One Mell of a Hess

I had an early appointment scheduled to show a scummy bank foreclosure, and when visiting with the buyer yesterday, I asked him if he’d gone out and looked it over, and I could’ve sworn he said he did.  Well, at about 7:30 am this morning, I found a message on my answering machine from him saying he’d gone out and looked it over from the outside and decided he didn’t want to see it because of how much work it needed.

That phone message was just another confirmation as to why I nearly always ask buyers to drive by those dilapidated houses before asking me to show them because if they don’t, it almost always ends up being a big waste of time for both them and me.  In a sellers market, low-priced bank foreclosures are priced the way they are for good reason.

Just this morning I happened to drive past a HUD foreclosure which used to be owned by a previous tenant of mine.  I may sound like I’m being overly-critical, but when I received notice from them saying they were moving because they purchased a home, I was nearly certain they’d not be able to hang on to it because of how difficult it was for me to get rent out of them nearly every month they lived there.

I distinctly remember shaking my finger at that loan officer regarding them and saying, “You just wait and see what’s going to happen with all this easy money you’re lending because I know it’s going to come back and bite us all.”  I might as well have saved my breath to cool the soup because not a word of warning was taken.  As chance would have it, those tenants purchased that house back in 2007, and wouldn’t you know it, the financial crash happened in 2008.

They managed to hang on to that house for ten years, they paid over $60K dollars for it, and now it’s listed in the $30K range and looking like one mell of a hess.  Since it’s a government foreclosure, you do know who’s footing the bill for those losses.  Bingo!  It’s you and me.  The lingering question I had at the time was, “If they had a problem paying rent, how in the heck did they think they could endure 30 years of payments that were almost $300 a month more than they were already having a hard time paying me?”

Please don’t think that foreclosure was an anomaly because there’ve been thousands of situations just like that one which never should’ve been allowed to happen.  We can continue to blame the banks, the borrowers, the credit card companies, and society in general for promoting these ideas that in our world of consumerism, we can all get what we want now, and worry about paying for it later.

Don’t get the wrong idea when thinking I’m a crepe-hanger and always looking and expecting bad things to happen, because I’m not.  Without a doubt I wish the best for everyone, but one can’t help stepping back and watching poor financial choices turning into long-term nightmares.  I don’t even want to think how many times I’ve told prospective buyers that it’s likely not the right time for them to buy because of their debt load and/or their un-stable job histories.

I know a youngish man who was recently divorced in Minnesota and suddenly found himself saddled with child support and alimony.  I can’t help but empathize with him because he has a good job, but those added costs, now have him struggling.  More than once he’d mentioned how thankful his is for not following the wishes of his wife at the time and purchasing a rather expensive home.  The last time the subject was brought up he said,  “I start sweating whenever thinking what my life would be like right now if I did buy that house she wanted.”

My public open house at 422 S. Tennessee Place was a great success today.  There were eight couples in total who were in attendance.  All of them were surprised at how well cared for it was, along with the over-all size of the rooms.  I mentioned to every one of them, “This is the best condo for the money on the market today, and please don’t think there’s anything wrong with it because of how low the price is.”

When my seller returned, she was delighted to hear the positive comments received and the number of people who’d arrived.  I now have a very good feeling about that condo getting sold in the near future.

The offer I wrote yesterday on a home did get accepted, and you can be sure the buyers are exceptionally delighted.  For being a newer home, I’d say it’s one of the better built ones I’ve been in of late.  Since I’ve know the buyer for a number of years, I’d say she’s fully deserving of it.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  Affairs are easier of entrance than of exit; and it is but common prudence to see our way out before we venture in.

Related Property:
422 S. Tennessee Place Mason City
Joe Chodur

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