can a house be purchased for under $500?

Asked by Gary J. Powell, La Mirada, CA Tue Dec 11, 2007

any property that can be purchased for under $500 whether a fixer upper or not

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Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Tue Dec 11, 2007
$500 should get you a very nice tent from one of the sporting goods companies. You might be able to find a used camper shell or a non operable RV for that price. - Sometimes mobile home parks are willing to give old trailers away for free if you can move them off their lots.

If you were asking if there are homes under $500,000 then I apologize...

There are many people who really can't afford more than $500. - when I was in my early twenties, I lived in a tent for a couple of the summers to save money. It worked quite well for me.
5 votes
Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Wed Dec 12, 2007
So I got two thumbs down? Some one thought I was sarcastic. Gary has not been back to clarify. Since he wrote $500 in his question twice, and has not clarified, I think those of us who read his question literally were right.

I have another idea for $500. I'll bet that a contribution to Habitat or some such organization of $500 could build a shelter for a typhoon victim in Bangladesh.
2 votes
Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Wed Dec 19, 2007
I'm assuming that Gary meant $500, not $500,000...since there are plenty of properties in virtually any county that can be bought for $500,000.

And the answer is: Sure. I've know plenty of people who've done it. Buy it subject to (Sub-2) the existing mortgage. Here's how they do it (for those who don't know subject tos): They find a homeowner in distress who wants to get out of a bad situation. The owner is willing to give the house up, just to get out from under. The investor says: "I'll buy your house subject to the existing mortgage. That is, you deed the property to me. I will own the house. And I promise to pay your mortgage on time. At some point in the future, I'll refinance, so the mortgage will then be in my name, not yours. But, until that happens, the mortgage will remain in your name."

Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer or an accountant. I'm not offering legal or accounting advice.

Advantage to the seller: Relief from a bad situation. And if the investor makes good on his promise, even an improved credit rating for the seller, since the mortgage payments will be made on time. Risk to the seller: He's given his house to the investor, but is still on the hook for the mortgage. Also, transfer of equitable interest violates the lender's due-on-sale clause. The lender has the right to call the loan.

Advantage to the investor: He's acquired a property--gained legal ownership of the property--with little or nothing out of his pocket. Risk to the investor: A moral obligation to pay the seller's mortgage. Also, that at some point in the future he'll be able to refinance the property.

Sometimes, in a subject to, the investor will pay the owner some money, either for moving costs or for some of the equity that the seller may have in the property. And that could be $5,000, $10,000, or more. Other times, though, the owner doesn't have much equity, just wants to get out, and is willing to accept little or nothing.

So, yes, I know investors who have bought properties subject to for under $500.
1 vote
Ted Kostzews…, , Stratford, CT
Wed Dec 12, 2007
$500 dollars???? Sure you can purchase one. Just go to Shangri-La .com, keyword, Utopia. Just kidding. Couldn't resist. I know you must have meant $500,000.
1 vote
Karen Miller, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Wed Dec 12, 2007

Absolutely!!! There are many homes (not necessarily fixers) in your price range in Long Beach & Lakewood. Most are on the smaller side, 2 beds/1 bath. I'd be happy to send you some listings in my area. Just contact me.
1 vote
Diana Marcus, Agent, Mount Arlington, NJ
Tue Dec 11, 2007
1 vote
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Thu Oct 1, 2015
In California, it's doubtful that you could find anything for a price like that. In other states it might be a possibility (Detroit, Mi)? I would suggest you join a few others and buy together!
0 votes
Mykesadick, Home Buyer, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Sep 30, 2015
Almost everyone who answered this question was a rude a##. None of you ever been down on your luck ?! At least he wanted to buy something instead of just squatting in an abandoned home for the price of yearly prop tax and claiming aggravated possession ! That is possible in any town, city , or county .If you can find em, you can squat in em. The owner is the ONLY entity who can press charges. So in answere to his question so many years to late Yes you can find a home for under $500.00 !! Hope he didn't die on the streets years ago because lucky sugardumplings like you who never went to the school of hard knocks were rude!
0 votes
Elmalo, Home Buyer, Michigan
Thu Sep 8, 2011
first this question said a house under 500...... but dnt said in LA...... but you dnt need to go to another country,,,you can have a nice house but not great in detroit and can cost you about 500.00 to 5000.00 and yes there are houses under 500.00 dlls..... and you mean under 500k there are 1,000,000, of houses in michigan under that price........... of course i live in michigan,,,, and i know you mean 500.00 not 500k other ways is a stupid question......
0 votes
Houses Under…, , Palmdale, CA
Wed Jun 10, 2009
0 votes
David Hitt, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Wed Dec 12, 2007
Yes, it is possible to buy homes for under $500,000 in Los Angeles. There are some areas of San Fernando Valley such as Van Nuys, North Hollywood and Lake Balboa where you can find some wonderful homes in great neighborhoods under $500K. Let me know if I can be of assistance (818)422-1702.
0 votes
Fred Dawson, , San Pedro, Long Beach
Tue Dec 11, 2007
Hello Gary, hope you're having a great day. The opportunity to own a home in that price range is great, especially if you hire an agent that knows the available inventory. What's more important to you area or property condition? There are several Great Buys in the Long Beach, Lakewood and Norwalk areas. Give me a call if you think I can help you.
(310) 678-3247
Web Reference:
0 votes
Julia Huntsm…, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Tue Dec 11, 2007
Hello Gary, you can easily search homes in La Mirada on my website-- and yes, there are more houses entering that price range. There are some good ones in Long Beach also. Please call me for more info if you desire.
Web Reference:
0 votes
Yes, you can.
1. Go to the City hall.
2. Find out the list of houses, that are behind of paying the taxes, and close to the point, when the city will auction them for the back taxes.
3. Find out the address of the owners.
4. Write them an offer of buying their house for $500, before they loosing it, which means they won't have the $500 neither. This way at least they got something for it.
5. After you bought it for $500, go to the city and tell them you just bought this house and would like to pay the taxes owed on them.
6. Fix it up and enjoy it or sell it.

In Detroit MI, you can buy under $500, too. Might not be the best neighborhood though...
Flag Wed Sep 25, 2013
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