HOW TO FIND FORECLOSURES
How to Find Foreclosure Listings
Buying properties in foreclosure can yield fantastic deals and terrific opportunities for both first-time-homebuyers and for investors. It can be one of the best opportunities to find properties well below market value. There are some challenges one needs to be aware of however before beginning the process. There are pitfalls even if you do all possible due diligence while finding foreclosure properties.
The No. 1 pitfall is that almost every foreclosure property is sold "as is." That means that the previous owners, who might have been unceremoniously booted from the property, probably didn't care much about repairs or upkeep. Worse, they might have "done something" to the property. If time permits, it's usually best to have a professional home inspector take a look. Many repairs wind up being minor, but even major things won't hurt that badly because foreclosure properties are usually sold for, at worst, a mere percentage of what the property is actually worth.
The research involved is extensive too. Titles must be cleared. Unpaid tax bills must be settled. There might even be a stack of unpaid bills attached for such "normal" things as electricity, water, heat, and insurance. They might not seem like much, but if the previous owner was having trouble making ends meet, perhaps the mortgage wasn't the only thing that lapsed. Speaking of mortgages, there might be more than one. That four-bedroom, three-bath, split-level ranch next to the great school that is going for $15,000 might have another couple of hundred grand in "hidden extras." It pays to do solid research.
Your credit history might be another hurdle if you don't have the requisite amount of cash. To get financing, you need to have good credit. You also have the option of signing up for any of the various identity protection services, most of which also provide access to your credit report. Such services are not usually expensive and can be canceled at any time.
If you find negative things on your credit report, you will have to get rid of them before applying for a mortgage, if possible. Legitimate bad things that are 100-percent accurate will stay. There is no way around that. Fraudulent or inaccurate things can be disputed. Send each creditor, if any, a letter asking for a verification of the debt. If the creditor cannot verify everything in the entry, it will have to be removed as inaccurate. This is not 100-percent effective, but it is your best course of action if there are negatives on your credit report.
When it comes to financing after you have searched foreclosures, you will normally need a pre-approval letter from the financing company. Normal closing timeframes generally aren't feasible when it comes to foreclosed properties. There are dozens of savvy home buyers looking at finding foreclosure homes. The first good offer will usually take each one. You will also very likely have to obtain financing from an entity other than the bank trying to unload the foreclosure home.
No Shame in Getting Help
If this search for foreclosure homes seems like a lot, it is! It's a great idea to get some professional help with your search. The paperwork is not only extensive, but it also has to be filed and settled with alacrity. We have the know-how, connections, and stick-to-it-iveness to make your search as hassle-free as possible. Let us call the title company, the insurance broker, the bank, and the home inspector for you. After all, heavy lifting is generally better left to the pros. Once you put us "on the case," you won't have to lift a finger until we hand you the keys.
We take great pride in our integrity, and the Better Business Bureau has awarded us both full accreditation and an A+ rating for our efforts. To find out more about everything we can do for you in your search for foreclosure homes, give us a call or fill out the form on our website today!