Foreclosure in 01085>Question Details

Carol Snow, Home Buyer in 01085

When you are looking for a fixer-upper is it wise to look for foreclosed properties and must you go through realty trac I live out of the area.?

Asked by Carol Snow, 01085 Mon Oct 4, 2010

I don't want to subscribe to a service I am only interested in westfield and will employ a relative with carpentry skills I am hoping to add value and sell it on or rent it out to supplement my pension so I can't afford to lose my shirt over this

Help the community by answering this question:


Celia Szieber’s answer
Let me start with congratulations! As a real estate professional and investor, I understand this is an exciting and serious time. You are on the right track by trying to find an experienced specialist in the area, you want to make sure that they have an excellent background with investments. Do not rule out a property if it is not a foreclosure or short sale, sometimes you can get a better deal by negoiating with the owner or estate vs. banks/lenders.
If you would like I can provide you with an expert in Westfield, our company provides a service through Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. This is complimentry service that specializes in this type of real estate transaction.
Here are some factors that you may want to research before purchasing:
-Find out the top selling neighborhoods/sections by comparing percentages of recently closed properties to homes on the market
-Compare the Days on Market(DOM) for each area as well
-Start with a small home or an Adult Community property to help reduce cost and to ensure a quicker sale.
-Make a spreadsheet before you make an offer (remember you may come across some surprises, so round up and make sure you leave yourself a nice safety net)
-When making your offer, plan on selling the property for lower end of the average. Stay firm, have a set number that you will pay for that property, don't over extend (Don't worry to move on the next property, you will be better off)
-Find out if the property has any underground oil tanks or leaks, do the research in the beginning stages of the deal(I have seen contamination cleanup take up to a year to finish)
-When making improvements to the property, keep it simple and neutral. Do your own landscaping to spruce up the curb appeal, sometimes siding just needs a good powerwashing, replace older windows(most likely you will see this return), replace the roof if needed or find a home with a newer roof as well as central air, refinish or repair old hardwood floors(they come out great), resurface cabinets and replace countertops and hardware, regrout tile in bathroom if it is in good shape, replace old ceiling fans and old fixtures, replace old doors and paint dark panel a cream or off white color(this makes a big difference).
-Be innovative and get the home on the market or sale or rent as quickly as you can. Ask your friends and family to help and have them give you referrals for services.
Please feel free to email or call me with any questions or if you are interested in the complimentry service.
Best wishes,
Celia Szieber
Crossroads Realty-Executive Office
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 4, 2010
I agree with Scott and Kevin. Realty Trac's information is outdated and oftentimes inaccurate. Find a experienced realtor (through trulia, of course) and they will assist you with finding a foreclosed fixer-upper that will fit your needs and price range. They will also be able to run the sold comps so you'll know how much value the property will have once it has been repaired.

Best of luck to you!
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 4, 2010
Realty trac is terrible. I can speak from experience with the company. Most of what they have is outdated, and many times you find out a property you are inquiring about has already sold. It is much better to just use a local realtor, or go through the free websites showing foreclosures and/or HUD homes. You don't need to subscribe or pay for any of these things.

Good luck to you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 4, 2010
Hi Carol. Forget RealtyTrac. Don't waste your time or money. You have 3 great agents below to choose from and they are in your immediate area. See which one you feel most comfortable with and hire that person to find you foreclosures, short sales or bank-owned properties.

This is what Trulia's all about.


Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
p.s. 4 great agents but one is in California!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 4, 2010
Carol, I would also suggest using a Realtor to evaluate all the properties in your price range which could be flipped or rented. You should probably settle on which works out best with the capital and time effort you want to put into the project vs. the return.
Rental (two years) if you are going to manage yourself or use property mgmt.
Flipping the capital outlay, time frame to complete the project (few months), tax implecations, etc. Which sounds more aggreable to the rest of your lifestyle.
If you purchase the home as a non owner occupant than higher down payment and costs are a factor.
Your last comment about losing your shirt indicates maybe your tolerance for risk might be better suited to examining all types of investments which could supplement your pension. Look hard at as many options as you can think of.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 4, 2010
I can get you started on a list of all fixer uppers in your price range. When you are ready to view and place an offer we can go from there. Try our website it is a great user friendly site where you can search yourself.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 4, 2010
Dear Carol,

There is no reason not to look at foreclosed properties when looking for a bargain or a "fixer-upper". But if you ONLY look at foreclosed properties you'll likely be in for a lot of "looking". The biggest problem with the so called "fixer-upper" is that often the repairs that could be needed can be extensive. So much so that they are not eligible for traditional FHA financing. This of course does not apply to ALL foreclosed properties but also be aware that for the foreclosed properties in the best condition there will likely be stiff competition from other buyers so don't make the mistake of thinking that the bank that owns the property is in a quick hurry to unload it at a significantly lower than market value price. I've had more clients lose a bid on a great foreclosed property because they thought they could steal it from the bank at much less than what the bank was asking, only to find that they not only under bid too much, when in fact they should have over bid the asking price.

With regards to Realty Trac, No that's not the only place to look for foreclosed properties. Most foreclosed properties can be found through contact with a local Realtor. If you've not already spoken with a local Real Estate Professional, ask your friends and/or neighbors to recommend a Realtor that they've had a good experience with and then contact that Realtor to help you in your search.

I hope this information is helpful!

Have a great day!

Kind regards,

Julianne Krutka
Park Square Realty in Westfield MA 01085
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 4, 2010
Hi Carol,

Your best bet is to talk to a real estate agent or two who know the real estate market in Westfield. Tell them what your goals are and that agent can notify you of any good prospects. Many agents subscribe to Realty Trac so you can benefit by that as well.

While you could get a great deal on a foreclosure, I would discourage you from focusing on foreclosures only! Look at "Estate" properties or homes that have just been "let go". You can often negotiate on these types of properties!

Good luck!

Judy Boyle
RE/MAX Signature Properties
Marlborough, MA
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 4, 2010
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2016 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer