The Not-So-Attractive World of San Carlos Foreclosures

Posted on 02 December 2009 by vvandervort

It strikes me that every person who walks in the door of my open houses these days in San Carlos wants to know about scoring a deal by buying a foreclosure property. 

First off, I hate calling them foreclosure properties.  To me that implies that they are about to be foreclosed upon.  That ugly process has already been done, so you pretty much always hear me referring to them as “bank owned” properties.

 Here’s my short list on why I hate dealing with San Carlos foreclosures. 

1.  They always seem to have sewer problems.  See, no one has been living in them for a while because the foreclosure process does take a while and when an owner is being foreclosed upon, they have no problem putting the toilet paper roll down the toilet in addition to the toilet paper itself.  Then, of course, the bank doesn’t pay for a sewer inspection, so the buyer gets stuck with the $150+ inspection fee.  And when you do find something, the bank hates to negotiate any further on the price.  If you have to walk on the deal, you’ve just lost your $150 plus all of the other inspections you’ve paid for, and probably your appraisal fee.

2.  There are no disclosures at all.  You don’t really know the value of the Transfer Disclosure Statement and the Supplemental Sellers’ Checklist until you don’t get them at all.  These two forms give you 12 pages of really useful information and history about the home.  Since the bank never lived in the house, they don’t know anything to disclose. 

3.  Surprises!  If you actually close the deal on a bank owned home and you move in, you are often hit with unforeseen items.  Imagine you’re out front socializing with your new neighbors and your neighbor tells you about the time some crazy lunatic broke into the home.

4.  95% of the time, they are listed by some out of the area agent who has no clue about the San Carlos real estate market, nor the norms of how we complete our real estate transactions around here.  It ends up making more work for the buyer’s agent.  On a deal I was in earlier this year, I had to supply the agent with vendors for getting quotes on the property because they had no clue who would be reputable around here.  On another deal, I guess the agent is too lazy to drive down from the city because his lock box is still at the property 60 days after we’ve closed escrow. 

Okay, for you folks who still think you’d like to buy a San Carlos foreclosure, the only one we have available is 1651 Alameda de las Pulgas listed at $519,900. 

You know, foreclosures could be worse… they could be short sales!  I’ll delve into that can of worms in a future post.

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