Consider engaging a real estate professional to send you listings that are on the market and fall within your parameters. Are you thinking of owning a home in Mill Valley for investment purposes? - As far as buying a home sight unseen, you are taking on a larger amount of risk. The purchase itself can be facilitated with you living in the UAE, of course. Perhaps there is someone you trust who would be willing to do some of the due diligence for you in the Bay Area?
Feel free to call me at 415-200-7202.
We've had similar issues with our clients going to RealtyTrac and expressing frustration with us about not having more information. In most cases, people in financial trouble will list their properties to avoid more serious damage to their credit and save any equity ,if any, that there is left in the property. If the total of the loan/loans exceeds the value of the property, then they attempt to do a "short sale".
If a lender takes back a property in foreclosure, that property is normally listed on the open market and in MLS once it is confirmed vacant and the title has been recorded in the foreclosing lender's name. If this property appears on MLS, I will let you know.
There are MANY reasonably priced properties in Marin that we consider GREAT values. Many are lender owned (REOs), which have already gone through the foreclosure process.
Let us know if we can be of any further assistance.
Mary Kay and Kathy
As far as these foreclosure auctions. They would be extremely risky, as the others mentioned, and even more so without seeing the property. I would not recommend it either. Keep in mind too that many of the properties that pop up on these sites are not actually for sale either, it is just an announcement that the borrower is in default. Even if an auction date is set - it may not occur and very unlikely that it will sell at the default price.
Anyway, if you are interested in a property in Mill Valley I can help you search. There are good solid deals out there for qualified buyers and this is an excellent time to invest.
If you are serious about a purchase you really only have two sources for accurate information: http://www.Realtor.com (which pulls listings directly from all Realtor MLS systems) or a Realtor's website (tied to a valid MLS.)
If you are not going to be living in the US when you buy this will be considered an investment purchase. What is your plan for returning to the US?