How to Buy a House with MASSIVE rat infestation - Posted by Pied_Piper

Posted by Frank Chin on September 06, 2003 at 14:48:16:


Nice talking to you again. That’s a heart warming story that we should hear more often.

With my dad in the nursing home, I’ll be acting a little crazy myself if some stranger says if dad doesn’t clean up, he’ll call the health dept, BUT he’ll be a nice guy and let me sell it to him creatively.

But on the other hand, if the same REI tells me he’s sorry to hear about what happened to dad, and if I needed some help keeping the sidewalk clean, and the walls graffiti free.

Yeh, I might even like the guy, and consider a deal if the sly fox someday mentions that its such a nice place, and he would like to buy it some day.

Frank Chin

How to Buy a House with MASSIVE rat infestation - Posted by Pied_Piper

Posted by Pied_Piper on September 05, 2003 at 16:50:24:

I ran into a house that is located in a nice area ($60,000-$80,000) houses, but this particular house has been ignored for many years. The grass is literally 2 feet high in the back yard, 9 inches in the front, the gutter is half falling off the house, etc.

I talked to the neighbors about it and they are very upset about it. The house has turned into a breeding ground for rats and apparently the rat population has gotten so high that the rats are beginning to forage for food in the neighbor’s yards even in the daytime. The wife of one of the folks I spoke with has recently been calling the Mayor’s office to see what can be done. There have also been reports of homeless living in the house on occasion.

The house is owned free and clear and has an outstanding housing code violation against it from 4 months ago. I contacted the daughter of the owner (the owner is a very elderly lady) and the daughter was insistent on keeping the house in the family and has no interest in selling. The neighbors have reported that the owners and especially the daughter are borderline insane.

So my question is, is there anyway to get into this property through some kind of backdoor, creative way. Such as getting a lien against this house so that I can foreclose. Would it be possible for me to go to bat for the neighbors, take the case to court, get a judgement for some amount against the house and then foreclose? I would really like to help the neighborhood by taking care of this problem and

Thanks for any advice you can provide on this situation.

Call Board of Health… (nt) - Posted by JT-IN

Posted by JT-IN on September 06, 2003 at 09:32:10:


A few thoughts … - Posted by Frank Chin

Posted by Frank Chin on September 06, 2003 at 09:18:25:

Pied Piper:

My dad recently went to the nursing home, My siblings and I had to pull together to help mom and dad get thru the crisis.

Fortunately, the house is in the city, and does not need mowing. Imagine if it was in the suburbs. Neighbors will be yelling and screaming about the grass, and I’ve been thru that.

I’m a city boy, but I done rehabs and owned property in the suburbs, and I often wonder if the lawn is nice and trim, whether the neighbors really care if I’m dead or alive.

My siblings spoke about selling our parent’s place, and moving mom to an assisted living facilty. But my parents and I are sentimental about the home that we all grew up in, and my parents home for over 50 years, and I am opposed to selling it.

If there was a “Creative Investor” coming by offering me creative solutions about helping the neighborhood to take care of my parent’s “eyesore”, I will make it my business to tar and feather him, and chase him out of town.

If you truly want to help the neighborhood, I would suggest talking to the town, the local alderman, the mayor, the local church, and see what social services are available to help older folks who cannot help themselves. If need be, orgainize a cleanup with the neighbors as a “social service”.

Lawyers are frequently asked to do “pro bono” work, and I feel REI should sometimes make themselves part of human society, rather than as sharks, opportunists, and speculators as they are often pictured.

Do creative creative stuff with folks who truly want and need your help. After all, we all say “we solve problems”. It does not sound like the owners want your help here.

Just my 2 cents as the situation you described hits close to home.

Frank Chin

a couple of ideas - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA)

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on September 06, 2003 at 24:03:57:


You could try. Probably you would not have “standing” to bring a lawsuit, as the property condition does not impact you.

Probably you could help neighbors sue in small claims court on the property being a public nuisance. The grass is a fire hazard, not only the property, but to the neighboring houses. The rats are a potential health hazard.

If the neighbors can successfully get judgments against the owner, you could buy the judgments at a great discount and then do a sheriff’s sale against the owner. If somebody else bids at the sale, you get paid off the face amount of the judgments. If you are the only bidder, you get the house.

I’d suggest a somewhat more helping approach first, though. Call up the county public guardian’s office and report the situation. Point out that the owner appears to be unable to run her affairs herself and that her daughter may not be competent to do it. There is a possibility that the house will be bulldozed down if things are not improved. Give the locaton of phone number of the owner and daughter if you can. Then send letters or post cards each week to the daughter, hoping that she will contact you. Or call her occasionally.

Good Investing and Good InterveningRon Starr***

Buy 3 cats - problem solved! - Posted by dilbert

Posted by dilbert on September 05, 2003 at 18:14:01:

Buy 3 cats - problem solved!

REI ripping off old ladies - Posted by del-ohio

Posted by del-ohio on September 06, 2003 at 13:12:47:

Thought I would share part of this email I recieved from a REI that I have gotten to know … shows some, I believe most, REI’s have a heart and do the right thing. I changed the names to protect the guilty.

…I totally wrecked a VERY good deal. Same block as that Montovina house that you helped me out with, almost in the same condition… Little old lady “Mary” responded to a flyer That I left on her door 6 weeks ago. Well Mary is a widow, 84, and the only reason she wants to sell is that she cannot take care of the household chores, shopping and bills by herself.

Sister lives on the east coast and is in the same boat. She is diabetic and hypertensive. Too late to make a long story short, but by the time I left, we had booked a flight for Mary’s"s sis to come out here so that they could split the bills.

I found them a private duty home health aide to assist with MD appts. and shopping. Mary has lived there for 52 years… I love fixing other people’s problems.

Anyway, I felt it was the right thing to do.

Thought you might appreciate this.

I myself would find no pleasure in taking advantage of little old ladied.

One of the reasons I decided to get more involved in real-estate is so I can contribute more time to wortwhile (non-profit) causes that I am involved in.

Invest with Integrity


Re: a couple of ideas - Posted by Pied Piper

Posted by Pied Piper on September 06, 2003 at 20:16:50:

Thanks for the ideas and feedback. I am going to call the public guardian’s office on Monday and give the Health dept. # to the neighbors I spoke with. Hopefully, the city will take care of the problem. I’ll also keep sending post cards to the owners - maybe if the city gets on their case enough, they’ll get religion and decide to sell.

Re: Buy 3 cats - problem solved!-Great Idea! - Posted by Linda Simms

Posted by Linda Simms on September 07, 2003 at 07:42:25:

Great Idea! I have a Calico that is a real Hunter-Killer. She really nails them. If you can find two more like her, you could clean that place up in no time. Better yet, for all you that have great hunter cats out there, lets get together and start a “Killer Cat Rental Service” If we charged enough per Rodent, we could make a lot of money. Would that be passive or active income?

Re: REI ripping off old ladies - Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA)

Posted by Ronald * Starr(in No CA) on September 06, 2003 at 19:32:52:


Good for you.

Now, it occurs to me that maybe the sister will want to sell her house, if she has one. Might you be the buyer? I suspect on 3-4 day trip there would be all you’d have to do other than by phone, tax, mail, and e-mail.

Good Investing**************Ron Starr****************