I spent the first year of my real estate career taking calls about foreclosed-upon properties. I worked at an agency which handled most of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac re-sales (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are government-sponsored entities which loan a ton of money for the purchase of housing). I spent a great deal of time showing smelly, filthy, dilapidated houses to buyers who saw the great price offered and thought they’d have the perfect situation – a home of their own for a great price.
BUT, it oh-so-rarely worked out that way. Oftentimes the houses were the definition of squalor. Fannie and Freddie sometimes clean up or install new floor coverings, but often it’s not worth the extra investment. So they do nothing.
In the paper last week I read this article about local foreclosure tours. My favorite, favorite line is this –
Foreclosed homes often don’t have nicely mown lawns and may need new carpet, for example
MAY need new carpet? Um, try definitely. And the yards are often so far gone there is no “recovery” possible. You need to start again from scratch.
But this is what I find most interesting – when the local housing market is strong, as ours is, you don’t HAVE a ton of foreclosures on the market. Our market has steadily appreciated between 2% and 5% a year, over the last several years. We have not had a tremendous increase in foreclosures recently. Even the lender who sponsors the tour states as much –
“I really see that our market is holding very, very strong over some pretty weak markets across the country,” she said.
It cracks me up that there are agents and lenders in the Tri-Cities CHARGING MONEY to show less-than- desirable homes in a strong market. It makes no sense to me. If you want to see foreclosed homes I’ll show them to you for free. If you want advice on buying one, I’ll give it to you for free. If you have a house and want to save it before it’s featured on a foreclosure safari, call me and I’ll tell you who to call, for free.