Home Buying in Phoenix>Question Details

Igloo, Other/Just Looking in 85255

Any success using the "Court House Steps" lending program offered by AmeriFirst Financial?

Asked by Igloo, 85255 Wed Aug 8, 2012

The marketing materials I've read say they partner with local bidding companies and investors to purchase a home of your selection at foreclosure auction on the courthouse steps, which is then sold to you by the investor as part of a Lease Purchase agreement. The buyer is then able to secure conventional or FHA financing when purchased from the investor that bought the house at auction. The sale would be as-is condition - which is risky. Appraisals would be done prior to auction to set bid limits.

Commissions and fees are paid to investor and bidding company for their services, which would be in addition to the standard closing costs when buying from the investor. All these costs could be rolled into the total loan amount.

Anyone have experience with this program? Realtors - any success completing sales for your clients with this program? Buyers (non-investor) - have you tried this program (or something similar) and it worked for you?

Curious to know more...

Help the community by answering this question:


Sorry if I didn't take your question as posed. Sometimes we get vendors, posing as home buyers or sellers, using the Trulia forum to introduce or sell agents products and service.

As I mentioned in my response below, we really like Chris Eymann at http://www.sellwholesalehouses.com for the type of thing you are talking about. He will buy a property and carry it while your loan is put in place. Not sure what his fees are though.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
Jeepers! I don't know how else to phrase the question to get a serious response here. I thought the Trulia community could provide some open dialogue and unbiased opinions or reviews of this program since I don't see any other chatter about it online. I don't personally know anyone that can attest to the success of this program and was hoping someone out there could give some insight. There has to be some kind of "catch" here that I'm not understanding. My realtor and lender have never heard of such a thing, and are concerned that this walks the line of "double escrow". Obviously, we'd want to avoid that at all costs.

We (my agent, lender and I) are just trying to learn as much as we can about it through first-hand accounts or references (and any similar programs from other lending companies) so we can make an educated decision about whether or not this would be a viable option for me to pursue in the purchase of my primary residence...or of this is a program best saved for the casual investor.

I'll see if I can modify my original question above to remove any reference to the lending company offering this program so we can all focus more on the question at hand, and less on questioning the validity of my inquiry.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
I tried it and it is not worth it! The fees and conditions will wipe out any potential savings. At the end it is more expensive than buying a foreclosed or regular sale home on the market. In addition there is a huge risk when buying a home as-is with no inspection. It is just not worth it!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
Hi June, thanks for the honest feedback on this program. Did you actually complete closing on a house with this program, or just get to a certain point in your research and decide it wasn't worth it? The fees do seem high, especially considering the whole point of purchasing the home at auction is to SAVE money! As-is condition is risky, I agree. Now if only there was a similar program with investors that would still allow for an inspection contingency...then I might be more inclined to give this a try.
Flag Wed Aug 8, 2012
Sounds like sales hype to me too verses an innocent question. We use Chris Eymann for trustee sales and he offers similar services and is a very upfront guy. He's at buywholesaleshouses.com and is in no way affiliated with Realty Executives or The Urban Team, just a good guy who our clients have given great feedback.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 8, 2012
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