Was it really possible? Was this person tricked in to this? What happened? Why did he do it? There were so many questions that popped into my head and others when I called on this house that was in default. But, what I heard on the phone couldn't be the real thing, could it? Selling a house that is worth $600,000 for $26,478 had to be fraud or had to be a scam! For the beginning of this story I suggest your read my featured post - Avoiding foreclosure shouldn't have cost you $575,000
Now for the rest of the story:
I met with this seller and it was true, he did sell the property for $26,478! How anyone could possibly fall for such a scam that they would sell their property only for what was owed was beyond me. Turns out he approached the neighbor and asked him how much they had in savings, and when they said $30,000, he said then I have a deal for you!
He said, "I owe about $24,000 on my property and as you know I haven't been in the house in about a year." (He was traveling around the country in his RV.) "I know the bank is about to take my property back and I just don't want them to get it, but at the same time I don't want to take the time to sell it either. We have been friends for the past 27 years and I would like you to buy it from me and you can sell it to one of your daughters, so they can live near you as I know you have talked about in the past." They both met with lawyers, everything was drawn up and everything was signed, including the documents saying that he wasn't doing this under pressure and that he knew what he was doing.
I was amazed at what I was hearing and even asked him if he realized what he was giving away? He said, "I know and I don't need it any more, I don't have any family of my own and these are my friends and I thought, what a better gift to them and their family, than to give their family a chance at home ownership at a great price." I then asked "Why they let the property go in to default in the first place then?" He said "To be honest, I was on the road, the money was paid on a debit card every month and the card expired. I just didn't realize it until we picked up our mail" Basically it was just an oversight on his part, but he didn't care, he was rarely there.
So, I left and thought I met one of the nicest people I had ever met. I realized this person didn't give away anything, but in fact, instead of his wallet growing fat, his heart had, because he knew what he had done will help someone that may not get a chance to own a home otherwise.
Lesson learned! I won't jump to any conclusions in the future about why someone would be willing to sell a $600,000 home for only $26,478 as I may find out they have bigger heart than they have for the need for the money.