Home Buying in Brooklyn>Question Details

Lynne, Home Buyer in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn...

What ar the implications of buying next to a house that is neglected and has a few "Failurt to Maintain" compliants in the DOB records?

Asked by Lynne, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, NY Mon Feb 14, 2011

We saw a house in Bed Stuy and loved the it. The house next door is a significant concern and will most likely be a deal killer unless someone has some insight that can change our minds. The "Failure to Maintain" complaints started in 2004 and one complaint was issued by the person owning the property we were considering. That complaint pertained to improper drainage on the part of the neglected house that caused water to enter the house we were considering. The complaint was referred to the housing preservation and I can't seem to find information whether it was resolved but the house we looked at didnt appear to have water damage and a previous potential buyer's inspection did not turn up anything on anything. The other DOB compaints were in regards to missing windows and such (one window is still missing in the back). Emotionally, I'd like to buy anyway but I don't think it is rational given the probable on-going issues with the neighboring property. Any thought or suggesstions?

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Lynne. Move on and find something else. The inherent problem will persist and affect the value of all properties in proximity to the property in question. Water damage or even the perception of such is something that would stop me in my tracks.

I grew up in Bedstuy or as some are currently calling it, Stuyvesant heights (please!). There are many beautiful brownstones and you can most likely find another property without the hassle. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 26, 2011
My personal opinion is that location is everything. If you buy next to a home that has been abandoned and may be giving the home you're considering problems then you need to tread carefully. You never know the condition of this abandoned property and how it can effect your home down the line. There could be structural issues, rodent issues, water problems, random people breaking in and staying in the home, etc.

There's alot to consider financially, so you have to take be extremely careful.
Web Reference: http://www.RhondaHolt.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 18, 2011
It depends if you can "put up with home like that "... I owned a home directly across the street had that issues. I caused much problems for future resale of the home .

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 15, 2011
That means that the price is probably cheap, however, if purchased, new owner may have an issue with re-sale if the neighboring property condition is not remedied. I wouldn't recommend especially if there is no indication of action being taken to remedy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 15, 2011
If the house you want is structurally solid, and the price is right, I personally would look at this situation as a find.

I'm with Mark Kerr on Bed-Sty, the area has so much going for it. From an investor's viewpoint, you want to buy low and sell high, not the other way around, which is why this strikes me as such a good purchase--*potentially*.

The key is this: You must, must negotiate strongly on this purchase price because the adjacent house affects the value of the one you are interested in. This will also apply to you, of course, when/if you become the owner.

But-- if you buy at a price as if that dumpy house weren't there, you are overpaying. You don't want to do that.

You are, I hope, looking for a long-term investment as well (at least 5-10 years of ownership).

The other thing is, you want to research the house next door as thoroughly as you can. I would knock on the door and speak to the tenants, find out the underlying story. Hang on the block at various hours, see if there are parties on the stoop that you couldn't live with. You can even stop by the local police precinct and ask about the house. Sometimes there's a simple explanation for the DOB problems and you know it's not something that's going to last forever.

I say all this because, if Bed-Sty is the up and coming place a lot of people think it is, then the economic pressure will ultimately force the house next door to improve, one way or another. It will get sold, or fixed up.

Karla Harby VP
Rutenberg Realty NYC
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 15, 2011
The implication of living there is you are living next to an ugly situation!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
Dear Lynne:

That sounds a little scary to me and I have several thought to share with you. First of all did you make an offer and did it get accepted. If you have not made an offer and/or it has not been accepted it is a moot point because without first having an accepted offer you will not be buying the house anyway. If you did make an offer or will be making an acceptable offer, here is my thinking....

1) You need to hire you own inspector to check out the house, Don't go by what the previous buyers inspector said because obviously they did not buy the house anyway and besides you do not know the inspectors qualifications. When you hire your own inspector they are obligated to protect your best interests. Make sure they are licensed and it also helps if they are licensed engineers.

2) You can go to the NYC Department of Buildings web site and punch in the address to see if there are any outstanding violations on the property, here is the link to take you there:

3) If you do buy this house any problems with the neighboring property will increase ten fold once you move in! Be very, very careful!!

If you want to give me the address I can do more research for you. If I can be of further assistance please let me know. Feel free to contact me anytime and good luck!

Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
Email: MitchellSFeldman@aol.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
I would say take the chance and go for it. But on the other hand I may be bias due to the fact that I am in love with Bed-Stuy right now. I recently posted a blog on Bed-Stuy being an up and coming neighborhood. Here is a link to my blog; http://www.trulia.com/blog/mark_kerr/2010/11/bedford_stuyves… Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
Several factors come in to play here. Primarily, if your building is attached you potentially share their problems, pest, water, squatters, or structural issues. Second, fair market home value is an average of the sales prices for the most recent sales. If this house is sold at auction it will drive the price down around it. If this is an investment, you can find out if the bank/owner will sell it and you may be able to recoup some of your investment back on your intended purchase buy doing either a wholesale sale or a rehab/resell. If the house you are buyer is something you really love and must have, then you can probably work it out to your advanyage. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
Hello Lynne,
I suggest a couple of things:
1. Did you actually see a copy of the potential buyers inspection report or are you going with what the listing agent says about the property? I would suggest conducting your own inspection as there may be other issues with the home which you are not aware of.
2. If this property has been neglected for a number of years, it probably will not be recitified anytime soon. Think of your quality of life there; would you be willing to put up with neighbors who appear not to care about their property? Who lives there currently? Maybe you might wish to walk around the street and if there are any neighbors outside, inquire with them about the neglected property to obtain more information and learn what the neighbors think.
Hope this helps.
Good luck!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
Consider that the property next door will not change while you own the house. If you can live with it, there's your decision. It's never a good idea to go into a deal with an unresolved "white elephant" issue with the belief you or someone else will remedy. Too often, the issue is persistent.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
the other house is certainly a detriment to the value of the neighboring homes, including the one you are purchasing. is it by any chance on the market? If so, the new owner would likely fix it up. Are there people living there? do they care about the house and just can't fix it themselves? Would they accept help? If this would work for you, might be a great win-win situation. You get the house you love, help a neighbor and build a friendship. Plus the whole neighborhood will be affected in a positive way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 14, 2011
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