Registered: 1529342112 Posts: 1
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My grandpa built a house by himself about 40 years ago in a rural area of Texas. He'd bought a few lots but by today, all but two have been sold off. The family is pretty poor. My aunt and her 2 adult children lived there with Grandma & Grandpa until both grandparents died off. Then the 2 children lived there, a man and woman. The woman had a couple of kids. But here's the problem: the adult children never worked an actual job a day in their lives. They lacked the mental capacity. When I was very young I was told that they received a check from the government because they lacked the mental capacity to work, but that stopped. May have really been some sort of survivors benefits because their dad died when they were very young. I don't know. All I know is that because they are so poor and not so bright, the house is pretty much falling down now. They've let pets stay inside so it stinks really bad. A tornado hit grandpa's shop so it's in a pile behind the house and the house itself is not much better inside and out. Both adult kids and their kids moved away. A family friend paid the property taxes on it so the adult male could move back in but he's very, very old and I'm sure he doesn't want to die alone in that isolated, delapidated stinky dirty house. So, nobody lives in it. I think it's a tear-down but still, I'd like to keep it in the family and pass it down to one of the adult kids that the female adult child has. But he's a lot like them. Over 30, never had a drivers license. Married a young girl who had 2 kids with him and took off. He works part-time at a department store.
I'm hoping one of his daughters will turn out more 'normal' and I'd like to save the place for one of them. I'm thinking the only way to do that is to get the property put into a family trust with me as the trustee. Get a loan to tear down the house and build a new house. Rent it out until one of the daughters wants to move in. Is that even possible? I don't have any credit myself, having just changed careers. I have no cash reserves, either. Thus, paying a lawyer hundreds of dollars to get all this done is out of the question. Fortunately, given the right templates, I'm smart enough to do it without one. I have formed a nonprofit corporation myself, written by-laws and articles of incorporation and dozens of air-tight contracts throughout my life. All with no help from any lawyers, ever. Only the value of the land would serve as collateral. I'm pretty sure it'd be easy to rent out once it was completed. And I've learned enough from this forum to avoid many common pitfalls of landlording. I am open to and would appreciate any comments or advice. Thank you.
Registered: 1472494503 Posts: 411
Reply with quote #2
This is a lot and no one here can give you a proper, full explanation on what is best, that would really come down to a good lawyer and probably an accountant or financial advisor as well.
If you can't afford a few hundred bucks for an attorney, there's no way you can get a loan, build a house, etc. All of that takes time and money, and it sounds like you have neither right now. Doing legal things yourself works perfectly every time, until someone questions anything about it. It's like writing my own lease, it may work if everything goes perfectly, but as soon as some tenant questions something about it, the whole thing may not be worth the paper I printed it on. I don't know about Texas, but it's conceivable that the family friend that paid the property taxes may now actually own everything (or have the right to it, based on adverse possession law). This is another reason a lawyer needs to be involved. Whose name is the property actually in right now? Are there any loans taken out on the property right now? What is the value of the land itself? Why not just sell it and put the money in a trust or split it up? Why work so hard to keep THIS land for someone who may or may not want it and may or may not be able to take care of it? If you didn't have the land but had the money it could sell for, would you go buy this piece of land to hold on to for many years just in case one kid may turn out competent and want it? (The answer is no, which means you should probably move on rather than try so hard to keep it.) You aren't even keeping the actual family house. I'm guessing the area isn't going to be where anyone will choose to be if it isn't for the free house. Just sell it and let everyone move on.