These days everyone wants a bargain. Buyers will often call the office clamoring for information concerning any "new" foreclosures that are about to hit the market. And while there is value to be had in such properties, there is a dark underbelly people should be aware of.
About a year ago I took one of my investors to tour a small home. Since this was a short notice showing, the family remained home during the tour. The kid's room was adorned in the brightest shade of princess pink I have ever seen! Stuffed animals and dolls could be found throughout the space. And on the wall the little girl proudly displayed the father's day picture she had colored for her daddy. Being the father of four daughters this stuck with me...
Alas the house was a bit overpriced and so we were on to the next property. Fast forward one year and the house hits the MLS again. This time the price is right so my investor and I head straight over.
The property was a wreck. Grass knee high, broken windows, and a door that no longer shut scarred the home. There was no longer any doubt. That nice young family had lost their home.
Oddly enough it did not hit me till we entered the "princess pink" room. With the exception of a few scraps of paper, the room was empty. No more stuffed animals, no more Go Diego post, no more little girl. This space was her home no more.
Where is she now? Is she in a new home? Safe? Happy? Who knows? While tough on the parents, imagine the impact on the little girl? Hopefully her family prepared her for the change. Some parents are better at this than others.
So the next time you tour a foreclosure look for the signs. Coloring books in the garage, pencil marks charting a child's growth in the utility room, that Dora light cover in the small bedroom. These are all signs of a family that lost everything. Enjoy your bargain, but pause for a moment and say a small prayer for that displaced family. Let's hope they get back on their feet real soon!