Finally Sold My Old House! What an adventure!

Joined
Apr 9, 2008
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15,981
Location
Central NY
Long post warning -- I FINALLY SOLD MY HOUSE!


Quite the journey and there's a bit of a timeline. There were threats of lawsuits, an angry guy living in a camper intimidating me ... here we go !


There was an even more dilapidated house next door. It was rented out until 2019 or so. Then it sat vacant. In June of 2021, someone started showing up and putting in a lot of work. Or appeared to. They replaced the roof shingles, gutted the interior almost immediately. Turns out, it had sold to someone in June of 2021.

In August of 2021, our little bowl flooded from 4-6'' of steady downpour. I pumped out my back yard and the new neighbors. At this point, the house next door was still empty.

When the owner came back, pumped out our lots and mentioned he should check in the house because the water was very deep and likely in his house. I also brought it up that we were probably selling and moving to higher ground. He asked what I wanted, I told him what we were thinking and offered to buy it CASH when we were ready. Great! He also said he had a bunch of other houses that he was flipping in the area and maybe we could work out a deal on that. I wasn't too interested in that whole idea.

Then in September a crew showed up and started digging the yard up. I asked if they were going to connect to the storm sewer ... nope, just putting in a French drain. In a bowl. That doesn't work. Once the French drain was put in, they filled the house to the floor with gravel ?????? and poured a concrete pad around it. All the excess dirt they put up against my fence. I'm not sure what the plan was, but that helped prevent flash flooding at my house because the water would get stuck in the dirt piles and stay in his yard.

During the first good freeze, the concrete pad around the house heaved nicely.

Fast forward to April. We closed on the new house, I called the guy and asked him if he wanted to buy it. He was still interested so he came and took a look. Yup , he liked it for the price. He did mention that he was going to sue one neighbor for his lake rights and sue the bar behind my house for the 3 feet that my back yard encroaches on their property.

Then he said it - "I have to arrange financing". As in he didn't have the money for it. This is not a knock on him for not having the money, it's a knock for how it was handled later. The swamp shack was in NO condition that anyone would loan money on it. When I bought the house, it was in much worse shape mechanically, but it looked put together. I was able to get a mortgage on it because there was a LOT hidden.

I would message him every few days asking if he had obtained any sort of financing and also asked him to get me a contract so I can have the house under contract.
Sometime in June, a camper showed up in his yard. There's a guy living in the camper ... Okay. Weird.

Mid July, I told him I had another buyer lined up. Suddenly he said he had financing and had to set up an inspection for the bank. Great! That lit a fire!
I show up to the "inspection" and camper dude comes out. Introduces him as YYYY's cousin and he'll be renting the house after YYYY buys it. Then the "inspector" shows up. He's just a friend of YYYY and not an agent of any bank. He's just going to show me what *I* have to fix before he can get any financing.

Uhhh. That's not happening. I made it very clear that I'm not putting another dollar into this house. He pointed out many weird issues with the house ... which I knew and had already shown YYYY.

Fast forward to mid August. I hadn't been at the house for a few weeks. The engine gave up on the Mercury. We caught the bug that's going around. My father was in the hospital again.

I show up at the house to check on it and get some stuff out. Camper guy corners me against the fence and garage and starts demanding that I rent to him. He said he'd fix it for free while I rented to him. I'm not a landlord and this house isn't for rent, its for sale.

Then he went off one me. "SO YOU WERE ONLY SICK FOR 3 DAYS WITH 'VID AND IT TOOK YOU 3 WEEKS TO CHANGE THE ENGINE IN YOUR CAR AND THAT'S WHAT KEPT YOU FROM GETTING YOUR STUFF OUT OF HERE SO WE CAN RENT IT? YOU'RE F-----G ME AND MY PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND AND OUR KIDS. WE NEED TO RENT THIS HOUSE". Apparently his pregnant girlfriend, two kids are living with her mother in an apartment.

That's when I decided i was done with that whole situation.

I sent the guy a message and told him that I was selling the house to someone else. At this point I was waiting far too long for him to come up with the money. 4 months. Ridiculous. He responded back that he was going to sue me for the time and money he lost trying to get a loan. Great! Go for it - there are no verbal contracts for real estate in NY and even if I had signed a contract, without it going through a lawyer, it would very easily be made null.

The new buyer is a friend of mine. Not the route I wanted to go. But, he able to get the money in escrow and a contract to my lawyer in 3 days. Unfortunately, it sat at my lawyer's office for a month because they weren't sure if the SWAMPSURVIVOR they worked with at that address before was the same SWAMPSURVIVOR selling the house. Instead of contacting me they just let it sit. Ugh.

Once the contract actually got to the lawyer, we reviewed and signed. No problems there. We set a closing date and did preposession. The buyer put in a new furnace, drainage, water heater and did a bunch of work.

Late October there were some issues with Judgements. A person with a similar name but 8 years older likes to get himself arrested. The county got a bit confused at some birthdates and thought I was both a few years older and had a different middle name. There were liens against my house filed immediately when I closed back in 2016 and I was never made aware.

That took another month to get sorted out and then we got to the real gut punch. YYYY's driveway encroaches on my property by a good amount. I knew this but didn't think it would be an issue since, when I purchased my house 6 years ago, the previous neighbor signed an affidavit stating that he makes no claims to it. And that should have conveyed to the new owner. I mentioned this to the lawyer but it didn't seem to go anywhere.

So the lawyer tried to get ahold of him to have him signed and he was just not going to do it.

That stops the sale. I called my title insurance company and got the policy and I was able to obtain a copy of the encroachment affidavit that the previous owner of the lot next door signed. For some reason, my lawyer didn't have this???. I sent it to my lawyer and he reviewed. He said if it was filed with the county, it would have conveyed and the only option would be to remove the driveway. I could legally do that and then we'd get another survey done and close.

Well ... it was never filed with the county - the lawyer I used to buy the house "forgot" - that means it wasn't public record when the neighbor closed. SO if we did have to go to court, he'd win the adverse possession claim and the only options were lots of time and money and all hinging on him being willing to agree to something. Either an easement - which we already offered, or I'd have to split off a 6x40 triangular plot of land and sell it to him or myself in order to get rid of the house.

If just baffles my mind that this guy was allowed to delay a real estate transaction, possibly indefinitely, because he's just a foolish child trying to play bigshot. "if I can't have it, no one can"

At that point, I asked the good neighbor on the other side if he knew anything about the guy. Turns out he's broke as a joke and stopped paying his mortgage on the place back in February. Yet , he was planning on buying mine somehow and letting camperdude live in it. I did find out that it was being financed by an individual, the previous owner of it.

I was able to get in contact with the previous owner. It took a few weeks, but he was able to get it signed and notarized by neighbor. How ridiculous.

The worst part about it was the dire financial straits it put us in. What's crazy is , after doing the deposit on the new house, putting in a fence, some light work inside - I had enough to pay off the mortgage on the old house. Somehow, over the course of the past 8 month, I managed to blow through that entire amount with many crazy unplanned life expenses. As in, an entire year of takehome pay ...

At least soon I can get back on track. I had quite a bit of equity in the house so I'll be cashing in on that and get a healthy savings going again .

Never buy a property that has other lots encroaching on it! You can buy a lot that encroaches on others with no problem!
 
Last edited:

GON

$100 Site Donor 2023
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Sorry you went through all of that, but congrats on mission accomplished. Having a property that has surface water concerns is always a worrisome thing, even with protections in place.
 

JRed

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I sold an old house for cash. Got lawyers involved, contract, etc. Still took three months. Could've sold it through a realtor faster. Won't do it again.
 

SwampSurvivor

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Apr 9, 2008
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Central NY
Sorry you went through all of that, but congrats on mission accomplished. Having a property that has surface water concerns is always a worrisome thing, even with protections in place.
The buyer put in drainage while we were waiting on this craziness. There was a pretty significant rain event that happened. No flooding and the garage was bone dry.
 
Joined
Jul 10, 2012
Messages
8,798
Location
South Carolina
Yeah, life lesson #2 even if you have someone REALLY nice who wants to buy your home, set a firm time limit.
We didnt have anywhere near the grief you did. We did have someone who had friends in our community who wanted our house, wife made the trip first, husband made the trip second, both very qualified.

Gave them a realistic price and slight discount than if it was listed with an agency. Both loved the house, moving from another state, certain reading between the lines, having done a lot of real estate in the past told me this might not be as simple as it seems. I told my family, I moved/marketed 100's of millions of dollars in real estate in my lifetime and I think maybe one time that a client told me they might have someone who wants the house before they listed with me actually bought it. I was so sure of myself, sometimes I would exclude a page of possible buyers for some people paying a commission if those people bought the house, no one ever does.

So anyway, they saw the home many weeks before we were going to list it and actually sat down, they asked some questions and made some statements about the market changing ect. That is a RED flag. You are either buying or not.
Anyway they promised to call within a few days, had a mortgage lender already working on the deal by the next weekend I didnt hear form them and I didnt even call them up before listing the house with an agency and that very first weekend we had multiple offers at the higher price to make up for real estate commission, of those offers 2 were even above our asking price.
By Monday morning of that first weekend we signed contracts and the buyers closed with us 5 weeks later. Way faster than I wanted but I liked their terms and now stuck in an apartment until our new house is completed.

Good problem to have. For others in here as you may know, set limits, someone is buying or not and ready to perform or not. If they are not ready, move forward with someone else or an agency. They can always buy it through the agency.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
173
Location
Pennsylvania
I owned about 6 acres on a mountain top where I planned to build a home. Had a professional survey with lines marked and pins in the corners. While I was out of state for work, the neighbor and developer decided to use my property to dump stumps, trees, rocks and excess fill from putting in an access road. They had an engineer design the road but never considered to topography needing my property to support their road. I return home after a couple of months to this dumping. 220 feet long, 30 plus feet high and 74 feet over the marked property line. I immediately contacted an attorney and was told I could force them to remove the dumping. Well, 10 years of legal fees and court filings and depositions resulted in nothing but bills and nothing moved. I got degusted, sold the property and went on with my life. The fill prevented me from putting in a driveway as the fill was in the ONLY place for a driveway to a potential residence.

O, the engineer who designed their road had to pay my legal fees, but no debris removed as it supported their road. Claimed was not practical to remove. The engineers wife is a judge. Sometimes the law does not protect the innocent due to politics.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2004
Messages
6,677
Location
Texas Hill Country
Having a realtor to handle this for you would have been my preference, than waiting 4 months for broke neighbors to buy a house for you that they can not get financing for.
 

SwampSurvivor

Thread starter
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
15,981
Location
Central NY
Having a realtor to handle this for you would have been my preference, than waiting 4 months for broke neighbors to buy a house for you that they can not get financing for.
For sure. We have a good one too. Using her would have avoided making the neighbor think he was entitled to the house . 8 months of mortgage is a lot more than a sellers commission on a $60,000 house ...
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
3,190
Location
FL
Yeah, life lesson #2 even if you have someone REALLY nice who wants to buy your home, set a firm time limit.
We didnt have anywhere near the grief you did. We did have someone who had friends in our community who wanted our house, wife made the trip first, husband made the trip second, both very qualified.

Gave them a realistic price and slight discount than if it was listed with an agency. Both loved the house, moving from another state, certain reading between the lines, having done a lot of real estate in the past told me this might not be as simple as it seems. I told my family, I moved/marketed 100's of millions of dollars in real estate in my lifetime and I think maybe one time that a client told me they might have someone who wants the house before they listed with me actually bought it. I was so sure of myself, sometimes I would exclude a page of possible buyers for some people paying a commission if those people bought the house, no one ever does.

So anyway, they saw the home many weeks before we were going to list it and actually sat down, they asked some questions and made some statements about the market changing ect. That is a RED flag. You are either buying or not.
Anyway they promised to call within a few days, had a mortgage lender already working on the deal by the next weekend I didnt hear form them and I didnt even call them up before listing the house with an agency and that very first weekend we had multiple offers at the higher price to make up for real estate commission, of those offers 2 were even above our asking price.
By Monday morning of that first weekend we signed contracts and the buyers closed with us 5 weeks later. Way faster than I wanted but I liked their terms and now stuck in an apartment until our new house is completed.

Good problem to have. For others in here as you may know, set limits, someone is buying or not and ready to perform or not. If they are not ready, move forward with someone else or an agency. They can always buy it through the agency.

Yep. Business is business.

Set a deadline and move on after the date passes, No games or sorry stories.
 

SwampSurvivor

Thread starter
Joined
Apr 9, 2008
Messages
15,981
Location
Central NY
Yep. Business is business.

Set a deadline and move on after the date passes, No games or sorry stories.

I forgot where I was reading it, but someone who handles a lot of real estate transactions said he always gets stories of "I was in the hospital" when people are stringing him along . I got one as well.

Now you can focus on your current house and forget about the swamp shack.


Apart from unexpected repairs (water main in October) , this is turn key! Time to enjoy my off work time instead of work on a house
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
3,190
Location
FL
Good to hear you are happy in your current home.

I felt very bad for you on your original post (a few months ago) about your home getting flooded due to all the rain and you struggling to pump out all the water.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2022
Messages
834
Location
Amherst, MA, usa
some builders perc them in the dry season (& highest spot).
Dont mean they're built ona dry lot.
They even pass town/city inspector~
That's Y we call 'em "Home moaners".
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
15,275
Location
Indiana
Mom and dad had a lake house they sold last year. It used to have a lot of fun neighbors. Sadly, they passed away and/ or (the spouses) moved. Some people confined in small homes on small lots need something to do so they cause trouble.

Congrats on finally selling your place. I understand the relief it must bring.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Messages
38,605
Location
ME
Time for a story. Luckily I've just been a passive observer.

Bought my house a while back. Was actually "servants quarters" for the mansion at the end of my dead-end street. Mansion was empty, for sale for $500k. In 2008 whomever owned the mansion split off their property across the street and someone built a house. Mansion remained vacant until 2015. Some guy bought it for $90k, owner financed. And, wow, what a guy.

He either never got power or got it turned off immediately for non-payment. Burned a f-ton of wood in a giant fireplace to keep warm through the winter. Had kids, 5, 10, 12 years old sleeping in snow pants all night due to lack of heat. Those kids came over to play with ours and we sent them home with "road snacks" as the adults were druggies and didn't feed their kids. Reported to CPS, they already had a file on them. They got some beat-up dodge durango with an audible misfire that they used to steal lumber from neighboring lots in the back woods. Only other vehicle was a 1990 F350 tow truck with a dealer plate of unknown provenance. They'd drive this thing to the bus stop with a pile of dirt on the roll-back and have their kids hop on for a "hay ride" back to the house. Sometimes an "uncle" was waiting at the bus stop-- conversation was the worst 5 minutes of my day, every day. Always conspiracy theories and bitcoin. One day he "won" a 3 day vacation via email on his phone. He truly believed this. I congratulated him.

My wife friended the mom on facebook for the lulz. She out of anyone kept things together. Dad went in and out of jail for dealing fentanyl. They secured a "million dollar" insurance policy on the house and it burned down a week later. "Sometimes good things happen" she brags on facebook.

Now, a mere stone chimney stands as a monument to drugs, crime, and cons. Surely the original owner got gypped out of most of his share as well.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2020
Messages
3,190
Location
FL
How old was this mansion ?

Many old mansions are in poor condition and not worth trying to save.

I wonder if insurance company paid the claim.
 
Joined
Jun 15, 2003
Messages
38,605
Location
ME
Mansion was old enough, I only peeked inside once. Had a weird vibe from all the dark wood and lack of electricity. Run down from a decade of non-use. Doubt the claim was paid as we would have seen them living high on the hog. They would have been lucky to not have faced more legal trouble and probably backed out of their claim when faced with "better" con-men from the insurance industry. Epilogue, my neighbor bought the land with big plans and has done nothing.
 
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