When Homes for Sale Are Scarce… Should You Buy a Home at a Trustee Sale?

Image of a judges gavel. Captioned: Should You Buy a Home at a Trustee Sale?

The inventory of homes is still very tight in desirable metropolitan areas. Hopeful buyers who have not been able to find homes may be wondering:

Could I succeed in buying a house at an auction?

An auction, also called a trustee sale, will widen your pool of potential homes.

It also offers a way to buy at an affordable price. After all, the point of a trustee sale is to recoup money owed on the house, not to make a profit. A bidder may get a deal, then, on an auctioned home.

But are the risks and potential pitfalls just too great to dabble in the auction arena?

Usually, you are up against professional investors and home flippers at auctions. There are reasons to leave these sales to the pros. Let’s walk through the reasons, so you can decide for yourself.

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Should Your Child’s Name Be on Your House Deed?

Two people enjoying fresh iced tea in an outdoor setting. Captioned: Should Your Child's Name Be On Your House Deed?

Compare the Alternatives

Thinking of putting your child’s name on your house deed? If that’s the person who will get the home after you pass in any case, it might seem sensible. And maybe it is, in certain circumstances. After all, probate can be time-consuming, and even contentious.

But before making this decision, do you know that your child is ready and willing to own a house? And at that point, have you consulted with an attorney and tax specialist about doing things this way? Here are some key issues to spot before obtaining professional guidance.

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Buying a Home From Out of State

Your Five-Point Plan

Image of a person driving a moving company van.

A home purchase is one of the most rewarding investments most people ever make. That said, it can take courage to be a buyer. Unless the buyer is paying with cash — and few people can or will — buying a house means submitting to the scrutiny of financial experts. It means hoping for the best when choosing a new community. And it can mean a long-distance move.  

Here, we talk about moving from state to state, and how interstate home buyers can set themselves up for success with a five-point checklist. Let’s get right into it.

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High-Density Politics and Trends

In the Bay Area and Beyond, Housing Shortages Make Higher Densities Inevitable

A group of people meeting at a table with computers and an urban setting outside the window.

Governments are beginning to allow accessory dwelling units where they didn’t before. They’re rezoning to allow multiple homes per lot. They have to. They’re responding to a housing crisis that needs answers. Otherwise, a state has no way to supply necessary housing in the face of pressing demand.

But hashing out the policies is no mean feat. There’s plenty of opposition to zoning-up for more housing. Residents might see “density” and think: traffic, parking, noise, and so on, in the parade of horribles that will change the character of the neighborhood. Some assume a correlation between density and poverty. (Reality is not so cut and dried. In many cities, the wealthiest sections are dense sections with high-rise penthouses, while populations in neglected areas are relatively sparse.)

Increased density can be beneficial and necessary. Supporting mid-density or high-density housing can curb sprawl, conserve natural areas, and reduce transportation needs.

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Will a Seller Accept an Offer on a “Pending” Home?

Image of a "sale Pending" sign in front of a house.

What Home Buyers Need to Know

In a seller’s market, buyers anxious to start touring homes may find very few opportunities. Some buyers might try to make offers despite pending deals, eager to be runners-up just in case a sale doesn’t make it to closing. Here’s what to know about pending offers, and whether a pending home could still be available.

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Boundary Line Problems: You Can’t Build That Here. It’s My Land!

Two people arguing over their real estate boundary line.

In 2018, a couple in Texas stumbled upon an unusual opportunity. They got a tip that certain rural plots of land in Smithville — just 50 miles east of Austin — were available for $500. They went for it. Soon, the couple would order their manufactured home. That’s when the trouble began.

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Communities Are Going Solar. Will It Play in Peoria?

Person working on solar panels on top of a house.

Solar power is becoming a major real estate trend, as cities, states, and the federal government all strive to lower their areas’ greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Energy Department notes that rooftop solar costs been halved since 2014, and system installations are surging across the country. Sunrun and SolarCity (now part of Tesla) are leading that growth.

Climate-connected reasons aren’t necessarily in the forefront of homeowners’ minds when they go for it. A lot of the impetus involves blackouts after storms. Households seeking independence from overburdened grids are looking to generators, wall batteries, solar panels and tiles.  

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Adding Climate Data to Real Estate Listings: New Realities for Homeowners?

A young person in rain boots walking in shallow water.

Redfin Adds Climate Data to Real Estate Listings

A storm that could threaten a million homes would have been rare a generation ago. Not anymore. Today’s hurricanes gather their power over warming ocean and gulf waters. A warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, creating heavier rains. At the same time, dry areas of the country are hotter, and losing moisture. And that increases the risks for heat waves, droughts or wildfires.

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