It really shouldn't be this hard to buy a cheap condo in this market.
Granted there are lots of short sales and REOs, especially when you are looking under $100K in North San Diego County (yes, you CAN buy a condo in this price range in America's Finest City these days). Can you believe even a 2-bedroom one?
Well, you can, but it ain't easy.
Here are the most recent examples just today.
Scenario 1- vacant condo on lockbox per the MLS. Got to the unit. No lockbox but keys lying in the entry. Nope, they did not work. Per the agent later - "Oh, yeah, I had to take the lockbox to SANDICOR because of a problem. I guess I'd better change the MLS". They have a full price cash offer and 2 back-ups. Guess she doesn't need to worry. Short sale
Scenario 2 (less than 10 minutes later) - got by the rather nasty looking dog on the first floor. Opened the lock box, then the door. Fortunately, as I have learned, I said Hello loudly since this unit was NOT vacant, even though it says so specifically in the MLS. A sleepy-eye woman appeared, looking a bit bewildered. Turns out she is the tenant and has not been told by her landlord, who is continuing to collect rent, that the unit is for sale and is a short sale. She very nicely let us in. Called the agent but no call back yet. He'll "respond to emails within 24 hours." Short sale
Scenario 3 (a short time later) - got to the first floor unit, which is "mostly vacant" since the seller is not living there but is still moving out per the MLS. And the unit is mostly not accessible, for no lockbox was to be found. Interior looked nice from what we could see. Per the agent later on "Yeah, I have a weird situation there. So I took the lock box off." I politely suggested she change the showing instructions. Short sale.
These are not unusual situations in the short sale real estate market, and no doubt many readers have encountered similar, or worse. It still rankles. And with the limited inventory at the lower price points in many areas, and lots of competition, buyers are understandably frustrated. I hate to think that you have to call and verify EVERYTHING in the MLS ebfore even taking an interested and qualified buyer to see the property.
Coupled with the difficulties involved in getting short sale approvals, banks making decisions on REOs, and obtaining loans, it's not easy buying a condo these days. Even a cheap one.
Did I mention FHA issues?
If I can provide more information about Carlsbad real estate and surrounding areas, or the housing market in general, or otherwise assist you in your homes search, please contact me by phone or text at (760) 840-1360 or email me at JDowler@remax.net.
All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler "The California Relocation Dude" Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits