Too good to be true?

Hi Guys,

I am about to move to the US in two months time.

Since I would have to find a place to live my first choice was rented accommodation but then I had a quick look at the real estate market pages too and was surprised to find houses in some states from as low as 7k. This may be cheaper than renting a place.
A lot of information we get here in the European news is about the seriously bad state of the US property market due to the debt crisis. So I am a little concerned if this is too good to be true.
I have about 20k cash money that I could use to purchase a property. Give and take a few thousand for repairs.
I expect some repairs to be done for a 15k home and of cause I will view it and even take a surveyor if I am really interested.
Some are already listed as major repairs but others seem to be rather nice in a good (at least according to streetview and crime maps) area.
I know that there is a lot of Info on the web and great resources for statistics but before I get too excited I would like some advice from real people like you. :cool

Are there livable properties out there for that price tag (about15k) or are this mainly ruins with big repair works or huge ecco problems.

Thank you for your time.

Welcome to the US!

A few things you will notice at that price range is health and safety issues (major repairs)

and being in questionable locations.

There may be title issues as well to take a look at (liens as well as probate issues).

Definitely get a pro out there to take a look at the property with you. I would not take on a major rehab project as a new person.
wholesale this one out for cash and work on a fixer:
which are homes that need only cosmetics (paint carpet etc)

Either way, look for a good solid neighborhood.


Property is very cheap in the USA right now, especially if you get to take advantage of the exchange rate. However, $15,000 isn’t going to get you much.

It would make a nice downpayment on the decent place and your payments would be less than renting.

It depends upon where you are moving to. You can get a safe little house in North Dakota with no crime for $20,000, and you might get an older mobile home on the long beach in Washington state, where there is no crime. But for the most part, those extra low prices are in the bad areas of big cities.

If you would tell us where you are moving to, you could be better advice. It’s a great big county and prices vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, even in the same city.

The last time I looked, you could get a nice studio condo in my town (which is a ski resort in Oregn) for $25,000 US. So cheap isn’t necessarily a bad area, but it isn’t going to be a prime property in a great area.

Thank you very much for your answers.
You are correct I should have told you what I was looking at.
I was looking at small Houses in the greater Cincinatti area.
I have also had a look at Lexington KY, Tennessee and parts of Virginia.
Even Atlanta offers some of the low priced propertys.
I guess at the end of the day -you get what you pay for-.

Hey Newinton,

just read your post, and would like to offer some input.

Since you are moving here in a few months anyways, you should just plan on renting…then, you can always look around for a property.

you should be able to find a decent place to rent for $550-$750 a month in most areas. This in my opinion is much better than buying a house for $15,000 which wont get you much.

There is something important in your post that you left out that I’m hoping you could expand on. What is it that you are coming to the US for? How long are you planning to stay here, or are you striving for permanent residence?

The reason I ask is, you stated like 5 different places you are looking at. Cinncinatti, KY, TN, GA VA…I mean you are all over the map!..Each of these places is completely different from the other.

Seriously, buying a house should be a minimal concern…are you going to go to school?..are you going to try to get employed? you want to start investing in real estate?..I would ask are you gonna live with family, but I can tell by the 5 different places you have to choose from that you are moving here and living by yourself…are you bringing a family with you?

I can tell you that if you expand on these questions, then us here on the forum can offer better guidance…coming a moving to a different country is a huge step in one’s life…just rent a place where you go to, but more importantly…where is it that you want to go and why?

what is the real reason you are coming to the US?..then we can help you choose the destination that is right for you so you can begin to make monies, rather than worry about sinking it all into a home…make sense?

Good Luck…hope to offer assistance if you can clarify your reasons for the move.

Hey Taxlienadvisor,
thx for your post.
I would move alone. Just got the Green Card so it would be a permanent thing.
Have to look for employment first so I thought Virginia would be a good place as it has a low unemployment rate.
Have been a few times to the Atlanta area, Tennessee and Cincinatti thats why I have been looking there.
Because of the fact that I have some cash money I thought investing in real estate would make sense
as the interest rates in saving accounts et seem to be very low right now.

thats cool,

what kind of employment are you looking for?

after you move here, you should contact Michael Q from this forum…he is one of the best mentors in the business, and he will mentor you for a whole year for around $1,000…fantastic program.

good luck

It is much easier to manage property if you can get to it easily. So I suggest that you find a place you like and find a job first. Then you can buy real estate.

Hey New

Just touching base to see if you’ve made the move yet.

I always teach my students who are looking for rental property to look in areas that are within 5-10 miles from where they work or live.

It’s really a practical matter. You get to know the areas really well to see if it’s a neighborhood worth investing in. Also, it’s nice to be able to check on your rentals in one quick round without having to go way out.

Believe me, I’ve had rentals in far off areas and it’s been a pain.

Please give us an update


I’ve only owned property local to me (and ones I lived in!) but I’ve heard the same, that it becomes tedious at a distance, and definitely there are additional expenses to maintain. Not that it’s a bad idea but make sure you consider the downsides… having to hire out-of-state cleaning companies, not being able to “check in”, etc.

With the current real estate market in America the way it is there is a lot of potential for you to find a house or property that you desire it just may require a fair amount of work. 15k or 20k is a great starting price for a down payment on some houses. If you are looking more of the condo or apartment route you may be able to find something below your price range and use more of your money for repairs. Welcome to America and good luck!

It is true the the US real estate market is no where near it used to be but be careful when pursuing houses at such low prices. If you find a house labeled at 7k I would be weary as to how much money you are going to have to put into it to gain your money back at all. Some houses at such low prices might have no beneficial ability to even repair them. You might find it is just as beneficial to scrap the house completely and invest in building a new property on the lot.

Yeah I don’t know about how much this money is going to make for an actual investment of the house. If you are looking for an apartment of duplex your funds might be made more efficient. I wish you the best of luck with your journey and I hope it all works out for you.

much better if you yourself will personaly manage you’re own property. and you should be comfortable with the place you want so you should choose it yourself.