View Full Version : Buying a farm and seller wants to rent?

May. 25, 2011, 06:22 PM
I called about a nice looking fixer farm today. There is a 100+ year old house that needs some work, a hardship mobile and a bunch of barns on 16 acres. The price is right too and I found out why...

The owner wants to rent a studio on the property for $250/month for as long as she lives. I hear from a friend that she has some dementia too. I wondered why there was no for sale sign out, no address in the listing (I figured out what place it was, as I know the area.) and she doesn't want drive bys.

I am wondering if it's even worthwhile going to look at it. The thing is that it's about 75% of market value and I quite like the area. It also backs up on some BLM land for trail riding.

Has anyone been part of a deal like this before?

May. 25, 2011, 06:51 PM
Gosh, I would stay far far away. If the woman is senile or approaching it, you have no idea how she will behave. Are you willing to be her caretaker for the next however many years?

What if she gets confused and tries to come in the house? Or lets the horses out? It takes a long time to get someone evicted.

What if her family contest the sale saying she's not able to make a sound judgement about selling?

If you're willing to take these sorts of risks, on top of whatever the house needs to have repaired, it might be a good deal.

Personally, I wouldn't do it.

May. 25, 2011, 06:53 PM
Sadly, that's what I am thinking. It's too bad, as it's a really nice piece of land.

May. 25, 2011, 07:00 PM
If you really want that land, you can make an offer with the contingency that she moves right off once the papers are signed.
She may reconsider and move after all.

Don't let anyone convince you to let her stay ANY time.
Not worth spending your money to court trouble, when there are so many very nice places for sale.

May. 25, 2011, 07:02 PM
oooh, I have an idea, can she split it into 2 parcels? Then she could sell you what you want and still have a place of her own. That way you wouldn't have to deal with her as much.

That's just not a situation I could deal with, I'm too territorial!

Good luck, I know what it's like to crave a place of one's own.

May. 25, 2011, 07:07 PM
The place is already two tax lots, but I doubt it could be split further. It's already a 15 acre lot and 1 acre lot in an E40 zoning. The one acre strip has nothing on it but part of the main barn.

I guess she has already turned down two offers. I don't know what the conditions were, but can guess they had to do with her living there. One of my main reasons in wanting a place of my own is privacy. It would also be odd to make changes (cleaning up!) a property with the last owner still there.

May. 25, 2011, 07:08 PM
oooh, I have an idea, can she split it into 2 parcels? Then she could sell you what you want and still have a place of her own. That way you wouldn't have to deal with her as much.

That's just not a situation I could deal with, I'm too territorial!

Good luck, I know what it's like to crave a place of one's own.

That too, you could offer to buy all but where that studio sits, if it is in a corner that can be separated clearly, fenced off and with it's own entrance, if you don't mind her being a neighbor.

May. 25, 2011, 08:21 PM
Could the 1 acre parcel be redrawn to include the studio and exclude the corner of the barn? Then, you could buy the 15 acre piece with a contract to buy the 1 acre piece at a set price at her death or when she moves out. Could the studio be moved to the 1 acre parcel?

May. 25, 2011, 09:06 PM
I wouldn't consider this for a second. If anyone contests the sale because of the dementia then you will probably lose. With so many other places on the market now I would just keep looking.

And what if you do buy, she agrees to move elsewhere, and then she doesn't go? You could easily run into all kinds of problems with this, and I don't think it's worth it.

May. 26, 2011, 09:49 AM
If you really love the place, explore it more.

Get a relative, if there is one, to sign off on the sale.
Put in place 'rules' regarding ownership, her responsibility to not meddle, if problems occur, the consequences, etc.

This could be a win/win maybe...but you need to explore it further to find out.
First on my list would be to meet her, her relatives and consult about the process of declaring someone incompetent if it ever came to that.

I wouldn't walk away on first glance if I really loved the property and the deal was spectacular. But, I would be prepared to walk if it seemed too much a risk after doing a little research.

May. 26, 2011, 10:09 AM
I would agree, if you LOVE the property and the price is great, look into deeper. Maybe even consult a RE atty annd DEFINITLY get the family involved in the sale.

Good lluck


May. 26, 2011, 10:23 AM
I wouldn't agree to rent to the owner. My grandmother lived with us for several years as she started to lose her touch with reality to dementia. It is a really devastating thing to watch emotionally, but from a practical point of view, it is also a huge hardship. She would leave the house and literally wander off, she would empty the fridge of food and dump it all on the ground, leave doors open, burners on...you get the drift.

I think it would be very hard to watch this woman deteriorate without wanting to help, but helping would eat up a huge amount of resources and frankly, all it takes is one burner left on too long, or one gate left open for tragedy to strike.

Plus others have made a good point that if this woman truly is suffering from dementia already, you could run into problems of whether she is legally capable of making the sale.

May. 26, 2011, 11:12 AM
My father moved onto our farm with the stipulation he had to keep the tenant in the second house from before the property was sold. While very nice, the man had multiple personality disorder and got quite scary at times. He would take packages and other things from my father's steps and keep them in his house. My father starting carrying a gun with him whenever he had to go tend to something in the tenant house.

I don't know what it is like to deal with dementia, but I know farms are enough work and stress on their own without the additional stress of an unpredictable person on the premises. I would not purchase a place agreeing to such a deal.

May. 27, 2011, 09:05 AM
You could be doing something very kind for an older person. No one knows her circumstances and she may know the end is near, just wants to clear up her final wishes, distribute money to children and live her final days where she loves it, but can't stand the upkeep and responsibility.

May. 27, 2011, 01:56 PM
I've decided to pass this one by. While I like it's location, there is another area of town that I like better. I'm going to wait for a place to come up there. I do hope that she finds the right buyer and it works out for them all. Thanks for the feedback. It was very helpful.