Wednesday, 7 June 2006

What to Look For When Searching for Foreclosed Homes for Sale Online

Thousands of homes go into foreclosure in the United States every single year, which means that there is currently a fairly healthy market for those who want to purchase such properties, either with a view to living in them and to sell them on for a profit at a later date.

Before you can get started on that though, you are going to need to know where to look and what you should be looking for before you commit any of your cash to a sale. Here we offer some advice on buying foreclosed homes using the internet.

Look To The Banks

Your first port of call should be the websites of larger banks. As many of them act as loan providers for the people who previously owned the home, they will also have an interest in getting the home sold again once it has been foreclosed on.

As such, many institutions, like Bank of America, maintain their own property listings that highlight homes that are currently available for purchase. This also acts as one of the more reliable places to look, as you will be getting the property straight from the people who foreclosed on it, rather than having to go through a third party to find out about it. Further properties can also be found on the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac websites.

The Stage Of Foreclosure

If you are looking for a sure thing out of your purchase then it may be wise to avoid any properties that are in the early stages of foreclosure. After all, it is entirely possible that the current owners may be able to pull themselves out of the fire and raise enough funds to keep the property.

As such, you should always check the status of any property that catches you eye, so that you can be sure that it is completely available. Few things are worse for a property buyer than setting your heart on something, only to have the purchase fall through at the last minute.

The Price

This should be an obvious point, but it is still one that bears repeating nonetheless. After all, any property that is in foreclosure is there because somebody was unable to afford the costs associated with that house.

Make sure that the price listed from the property is within your budget before you even think about putting a bid in. It may be worth avoiding the property altogether if the price reaches the upper limits of what you can afford, as any such properties will require some extra work on them after purchase. Speaking of which...

Find Out What's Wrong

Very few properties are perfect and you are well within your rights to have an inspection carried out on any foreclosed property that catches your eye. Don't simply trust the online listings that you read and keep an eye out for any suspicious language that is being used. If it seems like too many potential negatives are being spun into positives, then this is likely the case. If nothing else, such a situation will work to your advantage come time for negotiations.

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Friday, 17 February 2006

What Appliances Do I Own After a Foreclosure?

Let us say the unfortunate has happened to you and despite all of your efforts your home is in foreclosure. What are your rights as far as what you are allowed to take with you? Can you take all of the appliances? Can you take lighting fixtures or perhaps fancy sink and faucet sets you paid for yourself? We will attempt to shed some light on this topic and help you determine what you are and are not permitted to take when your home is foreclosed on.

The answers to these questions are not very cut and dried. What you are entitled to take with you largely depends upon the laws in your jurisdiction. Some things are no-brainers; such as a toilet is permanently fixed in the home, therefore you are NOT allowed to take it. With temporary improvements a homeowner makes; such as installing a chandelier or buying a fancy shower curtain, those items may be removed as long as they are replaced. But items like the majority of your appliances are normally handled under the applicable local laws as they relate to home foreclosures. If you are currently in foreclosure, it would be wise for you to consult an attorney or your local government official for some prudent advice on these matters. Otherwise you might find yourself facing legal difficulties.

A good rule of thumb to go by here is that you must lawfully determine what your personal property is and what belongs to the home. This will make all the difference in the world. Anything that is legally your personal property cannot be removed from your possession at any time; even after foreclosure. Anybody who violates this policy is breaking the law. HOWEVER; if it is a fixture on the inside or outside of the home that legally belongs to the home, you ARE NOT allowed to take with you. If you persist in doing that then YOU are the one who will be in violation of the law. So first, you need to know what the laws in your jurisdiction are. Then second, you must make a physical list of what is yours and what belongs to the home. Again; we strongly urge you to seek legal counsel on these matters before you have a problem.

It ought to be noted by any homeowners who are now facing foreclosure that the applicable laws are not as lenient as they used to be. This means that you may indeed face criminal charges if you were foreclosed upon and you proceed to remove or damage any appliances or fixtures belonging to the home. Not only should you at this point in your foreclosure hire an attorney; but you should insist he contact the agent who represents the mortgage bank. This is in order to find out what you legally can and cannot take from the premises. The rules may additionally apply to items on the outside of the home such as fences, landscaping fixtures, or even a toolshed. This might seem trivial to you but it can become a HUGE issue if it is not handled properly. It is far better to be safe than sorry.