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Investing in Home Foreclosure Properties

May 17, 2008
Home foreclosure can be a major crisis for some unfortunate homeowners but it can be profitable for real estate investors who have maintained good credit ratings and who have some cash to work with.

The real estate arena can be extremely competitive but if you know your way around investing in foreclosed homes can be a lucrative prospect. If you're willing to work hard and do a lot of research you can make a huge profit. But before you delve into this type of business you also have to know the ropes to be able to make the best out of it.

Location, location, location:

There are many misconceptions about repossessed homes and properties. Most of us have a mental picture of an abandoned house. To others they will look like houses that are literally falling apart, covered with moss, mold, and ridden with termites. We fail to realize that these homes are foreclosed because the owner failed to make payments.

This does not just apply to residential suburban homes but also other luxurious properties. Condominiums, mansion estates, executive penthouses, studio lofts and other income producing properties are also included. Mighty fine properties can be the subject of foreclosure proceedings as their owners find that they have over reached with their expenses and debt level.

Foreclosure affects a wide range of demographics. These are not just families who got behind on their payments due to emergency. They also affect other individuals who weren't able to pay due to other circumstances such as the loss of one job in a two job household.

Take your pick but specialize:

If you have decided to invest in foreclosed properties you must have an area of specialization. You have to specialize in one type of property to determine what your good at selling. You can choose between residential or commercial properties. Both of these have subclasses that you can choose from such as free standing residential houses or condominiums. Any property that can yield income through rent can also be interesting.

The right time:

There are stages of foreclosure wherein you can choose to buy the property. During the pre-foreclosure you can buy the property from the owner after they have received a notification letter. You just have to make sure that there are no liens on the property.

During the auction stage, as the name suggests the property has been put up for auction or a trustee sale. You can pay the lender and most often get a discount price. If no one buys the property on auction, the mortgage lender will have to pay for it. This stage is called Real estate owned. During this stage the lender will still make an effort to sell the property. You can buy the property and get a discount.

Home foreclosure can be both a tragedy and a blessing. There are always two sides to consider. Dealing with money doesn't only entail proper education but also experience.

Those with some experience and who maintain good credit ratings can make a lot of money in hard times. But no doubt, you need to have superior knowledge of the local real estate market and have the extra cash on hand to invest in order to cash in on foreclosure properties.
About the Author
Gerald "Taipan" Greene is a retired forex trader and portfolio manager who worked in Asia for over 20 years. The nickname was acquired in Hong Kong and is now used for a number of financial related blogs. One of them is at Home Loan Services
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