatory.
x2
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:47 AM
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Tell them you have a "friend" who might be interested in it if they ever decide to sell it.

If they act weird tell them your "friend" is a socially awkward inconsiderate prick.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:50 AM
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I have bought a few houses in the same situation as you describe. Already told my neighbors son that I want to buy her house when she is done with it and we are in negotiations at this time. Approach them in a straight forward, business like manner and you will probably be well received (unless one of the kids want it). Tell them they can have it appraised by an appraiser of their choice and that you will pay them fair market value for it. It will save them the realtor commission fees and you will look after the property while she is living there (doing minor maintenance, yard work, etc). You are not being predatory, you are helping the family out.
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Belrose View Post
...

How would you go about this? Or is it just too sensitive? Or am I overthinking it?

....
Make an offer in earnest now, and let them respond.
When I say in earnest...I mean seriously, not casually.

I would alert them of my intent in a friendly fashion, and would have a contract drawn up for their ratification. I would use a RE attorney to draft and present the contract and the benefits you perceive.

You aren't being overly sensitive to be considerate.
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:06 AM
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invite her over for dinner or bbq, get to know her more. bring up someone wants to buy your house or something and get her talking. Also cant hurt to get to know your immediate neighbor better.
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:30 AM
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I would approach the situation from a neighborly standpoint. Nobody thinks they are going to live forever at 94. I would say something like, it sure has been nice having good neighbors all of these years. If there was an opportunity to buy your house in the future to be able to choose my next neighbors I would be really interested. I think planting the seed and leaving it at that wouldn't be overstepping any bounds. If the neighbor is open to the idea, then they will bring it up with you again.
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:39 AM
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Next time your talking to her start on how much you love her house and yard. Then just tell her if she ever wants to sell to let you know.
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:51 AM
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Some good thoughts.

I have looked at the tax records and the house is owned by her and her deceased husband. Her son lives in town but is not around all that much. I have met him a handful of times.

Life estate is an idea I hadn't thought about. Could be an option.
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by rbhankins001 View Post
Tell them you have a "friend" who might be interested in it if they ever decide to sell it.

If they act weird tell them your "friend" is a socially awkward inconsiderate prick.
Lol, not sure starting with a lie is the best way to go when trying to gain someone's trust in a situation like this.
I would just talk to her about it.
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:21 PM
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I was in a similar situation about a decade ago. My parents owned a place in Naples. The next door neighbor was an older lady. I wanted to buy her place.

Of course, we did not say, "Rapi would like to buy the place when you kick the bucket." What we said was, "If you ever move away, please let us know, as Rapi would like to buy your home and be close to his parents."

It was a nicer, politer way of doing things.

The irony is that my dad passed away a while ago, my mom sold their place, and I am no longer interested in having a vacation home in Naples. The old lady is the only one still there!

==>Rapi
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:37 PM
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Its a win-win for both if done properly.

With my "uncle's" house, a neighbor bought it without it going on the market (no realtor fees, quick sale, etc. (not really an uncle, but sort of one).

We got three separate appraisals, and averaged the three to get the sales price. Done. No negotiations etc.
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:41 PM
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"Howdy neighbor. I was reading today that the FIFA World Cup for 2018 will be in Russia, how about that?"

"I will be dead by then!"

"Speaking of which..."
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Johnny Dreamer View Post
"Howdy neighbor. I was reading today that the FIFA World Cup for 2018 will be in Russia, how about that?"

"I will be dead by then!"

"Speaking of which..."
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Old 03-03-2016, 01:54 PM
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I would put it to her exactly as you wrote it here. Nothing wrong with that at all. It's the slime balls that will beat you to it if you don't let them know you are interested at a fair price and not trying to steal it from a grandma.
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Old 03-03-2016, 02:30 PM
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Interested to hear how this goes. The 90 year old lady that lives behind me has an old house on 20 acres with (I'm guessing) 20 cattle that graze up to our fence line about 40' from our house. We have about .75 acres, but our lot isn't very deep. My fear is exactly the same as the OP- some developer comes in and has people stacked up in our backyard....I'd love to approach her and buy an acre or 2 from her and would hope my adjoining neighbors on each side would do the same. I love the cows and the nature. Pretty sure I would hate people living right behind me...
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