Re: Purchase Home From Banks?
I had a single period of experience with this, so its not a good statistical sample.
In a word: no.
When I was buying in Sacramento in 1996, there were hundreds of properties under stress sales. About 1 in 4 houses in some of the neighborhoods I was looking in had a sign out front. Prices had been dropping for 7 years straight and were down 25-40%. A lot of people were being transferred, retiring, had their houses up for sale for a year without any offers, had the mortgage about to be pulled, etc.
Nice place to be for a buyer.
There were a number of bank foreclosures being sold by the banks. Cant say there was anything special about them in the way of features or location. Prices tended to be high. I lowballed a couple of them...nothing insane...if my recollection works I saw two homes that I felt were identical; the bank one was list for ~$430 and the one being sold by an owner with a realtor was $399. Really about the same size, lot size, location type, fit and finish work etc. I offered $370 for the bank home. The response was that they wanted the full $430. Tried a similar deal with another bank, same result. Gave up and took one of the desperate sellers up on their offer. Watched those two houses sit on the market for another year before they sold.
So it seems banks, at least the two i worked with in Sac dont always offer good deals, arent very anxious to sell, and arent aware of sellers market conditions.
As far as general foreclosures...there are some deals but many pitfalls. Like the former owner still living in it and you have to evict them. Or the former owner living in it and destroying it day by day out of anger. Or debatable titles and legal wranglings.
I think the guys selling you database access for $100 make a hundred bucks off you and I'll bet the listings arent anything special...but maybe someone here has tried it and had some useful results.
Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.