Karen Krynen saw an opportunity.
Nestled at the top of a hill with a long private driveway, the bank-owned property sitting on a huge 40,946 square foot lot was exactly what she was looking for.
Krynen and her general contractor husband, Jeffrey, were searching for a fixer to build their dream home.
“My husband and I decided to pursue this particular foreclosure property because we knew that the bank’s price was well below what most houses in this neighborhood sell for and because it’s a large lot — almost an acre,” said Krynen. “It’s an area we never thought we could afford to live in. Yes, the house needs a lot of work but we’re up for it and we’re so excited about the area, and what our house will eventually become.”
The REO property, which had been on the market for 324 days, was located in a private and quiet area, commanding panoramic views of La Habra Heights.
Right way, Krynen knew this was the one.
For years, Krynen had read the stories and seen the ads about buying foreclosed properties. But the notion of buying a foreclosed property from the lender didn’t take shape until she signed up for RealtyTrac.
“I noticed a banner ad for RealtyTrac on a real estate website,” she explained. “The banner offered a one-week free trial. I tried it out and was impressed. I waited a few months to sign up and found our future home — within about 3 days.”
A few mouse clicks later, Krynen discovered what she calls her “forever house.”
“After getting all the background on the property through RealtyTrac, we contacted our Realtor and went to see it,” she said. “We knew right away that this was something special.”
The owner had defaulted on the loan and the lender had repossessed the home. The bank listed the house for sale at $599,000. After nearly 11 months on the market, the bank slashed another $49,000. That’s when Krynen and her husband came in.
Krynen figured the house was worth $800,000 as is. Homes were selling in the area for $700,000 to $2.5 million. They made an offer for $500,000 and the bank accepted their offer.
“RealtyTrac started the whole purchasing process for us because we never would have found this home if I hadn’t used your site to zero in on foreclosures in a neighborhood we desired,” she added.
Although the home was small with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and a total of 1,573 square feet, she figured her husband could build a larger home on the large lot.
“Since the property became ours, my husband (a general contractor) has demoed the inside and we’re getting ready to move into an RV on-site since our own home sold faster than we expected — a good ‘problem’ in this current market,” she said.
From her online real estate research, Krynen learned that the road to successfully purchasing foreclosure property starts with good information. “At one point, I was going to the county’s records office to track down liens on distressed homes. I realized that it’s so much easier to let RealtyTrac do the legwork for me.”
Adds Krynen: “I was so thrilled when the deal closed — on my birthday. Thank you for leading us to our ‘forever house,’ as we call it! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”