Foreclosure Home News and Opinion Best Cities for Buying Fixer-Upper Bargains

15 Best Cities for Buying Fixer-Upper Bargains

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As the real estate market works its way through the healing process homebuyers and real estate investors have found themselves facing a somewhat unexpected challenge: lack of available inventory to purchase, with only a 5.2-month supply of for-sale inventory in April, according to the National Association of Realtors.

But homebuyers and real estate investors willing to consider fixer-upper homes may find they are competing against fewer buyers and are able to buy at a lower price point — allowing them to build some quick equity with rehab. Of course buying and rehabbing a fixer-upper — not to mention the financing portion — comes with another set of challenges. See 7 Tips for Finding, Financing and Fixing Beat-Up Foreclosures where experts provide keys to successfully purchasing and rehabbing fixer-uppers.

“Low-priced foreclosure homes are still plentiful in many markets,” said Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac vice president. “While these homes may be in need of more work than a typical home and are certainly harder to find now than in previous years, buyers and investors willing to put in a little extra legwork and sweat equity can often find the best deals in their markets on these foreclosure fixer-uppers.”

A RealtyTrac analysis found that nationwide there are more than 51,000 potential foreclosure fixer-uppers: bank-owned homes that were built before 1960 and with an estimated market value below $100,000.

Advice on buying fixer-uppers
Here’s some advice on buying fixer-uppers from brokers who are part of the RealtyTrac Broker Network:

“The best counsel for buyers looking to purchase a fixer-upper is to find a skilled real estate agent,” said Rich Cosner, president of Prudential California Realty covering Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties in Southern California. “Select one that works full time in the business and works for a well-known and reputable firm. These are the agents who know where you will find the best possible property. Ask your Realtor for recommendations on where to get your loan. In order to present the best possible offer to the bank owning the home, you will want to have the lender pre-approve you for the loan. This is the only way you can compete with cash buyers.”

Buyers looking for deals on fixer-uppers should still be prepared to face stiff competition and act quickly, according to Emmett Laffey, CEO of Laffey Fine Homes covering Long Island and the five boroughs of New York City.

“Be ready to act quicker than you ever have before,” he said, adding that buyers should be prepared to sign a contract immediately and remove all contingencies since demand for these homes is at an “all-time high” in his market. “Since prices for bank-owned fixer-uppers are below market many of the deals are all-cash. If a buyer is planning to obtain a mortgage it is wise to waive the mortgage contingency clause to be considered at all.”

Some fixer-upper homes
Here are some fixer-upper homes from the RealtyTrac website.

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