Buying a Fannie Mae foreclosure is somewhat a leap of faith. What you see is what you get, you better know what you’re looking at. There are some real bargains to be found, but most of them will need some level of repair to bring them back to good condition.
Our Tangent Lodge is a perfect example. From the outside this summer home looks perfectly fine. Upon opening the front door you quickly see that the previous owner, who defaulted on his loan, took out his bitterness and frustration over the failing economy on the interior.
He left the property strewn with garbage, trash, and busted furniture. He destroyed the kitchen, smashing cabinet doors and even breaking a window. The refrigerator was found in the back yard, not worth checking to see if it had any hopes of ever working again.
Ceiling fans and light fixtures broken and useless. The only source of heat was the wood stove in the living room, but all that remained was the open stove pipe hanging from the ceiling. The floor is bare concrete, it’s unknown if it ever was anything better.
In the bathroom sits a toilet, minus it’s seat. The whole house has paneling punctuated with gaping holes as if a body was thrown through the walls. He spent some time with his effort to leave the bank holding the bag so to speak. Not realizing they could care less, it just meant they lowered the price even further to facilitate a quick sale. After all, clearing the books of liabilities that are no longer assets was their primary goal.
Even the marketing of the property was half hearted, the pictures in the MLS listing showed all the garbage still in place. They hired a cleaning company to spiff it up a bit, but new pictures were never posted. For the casual shopper the listing would appear a turn off as things looked much worse than they really were.
None of the considerable assets of the place were even mentioned, it truly looked worth not much more than the asking price and requiring more work than most would consider worth the effort.
Luckily we had a Sunday afternoon with nothing to do so the 50 mile drive to check it out seemed like good entertainment. What we found got our hearts beating faster as the possibilities seemed endless and this project just screamed “Buy Me”.
What we found was a good solid 10 year old structure built on a concrete slab situated on a 5 acre piece of land that is almost totally covered with a 30 year old plantation of Norway Pine trees. Seclusion and privacy are the key words, we drove right past the place without seeing it from the road.
Though completely hidden from the road it’s only 2 minutes from the main state highway that brought us the 50 miles south.
True the interior needs to be gutted, not so much because of the damage incurred but because it was finished rather crudely. This place can easily be made into a quality year around home. In place are a drilled well, and current accepted septic system. No need for the standard cabin out house privy here.
With a slab foundation there is no fear that sitting empty through the winter damaged the structure. The worst case scenario is there may be some minor plumbing repairs to be made. Nothing too outrageous as the well pump is deep down the well, where winter temperatures would have no affect.
The well and septic system, that’s $20,000 of infrastructure that’s already in place. A solid 24’x36′ building with a steel roof (snow slides right off it) that will last forever, that’s worth another $20,000 even if it’s nothing more than an empty garage. 5 acres of prime pine forest that is bordered by thousands of acres of county land of the same description, this alone is worth $25,000 in these parts. All situated right alongside the state maintained ATV trail system. The best part, it was all purchased for about 40 cents on the dollar.