Foreclosure is simply the legal process that happens when a borrower repeatedly fails to make his/her monthly mortgage payments. In such a situation, the lender will seek to repossess the property and sell it in order to recover the amount owed on the loan.
With the influx of foreclosed homes in recent years, foreclosure investing has become an increasingly popular real estate investment strategy. When you buy a foreclosed home, you can either rent it out or resell it for a profit. The good news is that anyone can learn how to find foreclosed properties for sale.
Today, we’ll look at 5 great ways of finding foreclosed homes for investment. But first, let’s take a quick look at why real estate investors are going after these investment properties.
Benefits of Buying Foreclosed Properties for Sale
Buying foreclosed properties has several benefits:
- Discounted price – Sellers of foreclosed homes are usually very motivated. They want to get rid of the property as fast as possible and recover their money. As a result, they are more willing to accept low offers in order to hasten the deal. Buying a foreclosed home below market value enhances your chances of generating a higher return on investment.
- Faster buying process – Since lenders want to sell foreclosed property as fast as possible, foreclosure deals usually take less time compared to the conventional way of buying an investment property. This means that you can sell the property or begin generating cash flow faster.
- Less competition – Finding foreclosed properties for sale involves more work than finding traditionally listed properties. As a result, very few real estate investors pursue such opportunities. With less competition, you have a higher chance of snagging a good deal.
- Clear title – When buying property the traditional way, the title of the home might come with liens or encumbrances from the previous owner. However, when purchasing a foreclosed property from a bank, the title is usually clean. The lender takes care of all the problems with the home’s title before the sale begins.
Now that we have seen the benefits, let us look at how to find foreclosed properties for sale. Here’s where to look for foreclosed properties:
How to Find Foreclosed Properties for Sale: 5 Best Ways
Real estate agents
One of the best ways to find foreclosed properties for sale is by consulting an experienced local real estate agent. A licensed agent will have access to the multiple listing service (MLS) where foreclosed homes are listed. In addition, they are likely to be aware of homes nearing or going through foreclosure in the neighborhood. Working with a real estate agent will, therefore, make it easier to locate foreclosed properties in your preferred area. Agents will also come in handy in the process of purchasing a foreclosed home, especially for beginner real estate investors.
Find a top-performing real estate agent in the US city of your choice now using Mashvisor’s Real Estate Agent Directory.
Technology has made it possible to attend a real estate auction virtually from the comfort of your office or home. This means that you can easily invest in out-of-state property without having to be physically present. The most popular real estate auction sites include Auction.com, Hubzu, Hudson and Marshall, Williams and Williams, Foreclosure.com, and RealtyBid.com. Once the auction is complete, the seller could take 15 days or more to approve the winning bid. If the bid is not approved, the house could be re-auctioned in an effort to get a higher bid.
Before buying bank foreclosed properties in an online auction, there are a few things you need to be aware of. First, you will be required to show that you are able to pay for the investment property, either through a reference letter from your lender or proof of cash. Secondly, you need to realize that you will be buying the property ‘as-is, where-is’ unless stated otherwise. This implies that regardless of the property’s condition, you are responsible for updates and repairs.
You should also keep in mind that the home you are buying might be occupied. Once the sale is over, you will be expected to institute eviction proceedings before taking possession of the property. Finally, buying foreclosed property through an online auction involves fees such as buyer’s premium, transfer fees, technology fee, auction service fee, earnest money, and closing costs.
Government agency websites
To find government-seized foreclosures, visit websites of government agencies that offer financing for real estate. Here are some of the government sites to check out:
- US Department of Treasury – This is the best place to find listings of homes repossessed by the IRS for failure to pay internal revenue taxes. Such homes are sold via auctions.
- HomeSteps.com – This website contains a list of foreclosed properties owned by Freddie Mac. This includes condos, multi family homes, and single family homes. Besides finding foreclosed homes for sale, property buyers can also receive loans with special benefits. For instance, you will not have to buy mortgage insurance. HomeSteps is currently available in select states including Illinois, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.
- HomePath.com – This website belongs to Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association). You will find listings of foreclosure homes for sale in any US housing market here.
Driving for dollars
Wondering how to find foreclosed properties for free? Try driving for dollars. As the name suggests, this refers to the act of driving or walking around a neighborhood looking for signs of property for sale. You might come across ‘For Sale’, ‘Bank Repo’, ‘Bank Owned’ or ‘Foreclosure’ signs indicating that a home is up for sale. You should also look for distressed homes that are poorly maintained or vacant. Some of the signs of distressed property are boarded up windows, overgrown lawns, piled up mail, and a deteriorating exterior.
Mashvisor is a great real estate investment software for finding and analyzing foreclosed homes for sale.
Let’s say you are looking for a foreclosure home in the Seattle real estate market. The first thing you need to do is type Seattle into the search engine. You will then see a map of neighborhoods in Seattle, as well as all the income properties for sale in the city. When you sign up for the Mashvisor Expert Plan, you will be able to narrow down your search further using the foreclosure filter.
With that, you will only see the foreclosed properties for sale in Seattle on the map. From there, the real estate investment search app also allows you to set more filters like square feet, year built, number of bathrooms/bedrooms, rental income, and investment property type.
Whichever method you use to find foreclosures on Mashvisor, you can access the investment calculator to analyze properties using metrics like rental income, Airbnb occupancy rate, cash on cash return, and cap rate.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced real estate investor, buying foreclosed property is a strategy worth considering. However, be sure to do your due diligence before committing yourself to a foreclosure deal.