Lately I’ve had homebuying on my mind. I’ve been meaning to seriously start looking for a while, but this weekend I found myself at home with nothing to do, so I started looking at furniture online (more about that later!). Lets just say since I’ve started looking at furniture, the possibility has become much more concrete in my mind (as well as more complicated…perhaps I’ll discuss that later as well).

However, last week something happened that made me stop and think for a while. I was at my boyfriend’s house, watching TV when a commercial came on for car auctions. I’m sure you’ve seen them…auctions for repossessed cars where people supposedly get ridiculously cheap cars. After seeing that my boyfriend said something. To paraphrase, he said he could never buy one of those cars at an auction. He was just opposed to the thought of gaining at someone else’s loss. Afterall, no one wants to have their car repossessed, and no one wants to go into foreclosure. (He also feels the same way about homes.)

Hearing this stopped me in my tracks.

Its not like I’d never thought of this before. I have. And that makes me feel even worse.

The thing is, I don’t think I’d be able to afford what I want to get if I don’t buy a foreclosed property or a short sale property. In this city a 2 bedroom apartment would cost close to (or over) $200k, and I can’t afford that. (I’m hoping to find something around $160k or lower.) I guess you could tell me to just find a one bedroom and be happy with it (I am single, and with no kids) and I suppose I could, but I do not want to be moving every few years. I’m looking for a place to move into and stay in for several years.

Plus, my “boycotting” foreclosed houses…what would that do? Nothing. Someone else (perhaps an investor looking to flip the house? That would be someone looking for a purely financial gain.) would scoop it up for the same low price that I would be seeking. Maybe I’m just trying to assuage my conscience, but at this point the house is out of the former owner’s hands, right? Its now the banks house no matter what we do as buyers.

I’m not trying to sound like an insensitive jerk that has no sympathy for people who are in foreclosure. I do feel for them. Is it horrible though that I’m all too willing to scoop up their property when they’re no longer able to pay for it? When it comes down to it, this is business, and isn’t the business world all about the “survival of the fittest”?

This reminds me of that anecdote someone had on their blog (sorry, I can’t remember who). If you saw gas advertised, obviously a mistake, for $.83 a gallon wouldn’t you tell the attendant? The bloggers answer: they would have gassed up first, then told them. The example doesn’t exactly relate, but I think the conclusion does. We are all about looking after ourselves first, and if we are looking to survive that is the smartest way to function.  I guess the question would be…just because its smart, does that make it ok?

After my BF made that comment, I actually mentioned to him that the only way I’d be able to afford a place within the next year was if I got a good deal on a foreclosed property. His response? “Then make sure not to tell me about it.”

And that hurt.

 

Does anyone have a strong opinion about this? I’m interested in hearing all the different sides.

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