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Old 09-12-2008, 03:33 PM  
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Default Improve or sell?

My sister lost her husband in a freak boating accident 2 months ago. They were in their house for 18 years and did NO IMPROVEMENTS whatsoever, in fact neglected it. Here are the details:

Built around 1969
3 bedrooms and 1 bath up, 1/2 bath down
2-car attached garage that is sagging and not wired correctly
No upgrades whatsoever, even the old brown carpeting is original
Kitchen is original, even the appliances (except frig)
House has rot on the outside all the way around the outside bottom, up to the 2nd floor
The house originally had wood siding which is rotted out now
Windows need replacing
My husband says the whole interior needs to be gutted because of the mildew, cracking, and the fact that the house is sagging. They had the big beam in the crawl space replaced, but the house is still sagging and nothing's square. Plus, it's an outdated, terrible layout.

She doesn't have a job, but had gotten a home improvement loan prior to my brother-in-law's passing. She is talking about having the windows replaced and siding put on after having the rot removed from the outside. She doesn't have enough money to do anything to the inside. My thought is that the house wouldn't pass inspection even with the exterior work, so she ought to unload it now before doing any repairs. It would most likely sell to a contractor/flipper who will either tear it down, gut it, or add on to it. She lives in an expensive area, and on an acre, so the lot is worth more than the house. I'm turning to this forum for help. What do you think her options are? I watch a lot of house flipping on TV, but I'm no expert! Thanks in advance for any suggestions/help.

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Old 09-12-2008, 03:48 PM  
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Low income + neglected house in bad condition + an acre lot + fresh widowed = A good time to start over.

Apartments aren't for everyone but when a person can't maintain a property or doesn't want to, an apartment or a rental home, where the maintenance is included, is an easy decision.
Houses are still selling but the market values are down almost everywhere. Her home may be perfect for someone who wasn't able to afford the McMansion they just gave back to the bank. Be reasonable when you have your home appraised and be reasonable again if someone makes you an offer.

Repairing the exterior and leaving the interior and the structural issues alone reminds me of a certain cliche' that has gotten a lot of flack lately, "Put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig."

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Old 09-12-2008, 03:49 PM  
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Default Sell it.

Get a good realtor and sell it. If it is that bad, you will only put more money in and folks will still not "see" the repairs.
Good luck.
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Old 09-13-2008, 09:50 PM  
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Hello Horseseek:
I vote to sell it as a 'fix-er-up-er', someone will love it and pay too much for it. Go with a highly advertised real estate company.
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