A Tale of Three Bank-Owned Homes

Jonathan Dalton, Phoenix Real Estate AgentWouldn’t pictures go better with this post, Jonathan

Of course they would, my friends, but I don’t want to be accused of advertising (or anti-advertising) anyone’s listing. Oh, and I didn’t have my camera and this is a post in lieu of Monday morning writer’s block.

On Saturday, aside from the new build communities in Surprise Farm, my client and I also toured three bank-owned homes in Litchfield Greens. One of my mantras has been to wait for a short sale to revert to the bank because that’s when the banks are motivated – list prices are competitive (and legitimate), response times are shorter, etc.

But there’s also a risk to that strategy – the risk that the soon-to-be former owners take out their wrath on the home itself.

We visited three homes – two priced around $270,000 and the third around $250,000. All were the same floor plan, just over 3,500 square feet.

With one house, it was clear that the owners had lived hard over their two years in the property – carpets were stained, there were some dings in the paint on the walls, counters were scratched.  With the next, the full wrath was on display – a microwave torn roughly from the wall leaving gaping holes, a missing stove, faucets, apparent water damage down one wall, multiple holes on the wall – all as if it were the house’s fault.

The third house was the most shocking of all – fresh paint, new carpet, appliances intact and apparently in working condition – in short, move-in ready with only some backyard landscaping needed.

And the biggest shock? It was the lowest price of the three.

I’m often asked if bank owned homes are a good deal. Like most everything else, the answer really is: it depends. In the case of this third house, absolutely. In the case of the others, where the bank hasn’t placed a realistic list price on the home and thousands of dollars of work is needed just to make it inhabitable, not so much.

I’d still lean toward new construction, specifically a spec home, if it’s available in the same area in most cases … but that also is not an absolute.

[tags]Phoenix real estate, bank owned homes[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.


  • Carole Cohen 10 years ago

    Your description is right on and even the percentages, one out of three being left unharmed seem to fit with my experience here. Of course we also have the issue of how long has the house been empty and has it been ravaged for copper pipes. That third house though can be a real gem and a good value! Loved taking the journey with you.

  • Jayson 10 years ago

    Spec homes in the same area at the same price are IMO ideal too. It’s always a nice feeling to know that you can call upon a home builder or their contractors with any questions, comments or concerns.

  • Thomas Johnson 10 years ago

    “Wouldn’t pictures go better with this post, Jonathan”

    Time to go Zestifarming, Jonathan! Snap a pic, post it for sale on Zillow and link to your article. If the listing agent claims it, the pic is still part of your long tail.

  • Jonathan Dalton 10 years ago

    Haven’t decided if I consider that to be advertising, Tom. I had no issue with that when I could add the name of the listing broker, but without that I’m not sure I want to do it.