8/1/14 Milwaukee Condo Foreclosures Short Sales

How attractive are foreclosures and short sales to a condo buyer?

Bottom line. Buying a foreclosure or short sale can be a long, drawn out affair. Definitely not for first-timers.

Goal #1 of a buyer? Find a condo that meets current actual needs – at a reasonable price – on your own time table.

So why can’t that happen with a short sale?

Cuckoo time table goes out the window.

Cuckoo time table goes out the window


Because the tables are reversed. The bank, not a seller, owns the property. The buyer making the offer waits, and waits, and waits (catching the rhythm here?) for months, often six months, at the behest of the bank. The buyer time-table goes out the window and must be completely open-ended, usually playing havoc with decision making.  A more typical length of time between offer and closing on a conventional purchase is six weeks.

By the time the bank gets what it’s owed on the property, you could probably find something well priced in the open market. Plus, there simply aren’t that many condo foreclosures in Milwaukee. When the bank finally decides to accept an offer, it still must grind through its own internal processes toward a closing. Attorney advice time? Strongly recommended, adding to final buyer costs.

And even after closing, that buyer is still left with a property that could need work before occupancy, remembering that no unit maintenance was done during the long foreclosure process, even within a condo building with ongoing, routine maintenance.

Buy in haste, repent at leisure. Forget scoring the  – questionably in the long run – best deal in town. It’s challenging enough to find a unit to like and want to live in, without the obstacle course set up by the foreclosure process.