While foreclosure houses represent an incredible value in
today's market, they are not for everyone.
Purchasing a foreclosure property seems like a great idea,
especially in this depressed market when foreclosed houses are
flooding the market. Buy a less than perfect property at rock
bottom prices, fix it up, and then live in it
sell it for a huge profit.
What could go possibly wrong?
Unfortunately, just about everything.
What is a foreclosure property?
A foreclosure property is a house that the owner can no longer
make the payments on. The owner was not able to sell it, so the
bank took it over to try and recoup its investment.
In effect, a foreclosure property is one that the owner AND the
bank couldn't sell. And don't forget that while the property might
not be in perfect shape
, it was probably in decent shape when the owner was trying sell
it-and people still didn't want to buy it!
Why do people buy foreclosure properties?
two main reasons
why people buy foreclosure properties
1) As an
to fix up and resell.
2) As a
cheap place to live
when they can't afford anything else.
Unfortunately, there are problems-obvious and hidden- with each
approach. Whatever your reason for wanting to purchase a
foreclosure home, you should
consider these top four reasons to think twice about the
1) Real estate investors have already dismissed this
Are you really smarter than a seasoned real estate investor?
Because it's likely that this property has already been checked out
and rejected by a professional who thought that it was too
expensive, too damaged, in the wrong area, or a million other
reason. Don't learn the hard way why so many others passed this
2) Foreclosure homes are sold in "as is"
In all likelihood, the home has just been sitting there
deteriorating for a long time. Oftentimes, the previous tenants
were upset with losing the property and did some damage like
removing fixtures and destroying plumbing. Banks just sell homes,
they don't maintain them, so what you see (or don't see) is what
you get. You'll absolutely need to pay for a solid inspection.
While not every foreclosed house needs major work, many do and you
should ask yourself if you are ready to put in the time and effort
to make it 100% livable.
3) The house may not be as good of a deal as you
Just because a house is in foreclosure doesn't mean that it's
going to be a good deal. Think about it: the bank wants to make
back as much money as it can off of a bad investment. Though the
price may drop later on, initially, the house will probably be
listed for more than it's worth. Be sure to work with your broker
to do a comparative market analysis with similar properties in the
Also-and this is huge-you need to take into consideration how
much it will cost to fix up the house. We've all been in a
situation where we ended up spending more money while trying to
save a little bit of money. This is especially true with a
foreclosure house where costs can balloon. Be sure to get a
contractor to give you an estimate on the repairs before you
consider buying. And don't forget about closing costs as well!
4) You can get great deals without buying a foreclosure
This is probably the most compelling reason to skip looking at
foreclosure properties. In this market, you can usually find a
great house, at a great price, and in ready-to-move-into condition.
Plus, there's a good chance that the owners will be more motivated
to make the sale go through than a bank that is backlogged with
If you have the knowledge and can handle the financial risk, a
foreclosure house can be a great deal. However, If you are not an
experienced homebuyer or homeowner who knows exactly how to get
work done, you should probably avoid purchasing a foreclosure.