Foreclosure in Fullerton>Question Details

Anthony, Other/Just Looking in 94571

Are foreclosure homes safe to buy?

Asked by Anthony, 94571 Sun May 4, 2008

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi there Anthony. It is safe as long as you have a professional guiding you through the process.
Home Inspections are key along with full buyers investigations. Buyers need to do their homework but for those who are willng there are great opportunities.

We have hundreds of Pre and Foreclosures in OC , along with short sales.
Please contact me if you would like more information on them
Kind Regards
Michael Barron
First Team Real Estate
(714) 552-6817
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 5, 2008
As a home inspector we have seen both situations, great house at a great deal with very little cosmetic damage. I have also inspected a flreclosure where the wiring, ac units, and other major items we're missing but the price of the home also reflected that and the new owner was a person willing to put the sweat equity into it and he came out on the good side of the deal. It also depends on you and what you might be willing to fix or not fix. Either way get an inspection done, because everything major will be noted.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 17, 2009
Safe to buy?

If you are talking about the condition of the structure, they are just as safe as any other purchase as long you get the property inspected and follow the advice of the home inspector or other professional. Depending on which stage of foreclosure, you may or may not get all of the usual disclosures that you would receive from a non-distress sale. That doesn't mean that you have to forego that information, you will just have to do a lot of diligence within the timeframes of the contract. (Which you should do for any home purchase.)

If you mean safe, as in, "Can the previous owner bring money to the table at a later date and take the house back?", it depends on where in the foreclosure process they are as well. Acceptance of an offer is subject to lender approval even if the seller agrees to your offer. If you are looking at Short Sales or pre-foreclosure, the owners can bring their default current and keep the home. The lender won't approve the sale if there is a chance that they will get their money from the sale. If you purchase it at auction, that can be tricky as well. There can be a year long waiting period where the prior homeowner can bring money to table and reclaim their home. The safest is bank owned, the seller is no longer a party to the sale and the bank actually holds title. Again, this is subject to bank approval, but the bank has no emotional ties to the property.

I have a foreclosure team that deals with the purchase and sale of Foreclosures, Bank Owned (REO's), NOD's, Short Sales. If you have questions about the process or risk, give me a call at (949) 278-4807.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 5, 2008
Anthony, Have you formed an opinion since May?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 31, 2009
Hi Anthony,

Sure...that's the short answer! The pitfalls are that the lender will tell you in writing that they have no knowledge of any problems with the home, so there are no disclosures. They will include writing stating "as-is". But whether you are using a realtor or sure and do your home inspections. And please....this is not the place to save money by doing a brief, or visual, inspection. Get a licensed home inspector...I have a great one. Jack Clausen of Your realtor can recommend one too. Jack is also a certified mold inspector, so he's keenly aware of moisture issues.

You can do this on your own....but as a realtor, I of course think you should use one, like me :). If you do decide to purchase on your own, just make sure you are really reading the fine print and get advice if anything seems odd to you.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 31, 2009
Safe is a matter of perspective. Hopefully you are using a prfessional Realtor who can guide you thru the process and ease some of the stress. Since most are "as is" still do your inspections - again, hire professionals - so you know ahead of time what you are getting into. Much of the time cosmetic work is all that is needed to bring your new home back to full market value.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 30, 2009
Anthony ... You should always hire a qualified Realtor agent in your area if you want to purchase any property, including preforeclosure. This agent will guide you through the tricky process.

There are good opportunities in Southern California homes and properties that are foreclosure and distressed. Check out my yesterday's article on this at…

With our best wishes,
Harrison K. Long, Explore Group Properties, Irvine, CA.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 30, 2009
Anthony ...
You should hire a qualified Realtor agent if you want to purchase any property, including preforeclosure.

If you are asking about buying a home at the courthouse at time of trustee sale, that is very tricky and unsafe from the buyer standpoint. In California, the trustee in foreclosure will require that you pay cash or its equivalent at the auction.

Getting a good handle on condition of a home and property prior to that time of foreclosure sale is tricky. You could be buying a property where the electricity is not available, or where the plumbing must be completely overhauled, or where the roof is inadequate, or where there are people now living at the house. Getting those inspections completed to satisfaction is up to you the buyer. Don't trust anyone's information unless they are trusted sources and after you have seen and experienced it yourself.

Harrison K. Long, Explore Group Properties, Irvine, CA.

For a good home price California information search check out
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 17, 2009

Safe in what respect?

You can have the home inspected to identify possible repair issues and at closing will be given a clear title by the bank. Additionally, the purchase of Title Insurance will provide insurance coverage for any title mistakes overlooked.

From our standpoint...they are as safe as any other transaction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 17, 2009
Are foreclosure homes safe to buy?

If you are asking about pre-foreclosure where the owner has not been able to make timely payment, and where the bank has filed a notice of default, that is not a good or safe situation for the buyer.

If you are asking about bank owned REO homes after foreclosure, those are usually listed for sale on the MLS. That is an excellent situation and opportunity for the buyer.

If you are talking about proposed short sales not yet bank approved, that is not a good situation for the buyer. That property is not really for sale until the bank approves the owner's application and request that the property can be sold short ... for less than the amount of what is owned on the noted secured by the deed of trust.

Harrison K. Long, Realtor agent and broker, Coldwell Banker Previews, Irvine, CA.

For the best home and property search site check out
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 28, 2008
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 4, 2008
Absolutely but be sure to have the home inspected first. Your realtor will put you in touch with a good home inspector to check for underlying damage. Most foreclosures need plenty of work and updating. Your realtor can give you an idea of cost for repairs so you can make an informed decision about your purchase. I would be happy to help you if you are looking in the Nashville area. I have worked many foreclosures and short sales so please do not hesitate to contact me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 4, 2008
Foreclosures are a excellent way to buy a home below market and most lenders do allow home inspection contingencies It's always wise to have a home inspection completed anyway regardless if it is a foreclosure or a resale. They are also sold to the purchaser free and clear of any liens or encumberances. This is usually handled by a closing attorney and title search company.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 4, 2008
Hi Anthony:

Depends on the kind of house you are looking at and whether you bought it at auction or not.

Foreclosed house do not have disclosures on the house because banks have never lived in the house, so they are not required to do disclosures. You are required to do your own inspection and do due diligence to make sure the house you buy is what you think you bought and that the property is a good deal when all is said a done.

As most of the lender owned properties are listed with agents, it will be best for you to find a reputable Realtor to represent you and guide you through the process. They will also advise you whether a foreclosed house is of great value or not.

The dangerous part is if you try to buy a foreclosed house at auction on the court house step. You will have no idea what you are buying, whether this is being auctioned by 1st, 2nd or 3r lien holder, if there are any hidden problems, etc. The Tillie company usually will not issue title insurance for those properties. - One of the agents in my office used to look at houses at auction and he told me one of the houses auctioned off was burned down and that's what they were bidding on.

So, get good advise before proceeding.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 4, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
It seems that today's foreclosures are very different from the past. I have been selling for 15 years and remember many foreclosure homes that were in bad shape, with cabinets missing, carpeting ripped up, appliances gone, broken window, etc. Today's foreclosure are far from that...I have seen some very nice homes in great condition, in various price ranges even in higher price points. It is amazing in my market area how many nice homes are in foreclosure. As with any home I would definetely reccomend a home inspection.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 4, 2008

Absolutely, they are a great buy with the right Real Estate Agent who will look out for you every step of the way. They offer the same protections as any other real estate purchase, including your right to have the home inspected by a third party. Give me a call or send me an email for more details. I specialize in foreclosures!

Joe Homs
Realty Partners
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 4, 2008
They are as long as you don't mind putting some "sweat equity" into them. They likely will not be in perfect condition, but do buy in the best neighborhood you can afford.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 4, 2008
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