Should I Buy a Fixer-upper in Probate? During a Pandemic?

Should I Buy a Fixer-upper in Probate? During a Pandemic?

  • CREM Group
  • 08/12/20

The Real Estate Market is HOT! HOT!! HOT!!!

The July 31, 2020, USA TODAY article, “Covid-19 economy: Rebound from recession could prove tougher in months ahead,” by Paul Davidson and George Petras might make you think the real estate market is not that good. But it is.

As one of the sources that accompanied that piece, the National Association of Realtors statistics showed that the seasonally adjusted annual rate of existing housing sales surged a record 20.7% to 4.7 million in June. The reasons cited were 1) record-low mortgage rates and 2) pent-up demand. What’s more, some economists expect additional gains in the coming months. Good news. Right? Maybe not. High demand means high prices. Homes for sale are even bid up over the asking prices. Plus, people are waiting in the wings for the right house and trying to snap it up before it’s listed, hoping to avoid the bidding wars. It’s crazy, right? But those are the facts for today. The CREM Group would be pleased to show you all our new listings in Los Angeles and Orange counties. There are some beautiful homes on the market now.

Why Fixer-Uppers Might be a Good Idea

In our June 17, 2020 post, Real Estate Transactions in a Post-Pandemic Market, we talked about the future. In another CREM Group Real Estate Journal article (June 30, 2020), we discussed How Low-Interest Rates Affect the Real Estate Market. Those are good sources as background for some strategies you could follow in today’s market. But with today’s recent 20.7% uptick, there could also be a good reason for buying that fixer-upper. Moreover, a fixer-upper in probate, while it may take a little longer, could be a very nice discounted property versus the searing-hot real estate market, making investors and residential buyers crazy. Don’t forget, the CREM Group owners are experts in trust, probate, and conservatorship properties here in Southern California.

Beware These Three Facts

  • Fixers-uppers in probate are as-is. But if you are looking for a reasonable price on a home in the Southern California area, sometimes probate homes or conservatorships and trust homes can get you into a home to live in, or as an excellent investment property.
  • Fixer-upper buyers need a good eye. You need to know the neighborhood and consider if buying a second home outside of a downtown area might be your ticket into the propertied gentry. There are properties in Orange County that might fill that bill. Or you may invite someone with credentials and licenses for different areas (roof, plumbing, structure, etc.) to help you decide if it’s worth the price… or worth the cost to fix it up at all.
  • Fixer-uppers are especially great for people with fixer-upper-type skills, but also, hiring contractors and tradesman can get the job done. Just make sure to check them out very well.

Guarded Excitement

  1. Love the price. How much to make it livable? Run the numbers. Remember that a probate home transaction takes a long time. Sometimes up to a year or more. Interest rates have declined. Lots. But they may go back up by the time the deal closes. Let’s talk about it. We have years of experience in probate homes. Fixer-uppers, too.
  2. Great house. Sketchy neighborhood. You may love the house! It checks. But it would help if you were sure of the community. A professional real estate agent (yes, like the CREM Group) in the area can save your bacon.
  3. “Honey-I-want-to-live-in-this-neighborhood,” but the home is too, too, too run down. Keep a level head.
  4. Live or sell? If you’re going to live in the house it’s a different decision tree than if you’re going to flip it or rent it. Need help? We are good at this. Humble, too.

Hitting the Nail on the Head

There’s no use pulling any punches here. Carpenters and DIY folks are good candidates for fixer-uppers, but there are a lot of moving parts in a home. The ghost of Murphy’s Law (if anything can go wrong, it will) sometimes haunts the creaky floorboards and noisy plumbing that looked okay when the inspector came by. But oops, the wheels fell off, and stuff has happened. Fixer-uppers are not for the faint of heart, but they’re a reasonable risk for the right investor or resident. We have seen more good deals than bad, mainly because we have a lot of experience in probate, trust, and conservatorship properties in this Southern California area we call home. Can’t beat the weather!

Work with Experienced Individuals

The hot real estate market today may cool or become downright frigid in the next few months. It’s happened before, and it will happen again. In the meantime, the best offense is a good defense. Surround yourself with the people (like the CREM Group) who have knowledge of markets, homes, neighborhoods, lenders, and you’ll be fine.

As long time real estate agents and as attorneys working in and around all kinds of properties in Los Angeles and Orange Counties, we have made sure we support our clients, so they know the alternatives to buying or selling probatetrust, and conservatorship homes in California.

As always, contact us by email here if you have any questions about real estate, probate real estate, conservatorship, or trust real estate properties, especially in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in California.

Or directly:
Mark Cianciulli, Esq.
[email protected]

DISCLAIMER: This content is meant purely for educational purposes. It contains only general information about real estate and legal matters. It is NOT legal advice and should not be treated as such. We recommend consulting a legal or tax professional before acting on any material, opinion, or point of view described herein.

COVID-19 Safety. As all of us at the CREM Group market and sell our inventory of probate, trust, and conservatorship homes for our clients, we adhere to the COVID-19 regulations set by the California Association of Realtors.

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