Foreclosure in 19020>Question Details

Elsa Esterhe…, Home Buyer in 19020

How can a foreclosed home cost under $20,000? I was looking online and I noticed some houses for sale that were under $1,000.

Asked by Elsa Esterheld, 19020 Fri Apr 16, 2010

I am a bit confused. I know the houses are usually not the greatest, but whats the catch?

Help the community by answering this question:


To make this simple...Stay Away! When it sounds to good to be true. It usually is. I agree with the rest. Best of Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 28, 2012
Hi Elsa,

Foreclosure websites post the money that they are in default and even that could be wrong. They do not post the Liens or Judgements as well as the penalties that are owed.

There are a lot of great deals out please remember that there is no free lunch.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 11, 2010
When dealing with foreclosure sites you have to understand the main function of these sites is to tell you properties in foreclosure not to provide you the lisitng information on properties. If information is not available the vendors for the sites fill it with other information that may seem close in nature. But understand most of the properties on the foreclosure site are not listed for sale. The site lists what is currently in foreclosure where the first legal has been filed. When using these sites you need to read all the directions or you will not understand what you are receiving. It is the old rule of receiving too much information with not all information be good information (garbage in garbage out). If you understand the process and can identify the good information, it is a good tool, if not it will be misleading and confusing.

If your looking for a foreclosure it is best to get a expert in your area to assist you because there is a lot to know and you will not know it by looking at the site. If you want to see list prices stick to or trulia and not a foreclosure site.

Keith Manson

First Weber Group
Certitied Distressed Property Expert

Metro Milwaukee
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 17, 2010

As others have mentioned the information seen online is not always accurate, especially with foreclosure homes. I can only think of one area in lower Bucks County where you can buy a home for $20k. There are other local areas where you can buy for $20k: Philly, Camden or Chester.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 16, 2010
Hi Elsa,

Terrence makes a great / accurate point about many of the web "foreclosure listings". I can't tell you how many times we see these $20,000 properties already under contract in the MLS for $247,000 (for example).

Many times you'll see an amount listed that could actually be taxes owed (for example), the amount the mortgage is in arrears, "back" association dues in some areas (homeowners associations can initiate foreclosure proceedings in some areas), or some other "un-described amount. I've attended many foreclosure / Sherrif sales over the last 15 or so years. Sadly, every few years (especially in an economy that we're in now), you see some companies pop up who make money by simply selling foreclosure lists, etc. (which you can get for free by the way at any local courthouse / sheriffs office).

Some of these companies are legit and some are not. Also keep in mind that in a foreclosure / sheriff sale auction, the "the high bidder" can be liable for liens on the property (especially the 1st mortgage who is the 1st lienholder) so a $45,000 home for example with a 1st mortgage lien of $100,000 can cost you $145,000 + auction fees etc for example. (That's a very , very simplified , but for the sake of not typing 14 paragraphs, it can give you an idea of what can be involved). Short Sales, (while they have their own issues), do not put you at that type of risk like a foreclosure.

Also keep in mind that your mortgage lender must "approve you" as some will not lend on a foreclosure / short sale.

Hope that helps a bit. If I can be of any help, I'm always here. I've done quite a bit of work in Bensalem (grew up in the area).

Brian Luce ABR, SRS
Weidel Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 16, 2010

I am not aware of any homes being sold for $1,000 OR $20,000 in Trevose. You may buy at that price in certain parts of Philadlephia. A client of mine bought for $1500 but ended up stuck wiht $10,000 in back taxes because he bought privately and did not know what he was doing. He came to me for financing after the fact. It costs nothing to talk to a professional and can save you lots of $$$ in the long run

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 16, 2010
Not sure what foreclosure internet sites you are viewing--however, do keep in mind that not all of the information seen online is accurate, and oftentimes it is misleading--some of the listings you may be seeing, may not even be on the market nor will they ever be on the market; some of the numbers you may be seeing could be missed payments, etc.--if you are interested in foreclosures, your best source of information is any local agent(s), consider choosing one to work with.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 16, 2010
Websites, such as or RealtyTrac (which Trulia gets their feeds from), try to get you to pay for their services. Actual addresses are not published.

The foreclosure process is quite lengthy and starts when the borrower defaults on the loan. The following steps are included but are probably not all of the steps in the process after the borrower defaults.

- The lender petitions the court to sell the property.
- Borrower notified, has chance to catch up on payments, fees, remaining balance of loan.
- Borrower can't pay, home is slated for sheriff sale.
- Borrower can petition the court to stay the sale.
- If the sale goes on, potential buyers bid for property.
- If the property is sold at sale, sheriff evicts squatters (prior borrowers).
- If the property is not sold, the bank “buys” the property back.
- Bank puts the property on the market through a broker.
- For lenders who have VA or FHA backed home loans, they give the property to those agencies recovering the funds and those agencies either list with a broker or post those properties on their own web sites.

Now, even before this happens, the borrower sometimes lists the property (with the lender's approval) as a short sale (the price of the home is less than what is owed).

Moral: Get a real estate agent to help you out. They can show you properties which are either in foreclosure or will be a short sale. They can also assist you with properties which are slated for sheriff sale to see if they would be profitable.

Hope that helps,

Terrence Charest
Century 21 Associates
Cell (Preferred): 877.614.1494
Office: 215.659.5250
Fax: 215.659.5550
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 16, 2010
You should find your own buyer's representative in your area that can help you to determine the facts. Buyer representation is usually @ no cost to you. If you'd like a referral based on your preferences and someone you think would suit you, please let me know and I'll find someone for you in your area through my network of experienced professionals.

Alyse Sands, Broker
Village Real Estate Services,
Nashville, TN
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 16, 2010
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