There are a lot of benefits to buying a foreclosure… but there are a lot of misconceptions too. If you’re looking into purchasing a foreclosure property based purely on the fact that it may be a “discount” or the bank’s just trying to give it away, you should probably give it some more thought. The bank has already taken a pretty big loss, the homeowners stopped making their payments, and they had to incur legal expenses with the foreclosing of the property. They are most likely now paying the water bill, the electrical bill, the gas bill, and maybe even paying someone to mow the grass. So with whatever loss they’ve taken, they're going to want to recoup their losses as much as they can.
So, is the price always reasonable? No it’s not, however most of the time they won’t be unrealistic with their asking price. They will have the property appraised and they’re going to (hopefully) list it at a reasonable price. But they’re not going to give the property away, and they’re certainly not selling it for pennies on the dollar. Yes… they do want to get these properties off their hands, but they won’t be selling them at the expense of losing an additional 20, 30, 50 thousand dollars. If the property is in good condition, there’s no reason for them to discount it. If the house is a nice house that any buyer would love to have, they’re going to sell it at fair market value - or pretty close to it. If the house has been vandalized or needs extensive repairs, they’ll take that into account when they set their asking price… but the price isn’t just pulled out of thin air, they have the property appraised prior to putting it on the market.
If you are interested in purchasing a foreclosure property be sure to recognize the risks along with the pros. You may be able to purchase the property below market value, although you should know that this may result in you being stuck with the previous owners repairs/maintenance or lack thereof. Plus if any work was done without the necessary permits you may have to pay to get it redone. However if you are a property flipper there is a potential for an investment gain when buying a foreclosed home. The property is usually vacant so possession can be within 30 days, but you may find that there is no electricity or other utilities unless the bank continues to pay for them and/or the home is in a state of poor cleanliness as the previous owners probably didn’t tidy up before vacating the property.
Some other things to consider: • Vandalism isn’t uncommon in foreclosures; thieves will break in and steal anything… even the wiring, so look out for that • Budget properly • Ask if there are any disclosures that the seller needs to make - or any hidden issues • Bring in an expert to do an inspection - but you need to see the house yourself as well • The longer a homes has been empty, the more repairs it’ll require • Find out if the home has been winterized - and ask to see the paperwork
All of this isn’t to say you shouldn’t look into foreclosures, if you are interested in viewing any foreclosure listings or you maybe just have some questions about foreclosures in the Battlefords area, send us a email, leave us a message on Facebook or just give us a call, and we’ll get back to you right away.
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