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Foreclosure Properties Offer Investment Profits

May 21, 2008
In recent years the mortgage and foreclosure crisis has steadily grown. Many people are losing their houses to home foreclosure. While this is often a disaster to the homeowners, real estate investors and other people seeking real deals on home properties can benefit from the current high rate of foreclosures.

People who cannot afford a new house otherwise will be able to buy one at a greatly reduced price. Real estate investors can gain profit from these properties. There are many thousands of decent properties that go on the auction block every year. The astute real estate investor can do well but must have a good knowledge of the local market in which the foreclosure properties are located.

Buyers and investors can take advantage of pre-foreclosures to be able to get a good deal. This happens when the homeowners fail to make their payments (usually after 3 or 4 missed monthly payments). The bank or the mortgage lender repossess the property and sells it on the market to recover the amount. These properties are usually sold below current market value.

The list that matters:

To be able to purchase the best foreclosure properties research is very important. Foreclosed homes can vary from single family houses to mansions. The mortgage crisis affects a wide range of demographics. People who were initially able to afford their subdivision homes, condominiums and studio lofts ran into financial problems. Somewhere along the way they missed several payments and now face foreclosure proceedings.

These days, due to the large number of people facing financial difficulties which have lead to foreclosure actions against their houses, investors have a wider than usual selection of properties to choose from. As long they know where to look, investors and bargain seeking home buyers have a quite good chance of acquiring a potentially high profit property.

To be able to find foreclosed homes you need a foreclosure list. This list is available to the public in many places. You can find free lists in the county records office or county clerk's office. You can view these public lists without paying a fee.

If you don't have enough time to visit the county records office and to search in the public records you can go online. There are many websites that have lists. Some of these websites charge a fee if you want more details or if you want to receive updates directly in your email.

The fee may be worth it as searching on the Internet is easy and convenient and the foreclosure list service narrows the list down for you so that you can quickly find interesting properties by location.

Banks and mortgage lenders advertise foreclosed properties in the local newspaper. Other lenders provide lists for potential buyers. Foreclosure lists can be divided into bank, HUD, VA, and government foreclosure, court auction, sale by owners, and homeowner bankruptcy. These subdivisions help buyers and investors who are searching for a specific type of list.

Investing in home foreclosures can be a rewarding business but it is not risk free. You must work hard to complete a lot of research before making offers. You must know the foreclosure laws in the states that your target foreclosure properties are located in. You must have some risk capital for investment which must be large enough to cover not only your down payment but various fees and a reserve for home repairs and unexpected expenses.

However, for those who learn to operate in the foreclosed home market and make a business of it there is the potential to make lucrative profits.
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, political, and Internet business related blogs. One of them is at Home Loan Services
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