How to go about knocking on the owner's door (Found my dream house part 2)

As I’ve written, I found my dream house. I contacted a title company last week and now have the elderly owner’s address. His number is unlisted, so I can’t call to set up a time to go over.

What should I take with me to the meeting? As of right now, I plan on the normal stuff that I have in my folder:

  • Agreement to Purchase and Sale
  • Blank warranty Deed
  • Option to Purchase

(I usually take more than this, but since I am not selling the house, I’m not taking the other items.) I also plan on having a notary on call for when I drop by his house.

What am I not thinking about? Am I forgetting anything? I am so into this house, that I need some outside views on it. Much appreciated!

Due diligence?

He might not want to sell, for whatever reason, his wife died there, he’s just stupid, etc.

You didn’t see the inside yet. Bathroom? Is there one? Is it inside?

Don’t get caught up in it.

Look for reasons not to buy, and don’t discount them just because you do want to buy.

Take someone else impartial with you.

Due diligence? The house is abandoned. His son used to be the conservator of his estate, but was taken off. There are back taxes and a mechanic’s lien totalling less than $20,000. The house is owned free and clear otherwise. It’s worth $650K or more in a fantastic neighborhood.

He might not want to sell, for whatever reason, his wife died there, he’s just stupid. He’s divorced from his wife and obviously doesn’t care about the house or it wouldnt’ be abandoned. He lives elsewhere.

You didn’t see the inside yet. Bathroom? Is there one? Is it inside? It’s a 3/2 with a pool and has been fenced by the city (hence the mechanic’s lien from the company that fenced it) so it doesn’t ahve any vagrants camping in it. I plan on updating it anyway.

Don’t get caught up in it. As a home for me and my family or a business find, this is a fantastic deal.

Look for reasons not to buy, and don’t discount them just because you do want to buy. There are no reasons not to buy this house. It’s due to go to the tax deed sale in August anyway. A $650K house for $20K is an outrageously great deal.

Take someone else impartial with you. Nah, I’m good by myself. Any time I take someone with me that doesn’t know what the heck they are talking about, I have to make a second trip.

I would just put the house under contract & submit it to the Title Company. I’d get title insurance so that any suprises would be taken care of.

Thanks for the responses, but what I am looking for is how to approach him in getting him to sell it to me. Perhaps I am really overthinking this since I have gotten other people to sign their homes over. I guess it’s that this home will be for me and my family, so I’m more attached to it than normal.

You have more experience than I do so I don’t have any good advice to share, but I definitely hope that you will post the outcome here! Otherwise, I will keep wondering if you got the house or not…


That is so sweet, thank you. I will definitely post about the outcome… :biggrin

Out of curiosity should I have him sign the deed over to me if he’s willing while I am there? This is why I never have feelings in business. I can’t think straight about this… Thanks, everyone.

It seems to me you already decided to buy it, you just want someone to tell you to do it, because you have a feeling something may go wrong.

If you’re already sure that no other liens are held on the property, then just take the deed and get a signature. If chain of title’s clear, then title insurance shouldn’t be a problem. If it’s not, get a QCD, then do quiet title, that only takes around 60-90 days, at least here in PA.

My father in law owns a house half a mile from me, refuses to sell it. With rehab I could make 80K, but he just refuses to sell. Some you win… if you ask, they can only say no, if you don’t ask, they can’t say yes

No, I AM getting this house one way or another. In fact, I am going over there tonight to speak to him. I’ll let you know what happens.

Good Luck! :beer

What happened with your visit?

I have to set up a meeting with his lawyer to handle the transfer of the title. I called him this morning and am waiting for him to get back to me.


The pen pushers, bean counters, and clip board wielders have got hold of it now.

By his request, yes. However, if the lawyer continues to drag his feet (I called him yesterday before going over there and today to set the meeting), I am going back over there with a notary and having him sign the deed. It’s his house. I feel so bad for him, everyone has done him wrong, taken from him and he’s all alone now living in filth. He told me that he wants me to have the house and I’d be saving him from the bills he’s been getting that he can’t pay. I spent a few hours over there with him last night and what his son and ex wife have put him through is horrendous. The daughters just got married and left him alone. Regardless of what happens I will be there for him.

Be prepared to wage a legal battle with his kids if they try to declare him incompetent so that they can take the house from you.


They can’t. All of that has been done already and his son is in jail for misappropriating the funds from when he was conservator. He has been found competent.

Oh, wow! You weren’t kidding when you said his children have put him through a lot.


No, I was not kidding. I don’t kid about things like that. My lawyer would mop the floor with them anyway. I read through all the paperwork while I was there last night and this attorney of his is nickel and diming him to death.

and the neighbors who might have had their eye on it when the sherriff’s sale came around.

If you’re doing any work, make sure you get the proper permits, if needed.

The curtains will be twitching

I am teflon in this.

If I don’t buy it, the house will go up for auction at the tax deed sale in August. Not to mention that I checked with the county and they are about to take it to the council and have what they are owed (roughly $10K)start to accrue interest. It’s a lien that would not be wiped out by the sale.

I happen to be friends with a county building inspector and his supervisor :bobble, so I won’t have any issues with permits (I’d get them anyway).

I did a title search myself this morning and other than those things I already know about, it’s fine. Except the house has been neglected for a while. But I have money marked for my rehab, so I’m good.

I’ve had it with the attorney cockblocking :banghead(surprise, he’s not returning my phone calls) and I’m going over there tomorrow to talk to the owner again to let him know what’s going on…and get his signature on the deed.