Home Buying in Seminole>Question Details

Heidi Albach…, Home Buyer in Seminole, FL

I'm looking for an agent to assist me in finding a home under 100k... are there drawbacks to buying foreclosures?

Asked by Heidi Albach Brandt, Seminole, FL Sat Jul 23, 2011

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Heidi,

All the information the other agents have provided is great....short sales are timely, and are not a sure thing, but I have sold several this year (and in Seminole) that worked out great for the buyers and they are extremely happy with the deal and home they got. Most short sales (if vacant) are most likely going to need repairs so a home inspection is a MUST. But as another agent stated here, if it is occupied, then the home is most likely in good condition. As for foreclosures, REO, or bank owned properties - you need to budget and keep in mind the cost for repairs. Some banks (not a lot though) do the minimum to clean them up, but most have been empty for years and need attention. But I have also worked with selling bank owned properties, and the lenders goal is to sell a home in 30 days, so they are usually priced really well to get them moving. I have had several buyers also lose out on REO's b/c they are priced to move for a reason and other buyers are out there for a bargain.

I live and work in Seminole and actually helped a buyer purchase a home last week on Hetrick Dr. (Yacht Club Estates) for $86,000!!! Large corner lot, 3 bedroom/2 bath home, 1700 square feet, newer roof and air, solid block home....an unbelievable deal. So if that is something you are looking for, feel free to call or email me. Hope all this information has helped, and good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 25, 2011

Foreclosure is a process. Once it is complete the property becomes a REO (Real Estate Own aka Bank owned). Therefore Short Sales, pre- foreclosures and foreclosures are all one category, where the Seller still owns the property, but it's value is less than the mortgage(s) owed and there may be other liens also. Short Sales are still the wild west...and there is no guarantee they will close....as far as deals, the lenders are wanting closer and closer to market value...so the "great deals" are not all they are talked up to be.
There are many " Short Sales" out there that will never close because the Seller doesn't qualify. Seller's can't do a "Short Sale" just because they are upside down and they want out. There has to be a true financial hardship (i.e. death in family, divorce, loss of job, transferred to another state) and then if the Seller does qualify they have to provide all the financial data to back it up.

If you are looking at short sales make sure your agent checks with the listing agent to see that the Seller does qualify and has submitted their financials. If a Seller is not willing to do this they may just be trying to stay for as long as possible without paying their mortgage and you are wasting your time ....possibly missing your best buy.

On the other hand Bank owned properties are already owned by the bank and can usually close in the normal amount of time. This type of property along with a regular sale where the Sellter is motivated, or perhaps it is an estate sale, usually give you the best buy. Always make sure to compare the cost of repairs in all types of properties to evaluate what is the best deal.

If you think it is a great deal you can be sure others do too! If you are ready to buy, make sure you have already spoken to a lender and can have a pre-approval letter sent to your agent at a moments notice. Offers will not be considered by most, without the pre-approval being submitted with the offer.

Are you currently looking for a home or just browsing on line for now? I have a free service called “Listingbook”, which I provide for my clients. It is like a back door into the MLS, which updates daily: new listings, price changes, solds & withdrawn listings, allowing you to really be able to follow and learn the market. I set up a basic search according to your guidelines. Once you are in, you can change the parameters as you need. If this is something you would be interested in let me know & I would be glad to set up your free Listingbook Account.

If you live in the Tampa Bay area, I also have a free automated service called CITY (Curbside Info to You) available 24/7. I issue you a number you can call in on ANY Real Estate For Sale sign and it reads the MLS information to you from the street address for all ACTIVE MLS listings. If this would be helpful let me know. I just need your cell phone and an email to register it. If you want to put it on multiple phones, I can put up to three numbers on one user. Just send the numbers you want added. I will email you the number you call in on to get the information. Put it in your favorites for quick access when you are driving around. I use it all the time.

I feel an informed client makes the best decisions regarding their real estate needs. Let me know if I can be of assistance.


Pam Cohn
Broker Associate, GRI, SFR, NHS
Real Estate Consulting, Marketing & Sales
Prudential Tropical Realty
2539 Countryside Blvd #3 Clearwater, FL 33761
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 24, 2011
Like everything else, no pain , go gain, buying foreclosures sometimes is frustrating the agony of waiting and waiting and waiting, thats what the regulators is working on right now, the govt is trying to streamline the process of a short sale and would like to require the banks to act quickly . If you have time and patience and dont have a lot of cash laying around, Short Sale is a way to go, you can get a real good deal in short sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 23, 2011
Usually there are three drawbacks to Foreclosures:

1.) They take a long time
2.) The houses often need clean-up and repairs
3.) You may have to bid on 5-10 before you get one.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 23, 2011
I hqve to disagree somewhat with my colleagues. I list a lot of bank owned properties (foreclosed properties) and most have been repaired and are priced to sell quickly and close quickly. Short sales often take months to get approved and there is no guarantee the seller's lender will approve selling the house short of what is owed. If you wish to find a home that you will know once you are under contract, you will close, then bank owned is the way to go along with just normal sales. If I can help you, please call at 386-837-8106. Jane Crosby, MBA, Broker Sales Associate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 23, 2011
Dear Heidi

As Norene answered foreclosures do come with some issues. However the BEST deal out there if you have at least (120 days) is a pre-foreclosure or as we call it a Short Sale. This is a situation where the home is in foreclosure but the banks has the owner who is not paying stay in the house and maintain it so that it does not decline in quality or upkeep. These are priced just like foreclosures but in alot better condition.

You need to get on a system that searches for these every nigt so youi will be the first to know when they hit the market. Go to http://www.freepinellasrealestateinfo.com or call me and I can get you a private username and passwaord to get you started.

Good Luck
Richard Briggs
Real Estate & Mortgage Broker
727 459-7792
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 23, 2011
The main drawback to purchasing a foreclosure is the condition of the house. In most cases, the house has been stripped of all appliances and in many cases even the air conditioners. When this is the case, the purchase will have to be a cash purchase as lenders will not lend on a house in that condition.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 23, 2011
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