I'm somewhat saddened to report my offer for the duplex has been cancelled.
Thanks to the zoning issue, my dreams of owning a multi-family rental property have been delayed by quite a bit. The seller exhausted all of her available avenues and wasn't willing to fight the board to get the property zoned to multi-family. Nor was she willing to drop the price and let me deal with the issue, although I'm not sure I would have taken that offer. I want my first purchase to be as easy as is humanly possible, and fighting the zoning board for 3+ months does not sound anywhere near easy.
What she wants to do is put it on the market for full price, and either let someone else deal with the zoning issue, or try to find a buyer who will use it as a single family like she did.
I'm kind of sad I'm not going to buy this property. It's a beautiful house on a big lot close to the shopping center of town. Not to mention, I would have had a LOT of money coming in every month which would have significantly bumped up my savings rate.
On the other hand, I'm also kind of glad I didn't get this property. Since it hadn't had a valid rental certificate since 1993, there would've been a fair amount of improvements I needed to make before I could get renters. Things like adding more smoke detectors, GCFI outlets in the bathrooms, and whatever other hazards the inspector found.
In addition to the city mandated changes, I also had a growing list of things I wanted to change or add, to include but not limited to:
-Add wall ovens to both sides (and related electrical and carpentry work)
-Modify backsplash in one kitchen
-Buy a refrigerator for one kitchen
-Fix gutter on shed
-Tear off existing wallpaper
-Finish ceiling texture on one side
-Replace outlet covers and light fixtures as needed
-potential mitigation from effects of her 4 dachshunds
-pontental carpet replacement
As you can see, there was a fairly extensive list of things that needed to be done. Nothing incredibly major, but all of those small things added up. And, on the bright side, I no longer need to scour Craigslist and other local sites for wall ovens and a fridge.
For now, I will continue saving up for a down payment and keep looking for a multi-family investment property. I've been keeping an eye on the market, but there has been ZERO new properties in the zipcodes I like the last month. One reason I wasn't concerned about the other deal taking a long time. If there had been a property I liked, I would've ended the deal and gone after that one.
I knew going into this that real estate investing isn't necessarily the easiest thing on the planet to do. If it were easy, everyone would do it instead of letting our money sit in index funds. I'm not discouraged in the slightest since I accepted at the very beginning of this process that shit happens and there isn't shit I can do about it. This deal fell through for reasons beyond our control, so it wasn't like the seller was rejecting me personally. In fact, the seller actually liked me a lot and was happy I was buying the duplex instead of some sleazy slumlord. Hopefully, I will make as good of an impression on the next seller and be able to close the deal with no issues!
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