Banks are hurting as foreclosures turn into non-performing and expensive real estate owned. Homeowners are hurting because they’re losing equity, or losing their homes and their credit rating. Neighbors are hurting because their property values are getting dinged, even though they’re paying their mortgage on time. Cities are hurting because vacant homes don’t usually attract the best of society.
Foreclosure bus tours, though, are doing just fine, thank you very much.
Someone was on the ball here. Why not do a little bit of leg work, assemble a list of foreclosed properties in a city, get a tour bus, and drive around would-be real estate investors so that they can check them out? Pretty clever, actually.
This kind of experience is a pretty low-priced introduction to foreclosed properties. The tour participants get to see them first hand, inspect them, and judge the kind of work and money that would be necessary to fix them up. It’s probably a very pleasant way to spend a few hours — in a slightly morbid kind of way.
These tours are for interested bargain-hunters. They’re an annoyance for the neighbors, and they poke at the soft underbelly of a huge real-estate boom. But is that bad? I don’t really think so. A foreclosure that’s bought is a problem that’s solved, even if just temporarily. I think the really successful and respected real estate investors will be the ones who will help the previous owners at the same time they make a profit. And if these bus tours alert them to houses that they didn’t already know about, they help to solve the problems of foreclosed homes.