Monday, December 22, 2008

Buying Foreclosures?

I was thinking about writing (again) about how buying a foreclosure home can be a great deal, but isn’t always what it seems. Then I found Realtor Amy Jones’s post about the same topic, complete with a picture (below). A picture is worth a thousand words indeed. Go check Amy Jones’s post about foreclosures out.


Foreclosure homes frequently have zero appliances. The owners take them on their way out the door. They often bang up the walls on their way out too. Frustrated and frightened people who’ve just lost their home and are (likely) moving to a dingy rental aren’t too careful moving big stuff through small hallways.

Foreclosure homes are almost universally dirty. The carpet must be replaced. The walls have shoe scuff marks on them. The ceilings have shoe scuff marks on them, which leaves one wondering…. The doors are outlined with magic marker. The door handles are missing. So are the the light fixtures.

Is that blood on the carpet? Or is it mushed-in dog poo? The counters have been cigarette burned, or are still sticky with jam and peanut butter. Don’t dare open the fridge if the power is off.  Whatever’s in there is about ready to climb out on it’s own! In a word, it’s naaaasty. A maid service is likely to charge you $400 or $600 to clean it all up.

I’ve seen bare concrete floors, missing cabinets and bathroom mirrors, three month old dinner still in the oven, unopened bills and court orders on the kitchen counters, missing toilets, mold so bold it nearly smacked me, and pools so green I thought I saw Nessie lurking beneath.

What haven’t I seen? Anyone other than sophisticated investors willing to buy in.