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Fixer-Upper Property Questions

A fixer-upper is real-estate property that needs considerable repairs and maintenance work, although it is still good enough to be lived in. Many people buy a fixer-upper so they can fix it and then raise the value of the property to get a good return on the investment. A few popular questions asked about fixer-uppers are mentioned below.

A potential buyer is interested in a fixer-upper house that I inherited but wants to buy it using a Contract for Deed. He doesn’t have the money for down payment and wants to use the $8000 tax credit for it. How safe is this for me?

You probably should not sell your house to someone who doesn’t have any assets or offer to close the deal at a lower sale price. What you could do is to explore leasing with option to purchase that would then give your potential buyer a little time to find the money or get approved for a loan.

I have a fixer-upper in Kansas City in which I have a friend staying, based on a verbal agreement. In lieu of repair work that he was planning to do, he hasn’t paid me any rent. Two months ago, I gave him notice to vacate since no repairs have been undertaken in the house in the past eight months. How can I evict him legally?

You would have to treat your friend as a regular tenant although no money is being paid, because he is still rendering you a service in lieu of rent money. In order for you to get him to move out, after having given him 30 days written notice, you would need to initiate an “unlawful detainer” proceeding in the Housing part of the Kansas City Municipal Court. The clerk at the court should be able to give you the necessary forms and information to proceed with this.

A potential buyer saw my fixer-upper and agreed to undertake the necessary repairs and upgrades. Later, he had a home inspector look at the property who then told him that the house was a piece of junk and not worth buying. Can I legally take action against the home inspector?

In all probability, you do not have a claim since a home inspection company is required to provide an assessment. Besides, you didn’t have a contract with the company to allege a breach. However, if the buyer signed a contract with you and now wants to back out, you could have a claim against him.

I have a house that has been paid for but needs numerous repairs to pass a home inspection for a new mortgage. Can I sell it “as is” or as a “fixer-upper”?

There could be investors willing to buy your home but you may not get the market value for it since they would be out to make a good profit. What they might do is buy the house “as is” and then repair it to sell it as a profit. This means that although you won’t get the price that you want, you would be able to at least sell the property. The other alternative would be to undertake some of the repairs so that you can increase your asking price for the house.

Buying a fixer-upper has many advantages like a lower sales price, potential for re-sale profit, less competition, and so on. However, it is always good practice to get a proper home inspection done if you want to buy a fixer-upper so you are aware of exactly what you are getting into.

Ask a Real Estate Lawyer

Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 5366
Experience:  17 years of legal experience including real estate law.
4460311
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
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7 Real Estate Lawyers are Online Now

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Real Estate Lawyers are online & ready to help you now

Tina
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4813
16 years of legal experience including real estate law.
Law Pro
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6227
20 years extensive experience in real estate law, foreclosure, finance, and landlord tenant law.
Barrister
Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 4966
13 years real estate, Realtor. Landlord 24+ years

Recent Fixer Upper Questions

  • Hi, I live in park slope brooklyn with my daughter and wife. our

    Hi, I live in park slope brooklyn with my daughter and wife.
    our lease ends the end of this month.
    The landlord(management company) still has half a month rent that I overpaid and one month security deposit.
    I asked for the money that I overpaid back when I found out I paid to much but I was told that the person who could authorize that was out of the country and I had to wait until next month(after I would have left) Then I asked if I could stay two extra weeks as it would work better for me.
    I was told it was ok but they want a full month rent only for the two weeks.
    I agreed and said they could use the half a month that I already paid and half a month security deposit.
    They told me that they need the extra half month as they have to keep one full month security deposit.
    I didn't agree to the terms but did tell them I would stay the extra weeks.
    I do not feel comfortable giving them more money before I get my deposit back.
    Can I tell them I will put the money in an escrow account until I get my deposit back?
    They can keep the deposit for three months according to the lease contract.
    Could they take any legal action against me if I stay the two extra weeks but do not pay the extra money they want?
  • We have been wrapped up in a legal issue on our home for over

    We have been wrapped up in a legal issue on our home for over 2 yrs. Long story short we sold a house to a lady back in 2012. We did the contract ourselves and had a purchase agreement. She moved in early (we sort of knew her she always rented the vacation home for between $200-$275 per night). She moved in before her 2 installments of $50,000 each were met..She started selling off our furniture to the home, Hot Tub, Log bed, Refrigerator and washer & dryer. She ever could only make $25,000 of her 1st $50,000 pmt. Months went by as we watched in horror as our beautiful vacation home rental appliances and furniture disappeared...We heard excuse after excuse.."The money's coming it'll be there tues, I fell off the dock and hit my head and had a concussion I've been in the hospital, I had to fly to las vegas my daughter won a poker tournament, My neighbor shot his wife..I haven't gotten paid for my fish yet, etc".. I could go on and on...We finally went to the police on how we should move her out..The police told us he can't help us until we take our house back..We got a lawyer who furnished us with a paper saying she had 30 days to comply with the agreement and come to terms with her money OR Move out by Aug 30th 2012. We went to move her out OR get the money on Aug 30th or bring her boxes to move out. She PROMISED again she had the money and would put it in our act by next Tues (that day was thurs) but she said it should clear by tues and be in our account. We told her if it wasn't there continue to use those boxes and move out. Tues came and went my husband drove down there and moved her out and sent her a text telling her that her things were out on the patio. It wasn't much just clothing..So she ended up breaking back into our house and stealing a lot more of our stuff like anything she could get her hands on. For a period of 3 weeks she broke in 3 times.. The police wouldn't do anything about it cuz they said it was civil..So the crazy lady got an attorney and filed a LIS PENDENS on our house a house she never bought..And filed a suit that she wanted "Specific Performance, Abuse of Process, Wrongful eviction, negligent infliction of emotion distress, Breech of Contract.. she also she wrote a list 5 pages long ( it was like a wishlist) she said she owned that we stole..And all she really had there was clothing. We also filed a countersuit on her Claiming Specific Performance and Breech of Contract, Theft, amongst others...2 years later we won all counts in court it was a superior court..She lost everything she claimed...Our superior court judge did NOT do her duty and fill in the blanks when the jury came back with that SHE was guilty of inflicting emotion distress on us, and how much $$ did they wanna give us..was blank. We had to petition the Judge to do her job and fill in the bank, which took another 5 months..Finally she gave us lawyer fee's of $14,000. We paid our lawyer $45,000. So here's the kicker.......We've been bundled up in Alaska trying to resolve this lawsuit and TRYING to move to Montana. We are totally packed. We only needed to sell the house the one that was in the suit for 2 years...We finally sold it in Oct 2014. We had a inspection due to happen early in Nov 1st week. The day of the inspection we got a call from our realtor and he said there's another Lis Pendens on your house!!!!! Now our deal feel through because who wants to buy a house with a clouded title?? Its the same crazy lady again AND she finally found some stupid lawyer to Appeal her case to the SUPREME COURT. This crazy lady never paid her last lawyer and effectually dropped off her case, in court the crazy lady defended herself pro-se...now here's my question..do we have to go through all of this again and why do we have to pay for this? When the superior court judge dropped the Lis Pendens she said to us, this should of never been on your house in the first place, the title was never in question. And I hope you can get on with your lives, this has taken a lot out of your life. But now Crazy got a lawyer who didn't review her case, didn't look at a file, and took her at her word ( and she lied constantly under oath you wouldn't believe how bad!) And this lawyer without seeing the details of our case just filed ANOTHER Lis Pendens and an appeal ( which we don't care about as much as we are shackled by another BOGUS Lis Pendens!! Please Please please we need HELP up here in Alaska!!
    Toni & Charlie
  • I live in Port Chester, NY. I applied for the "Amnesty Program"

    I live in Port Chester, NY. I applied for the "Amnesty Program" but have not signed any papers. Basically, this program allows residents to have the Building Dept. come in and inspect the home for past permit violations, etc. If the house is not brought up to code, and given a Certificate of Occupancy, a person cannot refinance or get a buyer who needs to obtain a mortgage through a bank. There are many "nightmare" stories regarding this program on the internet.
    My home was built in 1900 and it is a 3-family house.
    My question is, I had the phone consult, and from the time of the phone consult to the time I need to bring my house up to code, I have eighteen months. If I do nothing, what amount will I be penalized, and can they put me in jail? We are senior citizens, challenged with health problems and do not believe that we could survive this process.
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