Houses Now Selling for Less Than Used Cars

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

When the pendulum swings from overbought to oversold, bargains abound. It happened last year in the stock market, and it's happening now in some housing markets. The case of the $19,000 condo.

Right now, you can buy a 1-bedroom, 1-bath condo in Las Vegas for $29,000. Or for around the same price at a Las Vegas Buick dealer, a brand-new 2010 GMC Sierra pickup truck, fully loaded.

That’s right. A place to live can now cost you less than a car to drive, and not just in Vegas. Around the country, you can find homes that cost less than the sticker prices at nearby car dealers. Fact is, the recession has devastated home prices much more than auto prices.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported last week that “demand for purchase mortgages, measured by application data, declined to near 13-year lows despite low mortgage rates.” Meanwhile, auto sales are rebounding. According to Emunds.com, an automotive website that monitors the industry, “So far in August, Edmunds.com’s monitoring of vehicle retail transactions show some increase from last month, beyond the seasonal norm.”

Of course, when you buy a car for $29,000 – or even $19,000 as in the video above – you’re getting a brand-new vehicle. Chances are the home or condo you get will be “distressed.” That could mean it suffers from some simple neglect or even bigger problems, as the owners deserted the place or the banks foreclosed on it.

Still, if you find an enticing place that’s priced like a car, it may make sense to negotiate just like you would in the dealer’s showroom. Auto experts are reporting that haggling at car dealers is at an all-time high, so perhaps that same approach will work on desperate sellers. Other ways to buy cheap:

  • Foreclosures: The least expensive house is usually a foreclosure. Check out our story on how to buy a foreclosure. But be aware that foreclosures are cheap for a reason – they often need major renovation, you can’t do a thorough inspection in advance, and you’ll need all cash to buy one.
  • REOs: Another way to snag a bargain is an REO (real estate-owned) home – one that’s been foreclosed, gone back to the bank and then listed with a real estate agent. These homes are listed like any other, but they may be available at below-market prices for a quick sale. Like foreclosures, these homes often need work. Unlike foreclosures, you won’t need all cash. But you will need to be pre-approved for a loan and ready to pounce – they don’t stay on the market long. Best advice? Find an agent specializing in this market. That’s what we did to do the TV news story above.
  • Short Sales: A short sale occurs when a homeowner gets approval from their lender to sell their home for less than the mortgage balance. The problem with short sales: It sometimes takes months for the bank to approve the sale price.  New rules designed to expedite the process went into effect earlier this year (see this article from the Washington Post) but it can still be a trying process.
  • Regular purchase: Falling prices in many markets have made one of the best buyer’s markets in decades. If you don’t feel comfortable with the more adventurous methods of buying above, you can still find a bargain by buying the traditional way. As mentioned above, just be a tough, patient negotiator.  Learn the market, look at enough houses to know a bargain when you see one, then find a desperate seller. There’s no shortage of them out there.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Costco Releases Dozens of New Deals

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 2,011 more deals!