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10 Things You Need To Know About Buying Foreclosures
When it comes to buying foreclosures, every investor needs to be aware of certain aspects that can either make or break their bargain. The appeal of a foreclosed property is often found in the hidden potential that a home is thought to possess, but the fact that it can be purchased at a price that is often far less than the current market value is an equally attractive incentive to most buyers. While foreclosed properties can and often do produce a profitable return for investors, it�s important to keep the following in mind when perusing properties:
- Not every foreclosure is open to inspection. This means that you may or may not be able to view or evaluate the property, and could be required to make a decision based on nothing more than a visual and any information provided in the foreclosure listing.
- If a foreclosed property is open to inspection, it will be up to potential buyers to hire an inspector for the purpose of evaluating any necessary repairs or improvements. This will aid investors in the decision as to how much money they wish to pay for a property by giving them an indication of the work and cash needed to restore it.
- If you plan on buying foreclosures while they are still inhabited, either by the previous owners or renters, you will be responsible for removing them. In some cases, eviction may even be necessary.
- Buying foreclosures means purchasing a property �as is� with no guarantee as to its condition.
- Investors who plan on buying foreclosures from HUD are permitted to enter the bidding process if no person(s) wish to bid as an owner-occupant. The initial phase of a HUD foreclosure auction is open only to those who wish to live in the home.
- Each state handles the process of buying foreclosures differently, but nearly every one offers a redemption period that would allow the former owner to regain control of the property by catching up on payments and interest. Buying foreclosures means that you need to be aware of local laws and how they may affect the ownership of a property.
- If you require financing, it�s important to check with a lender to arrange for a mortgage before placing a bid on a foreclosure. In at least one respect, buying foreclosures is similar to the purchase of other real estate in that the failure to complete the transaction may result in the loss of any earnest money provided.
- Prior to buying foreclosures, or any other type of real estate investment, do your homework. Homes built before 1978 may contain lead paint, which is why it�s important to learn as much as possible about the home�s age and condition, along with other potentially concerning aspects of real estate before signing on the dotted line.
- Successfully buying foreclosures as an investor means knowing the current market value for comparable properties in the area. If you plan to restore the home, you will need to figure in the cost of repairs and calculate a reasonable selling price in order to determine a feasible profit.
- Investors considering buying foreclosures can find local listings through realtors, lenders, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and various other public auctions.
The information contained in this article is designed to be used for reference purposes only. It should not be used as, in place of or in conjunction with professional legal, financial and/or investment advice regarding buying foreclosures. For additional information, consult an attorney who specializes in real estate and/or financial matters.
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