Foreclosure in Atlanta>Question Details

norris_zandr…, Home Buyer in Atlanta, GA

Planning to move to Atlanta in mid January. Husband job is relocating. I will be looking for a job. How can we find a foreclosed home to purchase.?

Asked by norris_zandra_65, Atlanta, GA Sat Nov 12, 2011

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As one other has mentioned, you want to get to know Atlanta. That does not mean you need to rent first, although that certainly is an option. More importantly, you want to consider your COMMUTE! Atlanta's reputation for traffic is only getting I always encourage my Buyers to Buy smart. Not always right by the job, because it can change. But look at your lifestyle. Do you want to be able to walk to shopping, or is it ok to get in the car for everything? Can you live in an area and have a "reverse commute" to avoid traffic. Are schools a concern for you?
You should also look for an agent that is familiar with the area you want to live. Many will say, "oh yeah, I can show you homes in xxxxx community, no problem" and they know next to nothing about the area. If you asked me to show you homes in Peachtree City, I would say no, and refer you to another agent as that is not my area of specialty. Yes, an agent needs to be familiar with foreclosures, but not all of them are trashed and need repairs. And you have to ask if you even WANT to deal with a home in that condition.

Many things to consider, and happy to help you find the right way and the right person, even if it's NOT me!
7 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Dear Norris_Zandra_65,

First, welcome to Atlanta! Atlanta's slogan is "Every day is an opening day!" And it is true. There is so much to do here that no one can participate in every offering.**

Second, you have gotten several exceptionally good answers. Starting with Larry Tollen and Thom Abbott on the real estate aspect and with Rodney Mason on the loan side - you have very sound advice.

Third, Atlanta is not one city - it is a 14 county Metro Atlanta of many cities. That's why Larry Tollen (who lives elsewhere but knows Atlanta) recommends renting for a while. That's why Thom Abbott mentions commutes and schools. Their comments are very clear and accurate.

Fourth, I'd like to offer you a gift: a free Atlanta Metro property search engine that you may customize to exactly your needs. The search is revised and up-dated every 30 minutes from the FMLS listings themselves. Click on my website and sign up easily for the search engine. If you need help with it, feel free to contact me. If I cannot answer the phone - I will call back - I return all my calls myself.

At ODAT Realty Services, Inc., we do the same thing other successful REALTORS do - if we are not the BEST option for your family, we will refer you to an agent that may better serve you. Metro Atlanta is huge - different areas are like completely different cities with widely varying characteristics. Our goal is to give each Client the best service possible - even if that means asking a respected colleague to be the point person.

Have a happy day -
Lynn B. Friedman, Broker/Owner
ODAT Realty Services, Inc. REALTORS

** --- A PR video for Atlanta! Good luck - Lynn
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Realtors see the properties first on the MLS. Find one here to work with in your area.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
You need an agent with lots of experience in this arena. The agent has to provide you with the most up to date listing info as the hottest foreclosures go VERY quickly. The agent should know how to structure a purchase and sale agreement in a multiple offer scenario(Many of the best foreclosure deals go to highest and best) to give you the best shot at winning.

They should also have a firm grasp of rehab costs and scope of work. Many distressed properties need work to be habitable, which is the banks standard for approving the loan. Rehab loans(FHA 203K etc) are excellent ways to leverage your buying dollar. Having great contractor resources is also key in helping you distinguish what is "fantasy" and "reality" in terms of budget.

What I've just described along with many other value added services is what I provide to my clients on a daily basis. I've helped buyers purchase over 10 foreclosure YTD, with attention to detail and service. I'd be happy to talk to you about the process.

Best Regards,

Frank Brockway
Brockway Real Estate Consulting
Keller Williams - In Town Atlanta
Tel: (404) 787-2253 | Fax: (404) 974-2616
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
I agree with renting until you learn where yo will be working, especially if you will be using your income to qualify for a loan. This will enable you to learn the area, find your likes and do not likes.

Second, some banks (including some big ones) do not allow the agents to advertise the homes as foreclosed or bank owned. Thus using any of the typical search sites you would not find many of the foreclosures. I recommend finding the price range you want and location and begin your search there. If you want a foreclosure drop below that price point and begin your search.

Some foreclosures, including HUD, are marketed "as is" and have had no repairs. There are finance programs that will allow you to purchase and repair all in one loan.
Properties owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Wells Fargo have been painted, carpeted, new appliances if necessary. They are move in ready. They are generally priced at 30 sales prices.

Soooooo there are lots of components and options. Welcome to Atlanta. Rand
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 11, 2011
Jonathan -

Since I was one of the lazy agents suggesting foreclosures may not be a viable option, let me expand so you better understand things. Since you claim expertise in this field, educate me please -

Where are most 203K eligible homes located?

How is Atlanta ranked in terms of distressed inventory?

How is Atlanta ranked in terms of fraud?

How is Atlanta ranked in terms of overall value retention since this slump began?

How are trends in the micro markets that you advocate?

Please share a few of the areas that you're especially fond of for foreclosure "gold". Specific neighborhoods would be nice, specific examples even better.

I'm anxiously awaiting your answers as I must be missing them in the 50-60 foreclosure appraisals I do monthly all over metro Atlanta. Oh, one last thing - let me know if you would personally buy what you're endorsing this person to buy.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 11, 2011
Dear Norris and Zandra -

Just want to add that because an agent is recommending something OTHER than a foreclosure does not mean the agent is "lazy or steering you away" --- it may mean the agent and lender has the Clients' best interests at heart. As professionals in the housing field, I believe we must think about the larger picture when answering folks. (I had commented earlier on your question.)

The Foreclosure merry-go-round may not be suitable for a family unfamiliar with Atlanta Metro area saddled with stress points for moving to a new city - stress points looking for a job --stress points for starting a job.

Now - if the spouse without a job took a year to get the foreclosure into shape - then the money saving would be as if that person had had a job.

Have a happy day -
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 11, 2011
I'm sorry that a number or lazy agents and lenders are steering you away from foreclosures. They sell at a 20 -30% discount, but they require people to work a little harder. Don't listen to them.

The best deals are the ones that are not eligible for traditional financing. Foreclosures that need a renovation loan present the best opportunity. You can see from the responses below that most lenders and Realtors steer away from foreclosure properties that need work.

Their apprehension is prevalent throughout the market which means great deals on 203k and Homepath Renovation properties.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 11, 2011
Atlanta is one of the few cities in the US that has multiple MLS services. enables you to search both simultaneously. This is a search of active listings, not a download that is days or weeks old.
Focus your search on where you think your husband will be working to reduce the commute.

Rand has been marketing foreclosed properties since 1985. His experience includes working as a regional manager of REO offices for a financial institution, real estate marketing manager for a federal agency and marketing foreclosed homes for a major bank/mortgage company.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 1, 2011
As other agents have asked why a foreclosure? In most cases, they are more time, trouble , and money than you can imagine. So imagine moving into a brand new home that is in the right place, great product and price. I encourage you to look at the Smith Douglas Website. We are a new home builder and have a wonderful community in Woodstock, Ga. If this happens to be a location that would work for you based on your husbands job...please visit us, we think you will like what we offer!

Our community is Cornerstone Estates! Come see us.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 30, 2011
First why are we looking for just a foreclosure home, some of these homes are not even a good buy and most have been abused, and they are sold as is. Instead a smart buyer would ask the local Realtor to show them the best possible deals in the area you are looking! Don't get stuck on labels, it can cost you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 30, 2011
There are a lot of foreclosures, you honestly just need to find yourself a buyer's agent that you trust and have them help you find a place. Were there any areas in particular that you were interested in?
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 23, 2011
Why are you looking spoecifically for a foreclosure? I'm a certified appraiser working only with REO homes as well as a broker, the foreclosure market is far from what most people think. If you're looking in one of the stable, desirable areas then dont' expect great discounts.

You will find a visit to my site productive - especially the foreclosure/distressed and raw foreclosure videos section.

Search for a home, worry about the seller's situation later.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 13, 2011
Hello Norris. Looks like you have had many replies and that a great thing. I have been a realtor for nearly five years. Currently I am the office team leader for our office in Hiram, Ga. I am a certified Relocation Specialist and I understand that your time is short and you have to maximize your time.

I have a little formula I use when working with a buyer. Its called FORD. Family, Occupation, Recreation and Desires. Basically what it comes down to is what is important to you. Do you want to be close to work, are schools important to you. Whatever it is I can help.

I also have a tool that you can use and its free. Its Its a great service. You can go to my website which is and at the top you will see a tab called listingbook, just click that and you can sign up. Its free, it has a wealth of information. If i can be of any assistance to you please feel free to contact me at 404.843.2500
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 13, 2011
There are many questions that need to be asked to give you the correct answer to this question.
1. Where will your husband be working?
2. Do you have any children and what ages to determine schools and their ratings.
3. Style of house that you are looking for.
4. Ranch, Two stories, Basement, Lot size.
5. Price Range.
6. Temporary residency until you qualify for the mortgage if possible.

You want to get to know the area before you purchase. Your commute is something that you must factor in to your decision on where to live. Some areas of the area are much more congested than others.

Check out my home search tool.

Steve Pate, NMLS #102488
Mortgage Banker
Crossroads Mortgage
Office Manager
Southern Bank Homes
500 Pirkle Ferry Road
Cumming, GA. 30040
Office: (770) 888-8402 Ext.111

Southern Bank Homes offers some of Atlanta’s finest foreclosed Homes. We give you the equity you deserve.

Crossroads Mortgage offers a full selection of mortgage programs including:
Conventional | FHA | FHA 203K Renovation (Streamline & Consultant) | HomePath® |
HomePath® Renovation | VA | USDA | GA Dream | Jumbo Financing
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Hello Norris_Zandra_65, I have been sellling Real Estate in all parts of Atlanta for the last 20 years and would really like to help you in your search. Can you possibly provide me with your Husbands job location, as there are many factors involved in finding your perfect home. Also do you have children and if so what ages? A good school area will be a high priority for you if you do. Because of our high volume of traffic, especially at certain times in certain areas, finding a reverse commute will make your life easier. Please contact me at your earliest convenience .
Louise Golden
Chapman Hall Realtors
Cell: 404-357-5551
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Hello and welcome with your relocation to the Atlanta Area. Foreclosures can depending on the servicer and investor can take some time but not limited. Each home is different. Are you only looking for foreclosures and you may limit yourself with your home search. Options are good in this market and if you are not working with a relocation agency that has been choosen by you husband company then I would love to speak with you about your home needs and relocation.

PalmerHouse Properties
2900 Piedmont Rd NE
Atlanta GA 30305
404-414-7893 cell
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Getting qualifed for your financing should be your very first step. If your husband will be starting with a new employer, then there will be more requirements to meet prior to a closing. Both FHA and conventional guidelines require a pay stub from the borrower's new job prior to closing. For conventional financing, Fannie Mae requires that the borrower be on the new job at least 30 days prior to the closing.

As Thom mentioned, you want to get to know the area before you purchase. Your commute is something that you must factor in to your decision on where to live. Some areas of the area are muh more congested than others.

Rodney Mason, NMLS #151088
Sr Loan Officer
Prospect Mortgage
825 Juniper St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Office: (404) 591-2453
Apply Online at
Licensed in Alabama & Georgia

Prospect Mortgage offers a full selection of mortage programs including:
Conventional | FHA | FHA 203K Renovation (Streamline & Consultant) | HomePath® |
HomePath® Renovation | VA | USDA | GA Dream | Jumbo Financing
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Hi Norris, A good place to start would be determining how much you qualify for on a mortgage loan in Atlanta, and what the payments will be etc. Check out current mortgage rates at… and compare current mortgage rates and fees from lenders and banks. Best of Luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
I work with several of the top foreclosure real estate professionals in Atlanta. Additionally, many foreclosures will require unique financing programs known as Renovation Mortgages, which I specialize in. Feel free to contact me if you need assistance. Also, my website (link below) has a blog designed to give consumers information on how Renovation Mortgages work, as well as an article showing you where you can find Government owned foreclosures such as HUD Homes and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac owned homes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
Finding a foreclosure is simple, simply contact a local Realtor and let them know what your looking for. The question you should be considering is "Why would I want to buy a Foreclosure rather than a home from a motivated Seller?" I would encourage you to read my recent Trulia blog post on buying foreclosures, I've included a link to it.

If after reading it you're still gung ho to buy a foreclosure, then I suggest when looking for a Buyer Broker to help you, look for one with the professional designation SFR which indicates they are a Short-sale and Foreclosure Resource. Be certain to ask them how many foreclosure sales they close a year and ask them to document this. Also DO NOT work with the listing agent for foreclosures, they absolutely unequivocally will be working for the lender who supplies them a steady stream of listings.

My own advice is rent for 3-6 months while you study Atlanta (a big city with many different areas) and first figure out where it is you want to live, remember “Location” is the the most important thing. Then once you've figured this out, start looking for a home.

Happy house hunting and best of luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
You can find all of the foreclosure homes by town or area on my website by going to .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 12, 2011
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