With more than 1 million U.S. homes in some phase of the foreclosure process, great deals abound. Florida has more than their fair share, that's for sure. So many buyers, mostly from out of state contact me looking for the "steal of a deal" (really one actually used that term!) 2 or 3 bedroom home (not condo) with views of the ocean - does not HAVE to be Oceanfront, for no more than $150,000.
Really? Are you kidding me? Where does this type of property exist? Surely they do not…not in Northeast Florida, not in St. Augustine. Foreclosures can be a good deal, don't get me wrong, but they are reasonably good deals. Foreclosures are not for everybody; they often are sold as-is and can be in horrible disrepair. Toilets ripped out, flooring and windows damaged, roof not maintained just to name a few.
I just read an article titled Five Things You Should Always do if You're Buying A Foreclosed House. The five things are something I've been telling all my customers...among other things:
- Foreclosed homes, often referred to REO (Real Estate Owned) properties are typically easier to purchase than a lengthy and often disappointing Short Sale.
- GET A PROFESSIONAL PROPERTY INSPECTION - I can't emphasis that enough. I'm amazed that some buyers don't get professional inspections because of the cost involved. You don't have to buy a pig in a poke, make the contract subject to the inspection, find out what is wrong with the property and make an informed decision to move forward with the purchase.
- Be preapproved for your financing before you start to look. If you are paying cash, have a statement in hand that proves the money is liquid and is enough to cover the purchase. Most offers to purchase must require proof of funds when they are submitted. Many banks will not even look at your offer without it.
- Work with an agent who knows the ropes. Distressed property sales are quite detailed and can be confusing. There are agents specifically trained to help buyers with REO's, find one.
- Do your research on the values. That 3 bedroom home with ocean views at the beach does not exist. Your agent can help you find the best value in the price range you want to pay.