If you are the owner, then it is unlikely the bank would re-sell the house to you at the foreclosed price. If that were the case, then everyone would be doing it and banks would be closing left and right. However, again, if you are the owner, you can approach your bank and request a loan modification. This can either lower your rate (permanently or temporarily), reduce the amount you owe or allow you to defer payments for a time to help you get back on your feet. Banks don't like to foreclose, they would rather work with the owners to help them stay in the homes.
If you are a tenant and you are a disinterested party (no family, friend or business relation to the owner), then you can approach the owner, find out what he owes and offer to purchase the home for that amount. There would be closing costs involved and you would have to decide who pays them, but this is the cleanest and easiest way. The other way is to keep an eye out for signs that the bank is taking back the house. In fact, you might be among the first to know since if you're a tenant, the bank has to notify you of foreclosure proceedings. Then, approach the bank and see what you can work out for a fair price, or, wait until it gets put on the market and contact the listing agent immediately.
I have been working with people involved with both Short Sales and in the midst of foreclosure. As most of the agents have stated, you should chat with a realtor to learn your options. You should also chat with a lender to see if you are able to obtain a mortgage in accordance with you budget. Chat with a number of realtors (interview them), but find one that you trust and let them assist you in the process. It is possible to make a purchase of this type, but there is a process and a realtor will be able to help.
Regards, Joe Schwalbach firstname.lastname@example.org
The only way that I would recommend that purchase a short sale is by working with an Realtor that is Experienced with buying and selling short sale/foreclosure properties. Not every Realtor has the knowledge required to complete the process and you should ask the question.
Back to purchasing the property. Lender will ask you to sign an affidavit stating the you are not related to the Seller or have any connection with the Seller other than renting. If you are related, it won't happen as a short sale.
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It's not possible to purchase this property as a foreclosure until it has actually been foreclosed and the lender takes ownership. This could require an excessive amount of time with no assurance that you could gain ownership.
I agree with those that are suggesting going the short sale route. With suffucient time, the seller would be wise to consider this option which could put you in an early position of being able to purchase the home.
Best course is to talk to the owner and arrange a sale of the property. There are a few questions that need answered, though.
1. Does the property have a Sheriff's sale date?
2. Are you, in fact, a tenant, as assumed?
3. Have you tried to qualify for a mortgage?
The key point, though, is that you would need to get everything done prior to the bank actually forecloses.
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2. You can wait until the Bank takes possession: This will mean moving out for a while; it would not be a smooth transition, and there would be no guarantee that your Offer would be the one accepted.
Unfortunately, there is no way to short-cut this.
You may be thinking about making a ridiculous offer now, to the Bank, to avoid the foreclosure: It won't work because your Lender would not let you pay more than it is worth.
Good luck and may God bless