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Anybody ever bought a dog?

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  • Anybody ever bought a dog?

    Hi People,

    I've been visiting this site now for several months and by and large I've been biting my tongue for most of that time and doing a lot of reading. I've enjoyed all that I've read and learnt a lot.... 99.9% of what I've been reading has been very positive.

    I'm especially impressesd by the time and effort that all the very experienced and committed property investors have contributed to this site.

    One thing that is missing from the site however is peoples BAD experiences. Now I'm not a doom and gloom merchant but I'd be really interestred in hearing from investors who have made a bad purchase. People learn vital lessons from these 'mistakes' and I think others can also learn from them, if we hear about them.

    I bought a do up about 5 years ago and it had been owned by a handyman. Some of the things he had done cost me a lot of money and time to put right.

    First thing I discovered was that he had removed 6 studs from a load bearing wall to set the kitchen into the wall to give the kitchen a more spacious feel. I had to replace the whole kitchen because by the time I extracted the cupboards from the wall to replace the studs, I ended up wrecking the cupboards because he fixed them in with 4 inch nails.

    Next thing I had to do was replace all the gib throughout the house because he had painted it with enamel paint with sawdust mixed in with it to give a 'textured look'. It looked disgusting. Admittedly I noticed this when I bought the house but I removed a small section of the paint from the wall before I bought the house and so assumed it would come off O.K. I was wrong. The only thing that could be done was to replace the gib.

    He 'rewired' the house himself and by the time my electrician tried to sort it out, it was in fact easier just to rewire the house again properly.

    The house cost me a fortune in the end and I wouldn't have made much, if anything if I resold it. So I decided to keep it. I've got it rented out at the moment but when I return to NZ I'm going to live in it myself.

    I will never buy a house again if there's been any shonky work done on it and I now look very carefully at at any renovations done by the owner. The new Building Regulations hopefully will resolve this particular problem but I'd be interested to hear anybody else's experiences.

    Thanks,

    Aston.

  • #2
    Hi Aston,

    I've never bought a "dog" but I have had a few unexpected problems... rewiring done with extension cord, bathroom sink emptying into the basement, water cylinders that split... in fact, now I just expect it. Almost all properties have "some" issues!
    You can find me at: Energise Web Design

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    • #3
      I try not to think about mine but I've had a few. There is always a vendor out there deliberately hiding stuff. I've learnt to uncover them now but my worst experience was buying a property with an abatement notice on it that I'm still trying to sort with council 7 months on. Total pain in the neck

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      • #4
        Originally posted by drelly
        Hi Aston,

        I've never bought a "dog" but I have had a few unexpected problems...
        Aston,

        we have bought a dog once, he was from the pound, great dog, still have him, called Max.

        Piss taking aside, we believe there are no dogs. As you do more deals, you get to know the problems in each house, you budget to fix it, and make an offer incorporating the budget. Get it, good. Don't get it, move on.

        Of course when you are learning you might get caught, this is were a mentor, a course, or an inspector comes in handy.

        As long as your margin is big enough for some surprises you should do well. You in fact learned the hard way what to budget for. Someone with more experience would have picked it up and offered less to allow for it. Call it expensive education.

        In case it is a total write off the land still has value. Have your offer reflect that.

        And yes, on my first deal I also fell into that trap and paid too much for a shack thinking, heck, I can fix that for 16K. 20K later and no end in sight we knew better.

        Looking back that was just foolish, and we paid for the experience, but our systems have evolved and we now have a better understanding of the worth of a property. If we do not understand it we buy/hire/borrow/beg steal all the knowledge we can get our hands on and if we still do not understand it we walk away.

        We just missed on another junkyard were someone outbid us and had a good laugh and wished them all the best.

        I believe knowledge and systems are the real dogs, not the properties themselves.

        And no, I disagree with you believing that just because the government introduces new codes and systems there will be no more problems. As long as human greed and lots of money is involved you will always find vendors trying to hide, play down or not disclose problems on the property you are buying.

        Make yourself a fun day.

        Fritz.
        Last edited by Fritz; 09-08-2005, 11:39 PM.
        Argue for your limitations and sure enough they're yours. - Richard Bach

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        • #5
          Hi Aston

          No properties to label as dogs but there was this owner.......

          One of the negatives of being part of a multi unit complex is that you naturally inherit good and bad owners.

          One unit I had in Balmoral (Auckland) was in a block of four. One of the unit owners was a solicitor and totally void of reality (being a little bit kind there)! She was always opposing owner proposals for maintenance, refurbishment work etc.

          Over a period of nine years the following actions were taken against her:-

          1. Bankruptcy proceedings to recover insurance moneys outstanding. All costs, outstanding moneys were awarded to owners.

          2. Proceedings to recover outstanding moneys for maintenance, building upgrade work, associated legal fees, collection costs etc.
          District court judge awarded all costs claimed ie 3 owners received a total of $7000.00

          Because the units were Unit Title and hence governed by the Unit Titles Act owners have large powers for recovery of moneys from an errant owner. All legal costs over the nine year period were carried by the Body Corporate Secretary and then recovered from the defendant owner. My financial outlay for this legal work was nil. However my time outlay was large due to being involved in arbitration for the owners/Body Corp Secretary and attending the District Court hearing.

          Financially this property stacked up (doubled in value over nine years). However, taking into account the management difficulties with one owner the cost/benefit would be a little bit marginal....started to look like a dog.

          I learnt a huge amount about management of owners in a unit title complex from my involvement with the above property.

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          • #6
            I know it's an old thread, but a goodie to revive!

            A reno of mine approx two year ago was earmarked for less than $20K, but ended up at $38K total costs!,... Bugger!

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            • #7
              I had a house bought by a Dog !!

              This idiot bought in 1997 because everybody else was, to get in on the bandwagon.

              He had no experience, had done no reaearch at all, knew nothing about structures or anything remotely connected to what he was doing.

              Of course 1997 the market crashed, interest rates wents up 11%, the subdivision and build discovered problems requiring extra sewerage pumps, retaining walls, steps, fencing / turning and other subdivision requirements.
              Unstable banks requiring more retaining walls and legal battles.

              And of course thedebt servicing went up higher and higher on both the original purchase and the house being built, and prices went down further and further.

              His business partner stopped helping, this dog got made redundant.
              His wife got impatient.

              Of course this dog was me.

              So you just dont buy dogs or lemons, in my case dogs can buy a perfectly good property and screw it up well and truly.

              Another point: No matter how dark the tunnel is, whether you have dug it yourself or not, you just have to keep digging until you see a glimmer of light.
              Last edited by Bluekiwi; 08-05-2008, 10:39 PM. Reason: I cant spell

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              • #8
                I agree with Fritz, there are no dogs. Some properties require more work but that is not the same.

                People who are not aware of this usually blame the property and not themselves.

                If someone buys an old corner unit title 60m2 place with no parking and a history of party-tenants, and pay too much for it and do not have the required managemnt skills then they call it a dog. If they had paid $10 for it then they may say something else, like 'jewel in the crown'.

                Sometimes I think it is better to refer to lanslords as dogs, not the properties they manage.

                xris

                PS/ To answer the question, I have only ever had one property that might fit the traditional description of dog. As explained though, the problem was with me at that time, not the property.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by xris View Post
                  I agree with Fritz, there are no dogs. Some properties require more work but that is not the same.

                  People who are not aware of this usually blame the property and not themselves.

                  If someone buys an old corner unit title 60m2 place with no parking and a history of party-tenants, and pay too much for it and do not have the required managemnt skills then they call it a dog. If they had paid $10 for it then they may say something else, like 'jewel in the crown'.

                  Sometimes I think it is better to refer to lanslords as dogs, not the properties they manage.

                  xris

                  PS/ To answer the question, I have only ever had one property that might fit the traditional description of dog. As explained though, the problem was with me at that time, not the property.
                  I am perhaps guilty of this too in my heyday of owning a fleet of bottom end rentals. One particular property had constant turnover of tenants, was damp, always needing things done to it (nothing major, but just continouous issues). It was up a shared drive of about 20 others, carport only, small section, near a power pylon and near the motorway !! Even the locals wouldn't stay in it, and it was one constant stream of tenancies. It was located in one of the worst areas of Sth Akl and the tenants it attracted matched the area.

                  I bought it in 1998 and sold it in 2002 for the same price that I paid for it.

                  It was my 5th property and you would have thought I would have known better.

                  But as mentioned, the property wasn't really a dog, it was my fault really, that it created so much work and hassel and worry.

                  However it was a learning experience, and I learnt huge amounts from that house. So in hindsight, in a way, I am glad I bought that place, it was my teacher !!!!!!!!

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                  • #10
                    Good thread!

                    One house we had was a basic 3 beddy with basement, on a huge site. We bought it to subdivide, as it came with twice as much land as the other houses on the street.

                    Saw so much potential in the land that we missed seeing the "weetbix" state of the Pinex flooring beneath the bathroom.

                    Found that the Asian DIY owners before us had done some creative plumbing which led to slow leaks through the wall cavity, into the floor. Not enough to actually drip - just seeping through everything. Hot water cylinder nearly fell through the floor, carpet was ruined and bathroom needed complete rebuild.

                    Thankfully there was enough "fat" in the deal that we did not lose money on it. Lessons learned though!!!!
                    two ears and just one mouth.. for good reason.

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