I somewhat regularly post the best deals I come across in my Unreal Deals Blog.  My latest find looked great on paper and I was excited to feature it:

“My newest UnReal Deal is all about the acreage.

2 Bedrooms, 1 bath, 1232 square feet, plus a 58x 60 horse barn and 66.9 acres. That’s right SIXTY SIX acres. How much would you pay for all this? For a limited time, it’s yours for only $145,000.

Average price per acre for parcels 5 acres or larger is $3261, indicating a land value alone well in excess of $200,000. This proprety was just listed, by Tim Reid, RE/Max Bayshore properties, and while I haven’t toured it yet, it hit my radar and caught my attention.

Turns out on paper isn’t real life.  Yep, it’s got all those acres, and the house, and the barn, but the house is as bad as the agent let on in his comments, or worse.  The deck has…let’s call it debris… an inch thick on it.  The former owner sold all the top soil off of the land, and allowed contractors to dump old concrete and road construction debris out back.

Don’t take this to mean the agent was dishonest in describing the property.  By no means did he sugar coat it, but by getting caught up in the specifications of the property, I rushed to judgement.  This might still be an OK deal for the right buyer, but it’s not as UnReal as I had thought.

This is similar to the realization that many buyers face when looking at foreclosed properties- they compete on price alone.  Condition and history are unknown.  Nobody is loving them, keeping them feeling like a home.   The good news for buyers is that more and more sellers are taking competitive stances on pricing, bringing well cared for homes into the mix with foreclosures.

If you’re in the market, don’t limit yourself by telling your agent you’re only interested in foreclosures.  Just because the bank owns it, doesn’t mean it’s the best deal.


I wrote an offer today on a house that’s listed for $19,900.  While it is beat up, it still is a house, on 1.2 acres, for $19,900.  As my friend Jesse said…”that’s like buying a car!” and it got me thinking.  The last time I sold a house in this price range was about 6 years ago, and that was a single wide mobile on a tiny lot in Thompsonville.  Don’t take this to mean that we’re back to pre 2001 levels across the board, but there are some great deals out there.

 So good, in fact, that Tammy and I are talking about selling our house.  We know we won’t net out what we might have hoped not long ago, but it’s all relative.  There are deals available that I’m having trouble passing on, and so we can make it up on a purchase.

 Word is starting to get out, and the really good deals don’t last for long before they’re snapped up. 

 I read an interesting analysis comparing and contrasting the foreclosure issue in Michigan and Ohio to that in California and Florida.  Here’s that article.