In June we purchased our latest project, a house at Sheriff’s Auction. We have dubbed it “The Palace.”
In May, prior to the auction, we did a drive by to check out the house. We find out as much as we can about a property in order to limit risk. The owner was home and invited my husband to come in and check out the first floor a bit. She mentioned that the basement was “a bit damp” at times and had a gate blocking off the upstairs.
The previous owner is a very kind woman. Her husband had taken out a second mortgage, and since his passing two years prior, she was no longer able to keep up with the house or the bills.
She was willing to let the house go to auction, and wished us luck. We learned a bit about her, she has six children, as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Going into the project we figured there would be some updating and a lot of landscaping. How bad could it be if she was living there and had family members coming over regularly?
Well, we were in for a surprise!!
After taking legal possession of The Palace, we drove over to have our first look. The house was vacant! Luckily, we got to skip any confrontation or eviction process.
Unfortunately, on our quick tour we found extensive water damage and intimidating structural foundation issues in the basement. Not only that, but a large quantity of personal possessions had been left behind.
So much for “a bit damp,” there was a solid 1/2″ of water and mud on the basement floor.
Change the locks.
We changed out most of the locks, but didn’t have the tool on hand needed to change out the handle on the french doors in the back.
I reasoned that it was okay, I would just change them out tomorrow instead of having to go back that evening.
In the meantime, all of the personal possessions needed to be gathered up and placed in the basement garage. When you purchase a house at auction in our county you are required to store any items left behind, for 30 days. We sent out a certified letter and waited to hear from the family about picking up their things.
Since the house had mold in the basement I didn’t want the kids to go down there, or in the house much for that matter.
Lawn bags in hand, I showed the kids which branches to pick up. They worked diligently outside, while I started hauling the belongings from the first floor to the patio. This allowed me to keep an eye on my little workers.
My goal was to get everything boxed up and down to the garage in a few days. Giving me two empty floors to work on until our 30 days were up, at which point the basement and garage could be cleared out.
Finding a good stopping point for the day, we loaded up and headed home. Ready to come back the next day to do more clearing out, and finish up the lock change over.
I mulled over the work ahead, and looked forward to the day that we could have an empty house, get rid of the hot tub on the driveway, and pitch the tarp covered couch residing on the front porch.
The Palace was officially ours!
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