Failed: We Won’t be Purchasing a Vacant Lot After All

I’ve spent the last two days looking over every nickel and dime in our bank accounts, determining exactly how much income we bring in on a monthly basis, (my husband is a contractor so income fluctuates), and figuring out how to cash out investments in an effort to collect a down payment.

After making sure that all of the pennies and cents added up my husband and I had a long conversation and decided to move forward with the purchase of a vacant lot in North Carolina. I called the real estate agent this morning with the full intention of submitting a bid. Unfortunately, less than thirty seconds into the call I was told the lot had already been sold. Apparently the property was foreclosed and the vacant lot went up for auction sometime earlier this month. I was shocked that the lot had already been sold, because the realty sign is still on the property and address is still listed in the MLS.

My husband and I have been thinking about this lot for over a year. When it was originally listed it was completely out of our price range. Not only was the purchase price overly inflated but our brokerage accounts had been slashed by the recession, so it would have been impossible for us to splurge on the purchase.

Buying a new property is always unbelievably exciting and a bit frightening all at the same time. There is an incredible amount of excitement in making the purchase and yet unbelievable fear that we haven’t double checked all the numbers and that something or other would make us default on the property. I spent a lot of time over the past two days running the numbers to make certain we could afford the property and I am hugely disappointed that the lot has already been sold.

This time it seems we missed a golden opportunity. The lot was sold at auction for $100,000 less than the listing price. If we had known about the auction my husband and I would have been there in a heartbeat. It’s one of those once in a lifetime bargains that we may never see again.

We are both very disappointed, but we can’t change the course of events so we have to learn from our mistakes and move on from them. In the future if we are interested in a property we will contact the real estate agents and make certain that they are aware of our interests even if we don’t immediately make a bid.

In the mean time we will continue to save money in the hopes that other opportunities will present themselves. They may not be as good as this one, but hopefully my husband’s dream of owning waterfront property will eventually come true.

3 thoughts on “Failed: We Won’t be Purchasing a Vacant Lot After All”

  1. The mindset that you won't be able to find such an opportunity again is not a healthy one to have. As someone who has purchased multiple rental properties from foreclosure (some at auction), I've had those feelings of "why didn't I act faster?"

    What you need to remind yourself of is that everything happens for a reason, and you are just as likely to find a BETTER land purchase moving forward as the one you passed up.

    Too often we consumers react to the fear of the missed opportunity. For example, I need a new coffee table. I'm trying to put off buying one for as long as I can, but last week I saw one for a super low price that was perfect. I started negotiating with myself – how would I get it home, what other purchases could I defer to free up the funds, etc. Then I stopped myself and asked "What's the worst thing that will happen if I don't buy this now?"

    I realized that there really wasn't a compelling reason to spend money at the time.

    Sure, buying the perfect land deal is much bigger in scope, more personal and more painful to lose. But now your investments can keep growing while you hunt for a better opportunity.

    If nothing else, you've at least tested your desire to buy land. Moving forward when looking at land you can be more comfortable that you really want to do this and at a price range you've predetermined.

  2. @my frugal miser – Thank you so much for this comment. You are absolutely right, I've been looking at the failure of this transaction rather than looking at the bright side of it. I've learned a whole lot about foreclosures, short sales and auctions and in the mean time my husband and I can continue to save our money until the next big opportunity arrives!

  3. In my area forclosure sales are advertized in the local newspaper in the classifieds. I am not in the market at this time but if the right property showed up in a forclosure , who knows?


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