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Real Estate: California/Raw Land in Caiforna Desert


Hello Kathryn,

A few years ago I sold 5 acres of bare land to a guy that couldn't afford a large down payment, so to save escrow, RE Agent
and possible foreclosure costs, we used a land sales contract that says when the buyer becomes 3 months late, the property reverts back to me.  He is now 3 months late and changed his phone number and ignores email.  The problem is that a year ago
he moved on it in a trailer and moved 10 other trailers on it that he said he wanted to pull the salvageable parts out for money.  There are many code violations.  How should I kick him off and am I responsible for the code violations?  The property is still in my name on the tax roles and I pay the property taxes.  I sold it for $25,000 and he still owes about $20,000.

I appreciate any advice you could give me.
Thank you for your time,

Hello David.

First, please accept my apologies for a bit tardy answer. As you can imagine, weekends can be a busy time for a Realtor...

At first blush, one would think you may have a viable sales contract that you could enforce.  Unfortunately, in my non-legal opinion, because the property is still in your name, you may find yourself in some quicksand regarding the code violations and collection on the remaining purchase price.  If you call on the county for assistance, you will be getting yourself in hot water versus the 'owner'. You will most likely have to go through an eviction process versus a foreclosure.

I would recommend legal advice.  A good place to start is at You may be able to get some free legal advice that will get you started down a path to oust the free loader who is obviously taking advantage of you.

I realize, of course, it's too late to mention this.... But, having engaged a Realtor in the beginning of the sales process would have saved you this concern as they would have advised you to include a lease to own contract.  

It's sad you"re going through this. Your good heart and good intentions got crushed.

Best wishes, to you David.

Real Estate: California

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Kathryn Hisert; Realtor


Everyone deserves an answer! My rounded background will provide you with information beyond ‘just’ buying and selling. I can answer questions regarding short sales, foreclosures, deed-in-lieu, home staging, vintage home related concerns, most mortgage related questions, and divorcing couples’ housing options. I am a research oriented individual who strongly believes in connecting all the dots and providing as much, or as little, information and communication my clients want or need. My expertise is in San Diego and Santa Clara Counties.


I started in the mortgage industry in January 2002. In November 2004 I earned my real estate license. The combined experience has provided me with experience within multi-faceted programs including, FHA, VA, 'hard money', private financing, short sales, foreclosures and conventional lending programs and purchasing guidelines. My clients experienced a 'one-stop shop'. Since July of 2010 I have concentrated strictly on being a Realtor with niche markets in vintage homes and divorcing couples.

N. San Diego County Association of Realtors California Association of Realtors National Association of Realtors


CDPE: Certified Distressed Property Expert CREDS: Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist ASP: Accredited Staging Professional

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