Author Topic: Are you buying real estate at auction in Washington state?  (Read 1550 times)

jooles

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Are you buying real estate at auction in Washington state?
« on: August 19, 2015, 02:23:15 PM »
I have been watching the county auctions in King and Snohomish counties in Washington.  I see many properties purchased by 3rd parties as well as many properties going unpurchased.  I have a realtor (title co, and lawyer if need be).  I have cash.  I have been visiting properties personally and inspecting as I can, mostly the exterior and looking through the windows.  It is clear that there is a margin on some of these properties, but I'm still reluctant to pull the trigger. 

My history w real estate is limited.  I've owned 3 properties, all personal residences.  Made money on 2, lost $ on one.  Recently lived in and renovated a foreclosure for a fair return.  Wanting to reproduce those results.

Have you purchased houses at auction in Washington state?  Care to share your experience?
« Last Edit: August 20, 2015, 10:13:15 AM by jooles »

Bearded Man

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Re: Are you real estate at auction in Washington state?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2015, 04:25:11 PM »
I just bought a house at auction (homesearch.com) for what I believe to be a steal, but the appraisal will tell. Just needs minor cosmetic work (carpet, paint, a new door) but the inspection will tell me more. I too peered through the windows but wished I would have had my agent let me in first. I've gotten in the habit of driving by and peering in then making an offer because I see so many houses that end up as duds because the listing agents are careful to either avoid the trouble spots or they literally shop them out.

So I started visiting myself, putting it under contract and then seeing it. Not going to do that anymore. At the end of the day, my time is actually more valuable than the agents who really just unlocks a door and fills out a cookie cutter form. Also, I'm completing a transaction that results in a 6% commission split among four people. I shouldn't act like their time is more valuable than mine...Neither should you.

jooles

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Re: Are you buying real estate at auction in Washington state?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2015, 10:16:26 AM »
Most of these properties sold at auction here in Snohomish County are not listed on the MLS and therefore cannot be viewed inside, even with a realtor.  Some are vacant, some are occupied.

OneDollarAtATime

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Re: Are you buying real estate at auction in Washington state?
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2015, 10:11:20 PM »
That's a nice area, Snohomish County.  A good friend of mine used to live up there when I lived in Seattle about 3 years ago. 

Not that it helps your specific case, but I read an article the other day that had Snohomish in the Top 10 'Best Small Towns in America'.  Having been through there, I can see the upside.  I would think this is a good area for long-term property ownership / rentals.

Wish I could help answer your auction question better than 'it's a nice area' -- but I do think that there is a lot of upside in that region.  Of course, I'm assuming you're closer to the I-5 / Everett / Lake Stevens area.  It's drivable to the Boeing facility in Mukilteo, there's growth in Everett, close enough to get to Bothell / Lynnwood in a decent amount of time and Snohomish itself is a nice area for families so I'd think there's a decent amount of demand if you were to get an auction home to rent out.


jooles

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Re: Are you buying real estate at auction in Washington state?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 02:36:22 PM »
Thanks OneDollarAtATime

You are correct that this a good area.  King County is more populated, but that also translates to higher property prices and higher property taxes.  Snohomish County is plenty desirable and more affordable. 

Auctions are simply high risk.  Still looking to buy through the regular channels.  Maybe we'll move to considering auction as a viable option, later.

Bearded Man

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Re: Are you buying real estate at auction in Washington state?
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2015, 07:47:13 PM »
Deal fell through! Could not get financing due to Q5 condition. Apparently the house was barely built to code. Cash only, and I don't want to tie up that much cash again. Luckily they are not charging me a 2.5K fee since the deal didn't go through. All I lost was a bit of time. I am still looking but might just elect to diversify from this point.