NE TEXAS Real Estate News

Why you should, or shouldn't, buy a foreclosure

Home buyers may be able to get deals on foreclosures, which are often discounted in price, but buying foreclosures can be risky. It's essential to understand the pros and cons of buying a foreclosure before making a purchase.

First of all, there are several types of properties that are generally known as "foreclosures." A "pre-foreclosure" is a home which is in danger of falling into foreclosure, but is still owned by the homeowner. A "foreclosure" is a property that will be sold or repossessed by a creditor or a lender to recover the amount owed on it.

While pre-foreclosures are available for purchase from a homeowner, foreclosures can be bought at auction or as "bank-owned properties" (also known as "real-estate owned" properties) from a lender.

Pros of buying a foreclosure

You may be able to purchase a home at a lower-than-market-value price. If the home is in pre-foreclosure, the homeowner is looking to sell the home to avoid going into foreclosure. These homeowners are usually in a hurry to sell, putting buyers at an advantage.

Banks are also often willing to offer foreclosures at a discount -- the longer they hold these properties, the more it costs them in terms of taxes, maintenance, etc.

Foreclosures can be found at all sorts of price points (starter homes, luxury homes, etc.) and sometimes are only in need of minor repair or upgrades.

With some sweat equity, repairs and upgrades, a homeowner can turn a foreclosure into a home and see some appreciation in the property's value.

Cons

Since foreclosures are often offered at significant discounts, you may face steep competition and bidding from other buyers.

Foreclosures aren't always offered at a large discount. Homeowners in the pre-foreclosure stage may price a home higher than it is worth in the hopes of paying off a mortgage, taxes, etc. Banks are looking to recoup at least what's owned on the house, so they may only offer a slight discount.

If you are buying a foreclosed home at an auction, you may have to pay cash (the same day!) and may not be able to inspect the home before purchase.

Some lenders don't offer loans for distressed properties.

Foreclosures may need serious and costly repair. The previous owner might not have been able to afford fixes for the property and may have allowed it to fall into disrepair.

Foreclosures are often vandalized and looted; it's not uncommon to find major appliances missing, holes kicked in the walls and other vandalism.

Foreclosures tend to sit vacant for periods of time, which causes major maintenance issues. If a home is not maintained, its pipes could freeze, vermin and bugs could settle in and mold could grow.

You need to do your research -- a foreclosure can have liens attached to it. You may find yourself having to pay costly old debts associated with the property.

Foreclosures often are sold as is and banks often aren't interested in making or footing the bill for repairs.

At times, foreclosure buyers have to start eviction proceedings and pay legal fees to get the previous tenants/owners out of the home.

Purchasing a home from a lender can be a lengthy and time-consuming process that's full of red tape.

Posted by NE TEXAS REALTY GROUP on June 13th, 2016 3:08 PM

4 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Foreclosure


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Foreclosures can offer big bargains, but buyers need to be careful that they don’t get over their heads in purchasing a home that may need more repairs than they bargained for.

Foreclosures are usually sold as-is, and homes that are left vacant standing too long can have a lot of maintenance problems. 

Real estate experts suggest buyers consider the following questions:

1. How long has the home been vacant? Be cautious of a foreclosed home that has stood vacant for more than a few weeks or had its utilities shut off a long time. Marvin Goldstein, a home inspector for many foreclosed properties, says a home can deteriorate quickly when heating, cooling, electricity, and running water have been turned off for awhile. 

2. How old is the home? Goldstein says that homes that are more than 50 years old may have a failing plumbing system or inadequate electrical wiring. 

3. How does the home look? Are there broken windows, gutters hanging down, or damaged siding? “Trust your instincts. If the house looks bad from the outside, it's probably worse than you think,” Goldstein told The Oklahoman. 

4. Is there anything missing? Sometimes former owners remove anything of value from the home, such as built-in light fixtures, bathroom tile, water heaters, air-conditioning units, and hardwoods, says Bill Jacques, president-elect of the American Society of Home Inspectors. 

Housing experts encourage buyers to get a home inspector to look at the property, even if it is sold as-is, so that home buyers know any repairs needed and cost estimates before they purchase the home.

“Buying a bank-owned home gives you the opportunity to enter the market at a very low price level,” says Dorcas Helfant, a past president of the National Association of REALTORS®. “You can find terrific values among foreclosures, especially if they're not in too bad shape. But, remember, these houses are discounted for a reason.”

Posted by NE TEXAS REALTY GROUP on April 14th, 2016 4:46 PM

Things to Know When Buying a Foreclosed Property

                       

                          

If you're pursuing purchasing a foreclosed property, there is a lot you should know if you have never done it before. Yes, there are tons of great deals to be had in the market these days, but there are different stages of foreclosure and the more you know, the more you can protect yourself.

 

Pre-foreclosure.

This is when the homeowner still owns the property and knows there is potential for foreclosure. They're likely not current on their payments and are in danger of destroying their credit and losing any equity they have. Buying at this stage is tough - the sellers may be on a deadline and things have to happen quickly. The sellers will be extremely motivated and may work out a short sale if the bank allows and they can find a buyer fast enough.

 

The second option is to buy at auction.

This should be approached with caution - there is a lot of risk such as liens on the title and unknown repairs. Also, cash is typically required on hand at this stage if you beat the bank's bid and win the auction.

 

The last chance to get these great deals is post-foreclosure.

At this point, the home is known as REO - real estate owned property by a bank or lender. The bank won at the auction and is now selling the home to recoup as much money as possible - at least what is owed on the property. The bank will likely hire a local real estate agent to put it on the market. The longer the home is on the market, the more willing the bank is to work with you on selling price. Keep in mind, banks do not enjoy the business of owning real estate – they want to get rid of it as quickly as possible.

 

A few things to keep in mind when purchasing a foreclosed property:

Get a full approval from a mortgage lender who has verified your income and assets. This will give you more negotiating power.

Pick a zip code you are interested and do research on what homes are selling for and the recent trends with property values in that area.

Get an inspection done and make your offer contingent on satisfactory result from the inspection.

Determine potential repairs and their costs.

Remember you have the upper hand in negotiations with regards to the bank paying closing costs and making repairs.

To find foreclosures, you'll want to work with an experienced real estate agent who has access to local multiple listing services and can pinpoint the potential deals for you. Be cautious and patient in the process of buying a foreclosure. If done right, you will find a great home in which you may have some instant equity.


Posted by NE TEXAS REALTY GROUP on March 1st, 2016 4:29 PM

                Buying HUD Homes

 

                     

HUD Home Store is the listing site for HUD real estate owned (REO) single-family properties. This site provides the public, brokers, potential owner-occupants, state and local governments and nonprofit organizations a centralized location to search the inventory of HUD properties for sale. In addition, registered real estate brokers and other organizations can place bids on behalf of their clients to purchase a HUD property. HUD Home Store also includes many informative user-friendly features providing advice and guidance for consumers on the home buying process. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are available online for:

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General Public

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Real Estate Agents

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Members of the Mortgage Industry

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Nonprofit Organizations and Government Entities

What is a HUD Home?

A HUD home is a 1-to-4 unit residential property acquired by HUD as a result of a foreclosure action on an FHA-insured mortgage. HUD becomes the property owner and offers it for sale to recover the loss on the foreclosure claim.

The following information is provided as an introduction to the process through which HUD homes can be purchased. You can either scroll down the page, or access specific topics through the following topic menu. Additional links provided in the menu to the right provide access to FHA program and policy information for homeowners, homebuyers, and members of the mortgage lending and real estate industry.

TOPICS

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Buying a HUD Home

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Home Inspections

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Financing

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FHA Special Discount Sales Programs

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Available HUD Properties

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Additional Information

Who Can Buy a HUD Home?

Anyone who has the required cash or can qualify for a loan (subject to certain restrictions) may buy a HUD Home.  HUD Homes are initially offered to owner-occupant purchasers (people who are buying the home as their primary residence). Following the priority period for owner occupants, unsold properties are available to all buyers, including investors.

Should I Get a Home Inspection?

HUD does not warrant the condition of its properties and will not pay for the correction of defects or repairs. Since the new owner will be responsible for making needed repairs, HUD strongly urges every potential homebuyer to get an inspection from a licensed  professional home inspector prior to submitting an offer to purchase.

If you are interested in acquiring a HUD Home that is in need of repair, you may be interested in applying for an  FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation Loan. When a homebuyer wants to purchase a house in need of repair or modernization, the homebuyer usually has to obtain financing first to purchase the dwelling; additional financing to do the rehabilitation construction; and a permanent mortgage when the work is completed to pay off the interim loans with a permanent mortgage. Often the interim financing (the acquisition and construction loans) involves relatively high interest rates and short amortization periods. FHA's 203(k) Rehabilitation Loan is designed to address this situation. The borrower can get just one mortgage loan, at a long-term fixed (or adjustable) rate, to finance both the acquisition and the rehabilitation of the property.  

What About Financing?

HUD does not provide direct financing to buyers of HUD Homes. Buyers must obtain financing through either their own cash reserves or a mortgage lender. If you have the necessary available cash or can qualify for a loan (subject to certain restrictions) you may buy a HUD Home. While HUD does not provide direct financing for the purchase of a HUD Home, it may be possible for you to qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage to finance the purchase.

Posted by NE TEXAS REALTY GROUP on February 23rd, 2016 5:42 PM

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