Our doorbell rang yesterday by a guy who introduced himself as “the one who bought the shit shack down the street”, referring to our beloved “neighbor house”:http://troyandgay.com/blog/2008/02/29/pigs-house-what-150k-buys-in-the-seattle-area/. After I congratulated him on his purchase, he told me that he wanted to sell it now rather than fix it up because he doesn’t live on the island and didn’t want to do the work. He implied that the previous owner was going to buy it back from him and because “this is a nice neighborhood” and he didn’t want “that to happen again”, he’s offering the house for sale at $175K ($25K more than he paid).

He gave me a paper that he’s distributing to the neighborhood (bad grammar and all):

bq. My name is [name omitted] I am the owner of the little house at the beginning of the road [address omitted]. The house is now for sale to the people in the neighborhood. The original plan was to fix the house up and rent it out, plans changed. I have turned my focus towards other investments.

bq. If you are interested you can call me at [phone number omitted]

bq. Thanks. [name omitted]

He’s trying to sell me a house that he refers to as “the shit shack”. Wouldn’t “rustic cozy fixer-upper” be a more appealing description to a potential buyer?

His problem is that he paid $150K for property that is worth half that and he’d have to spend $50K or more to put a cute little house on it to sell it. And could he get more than $200K for it? Whatever he was thinking about property values here was clearly wrong. I feel sorry for the guy because he’s very young (20?) and now has a $150K mortgage to pay off and he has to pay property taxes on it.

I have no interest in buying it because the place is far cleaner than it used to be, so my problem is solved, and anyone who buys it is going to maintain or improve it so they can profit later. The only reason I’d buy it is so that it could return to a wooded area, which is going to happen anyway if no one buys it.

The previous owner can’t be stupid enough to buy it back. Or can they? They didn’t maintain the property because they got it free from her father, but once they put money into it, they have a strong incentive to maintain it. That’s my theory at least. It’ll be interesting to see what happens.