Would you feel bad about buying a new place in a fire sale?
I friend of mine just purchased a super nice apartment in a nice part of town for the ridiculously low price of $31,000. It's a 2-bedroom, separate kitchen/living and a gorgeous balcony with an ocean view. Back when the economy was good, the apartment was worth about $220,000, according to the bank that repossessed it. I have been thinking about getting a new place, but for some reason I feel kinda "ick" about getting a fire sale place, and they abound here. I mean, isn't that kind of like benefiting from others' misery? Like kicking them when they're down? Is it rewarding the bank too?
No, I wouldn't feel bad, and no, it isn't rewarding the bank. The bank is going to sell it to somebody. I've purchased a number of properties that had been foreclosed on. One house I bought for $15,000 and sold 3 years later for $75,000. It was a small 3-bedroom ranch with a two-car attached garage. The house was run down but structurally sound. I spent several thousand fixing it up. New windows and doors and the like and a 2nd bathroom. There are good deals to be had so why not take advantage of them?
You shouldn't feel bad about doing what is in your best interest. It would be different if the owners were still living in the property, and your purchase would put them out on the street.
On the other hand, if the property is vacant and it fits your particular needs, then it only makes sense to take advantage of a good deal.
I live in South Florida and just purchased a property that had been foreclosed on a couple years ago. As a first time homeowner, I got a great deal on a property that would have gone for 3 times as much just a few short years ago.
It is actually punishing the bank in a way, but doing it a favor at the same time. Most banks would have much rather continued to receive the 220K the property was previously worth, but they would prefer to get something for a property rather than to keep it on their books.
In short, if it is legal and ethical, and you don't have to put anyone out onto the street to make a deal happen, I would highly recommend finding a property that can be acquired for a great price while they still exist.
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