I remodled my home a year ago and paid alot of money for it. and it just got foreclosed on and sol;d two days ago, can we take what we paid for withus

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I remodled my home a year ago and paid alot of money for it. and it just got foreclosed on and sol;d two days ago, can we take what we paid for withus

my home was remodled and upgraded less then a year ago . now it has been foreclosed on and sold , The new owner offered us $500.00 to live within 5 days. Is it legal for me to tell the new owner that I just paid $70,000.00 to remodle this place and I want at least $5,000.00 from him to move out and leave this place looking the way it does otherwise I am taking what I paid for with me and selling it all piece by piece to get some of my money back. and how long do I have before I actually must be off this property. I have two kids and no money to move out, what can I do?

Asked on June 14, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First and foremost, since you have two kids, no money, no place to go, you need to get some free legal assistance fast, to help you. Try calling your state bar association at 1-866-442-2529 or 866-44-CA-LAW (toll free in California) or 415-538-225 and explain your situation and ask  for a referral to free legal services. There *are* free services or resources to help people in your situation.

Second, while the new owner can ask you to leave, they can't simply make you go without bringing an eviction proceeding, with takes time and involves them going through the proper steps. That is another reason to get an attorney--so you are better able to respond to any eviction proceedings. A lawyer can also help you negotiate some deal with the new owner that works for you both.

What you may NOT do is take out any improvement made to the home. Things that are not connected, like freestanding appliances (a washer, a dryer, a refrigerator) you can take--if you paid for them they are yours, and they're not part of the building. However, anything built in--a surround sound system, a built-in microwave or range hood, an expensive bathtub, a marble kitchen counter, windows or doors, etc.--is part of the home and once the home is sold or foreclosed on, it goes with the home. Taking it out would likely be vandalism or theft. (For a quick test, think about if you were buying a home, the sorts of things sellers may take--and the sorts of things they may not.)

As part of negotiating with the new owner, you can certainly offer to sell him or her any of the items, like a washer or dryer, that would be entitled to take. However, be prepared that if the seller does not want them, even at a discount, you will have to move them out when you do end up leaving the space.


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