Friday, March 02, 2007

In A Hot Real Estate Market People Will Buy Anything

In a hot real estate market people will buy anything. This article is a little dated but it shows that insanity of people who have an urge to buy in a hot real estate market. This article is from, originally in the New York Times, and shows how people in the US where snapping up property in the recently hot, and now slumping, real estate market to the south.

Paul Nelson had never seen Paraiso del Mar, a resort and golf community in La Paz, Mexico, on the Baja Peninsula, before he signed a contract to buy a $200,000 beachfront condominium there. And he didn't even consider flying down to check it out before putting down a deposit."I thought in the very worst case, at $200,000, I'm not going to get hurt that bad," said Nelson, 58, a semiretired songwriter from Nashville. "I don't lose any sleep."Nelson is one of a growing number of people who are bidding on investment properties and second homes before seeing what they are buying. Though the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and the National Association of Realtors have no data on purchases made sight unseen, officials at both groups say they are hearing more anecdotal reports of these sales than ever.

"Nine years ago you would never have heard of this," said Jim Nabors, president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers. "We have no empirical data, but you go to a conference and you hear people talking about this more and more. I'd say the numbers have probably increased dramatically."Of course, with more information available on the Web, "sight unseen is kind of a misnomer," said Gary Garland, owner of Crested Butte Real Estate in Colorado. "It's not like we're sending buyers Polaroids like we used to.""Virtual tours" of vacation properties displayed over the Internet help people like Nelson, who also bought an $800,000 investment home sight unseen in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a few years ago, size up their purchases. Buyers can be in for surprises when they finally see their properties. Ellen Ashley, 55, a real estate agent from Portola Valley, Calif., signed a contract on a $650,000, 2,500-square-foot home on Vashon Island, near Seattle, that looked great on the Internet. Only when she visited it for the inspection did she find out about the noise from a nearby road. She was able to get out of the purchase.

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