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Discussion Starter #1
A realtor friend of mine, someone that's been keeping an eye out for me for over a year now in the general area we'd eventually like to end up, got in touch with me the other day about a property for sale that he thought, maybe, might be something I'd be interested in.

We're very low budget. We have a little cash but not nearly enough to buy a homestead outright, especially one with any significant acreage.

So, he found a 2br/1ba fixer upper on 1.5 acres in a fairly decent area for $25k. Hmmm. Not quite what I was looking for, but I wondered if it would be a place to at least make a start, perhaps a fairly short term investment.

The realtor told me that if I could turn the place into a 3br/2ba and make it look like something from an HGTV renovation, it would probably sell around $100k, maybe a bit more.

It's tempting. I've done enough building / remodeling that a project like that doesn't intimidate me if I've got something to work with. (Won't know that until we look at it later on this week or next.) It may not be practical, in which case, we'll probably pass.

The other thing that bothers me is that I could get wrapped up in a house that I can't sell, for whatever reason, when I'm done with it. I suppose it could be a decent rental if it doesn't sell. (?) I've never been a landlord.

It's definitely not as large a piece of land as I'd like to have to work with. I might be able to get a half acre or so, maximum, going for some serious gardening (which is what I really want to do).

I'm not looking at this place as a permanent home at all but considering it as maybe a stepping stone to help get me where I want to be. Even netting $25k or $30k for my efforts would be a nice boost towards our dwindling nest egg and that could help propel us towards a place that's more like what we envision as a homestead we'd like to stay in for a while.

I know the economy is going down the tubes. And it kinda scares me a little soaking so much into an investment that I don't exactly know the outcome on. Then again, if worse came to worst, I'm thinking it would be a paid for home that could at least grow enough produce to pretty much feed us even if it wasn't where we wanted to be exactly. Planting just a few fruit trees early on might be a good thing to do anyway, who knows, could be a "selling point" or "feature".

Whatcha think? Something worth pursuing? Or something to avoid? I'd certainly be open to suggestion.

Thanks!
 

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Worth taking a look at. Also worthwhile, if the house looks promising, to find out the likelihood of adjacent landowners being willing to sell you some land in the future. If the economy gets much worse, you might be glad to have a piece of ground, no matter the size, that is your own. If it gets better, then you stand a better chance of turning a profit from your labor.
 

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When I was in the real estate game those "bargains" were rarely sold to customers. We bought them ourselves. There was just something about doubling my own money instead of some one elses that was always fascinating to me. Your realtor must be a very generous type person. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
When I was in the real estate game those "bargains" were rarely sold to customers. We bought them ourselves. There was just something about doubling my own money instead of some one elses that was always fascinating to me. Your realtor must be a very generous type person. :)
Don't know yet... He might be a generous person. Or he might be trying to sell me something that should be torn down / burned rather than renovated. Will see soon.

Have been traveling for the past couple of days but am now within about 100 miles from the place. Hope to have a look later this week, if it's still for sale, that is. If it's a real "bargain", it may have already been snatched up.
 

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You have to take a look and see it before you can start "Should I or shouldn't I?"

Take a look at the house - does it have a good foundation, and can you see where you can add on the extra bedroom / bathroom? Can you spruce up the landscaping outside to make it look better and more inviting?

If you think you can, drive around to other houses for sale in the area that would be comparable to your "finished project" in your mind. What are they selling for?

Take those prices and subtract your purchase price and estimated cost of materials. Would it be enough of a profit if you couldn't sell the house for a year or more?

And there is always renting. You just have to be selective in the people that are looking at it - and remember to stay away from anyone that is in a big hurry to move in - no matter what their excuse is.

Good luck.
 

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If it was me I'd consider whether or not I could live in it permanently if something happened and my income suddenly got very low. 25K is a very low mortgage payment. Are you allowed to have chickens? Goats? Is there a place for a good garden? Does it have a basement that would be good for root storage? A well? What are the neighbors like?

If it looks like a place that could support your eating habit, then it would be great to go ahead and get it with the plan of flipping it. Not flipping it would be your "Plan B" in case of emergency or economic collapse.
 

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I agree with others who have suggested that you take a good look at it (and check out the neighborhood). Also, don't forget to check out the soil, any water well that may be on the place and what type of disposal system it has. (I'd talk with the county ag agent and county health dept too if I liked what I was seeing...just to double check on the water and the soil in that area.)

You're certainly right about the economy being unstable; so whatever you decide, make sure it is something you can live with for a longer period of time than originally thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update:

Just wanted to thank you all for the thoughts.

Apparently, it was a good enough deal that it got scarfed up before I got to see it. It's been sold.

Oh, well. Will keep on lookin'.

:)

Thanks!
 
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