Cynthia Bagl…, Home Buyer in Raymond, ME

I'm new to this site and I appologize if this question has already been asked but here goes.I live in Maine

Asked by Cynthia Bagley, Raymond, ME Thu May 22, 2008

and my two sons live in San Diego. They currently rent. Three of them, my 2 sons and a girlfriend work and can pay up to $1500./mo. for rent. My husband and I have two timeshares that we have been trading to go to San Diego. We would like to take the opportunity of the low housing market to purchase a home. The plan would be for us to sell out two timeshares for a down payment, purchase a single family home, have my children rent it with an extra bedroom for us until my husband retires in 5 to 6 years when we plan to move there. My question is how do we go about looking for a forclosure and get the best deal so far away. We aren't able to go to Auctions or view the property. Any advice?

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Myke, Home Buyer, 89449
Thu May 22, 2008
With what you're trying to do - i think you're going to want to look long and hard about wither an REO property is right for this situation.
I think there's a common misconception that "oh - it's foreclosure - i can get it for a song!" - but really there's a lot more to it then that.
I think given the market right now, there are some excellent opportunities that are going to be easier to manage up front then REOs - and that will allow you better options in terms of financing and the use of your timeshares as downpayment.
2 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri May 23, 2008
Well, your strategy sounded fine--solid, creative, well-planned out--until you threw in "looking for a foreclosure." Where'd that come from? Why the heck would you be messing with that?

Foreclosures are unpredictable. They can take time. They're not necessarily the best bargains. And limiting your search to foreclosures really narrows the market greatly. Heck, even if 25% of the houses in an area are in foreclosure (and if they were, would you seriously consider living there?), you'd be ignoring 75% of the houses. Not a good idea.

Another possible weakness to your plan is the sale of the timeshares providing for the down payment. Sometimes you practically have to give timeshares away. Make sure you check and find out how much similar timeshares are selling for, just to make sure that their sale will provide enough for the downpayment.

Find a good agent in San Diego. One with a digital camera and digital camcorder. Have her search out properties that meet your criteria. Have her send you a slew of pictures and even videos on properties that may meet your parameters. You review them. Then have your sons and girlfriend view the ones you think would be possibilities, and have them provide feedback to you. Finally, if you think it appropriate (I know some people who would, others who wouldn't), go to San Diego for a personal inspection. I don't think that's absolutely necessary if you receive good information from your agent and good information from your sons and girlfriend. And, after all, they're the ones who'll be living there for the next 5-6 years anyway, not you. What you want to do is make sure that the house is a good value, and is likely to be a good investment over the timeframe.

One other thing: Have a contingency plan in place in case one of your sons wants to move out early. Or if some of the rent is dependent on the girlfriend, what happens if she and your son break up? You just have to have a plan on how to deal with that.

And check with a financial planner. There are various elements involved that would be of interest to a financial planner, and that could benefit you.

Hope that helps.
1 vote
fredeckert, Agent, San Diego, CA
Thu May 22, 2008
Buying a foreclosure (bank owned or short sale) will mean you should find a Realtor to find the properties in the MLS for you to look at. I can recommend some Realtors who specialize in working with buyers and with bank owned.short sales. You should get pre approved by a lender ( I can refer you some one here for that too). You probably should consider buying the property in you and your husbands name and not put the children in title (this might complicate the deal depending on credit scores, income, etc. ). I also suggest your Realtor find the longest listed bank owned properties, since they usually have had price reductions and the banks are more motivated to move them off their books. I have a youtube video on buying bank owned properties that may help.
and another one on why it make sense to buy now...and why to ask for an interest rate buydown...
1 vote
Jacqueline W…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Sat May 24, 2008 may want to consider buying a multi-unit that way you can maximize your investment with additional tenants. Then in 5 to 6 years, sell and buy a home that you and your husband choose for your retirement lifestyle.

Buying foreclosures can be more challenging than the average sale since you are dealing with a bank, often of states, and sometimes a loss mitigation rep who appears to have no common or business sense, but you can also get a great deal if you are working with an agent who is skilled at dealing with a corporate entity and knows what to look for in the, often ambiguous, documents that are used by the banks during the transaction. I just closed on a bank-owned triplex in San Diego and my Clients could not be happier with the deal we were able to secure - visit my profile for their testimonial.

Give me a call if you need additional help.....949-244-4534
0 votes
A, , San Diego County, CA
Fri May 23, 2008
Firstly foreclosure does not automatically=good deal. The best way to get a good deal from a distance is to first establish a repore with a local agent who is familiar with the entire county who can help you in narrowing down certian communities that fit your ideals. A great portion of my "buyer" transactions are with people who are relocating to San Diego.It is not impossible to get a transaction done from a distance, but building a good repore with someone is extremely important.
Secondly, you said your sons lived here. You may not be able to view the properties, but I am sure between your selected realtor - their cameras and your sons, you will be able to find what you need.
Secondly, how much are you looking to spend and have you been preapproved?
So in conclusion, find out your price point and build a repore with a good realtor. Good Luck to you!
If I can help you in anyway feel free to contact me:
0 votes
Woody Hender…, Agent, San Diego, CA
Fri May 23, 2008
You have an advantage over others considering a purchase of a home from out of the area. Your family is familiar with San Diego and can preview homes to give you their impressions first hand. Video, virtual tours and photos are great but there is really no substitute for having someone you trust to view homes and provide recommendations based on your most important needs. At the height of the market, it was not uncommon for buyers to make offers on homes sight unseen. That still happens today, when buyers establish rapport and trust with a local agent. One of our clients was in the same situation that you are, and recently purchased a foreclosure property sight unseen. His sister previewed the property, then sent photos and links to videos. When our client viewed the home just prior to closing ( we call it Celebration Day) he was thrilled - it exceeded his expectations. With your family, technology and an agent that you can trust to find you a great value on a home in San Diego you can proceed with confidence.
Wishing you all the best, Woody Henderson, Broker (619) 850-5432.
0 votes
Cheng, , 08817
Thu May 22, 2008
I think Fred has very good youtube video, and here are my two cents.

You may want to create a blog from, say, Google, like this one that I used to buy a condo can walk to Berkeley for my son who just got admitted. Continue monitoring thru websites like based on the city wide, and zip code wide. (click around on my Berkeley Housing Blog) to get an idea.

Once you got very good idea about San Diego, click on city wide monitor and zip code wide monitor. You shall unevitably become an expert on the real estate in San Diego, and whenever the best deal come out that matches your criteria. You shall be able to act on it.
0 votes
Diane Conaway, Agent, Escondido, CA
Thu May 22, 2008
Hi Cynthia,
Good questions. It's a great time to buy in San Diego. We're seeing some terrific prices though it may not be equivalent to what they are paying in rent. $1500 per month equals about $200,000 of purchasing power. While prices are good that would get you a so-so condo most likely. To get a single family home in a decent area you'd have to get to about $300,000 to $350,000. The first step is to get the financing squared away with a reputable lender of your choice and then get aligned with a local realtor who can help you locate the foreclosures plus the other terrific buys in lovingly maintained homes that have to compete with the foreclosure pricing. I've sold many homes to people around the world who actually didn't see it in person til much later. It's amazing what we can do with video and emails. If I can answer additional questions, just ask!
Best of luck!
Diane Conaway, RE/MAX United, (760) 749-2888
0 votes
Carmen Isais, , 95616
Thu May 22, 2008
Buying sight unseen is not something I would recommend, especially in the REO market or even in San Diego where, if you aren't careful, you can end up living somewhere you don't want to.

The best thing to do is to find an agent you can work with and trust. You would want someone local who knows the area. Explain to him or her what you are looking for and send you two boys to meet this person as well. They will be able to get feel for the area as well, seeing as though they already live there.

My aunt had been a long time resident of San Diego and recently sold her home while working out of State. I know she thinks very highly of her agent... would have been lost without her as she orchestrated the entire sale, inspections and repairs for my aunt who never returned to CA. If you would like her name and contact information, please let me know.

Best of luck, Carmen Isais
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