Posted in Investing in Real Estate, Single Family Houses

Why Would You Do That? (Part 3)

Have you notice how many houses are for sale lately?  It’s true, there are more houses on the market now than last year at this time.  This is good news for investors that have cash and the courage to take action, while the opportunity’s available.

So, why would you buy an old house? I don’t care how it looks or where it is, why would anyone in their right mind buy a house that was built before 1978?

Our constantly regulating government has created new laws about houses built before 1978 because these houses could contain lead-based paint.  For your information; lead-based paint is harmful to your health and lead was a primary ingredient in paint until 1978.  If you buy or sell a house that was built before this time, all kinds of disclosures must be made and a pamphlet on lead-based paint must be given to prospective buyers or tenants.  Now, if you have peeling paint in a house or on the exterior of a house built before 1978, you must hire a licensed lead-based paint removal contractor to do the work if it exceeds approximately 10 square feet.  Good luck with that!  Most of the homes in the Northeast have this problem and it’s much bigger than what meets the eye.  Let me explain in more detail, as I have more experience than I care to tell you about in this area.

We live in a litigious society, where blood sucking vampires (attorneys) look for reasons to sue people because it is what keeps them alive.  They must get more and more blood to increase their business.  They literally seek out alleged victims and run newspaper ads in the areas that are most likely to have greater exposure to lead-based paint.  These areas are the inner cities of our Northeastern states, in lower income areas.  The reason lead-based paint lawsuits are concentrated in these areas is because lower income tenants have a tendency to leave their children on the floor, they don’t supervise them as much, and often these young babies or children will eat peeling paint – AND lead-based paint is sweet, so they like it.  Now, I hope I didn’t generalize too much, but this is my experience.  And guess what? These kids become adults and when they see an ad in the paper that gee, maybe I ate lead paint…Or they’ve been diagnosed in the past, hire a contingent fee based attorney and sue every property manager and landlord of any house they ever lived in or visited!

Think I’m kidding?  I got sued 7 times in the last 12 months for houses I owned at one time or another over 16 years ago.  And the last lawsuit stated they think the “alleged victim” visited my house between 1994-1995.  Now, if that isn’t a crock of BS I don’t know what is.  I’ve had to respond to all this nonsense and so you know, my insurance did not cover the lead-based paint.  And I assume now – you can’t get lead-based paint insurance.

So, why would anyone want to buy a home built before 1978?  You can buy beautiful houses in beautiful neighborhoods that are only a few years old at bargain basement prices in great areas.  Even if the house looks pretty and has been completely rehabbed but was built before 1978 – think again.  The bargain you think you are getting could be the road to perdition.