As the media continues to spell doom to the entire housing market, I am getting more calls from second home buyers looking for foreclosures. Invariably even if the prospective buyer doesn't begin with that topic, as we chat about what they are looking for, the subject always comes up.
It seems that some have this vision of finding the deal of a lifetime, and snatching up a wonderful little country getaway for a fraction of the cost.
Its like the urban myth of the "friend" who is subletting their grandmothers duplex in Chelsea, and paying only $600 a month. When I lived in Manhattan, everyone sort of knew somebody like that, but not really firsthand but they were spoken about with awe and reverence, and a bit of jealousy.
The problem with the foreclosure market in Sullivan County, is that that side of the housing market is very different than what most of the people I deal with are looking for. I attached a link to a typical foreclosed property here. Believe me this type of house is a dime a dozen.
Most are in the south eastern part of the county, around Monticello, Fallsburgh area. Like the rest of the country, they are mostly primary homes, taken over by the bank after the owners have stopped paying. The houses are often in disrepair, and have been on the market at various prices throughout the foreclosure process. Contrary to what some might think, a home typically goes into foreclosure only when every other avenue has been tried. Banks do not like to lose money, and will not give a house away.
Now I am sure that there are some very nice second home style properties out there right now, where the owner is in a tough financial situation, but being upside down, or even attempting a short sale, does not automatically turn a deal into a steal.
I just heard of a house that is going to auction this week. It had been on the market for almost two years, the price dropping to 70% less than what was originally asked. The problem is that it is in a flood plain, with major water damage, and even at these low prices, buyers do not want to deal with that headache. I am curious to see what it sells for, but like anything else in life, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.