What a feeding frenzy from the realtor posts. Its actually quite funny...
I am currently looking myself (I have a realtor, thank you) and have been looking at foreclosures and REO's in the 200 to 300K range. There are some deals out there, but if you find something in good shape with all the appliances, cabinets, toilets, and hot water heaters still in the house, and something that does not need a whole house cleaning and painting, you need to jump on it quick. Then if its an REO, expect the bank to want a deposit of 8000 to 10000 dollars and then sit and wait while the REO agent collects multiple offers to send to the bank for approval. The one with the best offer wins.
It is a slow process in the REO market now which is the bulk of the sales. Anyone doing a regular resale is overpriced relative to the REO properties and just can't sell. We tried, but there was no way we could lower our 4 bedroom home 80K to compete with what is out there now. Hence, we are going to rent it when we find something we like.
Most of the realtors out here are in the "its never been a better time to buy" mode. They said that back in October too before prices dropped 20%. Those are the ones to watch out for because they need the commission to survive.
My advice, get a realtor who is realistic about the market and will tell you that there are another 8000 properties going into default soon, that the market hasn't hit rock bottom yet, and that it will remain slow for the remainder of 2008 and into 2009. Once you get someone who will be straight with you, you will better understand the market here.
the person below who suggested renting is also correct. Rental rates are down and you can get a lot of house for less money, only you don't own it. Not a bad strategy for the next year.
As mentioned, we are looking to rent our 4 bedroom house in henderson after we find a house we like tha better suits our needs personally. Not in any hurry though so we can look at a wide variety of homes and take our time.
Back when we moved here in 2006 (PEAK) the best we could find is what we have now for 342000. Our house is probably worth 240000. The 450K house we wanted back in 2006 are now 280 to 300K. That should give you an idea of how bad it is here,