Buying Foreclosures-It Isn’t as Scary As You Might Think

Real Estate Agent with Integrity Real Estate Group


Buyers who are considering purchasing a foreclosure property in Northern Virginia are often led to believe that the process is a complete nightmare.  In reality the process has a number of the same steps as buying any other property in the area.  The biggest difference is the bank addendums and your rights regarding inspections.

Question MarksIt is okay to have questions, lots of questions, about buying a foreclosure.  When you start the process of buying a foreclosure keep a running list of the questions you have.  Read an article in the paper and you don't know what it means, write it down.   Has a friend told you buying a foreclosure is a bad idea?  Write down why they think so.  When you meet with your agent for the first time bring the list of questions and walk through them.  Make sure you are comfortable with the answers and that the agent understands the foreclosure buying process

Just as with any home purchase one of the key pieces of the puzzle is to talk to a lender about your qualifications for a loan and your comfort level with not only the payments but your reserves for maintenance and emergencies.  Today's lending market is very different than the market 3 years ago and any reputable lender will not qualify you for a loan unless you can make the payment and have a solid credit history.

Once you have the go ahead from your lender and your questions answered from your agent then and only then should you start to look at properties.  When you have found the property you want to make an offer on, the initial contract used is the standard Virginia Contract and Regional Addendums.  Pay careful attention to the "as is" clause you are required to check as this is where you are giving up your option to a home inspection as an out in the contract.  You should still inspect the home with a professional but you don't have the option to walk away from the contract without the potential of losing your earnest money deposit.


Reading the fine printWhen your offer has been accepted by the bank you will receive a number of documents from the "owner of record" that you need to pay careful attention to.  These are the addendums which the bank uses to clearly spell out the conditions of final financing, inspections, settlement timeframe and any penalties for non-performance.  These documents can be intimidating and you should spend time reading them.  Once you sign them and the bank countersigns (they always sign last) then your contract is ratified and the adventure of homeownership is just a few more steps away.

If you are interested in exploring the option of buying a foreclosure in Northern Virginia and are not represented by a buyer's agent give me a call.  Let me know where you are in the process, your requirements and your timeframe.  I would be glad to schedule a time for us to meet and talk through foreclosure buying process.




Copyright© Cindy Jones.  All Rights Reserved. "Buying Foreclosures-It Isn't as Scary As You Might Think"

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If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and Integrity Real Estate Group a call at 703-346-2213.

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Chuck & Lucy Willman
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

Cindy- this is such good information. I'm showing the foreclosed homes with much more regularity these days. There are quite a few nice homes that (sadly) have become available at very good prices.

Sep 29, 2008 11:53 AM #1
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Chuck-I have sold a number of foreclosures this year and they have ranged in condition from "good" to "perfect."  Everyone of them the buyers could move in after cleaning the carpets or scrubbing the kitchen.  I've been in the other extreme but for buyers looking for a new home to move into there are some good deals.

Sep 30, 2008 12:13 AM #3
Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Buying foreclosures has gotten easier since this was first written.

Oct 13, 2010 02:18 PM #4
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Cindy Jones

Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
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