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HELP! I own real estate with my brother and want to sell!!
Old 06-07-2007, 03:20 PM   #1
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HELP! I own real estate with my brother and want to sell!!

Let's see if I can make a long story short ....maybe if I number each idea

#1 ~ My brother and I jointly own two pieces of waterfront real estate - a house and the lot next to it(gifted from my mother).

#2 ~ He currently lives in the house (rent free) and keeps things up - at least I hope he does as I have not seen the property since July 2006.

#3 ~ I have paid am currently paying the insurance and the real estate taxes - approximately $5K a year.

#4 ~ We do not communicate AT ALL as we both seem to agree that we could NOT have come from the same household and set of parents ....I'm not really making this a short story, am I?

#5 ~ He is a law school grad whose felony conviction led him to "turn in" his CA law license rather than have it taken away....and to my knowledge, he doesn't have a license here (VA).....not sure if this is relevant other than to point out that he should (at the very least) have access to legal information much more readliy than I might.

#6 ~ I would like to sell the property....and yet even without communication, I feel certin that he would not....why would he??....free rent with nothing to pay but utilities....heck, sign ME up!!


There is a LOT more to the story but I think that the info provided should be enough to help you answer my questions:

Should I write him with my proposal to sell?....offer him the opportunity to buy me out? (not sure he has the funds or capability)....Has anyone ever filed a partition suit to force a real estate sale?....Anyone else had to deal with a arrogant Mr. Know-It-All, can't believe that we're related, completely opposite sibling?

Suggestions please!! Hopefully someone here has had a similar previous experience....or maybe knows someone who has....anyone??
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:15 PM   #2
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I have seen, though I have never done myself, partition suits among family members. It would be nice to avoid the suit to avoid the legal costs. You could propose that the property be appraised, listed and sold and if he doesn't cooperate, you will bring a partition action. Talk to a lawyer about the proposal. So why isn't he paying you rent and why are you paying expenses? I would want to sell too.
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:17 PM   #3
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not that you would get full price but how annoying for your brother: can you just sell your half? ya think the new buyer would continue making your payments for him?
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Old 06-07-2007, 05:45 PM   #4
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Can't think of any reasons you would want to continue the current arrangement. It is family I'd really try a phone call before a letter. If you know he's going to push your buttons have a script prewritten so you can stay on track. Doesn't sound like you have much hope talking would help so if it fails I would see a local attorney to help you move through this. He needs to buy you out or accept his half the check. Good luck avoiding a fight, lost time and legal expenses. Sorry about your relationship with your brother.
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Old 06-07-2007, 07:48 PM   #5
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Why are you paying the taxes and insurance if he is the one who lives there for free? If he had to pay these would that make him want to move? At worst, I'd say you have a very good case that you shouldn't be paying those expenses.

Sorry, not legal advice, but it stuck out to me that if you were to go before a court and you explained that you get nothing out of the property yet you have to pay taxes/insurance, it would be all the more reason for 1) your brother to begin paying them or 2) require the sale of the property.
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Old 06-08-2007, 07:28 AM   #6
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How about appraising both properties, selling off the vacant lot (proceeds to you)? Dear brother might be better able to by out the proportion of the remaining property still owed to you. If he can't afford that, how about a compromise that reallocates the appropriate portion of "his" property to you with that portion to be bought out at some undefined future date?
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:15 AM   #7
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The ideal situation (besides working with someone you can tolerate) would be to develop the vacant lot - to maximize profit. Then deed a property to each of you. He could stay and you can sell.

Waterfront property in VA is a good "problem" to have. BUT the current "arrangement" needs to change. Put the proposal in writing and end with "BTW, I am no longer paying the taxes and insurance". He'll know something has to be done quickly else it all ends badly.
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Old 06-08-2007, 11:29 AM   #8
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I would continue to pay the insurance as it protects VaCollector as against liability and protects the value of the property. If it went so far as a partition action I would ask to be reimbursed for half of the taxes and insurance I paid.

Given the parties' difficult relationship I would get out as fast as possible and not try to enter into any development agreement with the brother. He has been disbarred as a lawyer and has a felony conviction.

BTW, almost always if not always, if you are disbarred as a lawyer in one state that is grounds for disbarrment in another. Plus the felony conviction probably would cause him to be disbarred anywhere.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:00 PM   #9
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This brother sounds like trouble to me. Were I VaCollector I would have a lawyer put together deeds to reflect the change of ownership.. have them all ready for the brother to sign.

Meet with the brother to state that the current arrangement is not working for you, that you would like for him to have the house free and clear. That if he doesn't agree you will be forced to the court to request partition and sale. Seek your attorney's advise about where to hold the discussion and whether or not you need a notary or signature guarantee should he be willing to accept your proposal.

The forced sale may cause him to trash the house and not cooperate so that you both receive the most value from the property. Better to loose the house and give him an incentive to maintain it as the neighboring lot will be more valuable.
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:00 PM   #10
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I wonder if you need the money. If not, why would you sell the property?

Why are you paying for maintenance?
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by kcowan View Post
I wonder if you need the money. If not, why would you sell the property?

Why are you paying for maintenance?
I assume he is paying for maintenance to preserve the value of his interest in the house, such as it is.

If I owned a piece of property adjacent to such a brother I would sell or exchange the property. My concern is that dear brother would start taking actions that would be against my interest (remember he did pass at least one Bar). The further away the better.
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:41 PM   #12
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[quote=Brat;524087]My concern is that dear brother would start taking actions that would be against my interest (remember he did pass at least one Bar). quote]

Brat ~ Any idea as to what he could do??....that is the type of information I need to make my decision as to whether or not I need to take action NOW.

As it is, I am paying the taxes and insurance to protect my interest and am wondering whether or not I should be in any hurry to sell....I've heard more than once that "God ain't makin' no more waterfront property"....and while I agree that it is a decent investment, I don't want to "mess up" by overlooking protecting my interests!

kcowan ~ I do not currently NEED the $$$ as stated above....

lazygood4nothinbum ~ I had actually considered that course of action, but was advised that becuase of the partial ownership, I could not expect much better than 60% on the dollar ...if that!

Thanks to all for the ideas and replies....they have allowed me to examine several possible courses of action!
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:45 PM   #13
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How convenient is it to visit? If possible, I would stop in and see how everything looks and feel out whether you can have a friendly conversation with your brother as to what to do.
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
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kcowan ~ I do not currently NEED the $$$ as stated above....
Then I would tough it out. You have few blood relatives. Sure he is taking advantage of you. But maybe you could find a reason to continue to help him out.

I know we all hate being taken advantage of. I have a brother who also has has more than his share of our joint family estate assets, and is very different than me. He has not worked since 1982, whereas I worked until 2002. But I do not need the money. Ironically, because of my forgiving nature, he has named me his sole beneficiary. One day my kids will enjoy the fruits of his ways.
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Old 06-08-2007, 06:59 PM   #15
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VaCollector:
Oh he could create an adverse position condition or contaminate/dump on it.... He is bright (or used to be), and not doing his share (by essentially forcing you to pay the insurance and taxes), heaven only knows what he is capable of. If a third party owns the lot next door to him he will not have as much of an incentive to do mischief.

It is true that they aren't making any more waterfront property but that doesn't mean that the waterfront of tomorrow will have the same lat & longitude as today.

If you aren't an experienced builder I don't recommend you trying to develop it yourself.

We don't really know why your brother is in his current situation. If he is just inept and unable to manage his affairs that would be one thing. But if he has been convicted of a felony or is dependent on drugs & alcohol don't expect appreciation for your efforts.
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