Houses Now Selling for Less Than Used Cars

Photo (cc) by xialsun

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.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Items Every First-Aid Kit Should Have
10 Items Every First-Aid Kit Should Have

Take control of your health and safety by customizing your own first-aid kit with these Amazon purchases.

7 Reasons You Should Change Careers After Age 50
7 Reasons You Should Change Careers After Age 50

Many older workers have the energy and experience to make a successful career change.

12 Expenses You May Be Tempted to Claim as Tax Deductions — but Shouldn’t
12 Expenses You May Be Tempted to Claim as Tax Deductions — but Shouldn’t

Thinking of trying to deduct a few of these things on your federal tax return? That could be a costly mistake.

8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill
8 Ways to Slash Your Internet Bill

No matter what price you are paying for internet service, taking these simple steps can lower it.

These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020
These Are the 4 Best Medicare Advantage Plans for 2020

Medicare Advantage customers themselves rate these plans highest.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again
9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco
11 Things Retirees Should Always Buy at Costco

This leader in bulk shopping is a great place to find discounts in the fixed-income years.

Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines
Over 50? The CDC Says You Need These 4 Vaccines

Fall is the time to schedule vaccines that can keep you healthy — and even save your life.

11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous
11 Household Items That Go Bad — or Become Dangerous

When you get the impulse to stockpile these everyday items, pay close attention to their expiration dates.

11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older
11 Senior Discounts for Anyone Age 55 or Older

There is no need to wait until you’re 65 to take advantage of so-called “senior” discounts.

8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies
8 Things You Can Get for Free at Pharmacies

In this age of higher-priced drugs and complex health care systems, a trip to the pharmacy can spark worry. Freebies sure do help.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America
The 10 Most Commonly Stolen Vehicles in America

A new model parks atop the list of vehicles that thieves love to pilfer.

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020
The 15 Worst States for Retirees in 2020

Based on dozens of metrics tied to affordability, quality of life and health care, these are not ideal places to spend retirement.

9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
9 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income
26 States That Do Not Tax Social Security Income

These states won’t tax any of your Social Security income — and in some cases, other types of retirement income.

10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62
10 Reasons Why You Should Actually Retire at 62

If you can, here are several good reasons to retire earlier than we’re told to.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles
5 Keys to Making Your Car Last for 200,000 Miles

Pushing your car to 200,000 miles — and beyond — can save you piles of cash. Here’s how to get there.

5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees
5 Things That Make Life More Meaningful for Retirees

Retirees agree: These are the things that give them purpose and fulfillment in their golden years.

15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now
15 Amazon Purchases That We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.