It’s No Bargain

We’ve all seen the listings—the nice-looking 1,500-square-foot-home for less than $100,000—and wondered: What’s the catch? In this historic buyer’s market, of course, we do see plenty of outrageous deals in Las Vegas. But sometimes a too-good-to-be-true price is, well, too good to be true.

For a while, brokerages have been slashing short-sale prices by as much as 30 percent just to entice an offer. With the artificially low price, buyers believe they can get a home significantly below market. They often wait months for a response from a bank that ultimately contends that the offer is too low and counteroffers a higher price anyway, using the neighborhood’s past sales to support its request. In many cases that $100,000 short sale goes for a much higher price.

“It’s a horrible way of doing business, and it wastes a lot of time and energy,” says Jason Ekus, a broker for Volume Real Estate in Las Vegas. “The banks aren’t stupid. They know what the houses are going for.”

Another wrinkle in an already confusing housing market.

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Little more than a year after appearing on the streets of Las Vegas, the popular food truck Fukuburger is expanding to Los Angeles—the ancestral homeland of rolling restaurants—but it’s taking the wheels off and opening its first bricks-and-mortar location. Owners Colin Fukunaga and Robert Magsalin have teamed with restaurateur and Hard Rock heir Harry Morton to develop the concept, which debuts in Hollywood in October. The plan is to launch a few non-rolling restaurants in L.A.