Foreclosure Property Money Pits – Advice From a Certified Home Inspector

New home buyers should be extremely cautious regarding hidden property defects of a foreclosure real estate purchase. Recent national real estate data reports that the majority of real estate transactions are now part of a foreclosure process. At the same time, a significant percentage of these buyers at forgoing the recommended professional home inspection process. Buyers are skipping this prudent inspection process is some cases because they have been misinformed by the bank, and others, that the property will be only sold “as is” and no repairs will be completed. As an experience real estate inspector (involved in hundreds of foreclosure inspections), I can report that the “as is” rational to forgo a professional home inspection will not only cost the buyer thousands of dollars in purchase price and repair losses, but will also put the buyer’s family at risk from undiscovered safety and environmental hazards.

Having a foreclosure home inspected diligent professional is as important as inspecting a home where the occupant homeowner is available – maybe more so. Sellers and their representatives are required to disclose all known significant defects. But, if a foreclosure home is owned by a bank, the bank has never lived in the property, so it is not likely there will be very much information on any disclosure statements. In this situation, it is especially important to take the necessary steps to know the true condition of the property. Homes usually go into foreclosure because the owner can no longer afford the mortgage payments and has moved out. As a result, maintenance and repairs get neglected as well. In many cases the owner or tenant is angry, and actually removes or destroys major systems in the home. It is critical that buyers know the condition of the structure and all the major systems. Only a Certified Real Estate Inspector will provide that information.

The “as is” statement, has been promoted as meaning the bank will not fix any defects found. My experience is just the opposite. My inspection clients have reported that banks are often responsive for expensive and or safety hazard defects reported by a Certified inspector. Even if the bank is unwilling to negotiate over any discovered defects, the information the buyer receives from a thorough home inspection is invaluable in making an informed purchase decision. And even if there are plans to do significant remodeling, why risk discovering problems with the furnace, foundation or structure after you close escrow and begin work? Better to eliminate any big financial, environmental and safety hazard surprises by knowing up front about problems by getting a detailed home inspection. The inspection process is really the only way to find out if the foreclosure property is really a good financial deal or not.

Homebuyers, banks and or sellers should retain the services of qualified inspectors trained and experienced in home inspection. It is also critically important that the inspector be a certified member of a well-founded professional association such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors). ASHI is the largest and oldest inspection association in the country. Certified ASHI inspectors must adhere to CREIA’s Code of Ethics and follow the Standards of Practice developed and maintained by the Association. Recognized by national consumer associations, these Standards of Practice are considered the source for Home Inspector Standard of Care by both the real estate and legal communities.

3 Secrets To Gaining Profits From Property Foreclosures

Property foreclosure is a legal process, which is undertaken by the lender when the borrower stops making loan repayments. The law enables lenders to recover their money, by allowing them the right to sell the assets, which are used as collateral by the borrowers. Instead of wallowing about losing your assets, you should look for ways to gain profits from property foreclosures. Here are some tricks to help you with this:

1. Bid At A Foreclosure Auction

One way to ensure that you don’t get the short end of the stick after losing your property to foreclosure, is by participating in the auction. While you will still have to shell out money to claim the property you originally owned, you won’t have to pay as much as you initially did. But remember, no information about the property is given other than its legal description. Also, you must pay cash, and there is no contingency allowance for financing.

2. Directly Purchase An REO

REO or Real Estate Owned properties can be targeted to attain profits from foreclosed properties. Since lenders often want to remove REOs from their books as quickly as possible, they may grant buyers favorable terms of sale, such as low or no closing costs, below-market interest rates, and low down payments. Moreover, when the property needs repair work, lenders are willing to accept offers at a discount price. To find the perfect REO for yourself, you can follow up after foreclosure sales, or by contacting a real estate agent.

3. Target Distressed Owners

Another easy way to earn profits from property foreclosures is by actively seeking out a borrower whose property is being foreclosed. There are a lot of reasons why borrowers might miss out on loan payments, such as personal crisis, loss in business, and losing their jobs. You can help them salvage their credit record and some equity, while simultaneously securing a bargain for yourself and earning profits. But keep in mind that people undergoing foreclosure won’t be in the best of moods, so you will have to patiently deal with them.

In today’s turbulent real estate market, property foreclosures are becoming quite common. But don’t fret and remember, buying from a motivated seller undergoing foreclosure, from an auction, or from a lender, will surely lead to excellent results. A few smart strategies and a detailed understanding of the loan market, will help you earn profits in this industry.