House on the tracks

A lady who saw one of my bandit signs called this morning about a fixer upper she wants to sell. It’s been listed on the MLS and the listing is about to expire. The house is cheap and I’m sure I can get her lower, but it’s directly across the street from a railroad track. I’ve looked at this house before, but I’m kinda scared to not be able to sell my first rehab b/c it’s sits right on the railroad. Has anybody had any experience w/ selling a house so close to the tracks (or anything else that you would think would keep people from buying)? It’s a good deal price wise but do yout think I would have trouble unloading it?

check the zoning. call the borough or township and find out what the property is zoned for.

It actually says in the MLS listing that it’s zoned for commercial (0.48 acres)

If the property is zoned for commercial, then find out what type of store can be setup there? Who would want to setup a store next to railroad track? How commerially active is that area? How much rent can you collect? If need be, what incentive can you provide to the potential buyer/renter? How much equity can you build if you want to hold it for a few years? Bottom line: how much profit can you extract?

We purchased a similar home in our area. It zoned commercial and we converted it into a small very successful deli. It’s called the Cable Car Diner. Deli’s are nice because most of the heavy equipment usually associated with the restaurant business is not needed for a deli. We lease the property to a guy who makes a nice living for himself. Very profitable for us. All decorated with antique train related items. People with kids LOVE going there. We put up an electric train where the crown molding would usually be and the kids love watching it while they eat. Just a thought.

I lived in a town in Illinois and there was a restaurant next to the tracks also. It was actually an old rail station. Every time the train comes by everybody in the restaurant stops eating and clapps. It was part of the experience. that being said, I don’t know the first thing about running a restaurant and would NEVER advise a person go into the restaurant business. I have seen it work and I have seen restaurants that had people waiting to get in every night go out of business.

I agree 100%. The restaurant business it as tough as it gets. However, I’m not in the restaurant business my tenant is. I found a guy who had a lot of experience in the deli business and I just provided the location. Everything was contingent on the tenant signing a 2 year lease. Got a GREAT deal on the property, Did some interior demo, and some odds and ends to make a restaurant (deli) out of a house. And now it generates about $15,000/yr in net income. I think the real estate business is the problem solving business. If you can look at something a little different you can have some great success. I looked at it like this… I stole the property (price wise) Gave this guy a shot, and worse case I dump the place and get my money back. that’s what’s great about real estate if you buy it right you can make a few mistakes and still not get hurt like Wall street.
I wasn’t going to wake up one morning and find the building vanished. It could burn I guess but insurance would prevent a total loss. Plus it’s fun.

And let’s not forget the potential for free sandwiches… ;D