The latest fad to come from the housing bubble, that has indeed burst, is the “Foreclosure Bus Tour.” Somehow the idea of this seems a little off to me. That Realtors are commercializing the process of selling foreclosed homes is just a little sad in my opinion.
Realtors are using the bus tours to show multiple homes in foreclosure to and they are charging approximately “$45 per person or $65 per couple” which covers the tour, and things like “house information” and “teaching sessions,” and maybe even “a continental breakfast and lunch at Applebee’s.” Prospective buyers seem to feel the fee is “worth it.”
The white bus rumbles into the quiet suburban neighborhood, heading toward a foreclosed home that sits empty. Neighbors, young and old, cock their heads in curiosity or point at the slow-moving coach.
Once the vehicle stops, about 20 potential buyers file out and become detectives, opening and closing cabinets and drawers, knocking on walls and asking about the price, the previous owners and what repairs may be needed.
Welcome to the Foreclosure Bus Tour, a six-hour expedition to show Orlando-area homes and educate potential buyers on the vagaries of snatching foreclosures in a state where the housing market has struggled over the past two years. Real estate agents have also organized tours in California, where the idea seems to have originated, and cities such as Phoenix, Detroit, Kansas City and Jacksonville.
Some folks are even getting on board these buses while on vacation,making it the latest in vacation stops:
“I thought it would be nice to have a look at some American houses all at once, see how the market works,” said Geoff Lamont, a London tanker truck driver who was on vacation and dreams of moving to Florida with his wife.
“You see some nice, nice properties that are much cheaper than you can get in the U.K. It’s been good. You can get a feel for how a place is,” said Lamont, 50.
I think I have seen everything now. Maybe it’s just me, but I have never liked the idea of profiting from someone else’s mis-fortune.
In related news read the NY Times editorial: “How Not to Prevent Foreclosures.”