Renovating and selling a home out of state


Recycles dryer sheets
Jun 1, 2018
DH inherited a home from his family several years ago. The home is located in another state, a full day's drive from where we live. He started working on a renovation to get the property ready to sell and finished the tear out then his health went downhill. The home has been sitting unfinished for a long time and I want to get rid of it since we are paying utilities, insurance and HOA dues on it. Financially it's not an issue but it's annoying to continue to pour money into it every month.

Since he can no longer do any work on the house I need to figure out how to get it done long distance. It cannot be sold in the condition it's in (no bathroom fixtures or kitchen due to the tear out). He will never be able to do that work or manage contractors. I can't be down there myself since he requires someone to be with him 24/7 but could maybe get a caregiver in for a few days so I can go down there and meet with contractors. He purchased fixtures, flooring, cabinets, etc and those items are all sitting in our basement and I would have to hire movers to get all of that to the property. We don't know anyone in the area so I don't even know where to begin getting recommendations for contractors to do the work. I want the work done and the house listed for sale this year. Based on real estate data for the area it should sell within a few months if I can get it on the market.

Looking for any suggestions on how to get this done.
You might try finding a real estate agent who will
a) find a general contractor to oversee the renovation, and then
b) list the house.
Not sure how large of town/city you are talking about this home is located in. I would visit with the lumber yard you are doing business with see if there is someone there that could be trusted and to check in on progress etc. Those people in general will have a good idea of the contractors and how projects would be carried out to end point. In the small communities here, that would be the best route and he could give an update when work begins.

Good Luck!
It cannot be sold in the condition it's in (no bathroom fixtures or kitchen due to the tear out).
What I'd do is call up several realtors in the area. Anything can be sold for the right price, especially in a sellers market, like most of the country.

If you get some interested realtors who will work with you, arrange to spend a couple of days in town to meet with them and create a listing. With a deeply discounted price, it should sell.
I wouldn't mess with trying to complete the renovations. Just find a good agent and sell the house as-is. Be less sale price, but you won't be putting money into it to get more out of it. Probably sell just as easy to a person with skills to finish (their preferred way), or a flipper. Either way, you get it sold and no aggravation dealing with out of state. Look at it this way, put $50k into renovations, plus your time and hassles. Will it sell for at least $50k more?

See if the stuff your husband already purchased might be returned? Or sell on FB, craigslist, or garage sales.
Plenty of flippers looking for something like this. You can easily sell it; you just won't make as much as you would if it was finished.
I agree with SevenUp. Many real estate companies around here buy older homes, rebuild, and sell.
Might be the easiest.
I can't imagine the cost of movers to take the stuff already purchased from your home to the property. I hope you will be able to resell it or return it.
I'd get quotes from Mark Spain (cash offer) and a few other real estate agents, there's many of them out there. End the expenses, and take the money, and run!
You might even be able to sell the replacement items along with the house - anything is possible, especially if discounted enough to make it worth a flippers trip to get the stuff. Even if it doesn't get any increase in the selling price, it is then out of the way.

ETA: The hardest part of this might be the psychological aspects w/your husband in terms of having to punt on the project and sell things at a "distressed" price. From a personal perspective, I am thinking of downsizing and trying to steel myself that I might have to sell things at vastly discounted prices, or even give things away to make my move possible.
I would definitely sell as is. The buyers may be willing to pick up the items in your basement.
Thanks for the replies. It's actually a condo not a house, I was being a bit vague earlier. A good number of the units are second homes for people so there are a lot of flipped units in the building. At this point I don't care what we get for it (within reason), I just want it gone so I can stop worrying about another project we don't need. I like the idea of selling 'as is' with the items included that we purchased. Again, thanks for pointing me in that direction.
Since you are losing money every month that you own it I would list it as soon as possible.
We've funded/lent money to flippers and people who want to renovate a home. We charge a very stiff interest rate, so the borrowers are really incentivized to complete their projects fast. This means they are on site and making the myriad of decisions that are required instantly. If they are good and successful those decisions fit the overall vision and order of operations so that all goes smoothly. We've renovated a home for us while living next door. We've had a winter home 1100 miles away redone after flood damage, using a contractor and his subs.

By far, the most expensive and least satisfactory results were with the remote contractor. It still irks me to look at what we ended up with. While it will be painful, count me in the chorus of people urging you to sell as is. The cabinets and such in your basement are a sunk cost - anything you get for them is great, but mainly you are clearing out your basement and your life. The idea of trying to finish a house for sale - in an HOA OMG double or quadruple the problems - a day's drive away is just too much. Every month you have that inherited millstone hanging around your neck is just that much more weight and expense you have to try and recoup with a sale. Give yourselves a gift and get something for the inherited millstone and focus on yourselves.

Best to you both
Heck. most people buying a used house usually tear out the bathroom and kitchen and remodel it anyway! You will be saving someone demo charges.
Yep, some great ideas just leave as is and sell. Of course, if there are any issues with the inspection then you may have to do those.
I'm in agreement with multiple other posters. At this point, for the sake of your mental and physical health, I would take the path of least resistance, and unload the property and the materials for whatever you can get for them.

For the right price, someone will buy the property, and the same goes for the materials.

You posted about caregiver burnout in another thread, which is perfectly understandable. The amount of aggravation (financial, logistical, emotional) you would have to go through to manage the renovations remotely is just not worth it.

I'm currently having the siding replaced on my house, as well as having the exterior trim etc. painted. I'm dealing with a very good, local company that has been around forever, and even so, three different issues arose on the first day (all unforeseen logistical issues). I can't imagine having to deal with these things remotely - it's tricky enough dealing with the foreman right here in person.

I wish the best to you and your husband. I hope you find a solution to the condo renovations issue that works for you.
I agree with getting rid of it - no matter the loss. You have too much on your plate to deal with this property right now. Good luck.
I'm surprised you're not flooded already with cards in the mail from the "We'll buy your house" crowd. This happens to be one of the few instances where it seems like a good idea to go that route.
I say sell as is. Just as an example we had a local guy change out the floor this winter at our cabin while we were away. He did a really good job but we're back now and he has stuff to finish.
Trying to manage a job like that out of sight will be a nightmare. Unless you can find someone to do the work and split the profit with them. But you'll still be on their schedule. It could work until they find another project that pays more, etc.
You mentioned this is a condo in a development. Have you considered a posting in the clubhouse or mailings to the community? You might find someone there who's interested in the project and potentially save the real estate commission.

If it were me, I'd dump it (within reason) just to move on and not have it hanging over your head.
I'm also in the camp that says sell it as is and get that millstone off your neck. When I was 25 years old I'd have jumped at something like that - buy a place in a good area at a way-under-market price and then live in it as I did the renovation. There is a market for everything, even half-finished condo projects.
When we bought our condo we missed the first one we looked at. Then the only one available was a fixer upper. It needed painting, new floors, and lots of other things that would have taken $20,000++ and a month or 2 having someone else do it. We wanted something ready to move into so we passed. BTW the price was about $15,000 less than the one we bought that had all of the upgrades we wanted.
So if you sell it, which I think you should do, price it well below anything else so that it's a true bargain and sells quickly.
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