Not a day goes by that I don't talk to someone that says "I just want a great deal." No one wants to pay more for a home than they have to which means that many home buyers are looking at San Diego bank foreclosures to get the best deal. But are you really getting a great deal when you purchase a home from the bank?
The short answer to this question is yes and no. Property values throughout the county have dropped considerably over the last couple of years. If you compare current home values in San Diego with what value of homes were three years ago, I would say that home buyers today are getting a great deal, almost 50% off in some areas of the county.
But just imagine for a moment that there are 10 home buyers looking for a "great deal" in Rancho Bernardo and they're all looking in the same price range. One day, a foreclosure property is listed it's the lowest price home for the area. Since it is the lowest priced, all 10 home buyers that have been waiting for a great deal, go look at the home and since it's in a good neighborhood, it's clean, and has a low listing price, they have their real estate agent check into it. The real estate agent comes back and says there are already 7 offers on the house with all but two of them being above the listing price.
Now that the bank has created a frenzy for the house, and since they realize that homes are purchased based on emotion, they tell everyone that they want your best and final offer. By the time all is said and done, the bank now has multiple offers anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 more than what they listed it for. They have just sold the home at market value or higher. Not such a "great deal" anymore!
If a home buyer really wants to get the absolute best deal, you have to ask yourself, do you want a home for your family, or do you want a great deal? If you answered, "a great deal," then start looking for the ugliest house on the block or the home that has been on the market for a long period of time. Your chances of buying the home under market value are greater since you more than likely won't be bidding against anyone else. You'll also have more bargaining power with the banks for such things as getting them to pay your closing costs or give you a credit for repairs.
If you answered "a home for your family," be prepared to compete with other buyers that are looking for the same criteria as you. The best advice I can give you is to make a strong offer early and to be the first offer on the table, if not, you'll more than likely be in a bidding war soon!