Jeff’s Carlsbad Blog for First Time Home Buyers

Are YOU Interested in Buying an REO?

I just wrote an article that may interest you IF you are interested in buying an REO…or perhaps have little choice because of price range.

There are some important questions that I like to ask, so these might be useful for you to consider so you can decide IF buying an REO is right for you.

If nothing else, it will help you be prepared for the issues you need to confront during the search.


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All content copyright © 2010 Jeff Dowler “The California Relocation Dude”


The 10 Buyer Challenges YOU Must Be Aware of

There are plenty of challenges to buying a home in today’s market. Here is a list of the 10 I think are the most relevant to buyers.

First time buyers have some challenges because for many the price range limits them, in large part, to homes that are distress sales and REOs (at least here in Southern California. And that means lots of competition.

And lots of patience.

Take a look at this list so you will be prepared. If I can help, just let me know.

10 Buyer Challenges for Today’s Market

Are Your Expectations Realistic?

Posted in Due Diligence,House Hunting,Short Sales by Jeff Dowler on December 15, 2008
Tags: , , ,

Given the buyer behavior I have observed in recent months, I have to wonder…are YOUR expectations realistic?

Primarily I am speaking about pricing, and what you can obtain for the price you would like in a particular area. It can be a challenge in this market, because we don’t have a good handle on what is actually happening with respect to prices. And what we hear and see in the media sometimes leads folks to think they can acquire properties for far less than what we see in reality in the market, despite the already depressed values.

Granted there are some pretty good deals, especially if you are willing to buy a short sale or foreclosure ( and compete with all the folks who are doing the same thing – it is not uncommon to see a dozen offers on a distress property) and have the patience to work through the many months it will likely take. Plus take on the needed repairs at your expense.

Despite the fact that prices have dropped in most markets, and here in the San Diego area we see prices that are similar to 2005 or earlier in some areas, it seems that some buyers are not being realistic in their expectations about what they may need to spend to get what they want. My best advice is to get to know the market by looking at listings and obtaining sold information from a qualified agent in your market area. Don’t waste your time looking for a $150K detached home in a market where nothing is selling for less than $400K.

Homebuying Disappointments

Buying a new home is very rewarding – the pride of ownership, and building wealth through real estate (e.g., equity), are two excellent reasons to buy. But there can be disappointments too, especially in this market.

As a first time home buyer, you should at least prepare yourself for the possibility of some of these issues, particularly if you are pursuing short sales, foreclosures and bank-owned properties (which may be most of what you are seeing in your price range).

Read also: Short sales, Foreclosures and Bank-owned Properties

1. The shattered dream – reality hits when you find that you cannot find, nor afford your dream home. And most, if not all, of the distressed properties are in really rough shape

2. Making what you believe to be a good offer and having it rejected. Just because it is a buyer market in many areas does not mean all offers will get accepted.

3. Making an offer on a short sale, foreclosure or REO and having to wait a long time for a response…or getting no response at all. Or getting beat out in the multiple offer bidding.

4. Learning about lots of problems in the home you want to buy during the home inspection – this is pretty common, and if you are buying a distressed home you can be sure there will be deferred maintenance and other issues to deal with.

5. Not qualifying for as much of a loan as you would like, or for a loan that will severely limit what you can buy. The financial realities of home buying can be a big source of frustration, especially with more stringent mortgage requirements, fees (PMI, HOA) and when living in expensive areas like Southern California.

Obviously other disappointments can occur, but these are pretty common, so don’t have unrealistic expectations. Many things can be overcome, and if you are realistic you will be less likely to feel so disappointed when the process does not go how you would like.


If I can provide more information about Carlsbad 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

Search for Homes Community Information
First Time Home Buyers Relocation Services and more How to get in touch with me

All content copyright © 2007 Jeff Dowler Carlsbad Homes and Real Estate Tidbits

Short Sale vs. Foreclosure Sale vs. REO

money_house.jpgThere is lots of interest in properties that are commonly called distressed properties, as well as concern about the number of these that keep appearing on the market.

Sometimes there is confusion about what these different properties are. So here is a BRIEF description.

SHORT SALE – when the home owner owes more than the home is worth and is in a hardship situation financially where a sale must happen (loss of job, divorce, etc.). Just because a seller WANTS to sell does not mean the lender(s) will approve, and a hardship must be demonstrated and documented.

FORECLOSURE – once a homeowner reaches a point where s/he cannot pay the mortgage and (normally) is behind 3 payments, a NOTICE OF DEFAULT (NOD) is filed by the lender. Often an owner already has the home on the market as a short sale. Foreclosure proceedings vary from state to state.

REO – Real estate owned properties (also commonly called bank owned properties). If a foreclosure property does not sell, it may be auctioned off (e.g., a trustee’s sale here in CA). If it is not bought then, the house becomes an REO that is “owned by the bank” and sold BY the bank on the open market.