Lauer Asks if Foreclosure Buyers Tempting 'Bad Karma'

     NBC wants to help you find the “silver lining in the economic cloud.” Just don’t listen to “Today” host Matt Lauer.


     The Sept. 26 show brought on three financial experts to help viewers make the best of a downbeat economy. But Lauer confused the subject by raising superstitious concerns against buying foreclosed homes.


     After real estate agent Barbara Corcoran said the increase in foreclosures was good for buyers, Lauer chimed in, cautioning viewers against tempting fate.


     “You are a business person what do you say to the person out there who says what about the karma of taking advantage of the misery of someone else and the misfortune of someone else, because that is really what you are doing?”


    Corcoran acknowledged that some people have concerns about buying foreclosures, but she added “there’s something about a 30- to- 50 percent discount that gets people over it.” defines karma as “the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person’s deeds in the previous incarnation.”


     Corcoran went on to warn that some foreclosures are “clunkers” because the previous owners have wrecked the property. “Most importantly, very often, people when they leave, they’re angry and they destroy the house on the way out,” she said.


     Earlier, Corcoran had also said that “the best person to buy from is the bank” because banks aren’t emotionally invested in the asset.


     The segment included Farnoosh Torabi from, “Today” financial editor Jean Chatzky and Corcoran. Each delivered her best silver linings on the current economic situation. Aside from Lauer’s “karma” interlude, the experts offered plenty of advice:


    Cash is king and can get you a discount from smaller businesses. With retail sales down, it’s an ideal time to buy for the holidays. Homeowners might be able to refinance if they act fast with their lenders. New developments pose strong buying opportunities – including incentives like granite countertops and vacations. A down market offers a chance to buy stocks in sectors that “will do well” like healthcare and consumer staples.

     The segment also included positives about an improving savings rate and urged viewers to take advantage of their 401(k) match from employers.