Category Archives: Acquisition

Acquiring a foreclosed home via the Interent.

The wait is over so we sent the dough.

When buy a house online through an auction site, all the money is generally transferred via wire. The title company gives you all their bank account particulars, you go to your bank, fill out a form and send them the dough.

Immediately after you sign the document, there’s a giant sucking sound when all that money leaves your bank account and makes its way through the Federal Reserve into theirs. In other words, it’s gone. Bah-bye!

At a traditional closing, everyone sits at a table in a nice conference room, documents are signed, certified checks are given and you get the keys. Not when you buy a house online. It doesn’t matter to the seller that you’ve got a minus sign next to a large sum of money on your account ledger. They want you to wait. Yes, more waiting.

Once the funds clear the Federal Reserve and show up in their bankĀ account, the title company sends an e-mail with instructions regarding the lock box on the door as well as the code to get in. They don’t tell you how long this will take, only that it doesn’t happen ‘instantly’.

Well, that giant sucking sound (that was the dough leaving our bank account) happened ‘instantly’ so what do you think we did?


Didn't Al Gore have trouble with a lock box?

Didn’t Al Gore have trouble with a lock box?


We won the auction! Now what?

Now we wait, and wait, and wait.

After the closing date was delayed multiple times, we realized what was going on. The title company did their homework and discovered that the bank had put the house up for sale before the redemption period was over. That’s right. It was a foreclosure and the bank had possession, but the owner still had some time to pay the dough and claim the house.

We were bummed but we had paid the initial deposit so we hung in there and waited for the time to pass.

However, that didn’t stop us from getting in, snapping a few photos, and taking measurements šŸ™‚ After all, there was planning to do!

Kitchen – The stove and fridge work. Not sure about the dishwasher.

Main bath. Love that light fixture!

Soggy carpet and pad removed! Next, all that spoiled lumber šŸ˜¦

Nice! Not!

The most money we’ve ever spent online!

I found this house last fall, cruising around on my iPad using the app. It’s pretty nifty if you’re a real estate junkie and want to see what’s up with the market. The price was fair but it did haveĀ the three most important things you look for in real estate going for it,Ā location, location, location!

So, we scheduled a walk through to have a look-see, and promptly decided the price was too high. What a mess!

  • The power had been turned off for a long time which = no sump = flooded basement.
  • The drywall, insulation, etc. had been removed from the finished part of the basement but not the carpet and pad. Stupid!
  • The windows were iced from all the moisture in the house and lack of heat.
  • Did I mention the furnace wasn’t running?
  • The garage floor and driveway were a cracked-up mess!
  • The odor from all the mildew was pretty serious even in winter. If only they had removed the carpet and pad šŸ˜¦ The house would have fared much better.

On the bright side

  • The power was now on again and the sump was running.
  • The refrigerator worked.
  • It had newer windows.
  • 2 x 6 Exterior walls.
  • The attic was well insulated.
  • It had a nice floor plan.
  • It would make a great starter home, not too big.

There were other positives but we couldn’t bring ourselves to pay what they were asking at the auction site. So we waited, and waited and waited. Several months went by and the price kept coming down, the reserve was never met so it remained on the market.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the potential and the idea of rescuing this little house. On a whim, I thought I’d check on it just one more time. It was still for sale and the bank had lowered the price considerably so we went for it and ultimately won the auction. I doubt we’ll ever drop that much money online again! Kind of freaky.

Here's Rick removing soggy, yucky carpet and pad - blah!

Here’s Rick removing soggy, yucky carpet and pad – blah!


No, that isn’t how much we paid for this house.

It’s a movie reference from one of our all time favorites, “Moonstruck”. The scene I’m referring toĀ features Mr. Castorini, Loretta’s father delivering the bad news to a young couple on a bathroom re-do.

Mr. Castorini

It also seemed like a good choice becauseĀ anytime we talk about home renovation around here one of the questions is, “How much will it cost?” and the correct answer is always, “$10,800.”

So that’s the story behind the title of our little blog. Follow along to seeĀ all the work and get ready to be amazed and inspired! We’ve got a great team. I’m not a bragger, but we’re pretty good at what we do. You’ll see.