Question Details

Kelly, Home Buyer in sarasota area

I want to buy a house at a courthouse auction, how do I know what condition it is in? The previous owners

Asked by Kelly, sarasota area Mon Feb 4, 2008

could be fery upset at losing their home.

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Answers

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USE EXTREME CAUTION. But it never hurts to ask if you can see the property. Not everybody who is in a foreclosure situation is crazy or violent, but the sane and rational ones are harder to find. Send a letter, several times, asking for an opportunity to talk with the owner and inspect the property. Always drive by the place at various times of the day. Try to get an idea about who and how many, including dogs, live in the house. Try to determine if the owner lives in the house or if it is rented. Check out the cars the occupants drive and how well they take care of cars, yards, pets and kids.

If you can get in the house and it is in decent enough shape, proceed with the rest of your due diligence. Find out if the owners are willing to sell. If the owners are not involved (vanished) contact the lender about buying the property if they take it back at auction or the note and the right to foreclose before the auction.

Investing in foreclosure auctions is not a part time or even one-time endeavor. It is financially risky and you had better have an attorney that is familiar with the process and terms. Understand how the deed will be conveyed to you and what your rights and remedies will be after the sale has completed. To sum it up, in most states, NONE, its done, you own it, enjoy. If there are tenants in the home, they become your problem. If it is structurally deficient and uninhabitable, your problem, if it was a meth lab, your problem.

Please be careful.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2008
Yes, be very careful. Most auctions DO NOT allow you to inspect the property. You have to buy AS IS. Sometimes you have to evict the previous owners, meaning you have to pay the sherrif and get an eviction notice from the court. Sometimes the property is delivered empty.

The bottom line is you could get a great bargain or it could be a financial disaster. There have been times when the previous owners have totally trashed the interior of the house, even ripping out pipes and demolishing walls. So be careful.

I think buying an auction home might be better for as investment property rather than as your primary residence.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 4, 2008
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