Our vacation trip to Louisiana to visit our daughter turned into a vacation/house shopping trip.
I ended up with 2 realtors because the first one I contacted weeks in advance, never got back to me with the emails of possible homes to look at before we arrived.
Ok, she did finally email me 2 days before we left for the trip but I went ahead and found another realtor in the meantime.
Realtor #2 was a bit more responsive.
So in the end we got shown houses by 2 different realtors.
It was funny that even though we gave each one the SAME criteria on what we wanted to look at, between the two of them they only wanted to show us one house in common.
Each one interpreted our needs SO differently it amazed me.
We only had a rapport with one of them, the young and new agent. She didn't try to show us things at the top or over our price range, as she hadn't learned that "game" yet. Honest and not trying to upsell us....I liked that.
Realtor #1 showed us mostly foreclosures, Realtor #2 showed us no foreclosures.
#2 showed up a house being sold to settle an estate and 2 regular properties. None of these were asking less than $65K and most were at or over $80K(the limit I had set for them).
One of those 3 places had no oven, a nonexistent living room, 1 bath and 3 tiny bedrooms and the asking price was $80K.
Another house was tiny and had a very small fenced in yard. The houses in this neighborhood were VERY close together and each yard for as far as the eye could see had at least one dog in it's also fenced in backyard. Many of these dogs looked to be "outside" dogs and all hell broke loose with barking when they saw us. I looked at my daughter and said, "If you move here with your own dog who loves to bark at other dogs, you will never have a quiet moment!" lolz
The only even acceptable house #2 showed us was the estate settlement house. The previous owner loved to garden and the yard was full of flowers and bushes and trees. The backyard was fenced in and there was a back porch that had been closed in to make a bonus room. Ok, the walls were fake white wood......
Nothing in the kitchen had been updated from when it was built circa 1970 and all the appliances(except the fridge) and sink were Harvest Gold.
While ugly those appliance probably would outlast that newish fridge.
The house seemed to have the original carpeting and smelled like your grandma. 8-)
This house was in a city neighborhood with sidewalks and street lights and was on a small lot. It was near the Air Force Base which meant it would hold it's resale value or could be rented out. Location meant it was WAY overpriced at $89K but it was the cheapest home for sale in the subdivision(others for sale at that time were asking up to $120K).
And the house next door looked like it was a crack den.....ok, maybe not but obviously it was a rental because the outside was a hot mess and all the window blinds looked like a pit bull had played with them....often. ;-)
Shopping foreclosed homes is an adventure I have to say.
Many of these homes suffer from neglect(if you don't have the money to pay your mortgage, you certainly don't have the money either to fix things that are broken, right?).
And due to the anger by the ex-owners toward the bank holding their mortgage, many of the foreclosed properties suffer from vandalism by the occupants before they leave(as well as actual vandals who break into vacant homes and steal things like wiring and copper pipes and appliances).
Many foreclosures are in bad shape inside.....damage to walls and doors(holes and graffitti, sledgehammers taken to toilets and sinks, cement poured into drains to harden and make the plumbing nonoperational, mirrors and lights shattered, cabinets and/or cabinet doors ripped off, carpet and other flooring ripped up.
You name it, we saw it.
One property we visited, when we got there, the front door was wide open and a huge pile of what looked like cabinetry pieces and carpeting was piled on the front yard, and there was someone inside the house cleaning the rugs.
He was hired by the bank that owned that house to clean it out and up so it was sort of clean(at least the carpeting was), but take a look at the backyard of this place.......
A duplex rabbit hutch next to a child's old plastic restaurant buffet table. I wonder if Hasenpfeffer was ever on the menu?
And take note of the mannequin floating in the "pond". I neglected to snap a shot of the main part of the backyard, or rather the GARBAGE DUMP that made up most of the backyard. I counted 15 plastic coolers in various states of repair(ALL of them needing repair), along with every conceivable discarded household and yard item you could think of. There was a burn pit with what remained of a metal/plastic desk chair someone had attempted to "dispose of" in an unsuitable manner.
Though I didn't get a shot of the garbage dump yard in whole, I did snap a quickie of this shack/shed in the backyard. You can see some of the trash that littered the yard(along with a cooler or two). Note the interesting "Louisiana Yard Art" on the shed. The cross is made up of rusty circular saw blades if you can't make out that much detail.
Such panache, such flavor......
After viewing this yard, I can imagine what the inside of the house looked like BEFORE the bank cleaned it out!
The problem for buyers with a bank foreclosure is that the bank will come in and clean up the property(remove damaged parts)but they don't repair or replace anything(besides roofs or missing walls). So you see a lot of houses missing flooring, doors, ceiling fans/lighting fixtures, etc.
And since they don't replace or fix anything inside, you know you'll have to spend, to varying degrees, to get any place livable again.
And the fun really comes in when you can't see what hasn't been replaced/repaired.
While some deficits are obvious, like this house where someone took the bathtub with them......
And less obvious was the house where they had taken parts of the HVAC system so that it was nonoperational and needed to be replaced. While the house seemed like a good deal on the surface, this small detail made it a very expensive deal!
Then we saw a place that had potential, if the previous owners hadn't gone and tried to "remodel" it.
Instead of fixing the foundation/floors of the house, they had just covered it up by installing expensive finishes(fixtures, tile and tubs/sinks)in the bathroom)over the much bigger fundamental problems. Nice finishes in the bathrooms.....but the floors were all tilted and because of adding tile floors, the doors on the bathrooms couldn't be closed.
This place had an odd building in the front yard(one of just many oddities of this property)......
I did think, with some repairs/modifications, it would make a really cool chicken house! lolz
It's just too bad the house was a cobbled together mess, the long driveway required at least $5K in repairs, and it had an algae-filled pond "mosquito breeding pool" out front that needed aeration work or draining.
Among all these horror stories, we did find a gem in the end, IF the inspection comes back clean.