a little worried…

There’s a “For Sale” sign in my next door neighbor’s yard.  I find that my husband and I have been concerned about the state of this house, annually, since moving here. 

1st year: the day we moved in, we found out the house was a halfway house.  I’ve posted about this previously, and we found that, despite their former occupations, the men living there caused us no problems (even the ones with histories of sexual violence).

2nd year: the house was vacant for a few months, and we were worried about which renters would next arrive.  There was no need to worry, as a nice family moved next door.  The mom grew up in the neighborhood, and her mother lives only a few blocks from ours.

3rd year: Now, the house is for sale.  It’s not in great condition, as the current owner does just enough to keep it standing.  The renting family places far more effort into the property’s maintenance.  The asking price is above what I think it should be for a house that needs at least $30,000 for an update (badly needs a new kitchen, lowered ceilings need to be removed – asbestos, maybe?, shag carpeting and paneling need to be pulled, walls/floors redone, central air installation, perhaps replacement windows, new front door, electrical updates needed, don’t know about structure/plumbing/roof, etc.).  Anywho, I would love for my neighbors to purchase it, but I’m not sure they are in a place to do so.  I am worried about absentee landlors or prospectors as the few houses on my block that are in especially bad shape are vacant/rented, and are all owned by Richmond-area suburban dwellers (Oliver Lawrence included).

UPDATE (April): my neighbors aren’t leaving!!  YAY!  The realtor called me back after I had made the price inquiry a month ago, and asked if I was interested.  I mentioned that I wanted to make an offer to keep my neighbors, as they didn’t want to wait around to find out what was going to happen with the house.  When I told her how much I would offer for it, she asked “why.”  I noted comparables in the area, not even mentioning the low price of foreclosures; and that night the owner decided not to sell.  I guess the owner and the realtor had not looked at other unrehabbed houses on my street that are for sale and $50-$70,000 below their asking price.

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