Vacant and Boarded Up? - Posted by Carey_PA

Posted by Carey_PA on January 27, 2001 at 16:46:25:


thanks for the response. I noticed these houses while going to see a few houses with a realtor. My intentions are to buy 'em cheap and rent 'em Section 8.

As far as being able to get tenants…in this area, people will rent like crazy, but they won’t buy. (mostly credit issues, etc.) And obviously in this area, as well as many other areas in the country I’m sure, there is a list for people needing and “wanting” Section 8. So, I have no doubt that I will be able to rent these homes (which are mostly 3br, but could be turned into 4 br) for $1,039 plus a month.

The realtor did however tell me like you had mentioned that they are becoming more stricter about lead based paint…so I’m sure I’d probably have to have all the houses scrapped and re-painted…now I’m not sure how much that costs or if anything else would have to be done.

For now, I’ll try to do my homework and try to find the owners of these properties.

ohhh and one more thing I forgot to mention, I could probably get these homes for nothing up to 25k…(well the boarded up ones obviously I could probably get cheaper and put most of the money into fixing it up), and these homes fixed up could sell for about $50k-$60k…(but like I said this isn’t the type of area where people buy, they usually just rent.)



Vacant and Boarded Up? - Posted by Carey_PA

Posted by Carey_PA on January 27, 2001 at 09:48:39:

I was just driving around yesterday in a city that I’d like to have Section 8 rentals in and I found an awful lot of vacant and boarded up houses. Does anyone know where I would even begin to find out about these homes and how I could get them. I’m assuming I could get great deals on these places!!!

Thanks in advance,


first check at the… - Posted by David Krulac

Posted by David Krulac on January 27, 2001 at 19:55:38:

tax assessment office at the county for the owners name and address. some counties are online, while other will give that info over the phone.

next check leins, some times the leins for back taxes, utilities, mortgages and judgements are way more than the property worth. check at the recorder of deeds office and the prothonotary.

thirdly check codes enforcement in that city, they may have a long list of vilations that must be taken care of before occupancy. ask if they require a landlord license, registered tradesmen to do the work, and how long you have to do the repairs. In Harrisburg there are code violations for example that must be fixed in 30 days while others are 1 year. Also ask if they have inspection of all property sold, like Harrisburg, or inspection only of rentals like Shippensburg.
David Krulac of Central Pennsylvania

Re: Vacant and Boarded Up? - Posted by Jim Locker

Posted by Jim Locker on January 27, 2001 at 11:52:34:

Check the county tax records. This will give you owners.

When you say you see “a lot” of boarded up houses, what you are seeing is a community in trouble. There may or may not be a market for these houses - even for tenants. You should investigate your competition carefully to see how they are doing.

You might also check local ordnances and find out how cooperative the City administration is with landlords. Often (not always) lots of boarded houses show that not only is the community having problems with jobs, but the City administration is clueless and is trying to make their deteriorating housing stock get better by leaning on the property owners. If a City demands $35K in repairs on a house that can only be marketed for $30K, the owner will walk.

Beyond that, when looking at a boarded property, pay careful attention to its condition and what will need to be done to open it. Here is where local ordnances become very important, as does the attitude of the City inspectors. Stay away from properties with serious structural faults - you can’t make money on them even if they are given to you.

Also, I should warn you that lead paint issues are getting bigger and bigger. You assume a potentially substantial liability taking on older, deteriorating properties that have a lot of lead paint in them.

There is indeed money to be made reopening boarded up buildings, but it is not automatic. Do you homework very carefully.