Buying Condemned Florida Houses
By Scott Wright Google
Buying condemned Florida houses is something I have personally been doing since 2001. The first condemned home I purchased was in a very low income area and the renovation project changed my outlook on real estate investing forever.
Buying Condemned Florida Houses
Many real estate investors and especially real estate guru seminar speakers won’t even touch the subject of buying condemned Florida houses. Possibly because the subject may be a little bit too complex or possibly because of fear of repercussions. Then again, the subject of buying condemned Florida houses and properties may simply be avoided because PRETTY HOUSES are much easier to talk about on stage. Lets face it, a photo on a big giant screen of some mansion the speaker is talking about flipping sure does have more of a “wow” effect than a little abandoned wooden bungalow leaning over to one side. Yeah, I get it. However, an investor with a little bit of “I can do this attitude” can make millions buying condemned Florida houses. No joke!
There are a few things you really need to know about buying condemned houses in Florida. You are always going to be dealing with City Code Enforcement officials. When I say “always” I really mean ALWAYS! Here are some of my own tips for you. Do not discount any of them. This is very important and might save your behind.
When Buying Condemned Houses In Florida Always…
- Treat Code Enforcement with respect
- Listen to what they are telling you it could save you thousands and time.
- Avoid EVER saying anything rude, offensive or negative.
- Make them an ally not an adversary.
- Take advantage of their knowledge.
- Ask them if there is a “better way” not “easier way”
- Say thank you!
820 E. Miller St. Orlando, FL 32805 needs full renovation. New building permit $14,000 Buyer pays all closing costs. pic.twitter.com/tTuzuYyC1E
— Spot77 (@GorillaMentor) August 4, 2016
Remember that you are going to be working hand in hand with City Code Enforcement, Building Department, Zoning, Planing and occasionally the City Attorney. The very worst thing you can ever do is develop a bad name with any one of them. This information will be passed between all the departments rapidly and it will cripple your ability to be successful. No matter how frustrating the situation seems it is never bad enough to burn your bridges. Just take a deep breath and keep on keeping on!
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Before you start buying condemned Florida houses you probably will want to find and forge friendships with a few professionals. I look at these professionals as my condemned houses “tool belt”. These are the professionals I need to be successful in this venture. Let me share a few with you now. You will want to find your own quickly.
Professionals Needed When Buying Condemned Florida Properties:
- Architect – for designs, plans and blueprints
- Engineer – For making major structural repairs and upgrades.
- General Contractor – To pull your building permits.
- Certified Electrician – To pull your electrical permits.
- Certified Plumber – If you need to change the main line into the home or add sewer or septic improvements.
- Handyman – Your go to guy to do all the work.
Realize at this point that each project has a different requirement when buying condemned Florida homes. Sometimes, the home may simply be condemned because it has been vacant too long and nobody has cut the grass for years. The only thing required in that situation could be a quick yard clean up, a paint job and a home inspection to get the home off the condemned list. There are obviously many levels and layers to remediation of each situation. Each property is uniquely different and these differences can add or subtract value from your bottom line. So you must be fully aware of the scope of each project you take on.
What To Look For First When Buying Condemned Florida Properties
When I am looking at buying a condemned Florida home there are some very important things I look for before all other things. Even before I enter the property I take a quick look around the outside for a few tell tale signs of how expensive the project will be. I will share my quick look list with you here:
My First Glance At A Condemned Home
- Is there a power meter on the home?
- Is there a main wire from the power meter to the power pole at the curb?
- Is the water meter still inside the meter box?
- Is there an air conditioning compressor unit outside still? (they are hot items people steal)
- Are there any open windows or doors? (squatters)
- Any visible holes in the roof?
Lets review some reasons why this is my hot list of critical items to consider before buying a condemned home. #1 and #2 Is there a power meter on the home and wire to the pole? These are the very most important items for me when looking at a condemned property. Why? Well, if there is no power meter, no meter base and most importantly no wire from the electric companies pole to the home you are looking at a major problem. This is not unsolvable and many times it is not a reason for me NOT to purchase the property. However, it is an immediate indication that this property is going to be more time consuming and tedious then a simple renovation. In order to do any renovation you need power so you and your workers can run their tools. It’s just obvious!
Once a home is removed from the power company’s power pole it is considered “off the grid”. The only way to remedy this is to have a 4 point home inspection to certify that the home is safe enough to turn the power back on with no liability to the power company and no danger to the neighbors. Sounds simple enough right? Well, if the house is in very poor condition this 4 point inspection is going to fail. In other words, a waste of time, money and effort. Hence no power. So what you are going to need is a General Contractor to pull a permit to fix the home’s physical problems and a Certified Electrician to pull a permit to repair and certify the electrical system is safe and back to modern code. This can be a rabbit hole if you are not familiar with how this all works. It is like putting together a puzzle and there is a right way to do this and a wrong way. The difference in how you handle this process can cost or save you many thousands of dollars.
My Tip To You: Sometimes, it is better to work with or partner with someone who successfully works the “buying condemned Florida homes” market already. I often purchase these properties as a partner of the person who located the property, sometimes pay a referral fee and often take the properties as an assignment of contract. I enjoy all aspects of real estate investing and like the opportunity to share my passion for home flipping and renovating. Feel free to contact me or bring properties to me.
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