The Foreclosure Bus Tour

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.”

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8 Responses to The Foreclosure Bus Tour

  1. myiq2xu says:

    It’s a great time to buy real estate. Lots of good bargains. If you happen to have any money.

    Just ask Mr. Potter – he bought Bedford Falls.

  2. hells kitchen says:

    This is so sick. At least, from the quote above, the families have moved out and don’t have to watch this parade descend on their homes.

    I know that the resale of the homes are necessary, but there is something of obscene caricature of the normal house buying process.

  3. myiq2xu says:

    I live in Central California – ground zero for the RE bubble.

    “Move out” is often “walk away” when people realize they have no other options.

  4. At 3% of the sales price per side, and sometimes even having both sides, the least the R.E. Agents could do is put up free tickets.

  5. BlueWashington says:

    As someone who works in the title insurance industry, I can tell you that the buying and selling of Real property has been going on since the founding of the Republic.
    My industry came along when buyers wanted guarantees on the property they were purchasing; after all real estate (a home) is going to be the largest investment most Americans are going to make. Now the seller will buy the purchaser an Owner’s Policy [and the buyer will the lender – if there’s a deed of trust involved – a Lender’s Policy].

    Now for the current mess: I’m a busy guy. Why? Because of the deregulation of the real estate industry. 100% financing; Piggyback loans; ARMs with teaser rates; negative amortization; Balloons; Penalty for early payoffs; 1003’s that aren’t verified, where do I stop? I could go one, but I won’t. I will say this – the RE industry needs serious regulation. Anyone who still pushes self-policing of this industry is just plain STUPID. Housing is the backbone of our society; everyone in our country needs shelter. And NOW homeowners/home-buyers have become prey. Something must be done – the situation is screaming for government action.

    Back to work for me. The latest waive of business for my industry are Trustee Sale Guarantees and Litigation Guarantees (that would be known as foreclosure work to the average lay person).

  6. Darrell

    It’s really something that they are charging people for these tours. Sad.

  7. BlueW

    It’s pretty clear from the ads on this page that business is booming in the foreclosure business. Glad to hear you are keeping busy and it’s good to see an old Kerry friend here!

  8. Diane says:

    Only in America….