You can go to the County Assessor website and search by property address to see if the property taxes were paid and current.
Most of tax liens on the REO properties are cleared by the bank that owned REO. You can also search for back tax, lien and judgment on the free real estate information site such as www.searchq.com... more
I can't imagine an attorney that would help you buy an REO and not push you to obtain title insurance. In New York State, this is how we protect title, and it's not even a matter of discussion.
But no, title insurance is not required. If you can afford to lose your entire investment and would just shrug it off as one of those things, then you probably don't need title insurance.
If you have followed the news about bank foreclosures, you know that some legal action by previous owners is being contemplated against foreclosures in states that use judicial foreclosure. New York is one of those states. Title insurance would protect your investment against anyone who successfully claims to own the house you just bought. It also offers other protections, but that's beyond the scope of this question.
I also recommend getting a market value rider on your title insurance policy. This will pay you the market value of the house, not just the amount you paid at time of closing. It only costs a little more. That REO is going to need work, and that is going to cost money.
The other thing you should get is landlord's insurance, if this is being purchased as an investment, or homeowner's insurance, if you plan to live there. Landlord's insurance is a great product, I wouldn't buy an investment without also getting a policy.
Karla Harby, VP
Charles Rutenberg Realty
New York City
Paulette, There are certain homeowners that benefit from either rent to own or are willing to hold the mortgage (basically be the bank) on their homes. They are rare but they're out there. There are ways to search for those particular properties. If I can assist you, please feel free to contact me.
Certified Buyer Representative
Senior Real Estate Specialist
Century 21 Princeton Properties
Top 2% of Century 21 Agents Nationwide!... more
Any agent can help you with information, showings, etc.--If you are looking at a RealtyTrac listing--keep in mind that RealtyTrac's information is not always accurate and oftentimes misleading--you could be looking at a lis pendens property--notice of default--some of those properties may not be for sale yet, and some may never be, if the default is satisfied by the owner. If you are interested in foreclosures, work with an agent--he/she will have access to reliable information--also don't overlook traditional sales as some may turn out to be a much better bargain than some of the foreclosure properties.... more
Hi Marie, From reading the other responses, I take it that you have not signed a buyer broker agreement with this particular agent. If that's the case, you do not have any legal obligation to continuing using this agent. Now, if you feel you have moral obligation to continue to use this agent, that's a determination you'll have to make on your own. Although I would welcome an opportunity to work with you. You may want to consider meeting with the agent and telling him/her how you feel and see what they say. If the response is not to your liking and you don't think things will change, then moving on might be in your best interest. Buying a home is one of - if not the - biggest lifetime investments you will make so it's important to make the right decision. I would recommend interviewing a few agents that specialize in buyer brokerage and then hire the one that you feel is the most qualified and will do the best job for you. In simple terms, buyer brokerage is when the agent works for you rather than merely with you. If an agent is a broker's agent or seller's agent, that agent is supposed to be working with the interests of the seller and can only show you houses and take your offer. They are not supposed to give you advice on what to offer and guess at what the owner may take. Please feel free to contact me if I can assist you.
Century 21 Princeton Properties