Finding Government Foreclosed Homes
Investing in Real Estate
Where do you find government foreclosed homes?
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development acquires properties from lenders who foreclose on mortgages insured by HUD. These properties are available for sale to both homeowner-occupants and investors.
You can only purchase HUD-owned properties through a licensed real estate broker. HUD will pay the broker’s commission up to 6 percent of the sales price.
Down payments vary depending on whether the property is eligible for FHA insurance. If not, payments range from the conventional market’s 5 to 20 percent.
Buying a foreclosure property can be risky, especially for the novice. Usually, you buy a foreclosure property “as is,” which means there is no warranty implied for the condition of the property (in other words, you can’t go back to the seller for repairs). The condition of foreclosure properties is usually not known because an inspection of the interior of the house is not possible before the sale.
In addition, there may be problems with the title, though that is something you can check out before the purchase.
Buying directly at a legal foreclosure sale is risky and dangerous. It is strictly caveat emptor (“Let the buyer beware”).
The process has many disadvantages. There is no financing; you need cash and lots of it. The title needs to be checked before the purchase or the buyer could buy a seriously deficient title. The property’s condition is not well known and an interior inspection of the property may not be possible before the sale.
In addition, only estate (probate) and foreclosure sales are exempt from some states� disclosure laws. In both cases, the law protects the seller (usually an heir or financial institution) who has recently acquired the property through adverse circumstances and may have little or no direct information about it.