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Purchasing Foreclosures: the Basics

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By : Andy Asbury    99 or more times read
In this challenging economy there are many homes coming available due to foreclosures. As buyer, there may be opportunities to buy in your area as a result. You can purchase homes in foreclosure at different stages in the process. Properties can be bought before the foreclosure procedure is completed, at bank auctions, or homes that don't sell at auction as REOs. All these types of sales can be complex to complete so be sure to hire an agent who has experience with your particular type of situation.

To avoid foreclosure, sometimes a home owner will accept a buyout on their property for less money than is owed to their lender. This practice is called short selling because the owner is selling their property for an amount short of what is owed on it. Sometimes this happens to avoid foreclosure, though it can also happen in the case of fallen property values. Be aware that short sales can take longer than regular sales to close.

Other ways to buy foreclosures are to buy at a public auction or buying bank owned or REO properties. These properties are often priced for less than what is owed on them because the bank does not want to hang on to a bunch of properties. These bank owned properties cost the bank money, so it is in their best interest to clear them out as quickly as they can.

In some cases when these kinds of properties are bought, they may come with tenants who have refused to move or angry tenants who expressed their anger with property destruction when they vacated. Be aware that these are your responsibility to deal with as the buyer, if these possibilities are more than you want to deal with then foreclosures might not be the best option for you.

Do not think that buying distressed or foreclosed properties means easy money. There can be many stresses in purchasing real estate, particularly if you are not prepared for the possibilities that may occur. The best way to make your way through purchases of distressed properties is to ensure that you are as informed as possible and that you have an agent or lawyer working on your side.
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