Selling home difficult when neighbor’s a slob

DEAR BOB: My mother’s neighbors moved in about four years ago.Since then they have accumulated cars (on blocks), a shed that is overflowing,and many piles with blue tarps. I am afraid when my mother wants to sell herhome (she is 84), she will have problems. What recourse does she have?–Darlene H.

DEAR DARLENE: Your mother should consult the appropriatecity or county code-enforcement officials to see if the neighbors are violatingany ordinances. If so, ask the government to enforce its ordinances.

Purchase Bob Bruss reports online.

If there is no law violation, however, there isn’t much yourmother can do unless the situation is a fire hazard or creates other danger.She should consult a local real estate attorney to see if the situation is sobad it constitutes a private nuisance, which can be abated by court action.


DEAR BOB: I have encouraged my mother to create a revocableliving trust to avoid probate when she passes on. Since her only major asset isher house, her attorney in Minnesota is trying to dissuade her from creating aliving trust. He tells her it would be cheaper to create a “life estateremainder deed” or “enhanced life estate deed.” What do youthink about the comparative merits of such deeds compared to a living trust?–Michael D.

DEAR MICHAEL: If you are a regular reader of this column,you know about all the problems that can arise with life estates andremainders.

Presuming you are your mother’s heir, I don’t see anyadvantages of a life estate for her or you, but there are lots of potentialdisadvantages. I suggest she consult an attorney who specializes in livingtrusts to discuss the advantages.


DEAR BOB: When a mortgage broker receives a “yieldspread premium” from a lender for producing a home loan with an interestrate higher than the lender requires, how can a home buyer know there was alower-interest-rate mortgage available from that lender? –Carolyn C.

DEAR CAROLYN: When applying for a mortgage, ask the mortgagebroker if he or she will be receiving a “yield spread premium” fromthe lender. That tells you whether you are being overcharged and could obtain alower interest rate from the lender.

The new Robert Bruss special report, “How to BuyFixer-Upper Houses with Little or No Cash for Fun and Fortune,” is nowavailable for $5 from Robert Bruss, 251 Park Road, Burlingame, CA 94010 or bycredit card at 1-800-736-1736 or instant internet delivery at Questions for this columnare welcome at either address.

(For more information on Bob Bruss publications, visit his
Real Estate Center

Copyright 2006 Inman News

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