Understanding the Process of Purchasing a Demo House…

So, over the past week I have been very interested in one property that is on the most recent demo list from the City. It’s a great little house with so much exterior character. What it looks like inside? I don’t know yet. Why don’t I know? Because I need $5,000 dollars and an completed application to see inside of it. Sounds semi reasonable except I just want to see inside before I pull my resources together for the improvement cash. What if there is significant water damage? Or structural issues? Obviously, all things to look at even if it is for a real cheap price.

So I have started asking so many questions, wondering so many things about the process, who to talk and get advice from, how do you stop the demo if you are interested etc.. I have been wondering  the following…

  • Who else has done this that I can talk to about their experiences?
  • Is it hard to get insurance or a loan on a demo house?
  • Why and how do these amazing houses get onto the demo list in the first place?
  • How much are the houses worth when they are not in the homesteading area and can they be put into the homesteading program?

Okay, back to my potential little italianate house.. well, knowing certain people… I was able to get the demolition paused (thankfully!) because I sent an email through the right channels basically begging the powers that be for some time.. I have also been fortunate to email someone who connected me with the city real estate division right away (and they even responded on a weekend!) who quickly responded with the process of buying a demo house.

I have already had progress because I was lucky to know and contact certain people who know this process to guide me..  (which is awesome )… but what about the random person who wants to buy it that doesn’t know anyone who is familiar with the homesteading program? They may not know who to email or call, right?  And if they call city hall, they will get the information on the buying requirements and most likely be scared away by the requirements needed to be met –  just to see what the inside looks like.  An even bigger question is – what if they only have cash and no credit or bank account like some of our refugee families have who want to purchase a house?

So many questions and thoughts…

So before I do anything, my overall idea is to understand both sides of the issue and process first before acting, attacking or feeling alienated. One side of the process is the city – its policies, law requirements and what they are dealing with legally. The other side is the buyer – what he/she has to understand, undertake, learn and deal with – as part of the entire homesteading process. Once we know both of these processes well, perhaps we can make each more efficient? Perhaps we learn what works and doesn’t so we can help the future buyers out?

So, what do I do now? I do some research and understand.  I need to get a feel for what others have done in Buffalo but also what other cities have done. There are a lot of great houses out there that can and should be rehabbed. If the process was easier, the houses could potentially sell quicker… right?

My goal this week is to learn this process. Get a feel for it. Figure out why the city has the policies it has and how can we direct interested parties through the right channels.

More to come on this… If you have any insight, wisdom or websites you can connect me with, that would be amazing.

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