As probably many Real Estate Investors, I have seen my share of ‘problem’ houses to put it mildly. New Investors always ask me if I can tell them the most horrifying stories and examples so they can brace themselves for the worst. In my opinion, I believe a thought process like this, however, is very destructive and resembles watching mainstream news, which just serves to scare you and make you anxious.
I purchased a very large old commercial property located in the heart of the city of Macon, GA. The property was previously used as a groceries/ convenience store and had been boarded up for years when I purchased it. My thinking at the time was to make it a small coffee house style business; the location of the property was ideal, within yards of a very much upscale private University in town and skip, hop, and jump from higher learning facilities.
When I finally brought one of my contractors down to break open the boarded up front door so we may have a look inside I was dismayed. The building, although still standing, was literally just a brick shell. The roof was non-existent in a few places; the stairs to the upstairs questionable, and the ceiling/ floor on the first floor was not fit to be walked on. Doves had nested themselves into the upstairs and there was a stanch of bird droppings everywhere and everything was soiled. Moreover there was debris and evidence of squatters living there as well as non-existent doors or windows.
The building was literally just worth the brick it was built with, there wasn’t really anything to remodel. Moreover, as soon as the city got wind of the fact that I had bought this nightmare, they proceeded informing me of something I already knew: that the building was a hazard and needed to be torn down immediately. My nightmare was expanding!
At the time I purchased this property, I paid a little over $4,000 for it, which, at the time, was more than what I usually would spent at tax sales for any one property, but this one had caught my eye and had oh so much potential. After a few easy calculations in my head and the fact that would have cost me close to $30k to tear the building down even with re-selling the brick, I decided to cut my losses at the $4k and run. I found a real easy way to get rid of this property and I encourage you to do the same whenever you are faced with a hopeless situation like this one. Check out my video on YouTube to see a picture of this property and more behind this story: https://youtu.be/KOXn6elcgh0
Until next time: Happy Investing,
Julia M(oney) Spencer, Real Estate Advisor, Investor, and Enthusiast