Hi everyone,
My fiance and I found a house that is in the location we want to live in, and is vacant, and in foreclosure. It has been listed with an agent for many months, and we toured the inside last weekend. We want to put an offer in, but don’t want to be too high for what we should pay, but not too low that we lose the opportunity. Apparently, there have been a few contracts that already fell apart, buyers walked, etc. An atty who represents the seller has been talking to the lender, and the lender agreed to consider a short sale, and at one time actually approved it, and the buyer walked…(according to the listing agent). Here are the numbers:
$463K 1st
$263K 2nd
The agent said the appraisal came in at $750K, but I think that is very inflated, probably for the second loan. Anyway, it is in a country club neighborhood, on a golf course. We can pay up to $450K comfortably, and have a pre-qualification letter from a mortgage broker, and can close in 30 days. The house is unusual, in that it has been rehabbed in the first floor, but has a crummy basement (unfinished) and the original upstairs of 30 years. It needs a new roof, and may have a few ceiling structural issues. That is probably why it hasn’t sold, also the slow mkt. What would be a good offer so they take us seriously, and at least counter us? A lawyer mentor of mine said go in right away with your highest and best, anybody have any opinions??
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

I’m not sure I agree with your lawyer mentor. Run the numbers: Comps, BPO from one you trust, ARV from reliable contractor, two would be better, pictures, and most important a home inspection. Then make an offer that seems embarassing and wait for a counter. I’m not sure where you are or what your market is like beyond what you have indicated but on a golf course indicates some measure of affluence which is why your instinct about an inflated appraisal may be right on point, not to mention an agent’s commission. A vacant property for months in what seems to be an affluent area, I would think the lender can’t wait to unload this. An investor friend of mine had a similar prospect property. He knocked on neighbors’ doors and with his gift of gab got several neighbors to write the lender supporting his efforts as part of the SS process. Because you are end buyers and not investors, I think your chances are pretty good. I’d go in at $350K.