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Old 12-19-11, 02:58 PM   #1
bluefoxicy
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Cheap house

So, hazards.

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/13...36492890_zpid/

Should I look? It's 1 mile away from where I currently live.

I figure, I need it inspected; I need to figure out who has liens and if they're all being released; and I need to find out if I can put $2000-$3000 down (it's $17,000 guys, $3400 is 20%) and get a $15k mortgage. I know it needs a level of work, I can do that, I'll own it. Tax assessment $1,300/year property taxes.

Dad of course says stay away, it's in crime central; but you know how that is. More blacks means more crime, Baltimore city is a black area, therefor I'm right in the middle of a crime sewer. I bicycle through this stuff every day (not lately), my experience says different and the city has a surprising amount of life for a rundown slum inhabited by poor people. I've walked through the most dangerous areas (even past a shooting, actually) barefoot seven miles at 3am, an... awe-inspiring experience; people who probably could barely afford food were outright offended that I wouldn't accept their help, but how can I take things from someone to solve a temporary problem when they live in a worse situation perpetually? As hard as that walk was, it was one of my favored experiences at the time... I learned something, I don't know what but it was important.

It's 2 years of rent (I pay $725/mo), if I can get a $15k mortgage....
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Old 12-19-11, 03:16 PM   #2
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It actually looks like that neighborhood is on the rebound from the pictures on google. Do you have blue lights on the corners?
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Old 12-19-11, 03:20 PM   #3
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Rebound? Is that good?

Blue lights are everywhere, I don't know what to make of those--I would prefer they not exist. They represent an ill-conceived attempt to regulate crime which doesn't work, whereas improving the schools and the community would be much more effective.
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Old 12-19-11, 03:20 PM   #4
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If you can do the work, and afford to do the work, go for it.... but invest a little up front for some security so your materials don't disappear?
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Old 12-19-11, 03:25 PM   #5
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Comes with interesting curtains.
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Old 12-19-11, 03:28 PM   #6
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If you think you can make it work, go for it.
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Old 12-19-11, 03:28 PM   #7
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Rebound? Is that good?

Blue lights are everywhere, I don't know what to make of those--I would prefer they not exist. They represent an ill-conceived attempt to regulate crime which doesn't work, whereas improving the schools and the community would be much more effective.
It is, other options include sliding into abandoned. As far as the blue lights go, more blue lights equals more crime, sad but true. On the other hand, there are benefits to being an urban pioneer, if enough other people follow your lead, you can drag the neighborhood up, increasing the value of your house in the process.
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Old 12-19-11, 03:29 PM   #8
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Any time I drive to Baltimore it's a beeline to the inner harbor and back out. Riding through an area and living in an area is two different things. If the crime doesn't get you, the rats and cockroaches will. It's also a short sale, which could take a long time for the bank to approve.

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Old 12-19-11, 03:29 PM   #9
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sold for 60K in 2006. Certainly needs work. You may have a very hard time finding a lender if the neighborhood is indeed distressed and there have been previous forclosures or existing liens.

If you could pay cash for it and then fix it up, then I would say go for it (with the understanding that you may never recoup your investment).
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Old 12-19-11, 03:30 PM   #10
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Any time I drive to Baltimore it's a beeline to the inner harbor and back out. Riding through an area and living in an area is two different things. If the crime doesn't get you, the rats and cockroaches will.
Meh, take a look at the what do you live in thread, it's not all bad news.
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Old 12-19-11, 03:31 PM   #11
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sold for 60K in 2006. Certainly needs work. You may have a very hard time finding a lender if the neighborhood is indeed distressed and there have been previous forclosures or existing liens.

If you could pay cash for it and then fix it up, then I would say go for it (with the understanding that you may never recoup your investment).
Check with the city, I believe they still have programs to assist with the lender issue. Looking at the listing, it appears that everything is there, it just needs some love (and paint, and stuff ).
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Old 12-19-11, 03:35 PM   #12
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That property tax doesn't sound so bad, it's not an estimate based on purchase price is it? How much repair work will be needed?
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Old 12-19-11, 03:37 PM   #13
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Oh one more thing. Given the low price, when you get your inspection, you might want to make sure that it was never used as a lab.
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Old 12-19-11, 03:39 PM   #14
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That property tax doesn't sound so bad, it's not an estimate based on purchase price is it? How much repair work will be needed?
2.33 per 1K assessed value is the Baltimore City rate. They re-assess every time the title changes hands, so it will probably go down this assesment, or at the very least stay even with where it is now. On that front, also check with the city about tax credits, there is a program for people who do there own rehabs to faze in the taxes over 10 years, might apply to this.
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Old 12-19-11, 03:42 PM   #15
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Looks like a liveable place; I've lived in much worse. For $17K, you can't really lose. As far as the area, so what. Live there, stick to yourself, and enjoy seeing the end of rent/mortgage payments. I think it can be a really nice place.
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Old 12-19-11, 03:53 PM   #16
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What's the typical house price on that street? Is this house in better or worse condition than the average house? Make sure you're buying an investment rather than a money pit.

With such a low price tag, I'd be concerned about any hidden issues (ie: mold, previous growup or meth lab???). If it's just simply run-down, the price will allow you to do some basic fixing up of things to bring the price back up. And last, but not least ... make sure it's got adequate storage space and a maintenance area for your bikes.
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Old 12-19-11, 03:53 PM   #17
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Hey, you can always get a sideline as a slumlord if you buy it.

That would look great on a resume:

Slumlord - 2012 to Present
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Old 12-19-11, 03:57 PM   #18
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What's the typical house price on that street? Is this house in better or worse condition than the average house? Make sure you're buying an investment rather than a money pit.

With such a low price tag, I'd be concerned about any hidden issues (ie: mold, previous growup or meth lab???). If it's just simply run-down, the price will allow you to do some basic fixing up of things to bring the price back up. And last, but not least ... make sure it's got adequate storage space and a maintenance area for your bikes.
According to the zillow listing, houses in the neighborhood have gone from 4.5K-85K so a mixed bag. It looks like it had a partial rehab sometime recently, it should just be a lot of harry homeowner fixes that will be needed. But I agree that I would inspect it first to make sure there aren't any underlying issues.
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Old 12-19-11, 04:10 PM   #19
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Has it got the plumbing and wiring still? I noticed that the pipes under the sink were disjointed, and why would they be displaying the breaker box? Copper thieves?

Other than that, the inside looks cool.

The quickest way to check out the neighborhood is go park there on a Saturday night, hang out and just watch what's going on.

I was going to warn that the house next door had a nice new door(as in what happened to the old one), but then I looked further and it looks like the whole place got a makeover.
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Old 12-19-11, 04:22 PM   #20
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That property tax doesn't sound so bad, it's not an estimate based on purchase price is it? How much repair work will be needed?
Year: 2011. Property tax: $1308. Tax assessment: $55200. Purchase price: $17,000. If the neighborhood wasn't a blown out slum (look how many houses are empty), I'd expect the assessment to be $100k-$120k, taxes $2600-ish. This has been listed for 450-ish days and you know, no sale yet.

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Oh one more thing. Given the low price, when you get your inspection, you might want to make sure that it was never used as a lab.
Meth lab history, ok. Is that in the normal home inspection?

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Looks like a liveable place; I've lived in much worse. For $17K, you can't really lose. As far as the area, so what. Live there, stick to yourself, and enjoy seeing the end of rent/mortgage payments. I think it can be a really nice place.
I always say I'll never own, always rent. This is why. I don't want 30 years, 15 years, whatnot as a slave to the bank. Imagine getting a 15 year mortgage, paying all those taxes and interest, losing all that money in your so-called "investment" going into a hole... plus you have to do your own maintenance, buy your own appliances, and such. Then in 5 years you sell out and move, and like 10% of the money you paid in already comes back to you? Screw that.

I know this place will be a money sink for painting, rewiring (cousin works for the electric company, is certified to do every class of electric work from wiring a light switch to running high voltage utility power lines on poles AND do his own inspection), a little plumbing and other such scheiss. It's mine, though, and that value rolls into it as an asset--a real asset, not an imaginary one like a house you pretend to own that you paid for with money you're renting from the bank. That kind of improvement actually raises value for real, not in some imaginary way that barely tracks inflation and doesn't overtake your normal daily maintenance sink and interest and taxes.

I can accept that.

It's not that it's an "investment," it's just that it's less of a money sink. It's a luxury, and it's a cheap luxury--granted if I can live in it and live well on 2 years rent and I stay there for more than 2 years, I'm ahead even if I just walk away from it without reselling (because I've saved myself the cost of rent).
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Old 12-19-11, 04:46 PM   #21
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Takes a special dude to be an urban pioneer.
Any problem sleeping with a shotgun trigger tied with a string to your big toe?
Taking off all 4 wheels every time you park?Current price of metal rolling shutters?
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Old 12-19-11, 05:09 PM   #22
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Year: 2011. Property tax: $1308. Tax assessment: $55200. Purchase price: $17,000. If the neighborhood wasn't a blown out slum (look how many houses are empty), I'd expect the assessment to be $100k-$120k, taxes $2600-ish. This has been listed for 450-ish days and you know, no sale yet.).
If you were to purchase, I'd request a re-assessment, based on your purchase price.

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Meth lab history, ok. Is that in the normal home inspection?).
You'll probably have to get an independent testing lab for this.

I paid ~$700 for a bank-mandated home inspection and the clown who showed up didn't know or do jacksh*t. He did a walk through and that's it. There's no way he was qualified to do anything but take people's money.

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I always say I'll never own, always rent. This is why. I don't want 30 years, 15 years, whatnot as a slave to the bank. Imagine getting a 15 year mortgage, paying all those taxes and interest, losing all that money in your so-called "investment" going into a hole... plus you have to do your own maintenance, buy your own appliances, and such. Then in 5 years you sell out and move, and like 10% of the money you paid in already comes back to you? Screw that.

I know this place will be a money sink for painting, rewiring (cousin works for the electric company, is certified to do every class of electric work from wiring a light switch to running high voltage utility power lines on poles AND do his own inspection), a little plumbing and other such scheiss. It's mine, though, and that value rolls into it as an asset--a real asset, not an imaginary one like a house you pretend to own that you paid for with money you're renting from the bank. That kind of improvement actually raises value for real, not in some imaginary way that barely tracks inflation and doesn't overtake your normal daily maintenance sink and interest and taxes.

I can accept that.

It's not that it's an "investment," it's just that it's less of a money sink. It's a luxury, and it's a cheap luxury--granted if I can live in it and live well on 2 years rent and I stay there for more than 2 years, I'm ahead even if I just walk away from it without reselling (because I've saved myself the cost of rent).
You and I think alike.
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