Tips on Buying a Foreclosed Property

Bay Area News Group "REAL ESTATE PLUS" - advertising supplement July 27, 2008

Challenging times in the U.S. real estate market means there are record numbers of foreclosed homes for sale. Some homebuyers are considering purchasing a foreclosed home because these properties are often going for what seem like bargain prices. But buyers beware, there are some tips and tricks you need to keep in mind if you are considering purchasing a foreclosed home.

Leading online real estate site assembled a panel of industry experts and asked them to come up with things every buyer should know before purchasing a foreclosed home:

  • Prioritize your needs: Make a list of "must-haves" for your new home. The foreclosed house you choose should have an overall appeal as well as most of the items on your list.
  • Talk to experts: Make an appointment with an experienced foreclosure agent. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions.
  • Be current: Look at neighborhood data with emphasis on real-time sales. Compare current and last year's home values to determine which way the market is moving.
  • Aim High: Find out the overall value of the neighborhood in which you are buying. A foreclosure may allow you entry into a better neighborhood.
  • Make inspection mandatory: Minimize hidden costs by planning a professional inspection. Don't be afraid to get a second opinion.
  • Avoid prestage details: The preforeclosure/short sale stage is typically not the most profitable. You could wait weeks or event months for an answer from the lender.
  • By at the right time: The foreclosure stage can be profitable when it goes to public auction. The best deals are often situations where the home has been on the market for 60 days or more.

According to Pete Flint, cofounder and CEO of Trulia, providing guidance from foreclosure experts combined with comprehensive information on foreclosed homes across the country can help potential homeowners take full advantage of this market while avoiding the kind of risks that might otherwise make them hesitate.

Trulia, Inc. is a residential real estate search engine and one of the fasted growing U.S. real estate sites. Trulia help approximately 5 million unique visitors per month find information on homes for sale using custom search criteria. The site also provides market trends and neighborhood data, as well as Trulia Voices, a real estate Q&A community that enables consumers and professional to exchange information about their local markets.
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