Tuesday Tips: Finding a Foreclosed Home
It seems like the words "housing market" and "foreclosures" are now permanently joined at the hip. A lot has been written about the risks and rewards of buying a foreclosed home. Have you ever bought one? As I search for my own home to buy, I've wondered where to find them aside from wandering around neighborhoods looking for those foreclosure signs. I talked to a few Realtors and the National Association of Realtors for some help in finding these homes. Lots of homework needs to be done before plopping down money for a foreclosure, so here are a few tips on where to find them:
Tip #1: Know the lingo. We've learned lots of new real estate terms with this whole foreclosure crisis. Here's a small picture of some of the words you'll hear: A "REO property" is the same thing as a foreclosed property. It stands for Real Estate Owned by the lender. Owners who can't pay their mortgage payments can also sell their homes in a "short sale," which is an agreement with the lender to sell the house for less than what is owed. It could help the owner avoid having a foreclosure on their credit report. If the bank has taken control of the house, they'll sell it at "auction."
Tip #2: One of the first things to do if you're interested in shopping for a foreclosed home is to figure out what neighborhoods you like and then contact a Realtor. They should know about more properties than are publicly listed on the Internet, says a National Association of Realtors spokesman.
Tip #3: The association also recommends hitting RealtyTrac.com, a Web site that lists all kinds of homes in the foreclosure process from pre-foreclosure to auctions of bank-owned properties. You can sign up for a 7-day free trial and then it's $49.95 a month.
Tip #4: Realtors I spoke to also recommend the Real Estate Disposition Corporation's Web site, which has a calendar of bank auctions of all kinds of homes from single family detached to condo units. For example, there's an auction on Oct. 22 in Washington to sell several hundred local foreclosed homes. You can search through the listings that will be at that auction and narrow it down to different cities or counties within the region.
Tip #5: Realtors also like Foreclosedhomes.com, which lists foreclosed homes as well as For Sale By Owner and For Sale By Realtor homes. The site also offers a free 7-day trial period and then charges about $40 a month to search for homes.
Are you thinking of buying a foreclosed home? Where have you been looking? What are the best sources for finding foreclosures?
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Posted by: ed | October 22, 2008 9:38 AM
Posted by: Joshua Dorkin @ BiggerPockets | October 22, 2008 10:18 AM
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