If you’re considering purchasing a foreclosure in Maplewood, MN, you should be prepared for the fact that the process will be very little like a standard home purchase. Even if you’ve purchased a house in the past, this article lists some differences that are helpful to know about buying a foreclosure.
First off, foreclosures have gotten a bad reputation as being the unkempt, run-down homes in the neighborhood. And this reputation is not entirely undeserved – many foreclosures are in less than ideal condition due to their owners leaving them and proper maintenance not being done. However, a large percentage of foreclosures are also nice homes with lovely fixtures and amenities. Foreclosed homes come in all shapes, sizes and conditions!
Foreclosed homes are generally sold “as is” by banks. You don’t go in with the same kind of negotiating power that you have with a traditional seller. As well, the bank didn’t live in the home, and isn’t required to disclose the same kinds of things to you that someone who lived there would need to (repairs needed or previously made, neighborhood issues, etc.)
Banks will strongly protect themselves in the sale of forclosures, and will require you to sign away many of the protections you may have as a seller in a traditional contract. You would be very wise to have a lawyer go over everything with you before you sign.
The article says that “Buying a house from a bank is like working with the Wizard of Oz.” This may seem overly dramatic, but it is accurate in that you have far less face-to-face communication with a real person compared to a traditional home sale. Your questions may go unanswered for a long time, if they are answered at all. Again, because the asset manager at the bank assigned to this particular sale never lived in the home, they don’t have the kind of knowledge that can even be very helpful in answering many of your questions.
Finally, just because it’s a foreclosure doesn’t mean that you’re getting an amazing deal. It’s true that many foreclosed homes are priced to sell, as the banks want to move them out as quickly as possible. But, as the article says, “Sometimes sellers overprice their house and they have to learn their lesson when their house doesn’t sell. They then do a price reduction. It’s also hard for your agent to negotiate on your behalf when the seller and his or her agent (see above) won’t communicate as would an agent listing a “regular” sale.”
Foreclosures are a hassle and sometimes a gamble. You might get a great deal on a foreclosure in Maplewood, MN that you’ll love, or you might get months of headache and frustration. Or both. Knowing what you’re getting into before you start can help eliminate some of the element of surprise, but you will need to have a lot of fortitude and patience to navigate the process.