Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Cumberland Project

So, here's the deal. Way back on October 20, I signed an offer on a property in Cumberland, MD. Eight days later, they acknowledged receipt of the offer. I subsequently received a third-hand representation of the seller's desire to accept the offer, eventually followed (only upon insistence) by a signed contract on 11/5. Settlement was set for 12/1, and we were (optimistically) hoping to settle before Thanksgiving. I still don't have a firm settlement date -- presumably sometime next week -- but I have a contract. Apparently, the big deal is that it's a low-value, bank-owned property under foreclosure, which means that not only is there a lot more paperwork, but a lot more hands in the pot, as the settlement attorney puts it. And many of those hands are busy, or at least preoccupied. So, while I'd hoped to have a roofing contractor in before December, I'm now hoping for before January. 10 days after wiring the funds for closing, I've received confirmation. Things move slowly out here. Another week, and I hope to have achieved settlement, and have a first reel of photos.

As soon I as I have possession, I need to get a roofing contractor in. Beyond that, I have recommendations for gutters and chimneys. What we're talking about is a 3000 sq ft property for $40K, which probably is going to require up to another $20K in immediate repairs. Current assessment is $80K, and comps for the neighborhood put it closer to $150K or up. My current estimate for "ready to rehab" is $20/sf for 3000 sf. Which puts acquisition at under $15/sf, and "ready to refinish" at under $20/sf. If I'm lucky, I can make up the difference between my $60K investment and $120K equity with just sweat.

If I hadn't been dealing with the (temporary) loss of my (only) vehicle, this week would have been easier. Truck should be picked up before Wednesday, and settlement should be same or next day. Everything on this deal seems to come with a one-week penalty, or more. Is there a home improvement project more problematic than getting a new metal roof installed in January?

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