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Scared of Foreclosures? Here's How to Cautiously and Confidently Take a Cut of the Pie

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By : Karim El Sheikh    99 or more times read
First-time buyers of foreclosed homes are often intimidated by the whole foreclosure process, especially for those that want to make sure their money will be well-spent.

Foreclosures, however, are not as scary as they first appear. Here are a couple of tips to help you build knowledge and confidence in finding the perfect home at a discount:

Do some research

Knowledge is key, and where better to learn than from experienced veterans in foreclosure deals? Searching the ‘net (like what you’re doing now) will give you lots of useful advice about home foreclosures, but it’s best if you deal directly with people that know their stuff. The best place you can observe and talk to these folks as they do their thing is in public auctions. Simply strike up a conversation and you’d be surprised at the information you can get.

Set a budget

Foreclosures, preforeclosures and short sales offer homes at great discounts, yes, but you can sometimes be blinded by the huge discount on certain homes. For example, large and luxurious REO properties or HUD homes for sale can have their prices slashed by as much as 40 to 50 percent but are still above your current financial capabilities. Set a budget, stick to it and you’ll start shopping for homes without the risk of overspending.

Inspect the neighborhood

Let’s say you’ve found a few foreclosure homes that have caught your fancy. One of the simplest and most practical ways you can assess if a particular foreclosure property will be a good buy is by scoping out the neighbors. You will want to pick out a home in a community that is clean, quiet, accessible and above all else populated by decent folk. You do not want empty and foreclosed properties all bunched up together in a single place. Not only do they pull home values down, but they are a breeding spot for crime.

Work with a home inspector

Now that you’ve narrowed down the house you’ve set your sights on, it’s time to get down to the gritty details. A home inspector will see things about a house or property that the average person won’t see, like wall integrity, electrical wiring and plumbing conditions. You may have to pay a slight fee for the inspector’s services, but it’s better than winding up with a repair bill that far outstrips any gains from the discounted price.

"Connect” with the tenants

This is perhaps the trickiest and scariest aspect of buying up foreclosures. On one hand, you want to buy a foreclosure. On the other, you have someone who is emotionally attached to a home. Take the time to explain how you can help by buying the property before an eviction notice is served and be sensitive enough to provide a little support to the other party. If the other party is adamantly refusing to leave the property despite your persuasions, then move on and find some other piece of property. This is something that you don’t want to deal with on your first foreclosure buys. is your source fo finding Sheriff Sale auctions nationwide. Search all sheriff sales by county for a great deal.

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