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Foreclosure Property: Homes Up To 30 Percent Off
 
The key to real estate investing is acquiring property for a low price and selling or renting for profit. Foreclosures can offer this, discounting property as low as 30 percent below its fair market value. Let's look at the reasons foreclosures are so inexpensive and ways you can locate these opportunities.
 
A foreclosed house is property that's been repossessed by the lender or bank due to lack of payment. Owners of this property lose rights when they're unable to make payments. Because the lender typically wants to recuperate the loss as quickly as possible, they significantly drop the cost.
 
You can find foreclosed property through an experienced, specialized real estate agent or in real estate newspaper, Internet, magazine or newsletter listings. You can also call lenders to get real estate owned, or REO, properties lists of foreclosures. Municipal agencies like the Department of Housing and Urban Development (www.hud.gov), who sometimes host foreclosure auctions, and Fannie Mae (www.fanniemae.com) both list foreclosed homes for sale. Because the lender must file a notice of default with the county clerk, you may also search public records.
 
Legal requirements and procedures differ from state-to-state. It's wise to use a trustworthy agent because some sellers refuse to work with unrepresented buyers. Acquire financing and loan qualification ahead of time to ensure a smooth offer procedure. When you find property you're interested in, tour it and schedule a thorough, professional home inspection if the seller approves. Frequently, with tight time demands, buyers can't get a proper inspection before purchase. While foreclosed homes are often in good shape, the previous owner may not have been able to conduct routine maintenance. Finally, compare the selling price with other comparable homes in the neighborhood.
 
Foreclosed property is often hard to find and purchase simply because the deals are so great and popularity is so high. Expect the process to take some time and watch out for any red tape like outstanding lien issues. While a challenge, the payoff is golden.
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