Hi P, you are in a very narrow price band for single family homes in Bridgewater regardless of status - ie, traditional listings or foreclosed properties. I am currently working with several first time buyers in this band and so I know the inventory well. I am a certfiied Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource (SFR) and have assisted buyers with the successful close of three short sales in 2009 and so I have the knowledge to help you. In addition to the 3 I closed, I worked with another 3-4 buyers who identified short sales and foreclosures as an area of focus, and we after submitting short sale offers, we continued our search at my urging. In all of these cases, we found, negotiated and in many cases closed on our traditional deal before even hearing back from the bank!
I'll give you the same advice I give my other buyers - we can surely include short sales and foreclosures in our scope, but do not limit yourself to them. Here is the realty - foreclosure is the final state of the process, and if we do find a foreclosed property - ie, bank owned that interests you, then we may be able to get you under contract in time for the tax credit (April 30 deadline to be under contract, June 30 to close transaction to qualify) When the bank has taken the property into inventory, they want to move it quickly. Banks list foreclosed homes on the MLS, they have no reason not to utilize every channel to try to sell the home, so they are publically listed. The various services that offer foreclosure info capture information from the first state of lis pendens - which signals the beginning of the process. The home is not available then and chasing this data and these homes will just distract and slow you down. It is after exhausting all options, including the sheriff sale that the bank takes the property. Hot properties may get snapped up before they make it through the pipe but it is not likely you'll get a chance with those.
Short sales are very different and I do not recommend a short sale if you have any interest in the tax credit. I will watch these for you too, if there is a short sale that has already been preappoved by the bank, it may stand a chance of a reasonable closing timeframe.
So, bottom line, align yourself with an agent that knows the market well. I know the market, I have experience with the inventory and challenges of this entry level price band in Bridgewater and the surrounding area. Please reach out to me if you would like to work together.
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