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1. Not every bank owned property is a great deal.

  • They will at some point be a good deal, but if not priced correctly when listed initially it may take an agent or two before the price gets to the deal range. Some banks are not willing to listen to the listing agent and want to list at their price.
  • Some have locations that are not a great deal for a vacation home or residence no matter what the price.
  • At the right price everything is a deal, but maybe the deal doesn’t fit for you.
  • You have to ask yourself, Do I want the best deal or the best house? 

2. Most are sold “AS IS”.

  • Contingency periods are often shortened to 10 days or less. This makes it difficult for buyers from out of the area to do the investigations that they would like.
  • Natural Hazard Disclosures, preliminary title reports,  etc. need to be ordered immediately so that the buyer has this information available prior to the end of the contingency period.

3. The bank will charge you $100 (average) per day Per Diem if you don’t close the escrow on time.

  • It’s important to have your loan pre approved prior to writing the offer.
  • Lender’s are a big part of this process, make sure you are a priority.
  • Don’t use an out of the area appraiser. Big Bear has a member only Multiple Listing Service, so an out of area appraiser will have problems getting comparable sales. Be involved in the appraiser selection, you are more than likely paying for the appraisal.

4. Verify whether or not your lender will require a clear termite report.

  • Many banks will not pay for termite inspections or repairs on their properties. If the bank has this clause in your addendum, you will need to be sure to have the inspection done quickly so that if the repair amount is unacceptable you can exit the contract prior to the contingency period.
  • Lenders usually require a clear section 1 (wood destroying pest clearance).

5. Most bank owned / foreclosures have years of deferred maintenance.

  • More than likely, the people that lost the home to the bank didn’t spend any money on upkeep.
  • Most are in need of cosmetic items (paint, flooring etc.) , and some have missing hardware (plumbing fixtures, water heaters, garage door openers, interior doors, built-in appliances, etc.)

This is a short list of major items to watch. It’s important to use a local Realtor with knowledge of the areas and history of the homes. If you have an agent from out of the area, ask them  to refer you to a local agent so that you get all of the information necessary to make good decisions.

If your agent can’t tell you:

  • Who supplies the utilities?
  • What kind of termites we have in Big Bear?
  • What a stop and waste valve is?
  • Where the trash sites are?
  • What is the property tax, and what items are on your tax bill?
  • How much does it cost to put your boat on the lake?
  • How do I winterize my Big Bear Home?
  • Who plows the roads, and who should I call to plow my driveway?
  • The difference between Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City.
  • What the best restaurants are?

 find a Local Expert Realtor that does.

Steve Hirschler

Associate, The Tim Wood Group

Coldwell Banker Mountain Gallery

42153 Big Bear Blvd.

P.O. BOX 6820

Big Bear Lake, CA 92315


909 866-3481 EXT. 217 CELL 909 725-5889

Fax 909 866-3531


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