Although I haven't been as active on Trulia, Zillow, or even ActiveRain as I have been in the past (Baseball season is a killer when you have two boys!) I do keep an eye on them every day. I may not be participating, but I'm watching. Something I see pop up all the time is "How do I buy a foreclosure in Bucks County?" or "How do I buy a short sale in Bucks County?"
I also regularly have clients email me, "Where are the really good deals? The short sales and foreclosures?"
I think it's important to point out that these two phrases "good deal" and "short sale" or "foreclosure" are not synonymous in Bucks County.
The first hurdle is that short sales and foreclosures may have some lending issues. Many of the foreclosures that we are seeing, unless they are in the higher price point, are wrecked. As in, someone has ripped all the copper out of the house and you have no heat. We are also seeing the investors come back into the market at the lower price points. It's extremely difficult for an owner/occupant to compete with an all cash/no inspection offer, which is typically what investors throw out there.
At the higher price points, typically the homes are in fine shape, and investors aren't the problem. However, the scarcity of foreclosures above the $350,000 price range will make it a waiting game for you.
Short sales in Bucks County? Ugh. Another post for another time. Are they "good deals?" Sometimes. Not all the time. And you never really know if that short sale is going to pan out. If a short sale doesn't happen, it's not a "good deal."
So, I would encourage this:
Look for a good deal. Period.
They're there. There are plenty of people who are sitting on an vacant home as part of an estate, or have already re-located, or are sick of showing their house, or (gasp!) are just reasonable about their sale price. Don't limit yourself to a foreclosure or short sale. Bucks County has plenty of deals to go around, don't get hung up on a specific type of sale.
Some ideas for finding "deals:"
- Run a search of homes that have been on the market 120 days or longer
- Look at homes that may be estate properties (typically outdated, but not trashed)
- Look at homes that have relocation addendums posted to the MLS
- Look at homes that have "motivated seller" in the comments
Or, give me a call or shoot me an email and I'll let you know when I see a really good deal come on the market.