I think this is a win-win situation for her. I would think that she isn't going to get her $850 back from the person who owes the taxes but, she could get by with putting lipstick on that "pig" and renting it out or, like she said, selling it. Obviously you can't tell the damage it has structurally so putting a $$ value on fixing it up is impossible without being there in person. It's a risk but IMO a low risk even in times of hardship. One of three basic things that we as humans need is shelter!