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Drawbacks to Buy Foreclosures    
 
Excerpts from Elizabeth Weintraub

The Condition of Foreclosed Homes

Price-conscious home buyers are lured by the low prices advertised for properties in foreclosure. They hope to show up at the auction and be the lowest bidder. However, many of these homes are not available for inspection prior to purchase. Is it smart to buy a home that you cannot inspect? Could be if the price was low enough to compensate you for the amount of work that might be required to bring the condition of the home to market standards.

Before you rush forward to buy a foreclosure, stop to think about some of the drawbacks and repercussions if you can't get in the house to inspect the interior.


Who Is Living at the Property?

If the property is occupied, the successful bidder is typically responsible for removing the occupants, who may not be the previous owners.
They could be relatives or friends of the owners, renters or squatters. You might have to evict them.

  • If you are unfamiliar with eviction processes, you should hire a lawyer to handle it for you.
  • Be aware that tenants who are sued for eviction sometimes retaliate.
  • A better solution might be to pay or bribe the occupants to leave.

Non-Owner Occupied Homes

One such home in Yolo County, California, was rented to a dubious couple: a former convict recently released on parole and his partner with sketchy credit, who flinched at loud noises like a domestic abuse victim.

The seller, unaware that his deed of trust contained an "assignment of rents" -- meaning the lender had a right to collect the rent if the owner did not make his payments -- stopped paying on his piggyback loans and didn't much care who he rented to as long as they paid him. Fully intending to pocket the rents and forget about his mortgage loans, the seller listed the rental for sale. His agent made an initial attempt to gain access to the home. The ex-con, a neo-Nazi with a shaved head, massive tattoos and holding back a barking pit bull, peeked through the door and then slammed it in the agent's face.

Soon as the For Sale sign was planted in the lawn, the tenants stopped paying rent. Neither the lender nor the seller could collect any money from the tenants. The agent could not show the property. This was an ugly situation. The lender filed for foreclosure and vowed to file a deficiency judgment against the seller, which lenders can do in California if the loans were not purchase money.


Condition of Foreclosed Homes

Because these homes are purchased "as is" from the lender or HUD, there is no guarantee of condition. Sometimes it is possible to inspect these homes prior to making an offer but sometimes, as in the above example of the home in California, access is not granted.

When sellers realize they are about to lose their homes through foreclosure, it's not uncommon for them to stop caring about the home.

  • If something breaks or malfunctions, they aren't going to fix it.
  • If they are angry or desperate enough, it's possible they might actually destroy the house. An effective way to flood the home is to turn on all the water faucets, plug the drains and leave. Others smash out walls, then pull out the copper pipes and wiring to sell as scrap metal.
  • Owners will also sell the appliances and kitchen cabinets.
  • Some horrible-excuse-for-human beings even leave animals behind, locked inside without food or water.

Buying foreclosures is not for the faint of heart. It's best handled by the pros and is not recommended for first-time home buyers. I don't care what seminar you attended -- if it's not giving you this information, it's not preparing you for reality.

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After reading this article, if you still want to pursue buying a foreclosure home for your dream home or for investments, please contact us TODAY! Our company with dedicated Real Estate Agents experts will work closely with you and our attorneys (in foreclosures) will bring all the answers to your questions.  With our special softwares and tools designed for foreclosures, and market risk comps, we will help you to find foreclosure properties in a short time and doing research on titles, surveys, inspections on the NOD, and NOS properties. The RE consultation with our brokers and agents are free of charge.

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