The real estate market as a whole is simply not where it used to be. Many of the hyper-inflated prices have dropped down to more reasonable levels after speculative investors realized they would not be seeing double digit returns on their real estate investments year over year. The demand for homes dropped dramatically and many people began to find that they couldn’t sell their homes, even in situations where they could not afford to keep their homes, causing a larger number of foreclosures than in recent history. This has created opportunity for home buyers to get potential bargains by purchasing foreclosed properties as their next homes rather than homes being retailed.
Many people buy foreclosed homes wrong and get themselves in financial trouble because they do it without any experience or insight. They buy homes in pre-foreclosure or on the courthouse steps. They don’t have a good idea of what they’re buying and often get a lot more than they bargained for. The home might not be in good condition when they take ownership of it or they might buy it and end up being responsible for any other debts held against the home, such as a second mortgage. When the buyer has to pay other liabilities on the home off, they end up paying more than they would if they had purchased a new home on the open market! Leave buying homes in pre-foreclosure and on the courthouse steps to the professionals!
Some companies will try to sell you a list of foreclosure properties in your neighborhood, but this is publically available information! The best way to buy a foreclosed home if you’re not an experience real estate professional is to work through the department of housing and urban development and proceed very carefully, slowly, and with a lot of research. If you visit HUD’s website at www.hud.gov, you’ll be able to see a complete listing of foreclosed homes that they have available for sale. Some will be through the IRS, others through the Department of Agriculture, the SBA, the Customs Department, or the US Army Corps of Engineers. Each of these departments have different processes for selling foreclosed homes, so you’ll have to learn the process to purchase a home from the agency that holds the home you wish to purchase.
Buying a foreclosed home certainly comes with risk, but there are also some great opportunities to get a lot more real estate than you could have otherwise been able to afford.