Question Details

Bj, Home Buyer in Illinois

My dream home is right next to my parents house. The thing is, the owner is 80 years old and is starting to

Asked by Bj, Illinois Wed May 14, 2008

have trouble keeping up with the 3 acres. How would I politely inquire about a home not for sale. I'd like to let him know if you ever want to sell give me a call and I'll pay the full assessed value any time within the next several years if he ever wants to sell. Any way to do this or is this taboo?

Help the community by answering this question:


To wait might mean missing the boat.....You might want to draft him a letter explaining your situation and make him aware of your genuine interest. I would hold back on talking about terms(including how much you are willing to pay) until he shows interest in your appeal.

We prefer a letter as opposed to direct contact because he will hopefully keep the letter with your contact information on it.

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
Century 21 Almar and Associates
Venice, Fl 34285
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 14, 2008
The advice you've gotten is good. Combine personal contact and a letter. Then follow up every 2-3 months with just a little note continuing to express your interest.

As to what to offer, consider just saying "full value," not "full assessed value." An assessed value means nothing. Often, it's quite a bit less than fair value. And if your neighbor asks his son or daughter, or lawyer, about the letter, they may erroneously believe you're trying to "steal" the property. Also, check with a lawyer just to make sure that what you're presenting doesn't constitute a contract...unless you do want something binding. It may be your dream home today, but let's say in 5 years the neighbor wants to sell. He has a signed, dated document from you saying you will pay "full assessed value" if "he ever wants to sell." Now, I'm not a lawyer, so this isn't legal advice, but be careful. True, contracts require some form of "consideration," usually a dollar amount (unless the transaction is between relatives, in which case the term "love and affection" is often the "consideration"). However, it could be argued that the document itself has a value, thus satisfying the requirement of "consideration."

Not trying to scare you. Just suggesting you phrase the letter carefully.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 17, 2008
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Fairfax, VA
Anyone else have input? I am thinking of typing up a letter this weekend.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat May 17, 2008
Hi Bj. If this home is right next to your parents' house, I would hope your parents know the neighbor and talk to him from time to time and that they'd be able to introduce you to their neighbor if you don't know him already. I agree with Bill that you should make your intentions known and I would personally prefer a talk to the neighbor first followed up by a letter. Your conversation with the neighbor does not even have to include the subject of purchasing the property. The initial personal contact would be more of a warmup move that could be followed up by a thank you note mentioning your interest in the property. If you live in the area, you could even offer to help this man, which would be a great opportunity to find out whether he's inclined to sell. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 14, 2008
Ute Ferdig -…, Real Estate Pro in Newcastle, CA
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