Old home, falling apart, no money to fix it now or in the future...do I have any opitons?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2008
Old home, falling apart, no money to fix it now or in the future...do I have any opitons?
18
Thu, 07-07-2011 - 11:22pm

I have posted questions about this before but not directly like this. We are in our starter home which we bought 25 years ago. Should be paid off, right? In fact we owe 10,000 more than we initially bought it for due to dh taking our second mortgages for several business failures. The last appraisal we had though (of course that was before the housing crash) still gave us about $60.000 equity. I have no idea where we are now but Im assuming based on the houses selling around here that we would be lucky to get $20,000 more than we owe.

There are major issues and severe cosmetic problems, leaking roof, heating and air system 28 years old, ceilings cracked because of leaks, probably mold and definitely mildew issues again because of a flood 10 years ago which left over a foot of water in our basement, as well as several leak in the foundation.. There is

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2011

I don't know anything about the housing market, but if I were in your situation, I would call for an appraisal and also an assessment to budget how much you would have to invest to have the house OK. Only a professional can say if your house is still "sold-able".

I do have one question for you: do you also own the land? How much do you still owe to the mortgage? Because if the location is good, the house may not have value, but the land would. Would the bank buy the house from you, to close the debt?

What you shared here makes me think. I come from a country where houses are made of brick and stone. They last forever...living in a 100 years old house is not a problem. A 25 years old house seems (to me) a pretty new house...my townhouse (that I bought six years ago, here in Canada) seems OK and "new", even when it has a few things here and there...what happens in North America when the houses are 25-30 years old? If a mortgage can be as long as 40 years (now they changed the rules to 30, but ours is still on 36), that means that at the end we will be paying something that doesn't exist?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2009

Silviatic, houses last much longer than that in Canada too - there are hundred plus year old houses here. The issue seems to be upkeep and maintenance and repairs - these have to be done on a timely basis for any house. Neglect it and the house deteriorates - this happens everywhere. My parents house is 45+ years old and would sell in a heartbeat - it's been maintained, updated (renos on kitchen, bathrooms, new windows, furnace, etc.) over the years - you cannot just let the house sit and not take care of it. Of course, that takes money. Also you cannot take money out of a house and expect to continue to gain equity - you're taking that out and leaving only debt. I bought my house 19 years ago and paid it off 5 years ago - but I didn't take money out of it for anything, so it's value has increased and could be sold for twice what I paid for it.

Rnruns53, I think getting an appraisal regarding current value of the house, then what the value would be if you did the necessary "fixes" is a good idea. I don't know about how a foreclosure might affect being able to rent, but I'm sure some of the folks here will have some good information for you. Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2005

I would get a market analysis done on the house.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008

I would get it appraised and an estimate done on the repair total. You can think you know what it is worth until you are blue in the face or guess how much the repair will be but you don't really know until someone tells you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2011

Hi Ashleyw34,

Thanks for the clarification. I actually have a few questions about house maintenance, but I will post a different question/topic as this thread is for another person with different problems (I live in a townhouse and pay strata, the strata is supposed to be used to cover all "outside" issues of the house, such as roof, etc., so my situation is different from the one posted here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2009
No problem! I actually have a townhouse as well, but we handle the "outside" issues ourselves (I'm assuming you mean things like yards, snow removal, maybe roofing?). It sounds almost as if yours is in a condominium set-up, with fees to cover common upkeep - does that sound right? My parents have that with their condo down south.
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

I don't really know the answers to your specific questions, but did want to throw out my two cents.

I would ask yourself what your ultimate goal is as far as a 'home.'

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2008

I have several questions that I think you need to ask yourself.

Do you like where you live? Is the neighborhood safe?

Norma


"Patience is the best remedy for every trouble"- Plautus


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-17-2007

Norma

Raymond and I have fixed several old houses in our married life. for little or nothing.

First don't call in a realtor until you got the mold removed. If you let someone like that know and then you try to sell the house they can stop the sale. It is against the new law to sell a house that has mold. So you and maybe your son get down in that basement. with a ton of bleach and mask

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-01-2008

Thanks for all of the ideas, suggestions, and support. Ill try to answer some of your questions if that helps.

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