Closing on the Border of Detroit

I found a house in my favorite neighborhood that was still very cheap. I assumed that they were underwater still from the housing crash or it needed a lot of repair. Either way I knew they couldn’t afford it, because of what it was listed at. It was an all brick duplex built in the 1920s. I took a lap around the house and noticed that the gutters were either off, or hanging down off the roof. The bushes weren’t trimmed and there was junk outside. I talked to a neighbor that said the gutters have been like that for years. Perfect! I knew the owners were hurting and I could probably get them down a little more.

I got an appointment to see the bottom unit. The owners moved already and the top unit was occupied by her cousin.
My realtor and I looked around, and the place was trashed it needed everything updated. You could tell that the people couldn’t afford it. It needed a lot of work. But I knew I could do it and realized it was on the market for a few weeks to a month and hadn’t received any offers.
I slept on it for a day and decided to make an offer, cash. They were asking 140K I offered 133K cash. But contingent on me looking at the upper and a proper inspection. They accepted and I knew they were desperate. Because real estate was getting hot, especially in that area. I gave them a 5K good faith deposit refundable if I decide not to buy it.

I went back a week later and looked at the upper.
We walked in and were greeted by a young black man that said go ahead and check it out. So that’s what we did. He stayed in the kitchen and was packing up to move. We walked around the place and everything needed a total update.  I’m really put off by this place, now I’m thinking I have 2 units I need to update with paint, floors, windows, appliances, washer/dryer, plumbing fixtures, light fixtures, and everything else.  Then I need to find renters for them and could I get all this done before peak moving season?

I decided I didn’t need the stress I really didn’t want to do it. I would hire a lot of it out but still I have to basically be the foreman on this job and it’s going to take a lot of time.

Well, now this happens…
My realtor, she keeps telling me I’m going to have to spend a lot more to get a place like this in rentable condition. She doesn’t think I should buy it. I keep saying yea I know, I don’t care, I just don’t have time for this shit. She didn’t understand my situation and how I deal with my time. Most not all but most realtors I come in contact with are really not that bright and just want to close the deal. This is one of the many reasons I decided to get my agents license.

And theres more…

I tell her either way get me my 5K deposit back!
She tells me ok let me call the selling agent.
I hear back from her the next day and she tells me the selling agent is being very difficult with the deposit. I told her I don’t care get the money. She says she will and will contact her managing broker if she needs to.
The next day she calls me and tells me the listing agent is saying I’m racist because after we saw the black guy in the upper unit we said no.
Now I don’t care what anyone thinks of me. If he thinks I’m racist that’s fine. Because if you ever hear anyone defending themselves that they aren’t racist they sound like a huge pushover. But this listing agent what a low life loser. He has to stoop that low, show his desperation and as a last resort he has to use the race card? It was clearly the last attempt in a losing argument.

Again get me my 5K now I tell my realtor.
A couple days go by and I get the check so I’m fine and realize I just have to deal with losers sometimes and just forget it, and keep on looking for a new investment.

A month later and I get an email alert that a house in my area dropped in price. It’s the same damn duplex with the race-baiting loser as a listing agent! It dropped another 15K!

I call my realtor.  Give them a full cash offer and send an inspector out there this week.
They accept, the inspection was fine, I found a couple new things that needed to be fixed outside of noticeable things but not a big deal. For this price I thought it’s worth it to put in time and money into this place.

So we were able to close right away. When you pay cash you can close in a few days and it only takes 10 minutes. (In most states)

On my way to the closing I was thinking to myself I’m going to give this listing agent some shit and tell him he’s a loser and a desperate salesman, to accuse me of that nonsense.
I was furious and I kept telling myself that I got the better side of the deal no matter what happens.

So I get there and I’m directed into a conference room and there’s a black girl there maybe in her late 30s. This is the girl that’s selling the house. I talk to her and she’s really nice, telling me about the house and giving me her cell # if I have any questions about the house. I felt much better and was chilled out a little.
Then the selling agent walks in he’s a 5’3 black man that’s pushing 70.  He’s wearing an old gentleman’s hat. He says hello very, very meekly and I think, I can’t bully this guy. He was clearly pissed that he thought he lost a deal. I kind of felt sorry for him. Well, not really.

Whatever, I’m buying a house in cash and if he’s that upset I’m sure he’s struggling. So needless to say, I bite my tongue and say nothing. I know I’m doing much better than him.
I leave 10 minutes later, call my girl (now wife), and go get a steak to celebrate.
Great, I got a good deal on this place and there is some work to do but who cares it’s worth it.

Within three years the house doubled in value! I put time and money into bringing it up to code, but this was one of my best investments ever. I have each unit rented out for $1000 a month. And the cashflow just keeps coming in. I just had a tenant move out this year, and we found a new renter within two days.

Everyone runs into these stupid situations. If the deal makes sense you just have to deal with it.

It doesn’t matter. Just look at it as an investment and don’t get emotional.

Here are a couple pictures from the old listing…

All brick exterior

Look at the the way they kept the house. Those horrible colors. I did really get in there and improve the entire house. You can imagine though, no one wanted to buy this, it was just a mess.

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