Asked on Jul 28, 2015

Is this house worth my time and money?

Daniel Dye
by Daniel Dye
A good ex-neighbor of mine has just offered me this small, 1 bath, 1 bed, home, with a medium backyard, and small metal shed for 15 grand for full ownership. The last renter of his really abused the house, and caused so much trouble for him he had to have her forcibly removed from the premises, and its sat there ever since. He's old and tired of having this and knew I was young and looking so he made the offer at a seemingly low offer; BUT, It definitely needs a lot of work on the outside that I can see. I'm young and know close to nothing about home repair, so I need some intelligent people for help on this. I'm committed and ready to work, I just need guidance or advice. Should I take the deal...or leave this potential bomb-shell for someone else? Thank you so much for your time, and answers!
q old house worth my time and money, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, This is the house from the front Dilapidated chipping paint snapped off porch light
This is the house from the front. Dilapidated, chipping paint, snapped off porch light.
q old house worth my time and money, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, This is basically every window sill on the outside of the house There was wood there at one point but no longer
This is basically every window sill on the outside of the house. There was wood there at one point, but no longer.
q old house worth my time and money, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, Outer boards of some windows are rotted out as well Can see bugs crawling in and out
Outer boards of some windows are rotted out as well. Can see bugs crawling in and out.
q old house worth my time and money, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, Gutters all around the house are fallen or simply missing This one should be easy enough to fix
Gutters all around the house are fallen, or simply missing. This one should be easy enough to fix?
q old house worth my time and money, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, As before there is no gutter directing the water into the ground so water just flows down the house causing more damage to the boards and moss growth
As before there is no gutter directing the water into the ground, so water just flows down the house, causing more damage to the boards and moss growth.
q old house worth my time and money, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, Bottom board missing and an exposed pipe of some kind
Bottom board missing, and an exposed pipe of some kind.
q old house worth my time and money, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, A lot of foundation cracks and slidings like this one This is the least damaging of them all the entire corner of the other side has shifted
A lot of foundation cracks and slidings like this one. This is the least damaging of them all, the entire corner of the other side has shifted.
q old house worth my time and money, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, The outer boards of this house are so damaged they fall apart like paper Mache
The outer boards of this house are so damaged they fall apart like paper Mache.
q old house worth my time and money, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, Side of house Patio is unusable as the boards out there are like the ones of the side of the house pure fiber The stairs have long since fallen
Side of house. Patio is unusable as the boards out there are like the ones of the side of the house...pure fiber. The stairs have long since fallen.
q old house worth my time and money, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, No visible stains on the ceilings at all but definite damage as their dropping in places
No visible stains on the ceilings at all, but definite damage as their dropping in places.
q old house worth my time and money, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, The kitchen looks very nice and visibly fresh from the rest of the house
The kitchen looks very nice and visibly "fresh" from the rest of the house.
q old house worth my time and money, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, Half finished projects This room doesn t even have a wall Easy enough to hang drywall though
Half-finished projects? This room doesn't even have a wall. Easy enough to hang drywall though.
q old house worth my time and money, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, Stained walls from water Non sealing windows
Stained walls (from water)? Non-sealing windows.
q old house worth my time and money, home improvement, home maintenance repairs, The ceiling in the bathroom has completely collapsed What is this Is this serious or an easy fix
The ceiling in the bathroom has completely collapsed! What is this? Is this serious or an easy fix?
250 of 602 answers
  • UpCycling XYZ UpCycling XYZ on Jul 28, 2015
    Could be a fun project, be a waste not to use it. Maybe transform into a studio of some sort, music/recording studio?

  • Katrina Warren Katrina Warren on Jul 28, 2015
    @Daniel Dye How much land actually comes with the property, that alone might be worth the 15k, & could be worth it to buy it & turn around & sell it at a profit if the land value in the area is high enough. As for the house it looks in pretty rough shape, but probably not unsalvageable, but would take a lot of money to fix. The wisest thing if the property itself isn't worth 15k would be to hire a contractor to come look at it & give you some ideal what & how much it might take to make it habitable. Being young if you are at all handy I would think you & some friends or family could turn it into a great place with a little how to research.

    • See 2 previous
    • Katrina Warren Katrina Warren on Jul 29, 2015
      Sounds like you've got a good plan, good luck on the venture if you decide to go for it, & be sure to take lots of pictures & post on your progress!

  • Debi53 Debi53 on Jul 28, 2015
    As a real estate agent & investor, the most important thing to find out is whether or not you will be able to sell this house once you have completed repairs. Talk to a few agents in your area to find out if 1 bed/1 baths sell and what the value would be if it was in perfect condition. (Then subtract several thousand dollars from what you are told.) Get your roof, foundation, plumbing, & wiring inspected. These are your big expense items. Get 3 local contractors to come out and work up an estimate for repairs after your inspections. Even if you plan to do much of your own work, you need to know what it will cost if you have to hire work done. I know this sounds like a lot of time & some money, but you do not want to get into this project for $20K or $30K or more (purchase price + repairs) and then find out that you don't have the funds to finish or that the house is worth less than you have spent on it. Remember the rule of redoing houses: It will always cost more than you planned and take twice as long as you thought. Having said all that, any house can be renovated, but just make sure that you can afford it and sell it.

    • See 1 previous
    • Lisa Mastrogiovanni Lisa Mastrogiovanni on Oct 24, 2017
      Daniel, I was surprised at the cost of just having a few extra electrical sockets put in my home. Contractors are not cheap, and the ones for electrical and plumbing should be licensed and insured as you may need them to pull permits and have inspections done by the city. You cannot really do that yourself, and you will want them to guarantee the work.

      And I'm sorry, but the sagging ceiling and rotting windows, as well as cracked foundation are not the result of bad tenants. That's the result of a neglectful homeowner. I'm sure your friend is a nice man but it seems owning an extra home got to be too much for him as he didn't take care of it too well. He wasn't paying attention to the maintenance it needed. With that said, and your comment that the home is located in a depressed area (even though jobs are coming in) I'd be afraid of "What lies beneath." I had two screen doors put in my house and was given a price prior to the install, as I just didn't have time to hang them myself. But when the gentleman got here we found my doorway is not sized for standard screen doors so he had to rebuild my doorway. Ended up costing me double what he quoted. When he took the trim off the doorway, we found my home used to be a log cabin, but now it's sided.
      That's just to give you an idea of how even a small job can change in price, and how easy it is to hide things.

  • Marilyn McCormick Marilyn McCormick on Jul 28, 2015
    I would ask myself several questions. Do I want a very long term project? Do I have the time, money and resources to tackle this? Would I enjoy doing it? Would it steal time from other things I enjoy--hunting, fishing, boating, hobbies, friends, family, church, upkeep of my own home--projects, yard, repairs? Would I do all the work myself or contract most of it? Would all the time & money invested in it give me the return I'd want? Good Luck

    • See 1 previous
    • Beverly Davis Beverly Davis on Sep 17, 2017
      Great advice From the realtor above
      im also a realtor therefore:
      Also make sure it is in a neighborhood of homes that are somewhat better than it is. If not, all your expense and hard work will leave you with a home in the middle of houses that owners have not fixed up and you will not recoup your money. A super low price is enticing but could mean it will Always be a super low sales price to get rid of it. A loss of 30k ish could set up a financial loss that can damage your credit and will hinder your future for years. Careful!

  • Kristine Kristine on Jul 28, 2015
    The foundation cracks alone scream "run, don't walk." My husband is a geologist. His company specializes in litigation cases involving houses like this. I would hate to discourage you, but we wouldn't touch this with someone else's money.

    • See 1 previous
    • Stuart Davis Stuart Davis on Oct 01, 2017
      Even new Builders are STILL violating laws and NOT installing Re-Bar in new expensive homes (they put an iron bar around perimeter which is like putting a metal edge around a potato chip it will still break in the middle); One RED FLAG is when they use paving stones in the driveway instead of concrete so hide future cracks of course, many have fallen for this ruse, ie Victoria Gardens, Deland, FL. and many others around the nation. But for this house in question, if you got ENERGY, time and $, and its in a nice area (location location location) and you are sure you can at least double your money when sold, go ahead, otherwise forget it. But really the best job of all for your future is to be a "pay for your own expenses" missionary (and tour the world at same time. ) The only "True Gift" is that which expects no return ! (So many get so much $$$ for their religious"Job" either directly or indirectly that their future life is less than it would have been).

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jul 28, 2015
    I would pay to have inspected before sinking a lot of money into it. If the foundation is damaged, the electrical, plumbing, roof needs replacing (not to mention siding and windows), heating - you are talking a lot of money, time, effort and tears (I speak from experience). Our house need everything (except the foundation) and we may never get it totally finished the way we intended. There are no quick fixes in that house, but how is the location? Is it a good neighborhood? How much money do you plan on spending? I know you see it as a starter home, but, sometimes you end up staying much longer than you planned. How big is the lot? How is the parking? We bought our house because of location, and it's the one thing we were grateful for from the beginning. Good school district? You might not be worried about that, but, if you plan on a family or re-selling, it will be a factor. The upside? If it's got good bones, is in a good neighborhood, and you're willing to spend all you free time that you aren't at your paying job, then it's for you. But, check out the foundation, room, plumbing, electrical and heating before you jump in with both feet!

    • See 1 previous
    • Diana N Diana N on Jul 29, 2015
      @Daniel Dye Hi Daniel, I can tell you from experience, $30K won't be nearly enough to purchase and rehab this house. You would be lucky to spend that much just on materials. The pipe you see in the pictures? Looks like a sewer line and in Ohio, I'm thinking that is supposed to be about 3' underground - it shouldn't be showing above ground. The rot you see in the windows and sills? You will probably find that in most of the wall studs as well. When inside the house, do you smell mold and mildew? That will not go away unless you tear down all of the drywall and replace it. I agree with the poster below - unless the land is worth the $15K, RUN, do not walk from this house...If you've never done this type of remodel, this would not be the house to do your first. Your budget is too small. If you really would like this property, do some bargaining with the gentleman who owns it and get it for 1/2 the price (or the property value). I live in a small mill town in Georgia where the house prices are VERY low and I was able to purchase the house next door to me - about 1600SF on 1/4 acre of land for $18K. It needs some work, but is totally habitable. Just telling you this for comparison purposes. I'm really sorry for being a negative nellie, and I'm trying to find something positive to say, but having a hard time. Good luck on your decision.

  • Barb Rosen Barb Rosen on Jul 28, 2015
    I suggest that you hire a home inspector (can get referrals through local real estate companies) and have a thorough inspection of the house first. It will cost a few hundred dollars but give you a real picture of the home's condition. Then you will know what needs work and an estimate of costs. If you are handy and have handy friends and the neighborhood is decent, it might be a good investment. Also check on-line to see what comparable houses in that area are selling for.

    • See 1 previous
    • Barb Rosen Barb Rosen on Jul 28, 2015
      @Daniel Dye ~ Good luck to you! I hope it turns out to be a great deal! : )

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Jul 28, 2015
    you have so much to consider.. all the points are valid.. only thing I can add is HOW MUCH land ? we only have so much land in the world.. that alone might help you make that choice. Do you want to own land -lot,,, for a future project- house, resale, farm or anything in the future. the building will not be worth much in present shape, the value is in the LAND is it on. Check the local taxes and info on same sized lots with structures in comparable shape.. Investment alone might be worth it. is it in an area with lots of new growth, or a depressed are, business closing- people leaving-lack of jobs etc. check on permits drawn for the area.. this will tell you of upcoming growth... Being it from someone you know, that can be both positive (a good deal) or negative, if he expects you to jump in and restore it quickly, or if you choose to take it down for safety reasons..

    • Daniel Dye Daniel Dye on Jul 28, 2015
      @Wanda sinnema If I do decide to purchase this area, the land the house sits on is about 1000 sq ft, with an 800 sq ft half-lot beside it, so I would be paying 2 property taxes. So that would be roughly 5-600 dollars a year, which I would pay twice a year so it doesn't hurt the wallet so bad :). It's more depressed than new growth, though there are many jobs moving through such as Fracking, Oil, security jobs, etc. He really isn't expecting me to bulldoze the place necessarily; however, I am aware he would not be particularly apposed to the idea either. Because as I said, he's old and tired of dealing with bad renters, and the taxes, and just wants me to alleviate his pains more or less to be blunt about it. I definitely know he means well, and I'm happy I have this opportunity but am unsure how to go about this. Thanks for the input Mr. & Mrs. Sinnema. God Bless.

  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Jul 28, 2015
    Good Luck on either way.. there is NO BAD DECISION, only UNINFORMED ones.. If you do choose to redo it. Please keep us posted, I for one, would love to see the progress..

  • Carole Carole on Jul 28, 2015
    Get a valuation done through a reputable real estate agent. Ask them questions as to what they think. Also and this is very important. Get a building inspection. This place could be worth the bother for the land value alone (possibly - you need to get expert advice from real estate agent and builder) or if you don't have the money to knock this place down and rebuild (if that is what is needed here) you will need to take out a loan with a bank or finance company. Suggest you also seek advice there as to whether you can afford that option based on what you are earning and what the repayments might be and what the estimate to fix/repair or knock down and build something better on this land might be. Also check that the land is included in the price and that it is not some kind of lease hold agreement. Get advice from as many experts as possible. If you decide to go ahead you will need a solicitor to help you. Don't just pay this person without getting contracts drawn up through a solicitor. I have to say based on the few photos shown here it looks more like a knock down and build new home on that plot of land to me than simply repairing it to make it habitable again. There could be foundation damage and even rot/woodworm etc which is extremely expensive to fix up. Money spent on getting expert advice as Barb Rosen suggests is money well spent in this case. Could save you a lot of heartache and expense going forward. Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

    • See 1 previous
    • Carole Carole on Jul 28, 2015
      @Daniel Dye Daniel, if you get quotes for a rebuild, always ensure to add say 15 percent at least on top of the quote. Things have a way of blowing out the budget if anything unexpected is found. Best wishes and good luck. I do hope you will post again if you decide to go ahead and post any work you get done or if you are rebuilding. If you decide against this place and go with somewhere else - same thing - would love to see any reno work you do posted on Hometalk!

  • Ellen Ellen on Jul 28, 2015
    Depending on property values in the area, you may want to consider just demolishing it, and selling off the property for a profit, or keeping it for an investment.

    • Daniel Dye Daniel Dye on Jul 28, 2015
      @Ellen That's a definite possibility. I hope not, as I would totally rather have a place to live, although making a profit would still be great, and I would just keep looking for that house to make a home :) Thanks for your time and input, Ellen. God Bless.

  • Trixie63 Trixie63 on Jul 28, 2015
    Daniel like others have said, please keep us informed as to your decision!

  • Joy Smith Joy Smith on Jul 29, 2015
    I would be completely overwhelmed, but my boyfriend would LOVE a chance at a fixer upper and he could do it. It sounds like you are going to have to invest upwards of the cost of the house to bring this house back to being a home. If you have that money saved, this could be great. Do you have friends who are skilled and can help? In any case, make the best of whatever you decide to do!

  • Gary Mustain Gary Mustain on Jul 29, 2015
    RUN! From just the limited photos you provided I would say it is a total tear down which will cost you more than most people think. Between asbestos abatement and lead paint abatement and on and on. For the record I am a licensed Home Inspector and have YEARS of experience in rehab, remodeling and a degree in Architectural design. Like I said, RUN!

  • Michelle George-Dempsey Michelle George-Dempsey on Jul 29, 2015
    Maybe contact the Property Brothers who work all across Northd America & Canada, THeir talent is endless & they will never lead you the wrong way!! So, Google "Property Brothers" (include all thses pictures & your main concerns & see what advice they offer you? One never knows by the time they are done, you con't even believe that it is YOUR house!! They deliver majic EVERY, SINGLE TIME WITHOUT FAIL!!! aND THEY ARE TWINS &GREAT TO LOOKAT & THEY ARE THE MOST EASY GOING!!! Pls keep me up to date if you decide to contact them PLEASE!!!! My name is Michelle! GOOD LUCK & GOD BLESS!!!

  • Jud1016678 Jud1016678 on Jul 29, 2015
    Get estimates on what you can't do! Might be a good investment!

  • Cdi1659816 Cdi1659816 on Jul 29, 2015
    I agree with Gary Mustain. RUN! This is not a fixer-upper. It's a tear-downer. I'm surprised it hasn't been condemned. If the siding and windows are that bad- the sill and studs will be rotting also. And how old are the electric, plumbing and heating? Sorry to be so harsh but don't want you or anyone to get sucked into a money pit.

  • Holly Jensen Holly Jensen on Jul 29, 2015
    Given what I have seen on the photos, I would say that this is best torn down. I suspect there would be mould in the walls, not to mention other hazardous materials requiring proper abatement which can costs thousands of dollars... I am a Real Estate Broker, have attended hundreds of building inspections and have done many, many renovations (married to a contractor), and this is something even we wouldn't touch with all of our experience. I would stay away from this... Sorry.

  • Pivoines Pivoines on Jul 29, 2015
    If I were you , I would buy it , if you can' t fix it , tear it down , as it is it is hurting the property value of the whole neighbourhood, if it is at all fixable , it is cute as a button and could pay for itself in revenue . Fixed right , it will attract the right people, and if you do research on the renters, by calling their old neighbours and last people they rented from, it would help you decide. (Have a look at the interior of their vehicle ,it is an excellent way to know how they take care of their stuff) good luck !

  • Sheila Jones Sheila Jones on Jul 29, 2015
    no looks like it might have termites too. depending on the location it might be worth the money to buy it and tear it down to rebuild but to repair would most likely cost more than a rebuild.

  • Lagree Wyndham Lagree Wyndham on Jul 29, 2015
    Buy it, and demo...good price for land and they ainte making that anymore. Look into a couple of Katrina cottages style homes for the two lots, great for one renter, if you want to get into that.

  • Cornelia Schott Cornelia Schott on Jul 29, 2015
    Sorry, I would tear this down. I do not see the return on investment.

  • Tara Tara on Jul 29, 2015
    The ALL important factor is Location Location Location! You always want to buy the worst house in a good neighborhood. If this isn't the worst, just check into the value of the lot. If the lot is worth more than $25,000, just re-sell the house & lot. There are handimen and women out there that will take the project on and have the skills to do much of the work themselves. You don't want to take on the cost of demolishing the house if you're not going to make a decent profit on the lot - you may wind up paying more for the demolition than you can make on the sale of the lot. Get a contractor you can trust to walk through the home with you and give you an estimate of the cost of repair. Compare that to the profit you could make in the rental market in that neighborhood. I would also ask your ex-neighbor if he would owner finance at a low interest rate. It would be less out of pocket for you up front and he would get a steady income with interest. Good Luck!

  • Moxie Moxie on Jul 29, 2015
    Unless the land is worth $

  • Moxie Moxie on Jul 29, 2015
    Unless the land is worth $

  • Debra Forrester Debra Forrester on Jul 29, 2015
    No architectural features worth saving, but I agree, if it's in a good area that price for the lot alone is probably a good one. Find yourself a good independent builder, tear it down and if you are careful about your budget, you can put a house on it for yourself - or as someone suggested a rental. You don't have to finish all rooms at once if you do like to tinker and want some equity from your own sweat. Just make sure you can do a professional job. Re-sale value will be key. So pay attention to what the neighborhood is like. Don't over (or under) develop.

  • Good question! how much effort and dollars do you have available? Do check if there are (crazy I know) any liens against the house that, should you take it, you are now responsible for. If it were me, I'd pass. WAY too much to be done. It would be better to see what is okay on the property because I don't see too much. Best of luck to you!

  • Kim Leggett Kim Leggett on Jul 29, 2015
    The house does look like it is in bad shape. I would hire a professional home inspector to get their opinion. It could be worth the small investment to see if there is potential. You have won half the battle being young and could do the work yourself over time. You can learn to do anything these days on Youtube. See if there are any salvageable items, like the kitchen cabinets look like they could be re-used. I would then check out local land prices to see if there is value in the the land. Depending on where your are located Real Estate is always a good long term investment.

  • Helen Helen on Jul 29, 2015
    Like has been said before, if the land is worth the money AND if it's in a great location go for it and tear it down rebuild. Sometimes you have to put more money into a house that will never be recouped.

  • Miriam Kearney Miriam Kearney on Jul 29, 2015
    As much as I relish a challenge I know from experience that it takes more money to fix a bad house than to build one. Like Moxie said, unless the land is worth $15K or something close to it AND you have the resources to build yourself a small house (money, builder at least for the shell, electrician, plumber) you could finish the inside yourself if you were willing to learn how - I've renovated 3 large houses now and had no experience when I got started. As I said, it would have been cheaper in at least one of these houses to tear it down and rebuild. But in some ways I'm glad I restored it. Your house doesn't look like it would be easy to restore without specialized skills. Things llike water damage and sagging ceilings are indicative of serious plumbing issues and rotted sills spell new windows which are big bucks as you would have to remove all the rotted wood and reframe each window. I replaced 8 windows and it cost $10,000 for plain jane double hung.

    • Lisa Mastrogiovanni Lisa Mastrogiovanni on Oct 24, 2017
      You're right Miriam, I just replaced 12 and got 3 bis ranging from $6-18,000. Windows are not cheap. So if the OP has only a $15k budget, let's say, he's down to quote a bit less just in replacing windows

  • Helen Helen on Jul 29, 2015
    If you can get it for less than the price of the lot, it may be a good deal. But don't even attempt a fix up! Tear it down or walk away. It's just going to be a never ending pit to throw money into!! I agree with Miriam!!!

  • Gem Murray Gem Murray on Jul 29, 2015
    This is complete rebuild or teardown. Foundation problems can hit you for a small fortune and all of the rotted wood, leaks and not to mention bad unseen electrical ! Your best bet is to tear it down & that will be a few thousand plus permits and haul away!! If you try to find a contractor to repair, the price they quote will NEVER be what is finally owed (pending what is found during renovation). I would say thank you but no thanks.. Or maybe have him tear it down and then you buy the land for 10K or whatever the market pulls in your area.

  • Gem Murray Gem Murray on Jul 29, 2015
    ps: If that is LEAD paint you have bigger problems

  • Susan Susan on Jul 29, 2015
    Again, if the land is worth 15k I would consider buying and knocking the house down . Truly looks like a time bomb to me.

  • Doris E Slager Doris E Slager on Jul 29, 2015
    Mmm anyone have a torch?

  • Elizabeth Gladden Elizabeth Gladden on Jul 29, 2015
    Unless you can get it for a couple thousand don't do it. My son-in-law buys houses at auction, re-does them and then either flips them or rents them. You are easily looking at at least $40,000 + ................ If you don't have the money or the skills don't do it!!! This is a MAJOR project.

  • Margaret E Margaret E on Jul 29, 2015
    You said the neighborhood is declining or has declined. Is the lot alone worth $15,000? I don't think, from your pictures, that this would be worth repairing but can you put a mobile home on the property until you could afford to build a new home? That might be a consideration.

  • Gayle Olson Gayle Olson on Jul 29, 2015
    A definite tear down, run away.

  • Claire Claire on Jul 29, 2015
    First, I'd get a building inspector to see if it is structurally sound. Cosmetics are a personal choice and you've done your homework to see what YOU can do. If it IS sound, then you have to make a choice. You can offer the gentleman a lesser price if you think you want to tackle it. If the roof is good, you may have a diamond in the rough or a great bon fire base. Keep us posted, please.

  • Elaine Elaine on Jul 29, 2015
    Will you pay cash or finance? Maybe get some experts in to get some estimates before you decide; dependng on the housing market in your area maybe you could fix it up and flip it?"

  • Leah M Leah M on Jul 29, 2015
    I agree, the house is in bad shape, not really liveable. @Claire is right about a building inspector, it looks to me like there might be termites too.

  • Glenda Glenda on Jul 29, 2015
    The house could be super cute fixed up as it has great curb appeal and if you were a little more knowledgable or had good guidance from a friend or relative, I would say for for it. Otherwise, I would leave it for someone else. No matter how good a deal it is, it will take time and quite a bit of money to get it up and liveable and some of your expenses look substantial, i.e. foundation/structural problems, quite a bit of water damage. especially to the outside, not to mention hanging sheetrock, rebuilding windows, etc. Doing it yourself, you might get by with investing about $10,000 or less. If you have to hire it out, triple that.

  • Penny Cathey Penny Cathey on Jul 29, 2015
    You need to get a contractor (or two) out to give you an estimate. Then make your decision.

  • Deanna Lee Hearrell Deanna Lee Hearrell on Jul 29, 2015
    More money ,than its worth,,at today's prices for materials,,

  • LenTex LenTex on Jul 29, 2015

  • Scottie Vosburgh Scottie Vosburgh on Jul 29, 2015
    You need a really good and intense home inspection by someone who knows what they're doing. Not your typical real estate home inspection. Once you REALLY know what you're in for, then you can decide. You also need to know real estate values in the area. What does an average home of that size in habitable condition sell for? If it wouldn't be a substantial gain, even if you're planning on living there, it isn't worth it. Someone needs to get into the walls and truly see the foundation damage to make a determination on the cost to repair it. A house doesn't get this way because of one tenant. It doesn't appear anyone has loved it for quite a while. Breaks my heart really… I strongly suspect it will probably be more than you really want to get into. :(

  • Queenie bell Queenie bell on Jul 29, 2015
    I would try to buy little at a time. You can create anything and the way you would want... I love it....

  • Scottie Vosburgh Scottie Vosburgh on Jul 29, 2015
    Oh, and btw, not all foundations cracks are a gazillion dollar repair, I had a few in an old house that were not structural and they were $800 a piece to repair (in Northern VA just outside of DC). Want to tell you that so you aren't taken for a ride over a foundation crack. Get LOTS of references before you actually hire someone… totally worth the extra time to know you can trust what they tell you.

  • Sharon Seiber Sharon Seiber on Jul 29, 2015
    Probably the land would be worth the money. How large is the land? Septic or city water? What kind of heat? All these things are worth considering.

  • Maggie Ann Maggie Ann on Jul 29, 2015
    You wouldn't be able to live in it for quite some time. I would guess that the cost of repairs would be more than twice the cost of the house. I bet it's almost at the point of being condemned. It's in really bad shape.

  • Sharon Seiber Sharon Seiber on Jul 29, 2015
    You need a termite inspection also. If you have termites, as it looks like you may, then it will be costly to fix.

  • Cynthia Cynthia on Jul 29, 2015
    Get an inspection and do some cost estimates. If the foundation is solid overall~ have fun!!!

  • Don Don on Jul 29, 2015
    What are you "looking" for? A place to invest in or a place to live? I would say no, to a place to live but, people have lived in worse. A work in progress, is a work in progress 24/7 365+ I agree with @Scottie Vosburgh about a REAL inspection. Essentially; Is the basic frame/foundation in good condition? Also agree with finding out what are real estate values...specifically the land, is like in that neighborhood. Is it worth $15,000 by itself at least, can you afford to wait until increase for a profit? It might be in a up and coming neighborhood and worth the investment. Not sure if you can even live in the place until you "re-do" it. It looks like a total rebuild and then will you get out what you put in? Tough choice, good luck.

  • Janis Davis Janis Davis on Jul 29, 2015
    Run. It is a tear down.

  • Edith Edith on Jul 29, 2015
    Have a home inspection done by a professional- the flipping homes shows of years past have shown that even houses that look 100 time better than this can have hug problems and can be real money pits.

  • Patton Hunter Patton Hunter on Jul 29, 2015
    If the land is worth more than the asking price, I would buy it and tear it down. Then wait for the value to increase or sell it at a profit to somebody who wants to build new. Otherwise, RUN! I've renovated a couple of rental properties in similar condition and the headaches were endless, unpredictable and expensive .

  • CarolandFrank Butcher CarolandFrank Butcher on Jul 29, 2015
    You need to look at the potential and see it you can get an idea of what be worth if you fixed it up. Than weigh the cost of everything and if you come out even or ahead on the future value, then go for it. Things may not be as bad as they seem. Find a couple of reputable General Contractors in your area and see if they will give you an estimate.

  • Donna Marie Ledington Donna Marie Ledington on Jul 29, 2015
    You can hardly buy a lot for 15K I'd jump on it for the land alone.

  • Peggy Henderson Peggy Henderson on Jul 29, 2015
    Good ideas above. How much is the lot worth? I think that is a big consideration also. It may be the lot alone is worth 15,000.00. You have the drive and determination, you can always learn along the way. Possible uses: guest house or income property!

  • Mona Mona on Jul 29, 2015
    The advise to have it appraised and inspected is solid. Also if it is worth it and you can afford it and it is permitted where you live I'd consider a shot gun shack type of house with a bit more sq ft..have it built off site and placed there even a smaller manufactured that can fit the land size. What would it cost to gut it, salvage some pieces and start from the frame?You can build it yourself or buy plans and sub out what you can't with a smaller home. I don't know what your market is like, the neighborhood or the local governments ordinances and permits allow nor what your original budget is when you set out to look for a home. If you can get a home under 30-35k for the property, demo and a rebuilt home you are golden. Hopefully this is something that works for you..either way best of luck in your hunt and endeavors. Just to give you an idea, that was one a Google search. There are tons of options and resources.

  • Neva Dew Neva Dew on Jul 29, 2015
    I agree with the comments on both sides - please let us know what you decide to do - especially if you do rehab the house.

  • Donna Caulfield Donna Caulfield on Jul 29, 2015
    RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!! This is a disaster!!

  • Linda Linda on Jul 29, 2015
    Hurry and get it before he offers it to someone else. The is so much potential here. Call all your family, friends and co-workers for help. You might just end up with the cutest little house on the block.

  • Mona Mona on Jul 29, 2015
    This is not helpful but after second thought and look, your friend should pay you or lower the price by half..a lot of wet damage, unsealed windows, the weather had to have been brutal in the winter. It may be no wonder the tenant was disgruntled and difficult, could you imagine living there and no upgrades or improvements made and the safety factor with the porch stairs and mold. The house was falling down around her and it will do the same to you. I see a complete tear down, but I'm not a professional that's who you should be asking.

  • Pete Wells Pete Wells on Jul 29, 2015
    Offer $5000, a very generous offer! The house is a tear-down..needs far too much work just to bring it up to code...I paid 15K for my first house in 84, and moved right in! It was a 2-bedroom w/ 960 sq. ft. the one shown is a disaster...abused, neglected, unloved...and it shows! Everything that can go wrong with a house has happened here already! Wiring, plumbing, windows, walls, ceilings...15K purchase price, 30K just to get it to pass inspection!

  • Alesa Holden Alesa Holden on Jul 29, 2015
    Location, Location , Location. Is it in a good one? If so, dive in!!

  • Carol Carol on Jul 29, 2015
    I agree that this is a tear down! Ask yourself if it would be worth all the money you would pour into it!

  • Bettye Martinez Bettye Martinez on Jul 29, 2015
    He's asking way too much for this pitiful little house. It does have potential but it will take a lot of money for you to fix it up and for an armature who wants to do the work yourself I think you will find you are in over your head. I can see how cute it would be fixed up but if you can afford it hire a contractor to do the work and consider it an investment. Too many mistakes on your part will cost you more in the long run than hiring a contractor to do it right the first time. It's like the old adage: measure twice, cut once! Good luck! The house can be a story book cottage for sure but get professional help to get it to that stage.

  • Mary Solt Mary Solt on Jul 29, 2015
    run away and save your money/ the only potential here is to empty your wallet. if you look at the front view you will see how mush the right side of the house has settled so the house is on a slant. You would have to raise the house and redo that part of the foundation. then there is a ton of rot that would have to have boards replaced. It really not worth the time or the money [;us the cost of buying it. RUN!

  • Tegma Tegma on Jul 29, 2015
    I agree that it looks like a teardown. The window frames would make me worry about termites having done the damage. In the condition it's in, you'd only be buying the lot, and even that doesn't look great to me. I'd say your former neighbor is hoping to make a killing by unloading it on you!

  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Jul 29, 2015
    If undecided, get a contractor to come give you an estimate of how it would cost to bring it up to code. Then add 50% for unseen surprises. This will clinch your decision. Even if you do the work yourself, I don't think this would be a good investment. Sorry!

  • Pamela Golden Pamela Golden on Jul 29, 2015
    If the house is in a neighborhood you want to live in, I would offer him a much lower amount, tear the house down, then you have a nice lot to build on when the time is right.

  • Mama Rose Mama Rose on Jul 29, 2015
    How much do you think the land itself is worth? If you think the land has some value, you can buy the house, tear it down and sell it to a developer and make some money in the transaction. If not then pass it UP. This house is a DISASTER!!

  • Mil2008764 Mil2008764 on Jul 29, 2015
    I agreee get an inspection. they can tell you if it is worth your time and effort. Consider the worth of the property and if the location would warrant a nice house, what would be the resell value, with or without a house. You have lots of decisions to think about. I do commend you for asking advise. Also maybe find a contractor that could give you advice or estimates, a reputable one. Or a good DIY'er who you trust. Never hurts to ask. Good luck and I hope to see your projects on this site.

  • Karlene Bagwell Browning Karlene Bagwell Browning on Jul 29, 2015
    The price is good and if no termites you bet ya If it was here heck ya I have remodeled every mobile home we have bought walls,floors,roofs, outside frames there are places you can go and get used lumber cheap craigs list hit yard sales the house is worth it

  • Rosemary Kelly Rosemary Kelly on Jul 29, 2015
    Get a hold of a civil engineer. It looks like a money pit. You should also find out about the building codes and zoning for the area. You might have to build something bigger to replace it, if you can at all. I know in my neighborhood you can't put in a mobile home. You also can't put something in under 900 sq. ft.

  • LD LD on Jul 29, 2015
    First find out what the county values the house and the land, then take a general contractor with you to look at the house inside and out. Based on the exterior shots you have extensive wood rot, which means possible termite damage and mold. If the outside is any indication of the inside you probably have major issues also inside to deal with. In deciding whether to buy it depends on if you love the location, and what the cost would be to remodel. Sometimes it's cheaper to tear it down and build new. If the cost to restore is not more than to build new than make sure to have a home inspection by a licensed home inspector.

  • Sharron Lindemann Sharron Lindemann on Jul 29, 2015
    I think it would take a lot of work but if you can do the work and she are he is gaving it to you at a great dell then go for it but know you will be working hard

  • CS CS on Jul 29, 2015
    Take a look at the property tax records to get an idea of what the land is valued at. If there is any value at all in this property, that's where it is. Personally, I would run from this house. The house itself is a tear-down, and it doesn't appear to be a good lot since it is very sloped.

  • Comet Comet on Jul 29, 2015
    IF all that wood on the OUTSIDE is that rotted--how far up the walls does that GO? And what are the conditions INSIDE the walls? I am the "Save everything!" type and have jacked up houses to replace the sills and the like===but===altho cute looking this might be too far gone. The kitchen is just "Builder grade" yellow oak cabinets from the Big Box; the wood ceiling is nice and original but the REST of the place--not so much. When we bought our foreclosed house we had a contractor friend come and look as it too had sat and had damage; it had that rotted sill caused by a rotted (not pressure treated or stained etc large deck and NO flashing!) deck butted right to the house; NO steps; at some point the house had a POOL in the BASEMENT--not a built in planned swimming pool; an ABOVE GROUND POOL and of course "moisture damage", We also needed to repair/replace windows and door surrounds; replace the interior doors and closet doors; to this day we can;t replace the tub/shower as it is some sort of odd size --- We got rid of the deck; jacked up the house and cut out and replaced the sill built stairs and a larger deck in a different location--hauled at LEAST 12 full sized pick up truck loads (over flowing) the the dump of debris and stuff IN the house---replaced the 4x8" LR window; the roof; Was it worth it? Yes but it WAS a LOT of hard slogging work and the house was "liveable" as we did it. And when we sell--it is all ours as there was never a mortgage. Things to consider: The cost of DISPOSAL on building debris is HIGH. You would need at minimum to take this back to the studs and replace ALL windows; probably the doors. Insulation. WHAT ABOUT THE HEATING SYSTEM? If the studs are damaged--the roof looks straight but what about the rafters? Kitchen--might be able to save and re-install cabinets. How about flooring; bathroom fixtures and plumbing--Foundation repairs are VERY costly; wiring; draining the water so anything NEW doesn't get damaged; Septic? Sewer? Yes there ARE places to buy second hand but you have to have some thing to build ON for them to go IN. This place was cute once but now--- It is highly UNlikely that any bank would give you a mortgage on this place. I feel badly for you and the owner but--I think this was let go for far too long. We looked at a house not nearly as bad as this and when we went back for a second look a day later--the thing had COLLAPSED into the cellar hole! My advice would be to keep a sharpish eye out for foreclosures in the area where YOU want to live; distress sales etc and find a contractor you TRUST. Friends in your County Tax office and local banks are often helpful with these situations. Put the word out that you are looking for a project not a total tear down!

  • Charlotte Wood Eckel Charlotte Wood Eckel on Jul 29, 2015
    This place is too far gone. You could spend 10 times the $15K investment getting it to a state where it can be lived in safely. My answer would be a big NO!

  • Karen L. Grohs Karen L. Grohs on Jul 29, 2015
    You've gotten good advice. If you love the looks of the house, if you love the location, if you have time and money and people to help, then maybe. You will need to re-side, re-roof, re-wire, and re-plumb. You will need to replace all the windows. You may need to jack it up and replace the sills. That's likely, too. I spent about $50, 000 on a house this size: re-roofed, re-plumbed, some re-wiring, some new windows, doors, and deck, some new floors, all new bathroom, some other things. But it was basically sound (frame and sills), in a great location, and I loved the look. I bought it in 1997 for $84,000 and sold it in 2007, for $280,000. So it can be worth it, depending on lots of stuff. I think this house is going to need more than mine, just from looking. I found a reasonable contractor to help, too. Good luck!

  • Rochelle Colclasure Rochelle Colclasure on Jul 29, 2015
    I would have to say no on the house remodel; however, the land may have value. I would check with the appraisal office to determine the value and then find out the cost to have the house demolished. It was be feasible to rebuild and would possibly cost the same as the remodel.

  • Sheri Ketarkus Sheri Ketarkus on Jul 29, 2015
    What do lots sell for in your area? Might think about buying for the lot alone.

  • Toni Jeffries Toni Jeffries on Jul 29, 2015
    It's too far gone to be saved. And I tend to see a lot of hope in things but not this. I agree the land may be worth having but research would need to be done first to discover it's true value. Then you must factor in the cost of demolishing and getting rid of the house. As a landlord, your neighbor was negligent. The last tenant can't be blamed for all the rot and structural damage. I'm so glad you sought the advise of others, even if it's here on the internet. It shows great wisdom on your part.

  • Gary Stenzel Gary Stenzel on Jul 29, 2015
    Being a do-it-yourselfer I would jump all over this one. But having to hire contractors would cost way too much to fix all of the problems seen and unseen. I agree with others that you should check the property value. It might be worth more than the owner wants. In worst case you could always resell at a profit.

  • Charlotta Charlotta on Jul 29, 2015
    At a glance...NO! What's the surrounding area worth? How much are taxes? Any notes Against the property? Utility access? Probably should demolish/rebuild. How much is Demolition? Save the wood for repurposing. If you fix up, your neighbor's property values Increase! Good luck!

  • Sharon Russell Sharon Russell on Jul 29, 2015
    Question for you. How do YOU feel about it? Does it have that "homey" feeling for you that we're all looking for? If it does, there won't be anything stopping you. It needs a lot of fixing, true. Some sooner than others. But if it feels right to you, I'd say your neighbor has some interest in helping maybe...looking at those cupboards, someone has tried to do something with it and fairly recently. You'll meet new people in the repair business, too, maybe make a new friend along the way. If this is "IT" for you, let your heart decide. :)

  • Susan E Susan E on Jul 29, 2015
    To start: Take the value of a similar home in good repair (do you have a local Board of Realtors or check out Zillow), subtract the $15,000 plus closing costs. Is there a significant difference in value? Can you do the repairs for that amount or less? Can you get an estimate from a licensed contractor? How much can you do yourself or in concert with a professional who can guarantee code compliance (sometimes you can trade your labor for cost with a contractor)? If the repairs are too expensive, calculate the value of the land less the cost to demolish and dispose of house parts. You can hold on to the land for a long time if you want this to be a long term investment. If you have cash to purchase or can make payments on the purchase + demolition. It could be a good investment, but there are LOTS of variables.

  • Shiela Shiela on Jul 29, 2015
    We recently looked at a home with acreage in a good location for us. However the house looked much like what you are showing here. We considered it a total tear down. And we could not justify the price just to get the land, even thought we loved it. Just be very careful that you don't get in over your hear financially or ability wise with this one.

  • Fran Graybowski Fran Graybowski on Jul 29, 2015
    I would look into the value of the land it stands on. The house looks like it's unsaveable. Last thing to do is ask a realtor about land values in that area.

  • If the neighborhood is good, the location is where you want to be. Check the comps near by. Then get it. If you can afford the repairs, go for it. It is very cute, yes a lot of work but most likely well worth it.

  • Anne Alexander Anne Alexander on Jul 29, 2015
    As long as it is architecturally sound and you have a purpose for it once you have made the improvements and you love, love, love home improvements I say go for it... if you decide to acquire this little gem keep us posted with pics...

  • Cc Cc on Jul 29, 2015
    I actually feel that a lot of these types of homes are better left untouched and leveled. The value may be in the land only Having said that, it still has value and perhaps (according to your local codes) a" tiny house" could be constructed or brought in I am guessing the infra structure is there. "Tiny houses" are gaining popularity with good reason. Just think about it and do not make a rash decision just because your nice neighbor gave it to you

  • Bonnie Bonnie on Jul 29, 2015
    Daniel, run away from this one... I'm all for fixer-uppers, have completed several. There is more damage here than just repairing guttering, wood filler and paint. The sill plate along the foundation needs to be replaced, and that crumbling wood pulp is from termites. The facelift in the kitchen is most likely covering leaks from the attic/roof. Drywall is indeed easy to hang, as well as other cosmetic fixes.....but this goes WAY beyond cosmetic.

  • Donna Boyce Donna Boyce on Jul 29, 2015
    All the wood is rotten including the siding. Chances are the sheeting under the clap boards is also rotted. Maybe even the two by fours. Would love to see the inside. Probably needs new plumbing and electric. The style of the house is very cute. Anything can be saved if you have the money! Are you planning on living in it for a long time? What's the rest of the neighborhood look like? Can you get your money out of it if you sell. Have a contractor and or building inspector check it out. It will be money well spent just to find out if it's worth it. I also agree with Toni, bad landlord! It's a demolish unless you are handy and want a hobbie and can live somewhere else while you work on it! Offer him $8,000!!!!

  • Sue c. Sue c. on Jul 29, 2015
    Your best friend is a realtor to check out land values, taxes, utilities, property lines etc. You may not have to pay one penny for the help if you find a good one who wants to invest in you as a future client. That's how I learned what to look at and see if it's a deal or not. As to the house-Well it's what I call a "knocker-downer burner-upper. It needs too much structurally to save it. You would spend more than 15K to redo it. Permits and contractors are not cheap!

  • Joan Joan on Jul 29, 2015
    Oh, too bad. This was once a really cute old house. This is damage from neglect, can't blame the renter. If this was some kind of historic home, and you got some good news from a house inspector, I'd say "Go for it!" But what looks like severe water/termite damage on the outside likely continues inside the walls and it will be close to a tear-down to do repairs. But, as others have said, the lot with all the utility connections may be well worth the money if you can afford to build.

  • Sue c. Sue c. on Jul 29, 2015
    One more thing. Where I live you have to get permits from local authorities to do this much work on a home. That means the work will be inspected by a pro. They won't be fooled by cosmetic or cheap repairs. You could loose so much more than 15K! Bonnie is so right. This old guy either can't see how deteriorated his house is or his vision is great and he sees a possible victim to unload this on. Good luck and look around more. There are lots of homes and you are in no hurry. Right?

  • Mary Thorne Mary Thorne on Jul 29, 2015
    I agree. Run and run fast!

  • Alice Shockley Alice Shockley on Jul 29, 2015
    It depends a lot on how high property values are there. What is the value of the lot if the house didn't exist at all? If it's worth enough, it might be worth buying it for resale. But that assumes that the $15,000 plus the price to have someone tear down the house is less than the value of the bare land.

  • Suzanne Mandile Suzanne Mandile on Jul 29, 2015
    Oh my, this house looks like way more work than just DIY, is the foundation sinking on one side or was that just the angle of the photo? I don't know what land prices are in your area, if good, the land might be worth something and tear down the structure.

  • Vickie Benak Vickie Benak on Jul 29, 2015
    I wouldn't buy it. There is way too much deterioration, bug infestation, what about the foundation's integrity? No, don't do it. You would be better demolishing the whole thing and start new.

  • Cindy woosley Cindy woosley on Jul 29, 2015
    Just make sure the house does not have more wood rot. The window are simple to replace and trim out. How many sq feet???

  • Cheryl Delaney Cheryl Delaney on Jul 29, 2015
    I wouldn't buy it. Not if you're not a very experienced builder. I would think even a builder would say it's a tear down.

  • Ginger the farm gal Ginger the farm gal on Jul 29, 2015
    A Basic lot that need demo, taxs paid and landscaped ... NO way I would want it unless the price was dropped and in a good neighborhood Does it have city utilities is another consideration

  • Cindy woosley Cindy woosley on Jul 29, 2015
    Wood trim is easy. Make sure you use flashing and get gutter. How is the floors? Are they sound?

  • Mari Rohde Keefe Mari Rohde Keefe on Jul 29, 2015
    Oh my tough call, what would a vacant lot in your area cost? I'm thinking if you live next door it might be worth it to buy it an tear it down just to have more space for yourself ? :)

  • Martha McClanahan Pierce Martha McClanahan Pierce on Jul 29, 2015
    Looks like you have a good $20,000 to $40,000 remodel and restoration cost after you purchase this. If the land is worth the $15,000, you might be better off demolishing the entire house and rebuilding.

    • Sherry Sherry on Aug 03, 2015
      @Martha McClanahan Pierce Depending on severity of damage, the costs to repair the foundation could easily top $20k. A total rehab of this home could go over $100k as it requires removal, assessment & replacing of pretty much all wood including siding, windows & doors, roof and likely all interior surfaces plus impossible to know what condition inside of walls- framing, joists, etc are likely water damaged plus termites, dry rot and other issues not easily visible. With all the water infiltration over many decades, you can count on there being mold in walls as well. And, due to age of structure, good likelihood of asbestos in there. All of this means it would be cheaper to build than rehab this disaster. Sadly, though it is cute, it is very tiny & was never a quality-built house to begin with, nothing there worthy of all the $ & effort to restore.

  • Cyndi Dimanno-Valentine Cyndi Dimanno-Valentine on Jul 29, 2015
    Depends on what ur financial situation is. And r u handy. If the answer to both those questions is no, then dont do it. It will be a huge money pit

  • Yvonne Yvonne on Jul 29, 2015
    Depending on the cost of land in the area, it might be a good investment just for the land. You can tear the house down and build new then you know what you have is sound.

  • Judy Gollihue Hahn Judy Gollihue Hahn on Jul 29, 2015
    For $15k I would jump on it. Love the view around the house...also there are areas of the house that are still in good shape. Wish I was there to help, a lot of work, but I feel would be worth it in the long run overall. I have always wanted a fixer-upper of my own and to own it, pay a little tax for the year, definitely! I would love to NOT HAVE A MORTGAGE and spend some money each month on what is mine and not the bank's. Pray about it..

  • Denise Denise on Jul 29, 2015
    Awww this could be an amazing little cottage, but again it depends on your financial situation

  • Susan Susan on Jul 29, 2015
    You need a professional inspector to assess the "bones" of the house... is it structurally sound? If so, check out the re-sale market in that area for a similar house... if you sunk $50k into it (worst case), could you re-sell it for $65k or more? If you could, and if you can get the financing, go for it! If I were young and it made financial sense, I would love the challenge.

  • Connie Connie on Jul 29, 2015
    Have someone check out the plumbing, electrical, and the heat source, foundation and the roof, before you do anything else. Then you can proceed from there.

  • Xiloa D Xiloa D on Jul 29, 2015
    I would make it my for ever home if I could, i love it and I would fix it up as much as I could. All you need is a garden.

  • Greta Swanson Greta Swanson on Jul 29, 2015
    Take it! The land alone is worth more.

  • Angelique M Delgado Angelique M Delgado on Jul 29, 2015
    It's unbelievably expensive to level and repair a foundation. And all of the other repairs are as equally expensive. I'd say no way, this place is a money pit.

  • Joanne Oyler Joanne Oyler on Jul 29, 2015
    Fix it up!!!

  • Virginia R Virginia R on Jul 29, 2015
    I would get an inspection and have some contractors look at it. If your finances don't allow immediate work on it (depending on inspection) then it is going to continue to deteriorate. All the above suggestions are good also.

  • Kristy Champion Kristy Champion on Jul 29, 2015
    Does not look livable. Neglected for too long. Water is a house's worst ENEMY. If gutters missing for long time, the water damage is severe. Talk to a realtor. Find out what the vacant lot would be worth. Whatever that value is, that's all I would offer. I live across the river from you on the WV side. I think this is not a fixer-upper. It's a tearer-downer. If you tore it down, removing the debris would also be an expense. Did you make a list of pros/cons? If so, what did you put in the pro column? If price is the only thing in that column, check out 106 Hamilton Ave in Marietta. Only asking $14K for that one. I found it on

  • Heather Koepke Heather Koepke on Jul 29, 2015
    Run! Fast! Too many expensive repairs. Needs to be leveled. (This was not neglect on the tenant's part, but his).

  • Carol Merrill Carol Merrill on Jul 29, 2015
    No telling until it's opened up. Gut it, then decide. Who ever buys it will have to gut it anyway and this way you can update all the services ( which I am sure need doing).

  • Cheryl Buckman Cheryl Buckman on Jul 29, 2015
    looks like a tear down to me, when the foundation is bad it gets expensive fast.

  • Bethany P Bethany P on Jul 29, 2015
    The lot has to be worth 15K are you kidding me? But it, tear it down & sell the lot or put something else on it.

  • Audrey Brow Stapleford Audrey Brow Stapleford on Jul 29, 2015
    The land might be worth something. Definately get an estimate from a reliable contractor as to repairs. Get appraisal from a good real estate agent too.

  • Jackie Prim Jackie Prim on Jul 29, 2015
    You must do your homework I never say never.Call a building cont for a bid and listen to what he has to say.Maybe 2 more cont. and then decide.If you're up to the challenge.Good luck I have found beauty in the weeds :)

  • Jessica B Jessica B on Jul 29, 2015
    The tenants didn't do all that. That property has been neglected for a LONG time. I would not buy that. OR...maybe buy it for the land only? Tear the house down and extend your yard?

  • Matty watts Matty watts on Jul 29, 2015
    Take the offer .... Take all the house down .... Then rebuild

  • Sandy Parn Tate Sandy Parn Tate on Jul 29, 2015
    Looks like severe neglect, maybe even termites or some other kind of bug damage. Definitely rot from moisture there. But it's a cute house with possibilities. Would require a lot of work.

  • Virginia R Virginia R on Jul 29, 2015
    In some areas (most actually), one needs special permits to demolish a building and also permits to have the material hauled away to a landfill. I would think there is lead based paint also which requires more special permits. All this needs to be taken into consideration. I am all for saving old buildings but only if they are worth it and one has the finances to do in a timely manner.

  • Carole B Carole B on Jul 29, 2015
    offer him 5-7 cash and start redoing as a project it will be a cheap way to learn how to do things--we bought one that looked like that 10 years ago and rebuilt with re-cycled things and now live in it debt free

  • Dawn Allison Dawn Allison on Jul 29, 2015
    You can just about bet there is alot of termite damage. I agree pay for a home inspector and also see what land alone is going for in the area. The land alone may be worth it.

  • Lyn Farr Lyn Farr on Jul 29, 2015
    Asbestos is another consideration...would be very expensive to dispose of properly.

    • B. Enne B. Enne on Aug 22, 2015
      @Lyn Farr Those white acoustic ceiling tiles with holes usually do.

  • Artist Kim Artist Kim on Jul 29, 2015
    well, it looks like the city may be on his/ her back to do something with this, and they want a easy out with some cash than placing the burden on you. Tire down is a cost in itself, 5K and up. The neighbor doesn't have your consideration in mind, but instead there own. The only thing I would do is look at the city and see what kind of back taxes are due, and what kind of fractions against ordinance this place has been charged with. because you would than be responsible for them..It doesn't look like they had to force anyone out of this house, but instead neglected it severely and can't do anything with it. So how much is the land worth? anything? If so and there is no infractions and taxes owed, and you want the land itself.. I'd offer nothing, and make a offer of taking it off his hands, only... and do a tire down myself, and getting the land for free. It's a deal to give it to you free because he doesn't have to worry about the cost of tire down, that burden is yours. do you want to take that on.. for free land is the question i'd be asking myself.. That is only if there is no cost to you threw back taxes and ordinance charges against it, also check back water bills, and utilities.. making sure you are not responsible for anything but tiring it down.

  • Lorna M Lorna M on Jul 29, 2015
    I agree with the above comments. See what the land is worth. Offer $7000 depending on what land worth is. I wouldn't bother to try to fix it up. I would tear it down. Salvage what you can- like kitchen cabinets. Then build new. Maybe a modular home. I would risk my health living in the house. To much mold, mildew, pest, water damage. Most likely lead paint and asbestos too.

  • Kayte Kayte on Jul 29, 2015
    Something you might do - if it has a crawl space, you need to get under there and see what kind of shape it's in. The foundation can be repaired/replaced a section at a time, where needed, but if the basic structure of the house is rotted, that's huge and that would be the thing that would make me walk away. (Floor joists, frame, etc.) I'm a sucker for places like this. ;) My husband I bought what everyone said was a tear-down 23 years ago and worked our tails off to basically rebuild it. (A mountain cabin.) We had very little idea what we were doing, but were willing to learn and work hard. We love our home. It's 93 years old and it was fun to give it new life. If you're up for learning new things and lots of hard work, the rewards can be terrific. Find out what homes in the area are going for and make sure you really are getting a good deal. If you have family/friends that are willing to help you out now and then with some of the jobs that can't be handled alone, that's a huge bonus.

  • Janice Maharrey Janice Maharrey on Jul 29, 2015

  • Sandy Brown Sandy Brown on Jul 29, 2015
    If the property is worth $15k and you have some extra money and the local government will allow it, buy it and tear the place down and start all over. That's my thouught.

  • Jordan Le Bouton Jordan Le Bouton on Jul 29, 2015
    Looks like but for the kitchen needs a total down to the studs job, keeping in mind what above people stated. The whole outside needs to be replaced and most likely the roof. I am pretty handy but unless you have lots of money or a long term loan how will you be able to afford to do all that needs done. I think from the shape of it it could be adorable. I would get a home inspector who could and will lay it all out for you. If you are adventureous go for it but watch for back taxes and liens and do not forget insurance and property taxes. Write it all down and see where you stand. Best of luck to you.

  • Janice mcclure Janice mcclure on Jul 29, 2015
    This looks just like something i'd buy! Just get some rough estimates from professionals for plumbing, electric, and structure and figure out if the cost of the house and repairs will be equal to or less than market value, go for it! It's stressful but fun and so satisfying when it's done! Do as much of the stuff yourself if you can, labor is the most expensive part.

  • Paula Long Paula Long on Jul 29, 2015
    I am not a carpenter but from all the rot I see on the outside I don't think you should try and replace it. Tear it down and start fresh. $15000 sounds pretty cheap to me but I don't know where you live so I would find out about that. Salvage what you can but I would build from the ground up. Best of luck for whatever you decide.

  • Pamela Pianfetti Pamela Pianfetti on Jul 29, 2015
    I'm with Sandy Brown - tear it down and rebuild if the lot is worth $15K. You can always put a nice modular on it until you're ready to start construction.

  • Deb S Deb S on Jul 29, 2015
    So much water-damaged wood... may be mold issues, too. That's an expensive fix. And what bugs were crawling out? Possible termite damage? Another pricey fix.

  • Mac Whitnel Mac Whitnel on Jul 29, 2015
    How much is the lot worth. Maybe you could build an A-frame for about as much money as it would to rehab it

  • Suzanne Moore Suzanne Moore on Jul 29, 2015
    spend the $300 or so for a home inspection. That would let the professional tell you what needs to be done. THEN decide based on what they have to say. They should be a class A contractor and know structural as well as electrical etc. they could also probably tell you what it would cost to fix or if it's worth it to fix. Then you'll either have some good advice and move forward, or good advice and only be out $300 bucks. But like the other lady said. The land might be worth the $15,000.

  • Nancy asbery Nancy asbery on Jul 29, 2015
    I'd take in a flash . no matter what the issue u can fix up to just darling

  • Barbara Sauve Barbara Sauve on Jul 29, 2015
    you are only buying the property here.

  • Sherry Poore Sherry Poore on Jul 29, 2015
    that looks like a total tear down and start over, bring in a modular home if allowed and you'd be set for a long time, or build a tiny house that seems to be so popular.

  • Cheryl Furst Cheryl Furst on Jul 29, 2015
    I once bought a home in very bad shape. I thought I could have it rehabbed. I put so much money into it that it just wasn't worth it in the end. Some things i just couldn't fix like the foundation. There were insect, too - termites. They absolutely loved my house and chewed away a lot of it. Run as fast as you can away from this deal or bulldoze the house and build a new one if the land is worth it.

  • Brenda Alferes Anderson Brenda Alferes Anderson on Jul 29, 2015
    $15K . . . What is the property worth? What are homes selling for in the area? How are you doing financially? Would it be worth fixing the home or demoing it and starting over? Personally, I would demo it and start over. You have water and electricity from the city/county already and the lot has been zoned for a single home dwelling. There's my 2-cents worth.

  • Teri Teri on Jul 29, 2015
    I'm no expert, but I'd follow the advice given above and have the property appraised. If the property value is greater than the $15k asking price, it could be a good investment even if the house itself is a total loss. Hard to tell from just these pictures if it is salvageable. There seems to be significant damage. If it is salvageable look forward to a ton of work, and probably a need to hire a contractor for at least some of it.

  • Jackie Thomas Jackie Thomas on Jul 29, 2015
    Go for it! Find some handy buddies, do your research-one step at a time!

  • Jean Rust Jean Rust on Jul 29, 2015
    bet thing to do is to have an inspection , that will tell you what needs to be fixed to be in compliance

  • Sherri Jo Wilson Sherri Jo Wilson on Jul 29, 2015
    Can you do the work yourself ? If not do you have the finances to pay to have it done correctly ? My husband and I do full rehabs like this for a living, some are worth the investment some are not. You need to know the worth of the home and those around it. If you can do it yourself it's all simple enough.

  • SheWhoMustBeHeard SheWhoMustBeHeard on Jul 29, 2015
    Looks like dry-rot and termites have all the wood spoken for on the outside. I have to agree that demolishing and putting in either a modular or tiny house would be the way to go for this.

  • Bonny McDaniel Bonny McDaniel on Jul 29, 2015
    At the least, it needs all new windows (allow about $100 window for good vinyl ones and the reframing needed); scraping and repainting, repair of gutters, new roof, some foundation work, termite tent, etc. I would guess about ten to twenty thousand dollars,at least. What is the lot worth? What do small homes, in fair condition, sell for in this area? Sharpen your pencil and see if it is worth it. Probably not but the lot and the utility hook-ups, etc. might be worth the cost.

  • Priscilla G Priscilla G on Jul 29, 2015
    If the inside has good kitchen cabinets or any part of the house has anything worth salvaging go for it otherwise check to see the value of the land and demolish the house.

  • Larry Steffi Husk Larry Steffi Husk on Jul 29, 2015
    I say like the one comment above, have the property appraised if it is worth 15, or more tear the house down and have a nice small house built that you know will last you along time. the house is a wreak don't invest into it or you;ll have more in it than if had a new one built.

  • Bernadette Tetle Bernadette Tetle on Jul 29, 2015
    There are many things to consider with this property. First, is it located in a good location? What is the land worth without the house? I think that the house is a loss, demo the whole thing and start again if the land value is good. When you have foundation damage, its hard to come back from that. Good luck

  • Ellen Warren Ellen Warren on Jul 29, 2015
    Looks like a lot of mold and termites, could be real costly.

  • Cindy Cindy on Jul 29, 2015
    NEVER turn down Real Estate! Buy it and tear what is bad down and maybe keep the same plumbing footprint? (if it's good still) and have fun designing and re-building. I would totally build a Story Book Hobbit House on that land!!! (Offer 10 cash and see what he says! Maybe he will meet you in the middle at $12,500.00!) It has GREAT potential!!! Do it! Have fun with it!

    • Josephine Howland Josephine Howland on Jul 29, 2015
      @Cindy I agree 100%! My neighbors bought the old camp next to me for $20,000, 10 years ago, they've fixed it up and have it listed for 80K (not that they'll get that) They had one offer, but the bank wouldn't finance it without a new septic. They have 1/2 an acre, and their new septic takes up all but 5' of their street frontage.

  • Judy V Judy V on Jul 29, 2015
    If it was Cal. I would tear down while leaving one wall partly and rebuild. That way you don't have to pay new construction taxes, just the permit for remodel.

  • I sold one i n a lot better shape ,needed a lot of work to but had a huge lot. 14000.00

  • Tina Tina on Jul 29, 2015
    Get is appraisal and see what the market is doing in that area. Personally, I would offer your friend about half the asking price and see if he bites. There is a lot of work to be done there, but it could be a great investment property for you. Even better if you can save some money and do the work yourself.

  • Elaine Elaine on Jul 29, 2015
    Have a professional building inspector assess it. Might not even be salvageable! Appraisal of land is a good idea, with a view to building on it.