In today's real estate market, foreclosures abound. Is it time to cash in on the opportunity? As this article in the Wall Street Journal points out, finding a good foreclosure can be difficult.
Banks don't like to advertise a home as "bank owned" but do provide lists of homes for sale on their websites. Search for "REO" (real-estate owned) on lenders' sites. Other sites to check include RealtyTrac.com, BankHomesDirect.com, and Foreclosures.com, all of which are for-pay sites. You can also check the Foreclsoure Google Map (free) for listings in your area. Finding a real estate broker with experience dealing with REOs is also a good move.
If you do go ahead with buying a foreclosure, make sure to get a thorough inspection. The phrase "buyer beware" applies in spades to foreclosed properties. Also, do your homework - good foreclosure properties go quickly and it helps to have all your paperwork in order before making an offer. Tip: Don't try to bargain the price down further. Banks are already pricing the property at a steep discount already.
It's a potentially treacherous road but it can have a big payoff. Anyone out there pursuing this angle?