The Things You Learn From Neighbors

June 8, 2023

I was at the house in Clendenin today, checking up on the recent work by my contractor, and I took a few minutes to ask one of my neighbors if she knew who had bought the 4-unit apartment building next door.

She did give me a name to look up, but more importantly I happened to catch her while she was chatting with another neighbor, and this is where things got good.

That second lady knew all sorts of stuff about my house. For example, she knew that one of the previous tenants had leased both units. She was a mom with 6 kids, and the landlord had knocked down a wall to make an ersatz single family home. (The wall was rebuilt when the mother moved out.) I had figured this out on my own, and it was interesting to have it confirmed.

This lady also told me that the previous owner just gave up on everything, which was why almost all their properties were in terrible shape and the went for tax auction in 2021, and she also told me that the trashed unit got that bad because the last tenant, who happened to be her cousin, was a hoarder (and still is, in fact).

This detail was particularly interesting because it changed everything. I had planned to convert the property into a single family home because I thought the second unit was unrentable, but it now appears I was wrong.

It now seems that keeping this property as a duplex is a viable option. This would be better for me because I wouldn’t mind leasing one unit and living in the other. Also, it’s a lot easier to get one unit rentable (as opposed to getting the entire property in a sellable state).

I will have to think it over.

P.S. The lead photo shows the hill next to the house after I had the contractor clear cut the overgrown bushes. It is not exactly pretty but still so much better than what I had before.

This blog was launched in order to share one newbie home buyer’s experience in buying and remodeling a wreck of a house.

Like the house itself, this blog is a work in progress.

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