These days the words “bank owned homes” or “foreclosure property” has become practically synonymous with a single word: “opportunity.” With prices and mortgage rates this low, first time home buyers, investors and seasoned property owners alike are looking at a raft of buying options unlike any Columbus, GA has seen in a very long time.
That option of buying a bank owned home has certainly opened a viable route for those looking to own a home at the fraction of what it cost just a few years ago. But not without a price: the best Columbus, GA foreclosure bargains are almost certain to fall into the ‘fixer-upper’ category.
A word of caution and advice: sometimes what is a perceived “deal” is not in reality a “deal” at all but just extra money, extra work, and extra time. If the amount you need to spend on a home to bring it up to the standard of the homes in the neighborhood plus the original purchase price puts the property at the same price of other homes for sale in the neighbor than it is not a deal! Example – if current homes for sale homes not in need of repair in the neighbor are $200,000 and you buy a foreclosure for $180,000 and it needs $20,000 worth of repairs it is not a deal! You would be better served buying a house in the neighborhood that is not in need of those repairs unless you plan on doing some customization anyway.
When considering the purchase of one of our Columbus, GA foreclosures, I've found that most successful buyers have a few qualities in common:
- patience – they wait until they’ve found a house that suits all their needs
- prudence – they resist the temptation to take out too big of a loan
- realism – they know how much hard work and money they will be willing to put into the house before they purchase property.
Finding the right fixer-upper should be approached as a process: in other words, never buy the first home you see until after you've checked out some of its competition. Check out other foreclosures in the area along with homes offered at fair market value. When you do find the right home, make sure to take out a loan that makes sense. Often people who are in a hurry to buy a house are tempted to take out a loan without giving enough consideration to its immediate and long-term implications. Being coolly realistic as you work out the numbers will pay off for a long time.
Once a bank owned home is officially yours, the hard work begins. Buying a home in need of repair has always been the surest way to find a deal, but it is also the way to improve or develop home maintenance skills, bond with family members, and keep a tight rein on the family budget. Here, too, you need to be careful not to get carried away– you don’t want to overbuild or overdevelop beyond what is appropriate for the neighborhood setting. In other words, keep your end goals in mind. My advice to clients varies depending on their individual needs: Is it an income property? Or the family home for the next 15 years?
To search all listed properties for sale in the Columbus, GA MLS click Property Search.
For why you should use a Realtor like Carey Scott click Why Should I use a Realtor?
Now on the flip side, buying a home in need of repair is a way to find a deal but it is also a way to waste time and lose a huge chunk of money. Make sure to get necessary inspections done. A home inspection is a good start but depending on the property and repairs needed you may want other specialized contractors and repairmen to inspect the property and give any needed estimated cost of repairs. Spending a couple of hundred dollars on the front end with inspections and estimates BEFORE you buy a foreclosure can save you tens of thousands of dollars and gives you a heads up on what you will be getting yourself into.
Foreclosures are definitely part of the Columbus, GA market, so this summer’s buying market is opportune. If you’re considering buying a foreclosure in Columbus, GA, call me today at 706-442-1084 or contact me by clicking here to go over your options and to put a plan into action!
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