1342 Rutland: How To Invest in a Collapsing Market

Check out the discussion going on now in the “Real Estate Professionals” section of the City-Data online forum. A reader is excited about an amazing investment opportunity at the 1342 Rutland St. condos in the Heights!

The unit I’m interested in is as of now at $34K. This if from a high of $77.5. Yes wow the suspiciousness of the place even more intriguing.

I’m thinking I could pay cash for the place maybe borrow a little but (family borrow not bank borrow)… finish the interior (it’s not finished) and rent it out for a good monthly rate (good for me that is). It’s in one of the best/trendy/expensive neighborhoods in Houston . So from the steady fall of the price I’m thinking an offer of $25K would be good. That way I could pay it completely and take my time fixing it up for rent… or sale.

Wow, a $77,500 condo for only $25,000! Sounds like a great investment. But then there’s that nagging feeling inside that makes the would-be investor end with this question:

Just how scared should one be entering this building[?]

After the jump: Reader advice!


The responses are not encouraging:

I wouldn’t touch that place with a 10′ pole. Hand me the keys for nothing and I’d still think twice. . . . Best thing that complex can hope for is a really bad fire.


ummm….structure problems? walls bowing? Wouldn’t you be scared to rent a place like that to someone? What if the building collapses on them? Can you spell lawsuit???

But surely that couldn’t happen here!? The investor asks:

Could someone really sell a house that’s about to be condemned or collapse to someone who wants to occupy it and not just tear it down[?]

And then comes the free advice:

How much is the dirt worth….because there’s your value. I’m betting a structural engineer and code enforcement would make life H*** for you once you take ownership.

I think that would be the goal, if you were an investor to buy out all of the units. One unit here and there wont give a buyer any leverage to get things moving but if you bought out 1/2 the building, you could force by vote the repairs needed, even leverage the condo association to take out the loans to make the repairs.