Thursday, August 28, 2008

Four Tips for Buying A Foreclosure

Driving down every street in the St. Louis, Mo. area you see foreclosures. Because you don't have any disclosures or information from the previous owner, purchasing one greatly reduces your protection. If it says AS-IS then realize it is AS-IS.

From Consumer Reports magazine, here are four ways you can protect yourself if you’re in the market for a foreclosed home:

1. Don’t pay a fee for property listings. You can find free information on foreclosed homes in your area by checking with a local agent. Usually there will be someone who specializes in foreclosed properties at the broker’s office. This person is a great free resource.

2. Invest in a home inspection. This is always a good idea whenever you buy a house, but for a foreclosed property it is especially the case. The property may have been vandalized. Fixtures and appliances may be missing. Also, with utilities shut off it will be impossible to test for the water pressure in the shower. Try to arrange for the utilities to be turned on before you buy. The inspection will cost between $250 and $400, but it will end up saving you if there is a problem with the home’s structure or its systems.

3. Don’t assume the sale is final. In some states, a previous homeowner may have up to 180 days after the foreclosure to pay any outstanding debts and reclaim the home even if it has been bought by someone else.

4. Buy some title insurance. The title insurance will protect you against any liens that you might not know about. It will also prevent a previous owner from making a successful claim on the house after you buy it.

Purchasing a foreclosure can be a great experience. Using an experienced Agent who has a working relationship with the Bank can greatly increase your success ratio.

The H Team has handled foreclosure properties for over 5 years and will assist buyers in overcoming most hurdles associated with purchasing a foreclosure property.

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