Never pay retail for a home. If you plan on buying a home please don't pay retail. I have twenty years of experience as a real estate investor and when I buy a home a never pay retail. There are two ways to buy nice homes for ten to twenty percent less than retail.
The first method of buying homes at a discount is not easy but rewarding. I like to buy homes from desperate sellers. A desperate seller would be someone who needs to sell their home fast. Reasons for selling a home fast are divorce, death in the family, loss of job, and facing foreclosure. The problem is finding these sellers. There are several ways of finding desperate sellers. My favorite way is to send letters to people facing foreclosure. Typically you can find the address and names of these people in your local paper. Most states require that a bank give notice to the public that a home is about to be foreclosed. I send a letter explaining to the homeowner that I would like to buy their home. The benefit to the seller is that they will keep a foreclosure off their credit report. The benefit to me is that I could get the property for a discount. For example, the seller might owe $90,000 and the home might be worth $100,000. I just saved $10,000 dollars by writing a letter. I have bought homes for $40,000 less than what they are worth. If you have a little patience this method will work.
The second method is to buy homes after they have been through a foreclosure. This is called a REO. Typically a home that doesn't sell at foreclosure will be taken back by the bank or mortgage company. The bank will then list the property with a real estate agent at slightly less than retail. I typically just ask real estate agents to let me know when they have a REO and I will offer less than the listing price. You will not get large discounts but you will be able to buy for less than retail.
If you want to buy a home for a discount and are willing to work a little then buying pre-foreclosures and REO's are good methods to investigate further.
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