On so many levels, but for this blog post it is about the literal Eau de foreclosure.

I have been hitting the showing pavement very hard these last couple of weeks and have seen some phenomenal deals (what that means to me is houses that are a great value for their square footage, condition and amenities)–I have seen some “deals” at every price point. 

But I have no tolerance for the smelly foreclosures I have been seeing lately, no matter the deal!  I appreciate that the entire civilized world is out trying to save a buck right now,  but give me a break, wouldn’t it be money well spent and translate into a higher price for the property if many of the foreclosure properties could be at minimum cleaned up, cleaned out and stripped of offending odors?  Isn’t a empty canvas more palpable then a clearly disregarded and mistreated property?

So buyers beware–and bring a nose plug!  The foreclosure sale is a different sort of animal.  There are minimal safeguards in place to protect the buyers of foreclosure sales.  Read the fine print on the addenda before you sign, for that low, low bargain price you need to be handy and/or resourceful–and just as a little FYI, they are not wild about high time financing and  likely competitors are the contractor or investor with cash in hand–so deal seeking regular buyer get out early, get out fast.

Furthermore, information can be scarce and the foreclosure sale addendum not bestowed on the winner until after price has been negotiated.  But if the bargain deal is truly what you want, it shall be my mission as well.  I personally prefer a more level playing field for my buyers and the foreclosure sale only gives you a price advantage (and sometimes not even that)… it is buyer beware, as-is, where-is.

Like I said, foreclosures are stinking up our market.

But, alas, it is not…

There is a seller who wants to sell and a ready, willing and “able” buyer for their house.  Easy, breezy, right?

Not so fast my friends…there are lenders, appraisers and attorneys in the mix.  Which means financing, value verification and title searching are in play.  That poor “able” buyer is suddenly thrust under the micorscope of lending scrutiny and that group is being very tough on the borrowing public right now and even if they are not being tough on the borrower, they are being brutal on properties.

Lets talk about RD…

Rural Development financing has been dusted off and is back in play for today’s market.  It follows FHA guidelines (for the most part) but is one of the few 100% financing programs still available.  This program is being widely used in rural areas right now and along with FHA, CHFA and VA they are ruling the day.  What is irksome, aside from their long absence from the playing field which can make for some rusty lenders and REALTORS (not to mention perplexed sellers and buyers) is that for all the talk of more property tolerance and higher price caps…they are just as nit picky as they ever were.

Buyers be ready with your documentation and limber writing hand; they are all government financing after all and paper intensive.  Say what you will about subprime meltdowns and too liberal lending practices and I will likely agree; but nearly gone are the days of 3 weeks until closing, we are back to 80’s style minimum of six weeks and the non-committal lending which keeps you on the edge of your seat until the whirlwind closing scenario.

I attribute it all to too many cooks in the kitchen.  And, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with government financing programs, in fact, I am deliriously happy that they are here to get some fine folks into homeownership…I just long for properly prepared and educated buyers and sellers..folks who understand there shall be hoops to jump through…think of it as a means to the end. 

In many cases, it is the only gig in town so I also recommend that sellers not be too quick to disregard…it may be the best way to get your house sold.  And the process just is what it is…hang in there!