As the real estate market continues to struggle, there are more foreclosures happening every month. It is a terrible time to be a home owner in financial straights. But if you are looking to save money on a home, the sea of foreclosed homes offer a whole new way to save money. Foreclosed homes are offered for sale at a fraction of their full price. Some new home buyers are able to save as much as 30 to 50 % by buying a foreclosed home. The condition of some homes vary but as long as you don’t mind a home that has been previously lived in, you can get a better deal, even if you have to put in some repair work. There are several ways that you can find a list of foreclosed homes. Whether you are looking for your dream home or just a nice fixer upper at a great price, here is where to find foreclosure listings.
Local Financial Institutions
More than likely, there are a number of local foreclosures happening in your area right now. One way to find out is to contact your local banks and loan companies. You should ask to speak to the person who handles foreclosures. Ask them how they resale their properties. If the homes do not go to auction or the bank resells the homes to individuals, then let the bank know that you are interested in their foreclosed homes. You can let them know what kind of home you are looking for and see if they will give you the location of the foreclosed property.
If the bank tells you where the property is, go take a look at it. Make arrangements with the bank to do a walk through so you can see what the inside looks like. The bank may not personally handle this, though. They may assign the home to a realtor or other agent. If you like the home, get back in tough with the bank as soon as possible. There will be others out there looking at foreclosures, too.
Online Foreclosure Listings
These foreclosure websites usually require a fee in order to use their services but most provide a free trial. Always check out the free trail offer to make sure the site includes services that you can use. They may not have homes suitable for you.
Be careful because not all of these foreclosure sites are legit. Some are actually scams or run by people with no experience in real estate. They are just there to make money from their website. If the site you are visiting doesn’t look professional enough or asks for additional fees on top of their standard fee, then do not use them.
Public Notices And Ads
Lenders who foreclose on homes are required by law to give a public notice. This can be done by publishing a notice in the local newspaper. The reason for this is to give the home owner sufficient time to be aware of the foreclosure proceedings that are being drawn up against them. These notices, called Notices of Default, are published in the Legal Section of a newspaper, the real estate section, and the classifieds section.
There are some publications that deal exclusively with financial events and circumstances. These publications can often be found on magazine racks or next to the auto traders. Like the auto traders, these foreclosure publications list all the foreclosures in your area. Some of them are published every week while others come out daily. A few of these publications even have a subscription fee so that you can get them shipped directly to your home.
Most often homes that have been foreclosed will be put up for auction. Notices of these auctions can be found at the county courthouse. You can go there and check with the County Clerk or County Recorder to find out the latest foreclosure auctions. Such notices give information such as location, date, time, and items for auction.
The problem with going to a public auction to try to buy a foreclosed home is that these events are controlled by banks and financial lenders who own the home’s title. This means that these financial institutions usually grab up the better bargains in order to resell them at a profit. Their presence will more than likely drive up the auction price. This makes it very hard to find a foreclosed home at a rock bottom price. If at all possible, when you find a foreclosed home you like, try to negotiate before it goes to auction.
Search Public Records
So before a foreclosed home goes to auction, it has to be made public. You could wait for that newspaper and read about it in the legal section. If you subscribe to a foreclosure trade publication, you could wait for it to arrive. Or, if you want to get a jump on the other buyers, you can do the same thing that you do to find out about an auction; go to the county courthouse.
There are several stages to a foreclosure proceeding and they are recorded at the County Clerk’s and County Recorder’s Office. This is the first stop where foreclosures are made public. The information is public record and is available to anyone who wants to find out about it. Plus, it is free. Most of the notices will not even be posted on the internet or available at auction yet. When you visit the courthouse, ask for the Notices of Default Notice of Sale.
Talk to Everyone
When in doubt, talk to everyone that you know who might have information about foreclosed properties. Making friends with people in the business is a good strategy. Investors, real estate agents, and bankers are all knowledgeable about the foreclosure industry. By making contact with them you are increasing your chances of finding out about the best deals.
Let everyone know what you are looking for in a home and get others to keep an eye out for you. If nothing else, hire a realtor. There are numerous real estate companies and independent realtors who specialize in foreclosure properties.
Lastly, get your friends and family to look for you. They may know someone who has an inside track on upcoming foreclosures. Plus, unlike realtors, who you have to pay, you can get your friends and family to do it for free.