My wife and I have been house hunting for over a year. There always seems to be relatively big problems with the houses we look at. Here’s our latest dilemma: We have recently found a house that is being auctioned by the local court. It’s a nice house, but here’s the catch: You can’t look inside!! Apparently this a normal thing here in Taiwan. It scares the hell out of me because I’ve heard some real horror stories about people cutting holes in the floors, putting cement in the toilets, etc. I know there’s a risk, but I’m hoping someone can tell me how often this happens… ie. 5 out of 10 houses, 30% or whatever. I live in Chiayi and the house is 4 floors with a total of 103 ping. Right now the house is selling for 3.8 million, but I’m guessing it will soon drop to around 3.5. I’m just looking for some opinions.
You need to know that the auctions are a breeding ground for gangsters and other scumbags. They hang around and demand protection money from the auction winner after they pick up the documents. It’s pretty ugly.
I bought my apartment from a speculator who had won it at auction. He’d fixed a few problems with it and put it on the market for a very reasonable price, probably 100 or 200,000 over what he got it for. The apartment’s previous owner had tried to wreck the place by filling all the drain pipes with pebbles. That took a couple of plumber’s visits to sort out, but beyond that the place was great. It’s nearly doubled in value since I bought it.
Of course it is totally illogical that someone would blame a concrete box for their inability to pay for it, and try to punish the bank that foreclosed on them by destroying it. But, since when did logic count for anything in Taiwan?