I'm considering buying a house in philadelphia, but the house next door is abandoned full of junk and not properly boarded up. What are my?

Asked by 1st Time Buyer - Help!, Philadelphia, PA Wed Oct 5, 2011


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Laura Feghali, Agent, Stamford, CT
Wed Oct 5, 2011
Hello 1st Time Buyer,
A house next door that is abandoned and unsightly lowers the property values of the homes surrounding it. If you are considering purchasing next to this property then I suggest that you contact the city of Philadelphia's Health Dept. and report the abandoned home as a "blighted property".

If the city investigates and discovers that the property is truly "blighted" then the owner will either have to clean it up or pay some hefty fines. Hopefully, that will help in getting it into a decent condition which will make the home you are considering more attractive and valuable.

Good luck!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
2 votes
Benjamin R.…, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Fri Oct 7, 2011
You have gotten very good advice thus far. However, I have buyers who do purchase home with abandoned houses next door. I would not say it is a "bad idea" but it is certainly a much greater risk. A few other questions I would add to what has already been stated:

1) Why is the property abandoned and by whom? If it is owned by a Philadelphia agency you may be able to purchase it (A long process but certainly an option)

2) Is the neighborhood developing? Meaning is there a good chance the abandoned property will be bought and renovated? You don't know what that renovation will look like, but do you feel there is a high likelihood it will happen?

3) Is the property vacant with easy access by trespassers or is it properly "boarded" up?

4) What are the insurance rates for this property? Is the financial and personal risk worth the price?

I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.

1 vote
Michael Solo…, Agent, Huntingdon Valley, PA
Wed Oct 5, 2011
Usually not a good idea to buy next to a vacant house you might have problems getting afordable homeowners insurance.also you have the great unknown when or if the property will ever get rehabbed which can have a direct Impact of the value of your property.if you have any other questions call me at 2154212121 Michael Solomon. Realty mark associates
1 vote
Bruce Lang, Agent, Philadelphia, PA
Fri Oct 14, 2011
keep looking. there will be others...as for gettin git boarded up, you can call licenses and inspections and they will normally board up homes promptly.
0 votes
Josie75, Home Seller, Philadelphia, PA
Thu Oct 13, 2011
options, what do you mean options
0 votes
Gita Bantwal, Agent, Jamison, PA
Thu Oct 13, 2011
The others have given you good advice. As the property next door is not properly boarded up, you do not know if trespassers will get in. If there are too many boarded up properties , it brings down value of neighboring houses. Can you find a similar home at similar price in another block so that you do not have to worry about the house next door or are you getting a very good deal on the house? If you are working with a good agent in the area the agent may be able to advice you.
Web Reference:  http://www.gitabantwal.com
0 votes
Josie75, Home Seller, Philadelphia, PA
Tue Oct 11, 2011
look at 3132 Nesper Street fully redone, nothing to do but move in
0 votes
Michael N., Other Pro, Bucks, AL
Sat Oct 8, 2011
1st Time Buyer

You mentioned “property is privately owned by a couple who can not decide what to do with it”. Are you in contact with the vacant property owners? I have bought vacant properties in the past and I may be interested in this one depending were in 19104. Give me a call at 215-900-3447 and either Matt or I will discuss with you.
0 votes
1st Time Buy…, Home Buyer, Philadelphia, PA
Fri Oct 7, 2011
Thank you for all your advice and pointing out the hazards to consider. I was worried about pest but hadn't even considered insurance!

L. Feghali had a great suggestion, and I did report the property to the city. In response to Benjamin Everett's comments the property is privately owned by a couple who can not decide what to do with it. They haven't even been paying property taxes. The neighboorhood is developing rapidly but the house is not properly boarded up. This is meant to be an investment property. The house in a student rental community and there are several other student rentals on the street and the surrounding blocks.

Lots to consider here. It may not be worth the risk.
0 votes
Erica Ramus,…, Agent, Pottsville, PA
Thu Oct 6, 2011
Michael Solomon is dead on. You may like the house but you still have to look at and live with the neighbors and neighboring houses. What kind of traffic would an abandoned house bring to your block? What kind of negative perception should you choose to sell this house later?
0 votes
Philip J. Cu…, Agent, Feasterville, PA
Thu Oct 6, 2011
Mr. Solomon is right. Just stop to think who has to pass judgment on the property you are looking at? Let’s take a quick count you, the Lender, The City of Philadelphia, the home inspector, The Pest Control Company and above all Appraiser. Since being in the Real Estate business for longer then I want to admit to I have found that buying a property on a block with an abandon property is taking a large risk. Now with the property next door is abandon the risks is much higher and then add trash in, you now have insects to deal with. The best and safe thing to do is run to another property unless you feel lucky and plan to invest in the other house next door when it becomes available.
Web Reference:  http://www.greatpare.com
0 votes
Phil Green, , Philadelphia County, PA
Wed Oct 5, 2011

Give me a call. I can advise you.


Phil Green
2158522041 c
0 votes
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