UR Home Investments

We buy, improve & repair properties in Melbourne, Florida.  
For fast sale we take over payments. No need for you to spend money on repairs!
We buy estates or probate properties, too!


I buy houses in Melbourne, Florida.  I buy Owner-Carry, producing income for the seller.  Need to sell a problem house NOW?  Willing to carry a mortgage? Have a solid house with some repairs needed? I can work with probate and estates.  Fixers float my boat!  Contact me to see how I can solve your house problem.

view:  full / summary

Clearing Trees and Undergrowth

Posted on December 11, 2017 at 7:55 PM Comments comments (0)

the shrubs around the house, and any trees that lean over the house, or are suspected to have disease. Below is a photo of the large mango tree that is resting on the copper roof.

Our contractor took down about two thirds of the mango tree. Yes, that is the same tree in the shot immediately below! The tree is producing large volumes of fruit this summer, so the trim didn't diminish its output. Also, you can see how we removed those overgrown shrubs. We will add plants back, once the house has been treated for termites


Once the trees were removed, the heavy equipment was used to remove the stumps where that was possible, and a stump grinder was used where we couldn't otherwise get into the space.


The order of operations for the external space is:

Take down a panel of fencing so that the heavy equipment can get into the yard, remove what needs to come out, get the house tented for termites while the vegetation is cleared, replace the old fence with new fencing, install a new sprinkler system, develop a plan for the grounds, and then begin to place new plants. It has been shocking to see the greenery disappear.


A neighbor behind our property has complained that we are taking away her beautiful green views. I totally understand.

New electrical panels going in

Posted on August 8, 2017 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Talked with Jeff from T&V Electric.  He wants to ensure that what he is planning on doing with the electrical system is also what we want him to do. We agreed that we need to make the house safe. Right now, there are loose wires, uncapped wires, and twisted aluminum, in addition to outdated and unsafe panels. He looked around and sees what he calls the Obvious stuff. I asked him to get it up to code. Later in the day I confirmed that he got the second panel replaced. He has a few more clients to handle and will come back in the near future to drop lines for the outlets and for the ceiling lights. Two new panels are $4000.

We have been adding new and modern A/C units, which have more pull than older models. Additionally, the stove configuration wasn't powerful enough. Lastly, the panels were of a variety where thrusting action to make the connection with the fuse (if I understand the electrician correctly) could possibly cause sparking. So it was in our best interest to replace this panel, and another one in a different part of the house. Expensive project, but it will bring the house up to code.


Insulated flexible ductwork

Posted on August 8, 2017 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)

We have been working all summer long with just two window air conditioning units: one upstairs and one downstairs. That's how things were done a generation ago. We have the door open at the front of the house, and the windows open at the beachside of the house. A gentle (if warm) ocean breeze blows through.

Everly's Air is the air conditioning expert that we have hired to bring the HVAC system up to date.  There was a unit in the center of the house, but Everly's said it hadn't been hooked up to the existing ducts.  In fact, Everly's Air removed the old ductwork, saying they weren't fit for use for the system we were installing.  The installation team had to get under the house to remove the old ductwork and replace it with this insulated flexible tubing.

The internal air handler components sit upon this box.

While the insulated flex ducting is now in, only one set of air handlers is communicating with one another. This means that we have cool air in the downstairs of the house, but the upstairs is not currently on. Our air conditioning experts continue to troubleshoot the problem.  Below is the internal unit.

The AC guys are back today to finish placing ductwork under the house. Luckily it is cooler today. Unluckily, It rained last night.

Because the house is in a hurricane zone, and more specifically on the barrier island in coastal Florida, we must have sturdy concrete pads under the air conditioning units. These weigh about 100 pounds, and are made of a reinforced concrete that is wrapped around a piece of styrofoam. Once the two units are "talking" with one another, this old house will have air circulating throughtout. 

Windows are Ordered

Posted on August 8, 2017 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

First bid: $65000 Andersen A series

Second bid: $53600 for Andersen Series 400

Third bid: $55000 (before tax). Andersen A series stormwatch windows. Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

We have decided to tinker with the finish on our window package, with an aim to keep the Andersen Architectural product, but bring the price down. Our original bid was for 19 mahogany interior, double hung, hurricane impact windows. We moved to white interior windows upstairs, and white in the bathrooms and kitchen. And all the other windows and patio doors will be cherry.

I am managing the subs and do not have the rehab running under a general contractor (GC). So here's how we are doing this: my landscaper happens to be a GC. He leads the team that recently took down trees and shrubs around the property (mentioned in a previous blog post).

As we were talking with Jack, he said he has a resource at the Pro Desk at Home Depot who could present our windows to the bid room. We'd looked at this product at our local lumber yard, and had also gone to the other big box stores to look at and operate each brand of window we could find. We really liked the look and feel of the Andersen product. I read dozens of reviews. And we contemplated going with a lower end product. However, when the bid room came back with the bid for 19 windows and 5 doors, at a lower grade product, the bid came back very close to the original bid. So, what was the point?

We sat on it while we worked on gutting the kitchen, and getting the electrician in, both aspects that are in the 'must do' aspects of this remodel. The next time we talked with Maria, the rep at the Pro Desk, she asked if we wanted to take a color chip board to the house and see if we wanted to go with another product. We saw that we could down-grade to cherry from the sky-high mahogany finish. And we thought about how the woods in the downstairs great-room would harmonize with the wood finish on the windows, but in the bedrooms, it wouldn't matter nearly so much. All of this took the price of the windows down $10,000.

3-4 weeks from now, Andersen will deliver this bundle to the property.

Fountains for tadpoles--or koi

Posted on August 8, 2017 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

It isn't pretty, but the fountains are working! The previous owner had installed two koi ponds in the side yard of the property. We hadn't been able to figure out the complexities of the pool controls, and we need to replace the sprinkler system in the near future. We discovered that the ponds can be refilled from an aquifer. The tadpoles thrive in these ponds, but do much better with natural water than with the chlorinated water that we had been using. We had a die-off in the far pond, when we topped up the rain-water with chlorinated water from a hose.

My husband intends to buy some koi, and put in some super filters to clear the water. I imagine there will be lily pads. The cinder blocks on the edge of the pool are there to stabilize metal pipes, which are currently bare. The irrigation specialist says that we can find all sorts of upscale fountain pieces to set in place, such as dolphins, mermaids, chubby cherubs, and the like.

This guy is particularly happy that we have tadpoles on site.

A word about financing

Posted on July 27, 2017 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

May 25

I contacted our lender, Caeli. She said we can refinance the house once it has seasoned for six months.

Our first balloon is due at the six month point. We have cash for the balloon in our bank, but we don’t have cash for the balloon *and* the rehab. An additional thought is that we don’t want to do the rehab on credit cards and then aim to refinance, only to have high credit limits and therefore a low credit score. No, that would be ineffective, to say the least.

I asked Caeli if we could obtain a HELOC, a home equity line of credit, and have it “sourced and seasoned” prior to the refinance. This way, we could keep the balloon payment in our bank account, and still continue with the repairs. In this vein, I looked up various lenders and their rates and requirements, and made application with Navy Federal Credit Union. I have scanned documents and sent them to Sabah, at NFCU and have received conditional approval for a line of $200,000.

Merry Month of May

Posted on July 27, 2017 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

There were a variety of activities completed in the Merry Month of May. I have compared this project to an Atlas rocket launch at nearby Cape Canaveral: there is a lot of noise and shaking going on, but we haven’t left the pad yet.

I’m going to post a brief overview:

Early May

Jack Hammer, LLC started work to pull down tree.

South of $1200 a day for labor and removal of large trees and other trash to waste disposal.

May 9

My favorite English handyman, Lloyd, came out to work on expanding the plywood box for the air conditioning unit. And he started to expand the place within the wall where water funneled in. It is quite rotted inside...the vertical support has just dustified.

Jack Hammer, LLC crew is still working on the yard. A few more trees went down. Rot was in the bamboo. The brick path is damaged. It looks like a bomb hit. But, it gives us a clean slate for future landscaping. I called to schedule a pool appointment on Wednesday at 4.

May 11

Got the bids for the windows. Insane. $65,000 for wood interior and white vinyl exterior Andersen windows. Installation is extra. We are going to have Home Depot give us a bid for white interior instead of wood and see if the price comes down very muc

May 12

Paid Everly’s Air and Heat $8915 for one air handler installation. They haven’t completed the installation at this point, but have a lot of expensive equipment one our side of the balance sheet, so we transferred funds over to their side of the ledger. 

May 18

Wendy from Martin Pools came over to measure up and talk about design features of the new pool. Jeff from T&V Electric came over to evaluate the electrical panels. He will call FPL and inquire about dropping the power line and burying it.

May 22

Second window bid came in at $53,626.68 for impact resistant white-painted interior

May 24

We came into the house at dusk last night, and noticed that there was water standing in the middle of the kitchen. We searched with flashlights, hoping to catch the glint of light on water, as the source of the puddle was not readily apparent. Lloyd had already put the siding back in place on the external wall of the kitchen. We did see some small drops at the canned lights in the kitchen soffit. Perhaps water is coming in through the external vent, which leads to the kitchen fan.

The AC guys are back today to finish placing ductwork under the house. Luckily it is cooler today. Unluckily, It rained last night. 

Because the house is in a hurricane zone, and more specifically on the barrier island in coastal Florida, we must have sturdy concrete pads under the air conditioning units. These weigh about 100 pounds, and are made of a reinforced concrete that is wrapped around a piece of styrofoam. Lightweight and strong!

One unit is for the downstairs and the other is for the upstairs. The house didn't have a modern power supply, so we hired an electrician to replace the old panels. The unit to the right is in an upstairs closet, and it replaced a unit that was there previously, but was MUCH smaller. The guys from

Everly's Air said it looked as if the old unit was not used. They ended up removing the old ductwork aand replaced it with new flex ductwork.


Posted on June 10, 2017 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Long after our closing, I called to order a survey. Because we didn’t buy with conventional financing, we no longer needed a survey. However, the neighbors tell me that one property has encroached upon our boundary line. About the time that I made my appointment, the Realtor came by with old copies of a survey that was conducted in the 1980s. I notice that the survey company I called up had also conducted the last survey. I believe we can ask for an update to that survey, rather than a completely new one. Having the landscaping cleared will enable this crew to get to all parts of the property.

When we were younger, we had a house with an easement. This agreement gave the landowner behind our property permission to use a sewer line that ran under our land. This landowner operated a seasonal RV park. At some point in the off-season, we received a letter from their lawyer requesting they renew their ten year lease of access to our land for a very small sum of money. Years had passed since this prior agreement had been in place, and we decided that a 10 year lease should have some value so we requested a higher price. They countered with “No." Our neighbor was a plumber, and suggested at the expiration of our current agreement, we turn the sewer line off. This was now high season for RVs, and I can only imagine the situation in which they found themselves. Soon, we received another agreeable letter from their lawyer, saying they were very happy to present us with a larger sum of money for a ten year easement across our land. This is one of many reasons why you want to know what your particular survey says.

The survey at our present house showed us that the dog yard fence put in place by the previous owners actually encroaches upon the neighbors' land. Sometimes, a neighbor will need access to your driveway, or you need to provide right of way to utility or fire trucks. A survey will identify these issues.

Lastly, a survey will identify where power or water lines are placed. When we dig a giant hole for our future swimming pool, we know that there is a nice clean swathe of land with no underground hazards of which we need to be concerned.

Next time you make a real estate purchase, you will better understand this component of the process.

Let the Light Shine In

Posted on June 10, 2017 at 10:45 PM Comments comments (0)

The current remodel has deteriorated single pane double-hung windows. Many were broken when we bought the house, and water has been coming into the vacant property for years. We must replace 19 windows and 5 French doors, and since the house is located in the hurricane wind zone of central Florida, we must have either shutters or impact rated doors and windows. We are choosing the impact rating, which bumps the price up significantly.

I called Maria at big box store to see why we haven’t had a measure up for windows yet. Derek, who is an installer, will work with local landscaper Jack Hammer to do our install. We have considered PVC or vinyl windows, and received a quote in the $25,000 range. And then we reconsidered the materials.

I read the details from the appraisal, and recognize that the house quality should be at a Q3. I am copying from the appraisal: "Dwellings with this quality rating are residences of higher quality, built from individual or readily available designer plans in above-standard residential tract developments or on an individual property owner's site. The design includes significant exterior ornamentation and interiors that are well finished. The workmanship exceeds acceptable standards and many materials and finishes throughout the dwelling have been upgraded from "stock" standards."

When we met with Maria, she sent us off with a sheet of wood samples in three colors of white and a number of plain woods and stained woods. We took that to the house to see what the current window framing color is closest to the paint chip. Initially we had her run pricing for mahogany, but in fact the color matches cherry more closely.

What do you think?  PVC or wood windows?


Posted on June 10, 2017 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Lloyd finished the siding. It looks fabulous!

This part of the house had been a porch, and was in the middle of conversion by the previous occupants. The waterproof membrane had come off and had been damaged. Lloyd took off what remained of the old wood siding and set about making the underlayment sound, and restoring the waterproof quality.

Siding as we bought the house

This part of the house had been a porch, and was in the middle of conversion by the previous occupants. The waterproof membrane had come off and had been damaged. Lloyd took off what remained of the old wood siding and set about making the underlayment sound, and restoring the waterproof quality.

This is the same section of the house with a cement fiber board siding in place. When the dust settles, we will have it painted to match the house.

Yard Work

Posted on May 5, 2017 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

13 April

Jack from Jack Hammer Plus of Melbourne is bringing his window specialist from Home Depot out to give us an idea of materials and products available. We have been researching windows, and have a quote on a PVC product. However, we think this house needs something of a higher grade, given the potential for the house to be priced in the million dollar range. Windows are the Prime Directive at the moment.

12 April

Met with electrician Jeff from T&V Electric. He will do the re-wire of the house, and add two new electrical panels. The panel in the carport is just fine.

The trees, shrubs and other foliage need to get 10 feet away from the roof and sides of the house. The leaf litter holds dampness in place, and contributes to the decline of the materials, both at the base of the house and on the roof.

Bougainvillea April 8

Posted on May 4, 2017 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Bougainvillea throws a thrilling punch of hot pink around the neighborhood, and landed a knock-out punch on the cheek of our property.

Today, handyman Lloyd came over to repair the siding. Lloyd's mission was to remove the damaged wood and repair the siding.

He found some matching boards in the garage, and bought some water proof membrane to complete the task. He cut away the old tar paper, removed the damaged planks the copper flashing at the junction of the roof with the house. Then Lloyd set about making it all tight and weather proof again.

Windows and Copper Roof Issues

Posted on May 4, 2017 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)

This photo shows the green patina of the weathered copper.  Now that I have talked with several metal roof specialists, I recognize some issues with this roof.  To start with, the vertical strips of metal are usually in one long run.  Because the prior owner appeared to do much of the work on this house by himself, he must have cut lengths that were manageable for him.  If a roofer were to do similar work, each seam would be riveted, but ours are not.  Additionally, there are places where the vertical standing seams have not been crimped together, and are rather boxy in shape.  This can allow water to get inside.

This photo shows a few of our most pressing issues.  Well, actually, the photo doesn't exactly show the issues, since they are somewhat concealed. One area of concern is the overgrown shrub.  It has now been trimmed back so that it doesn't do further damage to the siding.  Futher, the copper ridge cap has blown away from the dormer, and we have been concerned that water is coming in from the top of the dormers. The south dormer is also missing the ridge cap, but the middle dormer has its intact.  I am attempting to have a local roofer secure both ridge caps in place again.  

Next, we have water issues in the corner that is behind that shrub.  Water runs along the gutter system from the left side and from the right side, and funnels *into* the house at that corner.  We can see that support beam, as it is open in a compartment under the internal stairs.  And the beam is surpringly crumbly, as with dry rot.  There is hardly any distinct wood left in the wood! We can see water on the plaster inside the laundry room (which is behind that window), every time it rains.  So far, this is the only structural damage that we have found in the house, and thankfully there are many other supporting beams.

Lastly, there are two panes of glass out in the upper dormer.  The windows appear to be hand made, and have single pane squares of glass.  A few broken pieces of windowpane are resting in the junction of the two sections of ths house. 

Week of 3 April

Posted on April 28, 2017 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

3 April

Daily we have been out in the garden.  It is necessary to rake the leaf litter away from the house, so that we can see whether there is any damage to the siding, as well as prevent new infestation. I got up on the ladder and cleaned out the gutters, and I found the butt end of the house, which was buried in leaves.  The foliage is overgrown, so we have had clippers at the ready to trim back the shrubs and to shape them again.  The landscaping is the part that is visible to the world.  As they've seen us at work, the neighbors have come by to introduce themselves and to meet us.  I'm finding several New Englanders on the street, some of whom are snowbirds.  We continue to hear comments that reflect happiness that we are improving the house, and not knocking it down.  

5 April

I went out to the property and met with another roofing contractor. He wants to replace and not repair. He says that his company cannot grant a warranty on the repair, only on replacement of the roof. He will write up an offer. Uses the satellite imagery to determine the square footage, and will have an accurate measurement of the roof area.

Also we continued the search for new windows. We received a quote for white PVC frames and new doors, for $26496 including taxes and permit. This is for impact rated. Non-impact rated windows and fiberglass doors are $21321.  Just a word on impact vs non-impact, turtle glass and such:  I have been doing research on this topic, since the price point is so high and a mistake will be very expensive.  Since the house is located on the barrier island, it is in the highest hurricane wind locale.  Therefore, we must either put in impact resistant windows, or add external shutters.  We could also put in impact windows up high, and shutters down low.  That way, in the event of a hurricane, we wouldn't be scrambling to climb ladders to shutter the upper story windows.

I've come to the conclusion that excellent windows should last a very long time, and we'd be better off to spend a bit more on them, rather than cut corners, especially at this price point.  Additionally, the salt water causes corrosion in this locale, whereas we don't have that issue at our other properties, which are all inland a few miles.  This rules out aluminum, too, which will show corrosion in any event. 

6 April

It has been raining in this “dry season."  To my children's delight, the two reflecting pools have become tadpole pools. 

Back to A/C, as the quotes are coming in: Everly Air and Heat came back with AC prices: $9625 4 ton 19.5 seer. $8915 is for the 3 ton 19.75 seer. We need two units, so we are looking at a figure right around $20,000 for air conditioning. 

SEER is the energy efficiency, from 13 to maximum of 25. Old units were often 8, so even the lower SEER units today are excellent compared to those.  ANYthing is better than what is currently in the house: window units. 

April 1

Posted on April 28, 2017 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

1 April.

Lowell Everly, from Everly's Air told us that not all ducting was suitable for air conditioning and that he'd have to take a look under the house, in the crawl space.  He came over and told us that the ducting is good for an A/C system, but a system isn’t currently hooked up. He also said that the square footage is quite large, and suggests that we use an air handler for the downstairs, and another unit for the upstairs of the house.  The large condenser units will be placed on a concrete pad in the “courtyard” area outside of the kitchen.

Lastly, we may want a single wall mounted air conditioning unit in the Cottage area.  The Cottage was a garage that the previous occupants converted, and it is connected to the rest of the house via a hallway.  We are supposing that the air flow might be reduced in this part of the house.  

My husband, Robert, bought an ozone machine to use in the new house. He has moved it from room to room in order to kill any mold spores.  It has a timer on it, so we turn the timer to 60 minutes and wait two hours, so the ozone has a chance to fill the room in the first hour and then dissipate in the second hour.  The ozone will also kill any bugs or rodents in the house, and obviously must be used with care around pets or children.  


Posted on April 28, 2017 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)


Turned on power at FPL

Water- called. Need to take ID, proof of purchase and current account information down to the City Hall off at Strawbridge to open new account. They are turning off water today. Running out of time today and will have to take documents and go out tomorrow.

Called mold remediation company ServPro who advertise that they do cleanup and restoration, at 321-409-9441. They said to fix the water problem first and then call them. They will fix whatever they remove. I asked about the wood surfaces whether they hold mold and they said that they can sand down surfaces that hold spores. That’s pretty much the entire house! They will ask for a $250 deposit to prepare a bid. Call once water situation is fixed.

Talked with Window guy, from Property Renovations and Construction. He was already out to talk through the process on the day before closing, and said at that time that he’d have to get inside to measure up so that he has good measurements. He called again today to let me know he hadn’t forgotten about me, just had a lot on his plate. He will prepare a bid today, and has been busy.

Called Lloyd and asked him what he wants to do, project-manage, tear out, or what. He wants me to call him back later tonight. He will meet me on Saturday at the house.

Militano Construction. He contacted us through the pair of Realtors involved with our deal and he’d like to be part of the restoration of the house. He’d been inside with another set of buyers.  

My Realtor in this deal was Scott Schuetz at Hoven Real Estate.  https://www.hovenrealestate.com/


Posted on April 22, 2017 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)


We went over with the kids and did a lot of yard work. One of my friends, Mel, came over with her power tools and we set out to do some major trimming of the overgrown plants. We had a plan to take back the plants so that the windows were revealed, and to clear 10 feet around the house. The plants become a super-highway for bugs, to include termites. Additionally, Mel took out the huge bougainvillea that was pulling off the siding by the kitchen window. This area is damaged internally from water intrusion, but we haven't been able to get close enough to evaluate it with any clarity. Once that big thorny plant came down, we could see that the tar paper under the siding has been ripped. We can see the area that we now call the Courtyard. Prior to this, we couldn't see the patterned brickwork beneath. It is lovely!

I see termite damage near the laundry room door as high as the top of the doorway. Uh oh.


Posted on April 21, 2017 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Repaired hose bib. Raked and put the trash and recycle bins out. Asked a roofer to come out and take a look at the roof. He came out and we talked about the project. He showed me how the copper standing seams are smaller than usual, and are not crimped down in many areas. Additionally, there are no rivets. Rivets would keep rainwater from seeping under the loose edges.

A neighbor had told us that the 90 year old gentlemen who owned the property prior to us, was up there on the roof himself. We can see areas where the crimping of the vertical seam of the metal roof only reaches up as high as a man on a ladder could reach, and no further. He apparently cut the copper into smaller vertical sheets to make it easier for him to climb up there. Also, the roofer said that the wooden structures we see hanging from the roof peak are likely the method by which the owner perched on the slopes of the hot metal roof. We couldn't figure out what they might be used for.

Frank-the-Roofer said he will get a crew out there with a ladder and do a thorough check to see if the underlayment is OK, and if the plywood sheathing is in good condition. If so, the price is $5000 to repair, or less. If it isn’t good, then we have about $40k to replace the roof.

If we go with copper, the price is about $80k.*blink blink* $80,000?! That's my ENTIRE budget!

Day 1 Riverside

Posted on April 13, 2017 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

DAY 1 —right after closing

Brought the whole family over...parents, kids and dog

We chopped at bushes around the back. Leaf litter and branches that contact the house provide an Insect Super Highway for termites and other invasive critters. The goal is to get all vegetation ten feet away from the house. In the near future, we will hire an arborist to do the trees. But for now, we wanted the kids to have their fingerprints on the house. We raked leaves into piles in the driveway. We bagged these and placed into bins.

Robert rented a mister unit and we bought Borax and liquid mold treatment. He used these and misted the kitchen, the addition, and the great room. There is a strong scent of mold in the house, and I seem to be the only one really affected by breathing it in. Thankfully, we found a respirator mask for fine particulates and I wear that in the house, and we limit the kids from time inside. The toilets work, however, and we all need a restroom break. Other than that, I'm aiming to keep the kids outside.

Daughter R climbed the large oak tree by the back porch to pull down some of the Spanish moss. She also found numerous air plants: you may have seen the little aloe-shaped plants that do not require soil to grow and are often found affixed to magnets or in little pots. Additionally, we found several orchids on the trees around the property.

Photos will be coming soon.

Purchase of Riverside House

Posted on April 13, 2017 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Have had the Riverside house under contract for about a month.  I didn't want to post until we got the deal firmly in hand.  And that, honestly, didn't happen until the day after our closing was to occur!

We were very close to the finish line.  Tension was building.  We'd gotten all of our required paperwork to the lender, had our credit run.  The inspection period had passed uneventfully about three weeks before.  And yet the lender wasn’t able to get an appraisal ordered until the last moments of the week prior to closing.  There was not enough time to get the appraisal to underwriting and still make it to closing.

The family were losing confidence in our ability to close with that lender. Our appraisal contingency passed by, so we felt that the deal was falling apart.  In that manner of thinking, we sent them a release, letting them know that we were walking away from our obligation to buy in accordance with issues with the financing contingency.  Additionally, we indicated through our Realtor that we wanted to be the back-up offer to their back-up, as we hoped to renovate the house and bring it back to its former glory.  The back-up offer was from a builder who wanted to knock the house down and build two new properties on the site.

Back to the bank and the much-delayed appraisal:  the appraiser told the lender that there was black mold, loose wires and termite damage. My thought was that no one can put “black mold” in an appraisal unless they had done the testing to identify it as the dangerous type of mold. At any rate, by the end of Friday, the appraisal manager recalled the appraisal for revision, and left us all hanging all weekend.

Monday, our closing day, came and went without any communication from the lender. I felt panic.  What to do?


On Tuesday, underwriting came back and said we’d have to source bids from contractors…but we were out of the inspection days, so that wasn’t going to work. Our inspection period was over by several weeks!  While the lender would allow a “hold back” of funds to pay for the renovation, our time period for closing would start back up again at about a month.

The sellers communicated that their frustration was mounting.  We sent word through our Realtor that we were still interested in the house, and intended to renovate it and turn it into a family house again.  Another day passed while the 8 other parties discussed their end of the transaction.  When we received word back, we were floored: 

The 84 year old owner and her 7 kids countered us with more time, something that I hadn't seen before.  And so they didn't sign the release. The family wanted to give us time to work it out.  We decided to go back to the drawing board, and contacted a number of hard-money lenders, a Line of Credit outfit, and family members, hoping to get a fast closing.  Nothing was solidifying, and again I felt panic.  We were challenged with finding a way to make the deal work, combined with the seller frustrations and the time horizon.

When we thought that all was lost, all eight of the the family members agreed to offer us a deal whereby they hold a mortgage for us: half down now, and 1/4 due in six months, and the last 1/4 due in a year.

And that is how we came to own an extreme fixer in one of the nicest old neighborhoods in Indialantic.