Any advice about purchasing foreclosed homes in Chatham Co GA would be appreciated?

Asked by Jill, Savannah, GA Thu May 8, 2008

Lots of home foreclosing in this area. Would like to know what to do -- get the financing? Go with a check? Do I need an agent (really)? Must the bank take whatever is offered? Is there an inside track? What else should I check besides the property itself and with the Tax Assessor? Any problems getting tenants out?

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6
Diane Strick…, , Savannah, GA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
Dear Jill,

Savannah, Georgia and the surrounding area known as Coastal Georgia is a great place to call home. Savannah is home to one of the largest Container Ports in the US, there are approximately 10-plus import distribution centers in the region. Savannah also has a vibrant economy with various manufacturing companies located in our region such as Gulfstream, JC Bamford, International Paper plus we have three major hospitals, Candler, St. Joseph and Memorial which are major employers for the area.

The first thing a buyer needs to do is to be pre-qualified for a loan if you are not a cash buyer. Typically banks/mortgage companies do not usually take "contingency offers" such as the buyer has to sell another home. Banks typically require a letter from a bank/mortgage company regarding your ability to purchase the property. Banks are searching for a ready and willing buyer who can close within a relatively short period of time.

If you are interested in purchasing a bank-owned, foreclosed home, I would advise an "inspection period" and based on the condition of the home I would get a home inspection, termite inspection, potentially mold inspection, structural inspection and a property/lot survey. The type of inspections required may depend on the structual status and condition of the home.

It is also important to know what flood zone the property is located in according to FEMA. If a home is located in a high-velocity zone, flood insurance could be costly, so you need to get a price quote for Flood Insurance from a licensed insurance company. They will let you know what Flood Zone the property is located and your premiums. Some homes may not be in a Flood Zone but your insurance provider may advise you to investigate the cost of insuring your home. You may also want to investigate if the neighborhood has a homeowner's association, the financial condition of the association, required HOA fees and potential "special assessments", it there are any law suits against the HOA which could be a negative for a lending instiution or a buyer.

The type of information you may require or need to gather may be based on the condition of the property, home, structure as well as other conditions.

You also need to make sure the home has electricity, water or gas turned on so you may test the HVAC, Water Heater, Dishwasher, Stove, Refridgerator, Fireplace, etc. Sometimes, banks are ready to move a home and has the electrical services to the property. At times, some bank-foreclosed home may not have air conditioners, heating systems, working sewage and water systems so you need to be cautious.

Since most of the bank-owned properties are "As-Is" you need to be sure to have the property inspected by licensed inspectors, engineers, specialists. In certain cases, you may wish to have a licensed appraiser appraise the property or have a licensed realtor perform a comparable marketing analysis for you for the home.

With the various concerns that an inexperienced buyer or invester may have when trying to purchase a bank-owned and/or foreclosed property, it is advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced licensed real estate agent. Most of the bank-owned properties are "Buyer Beware" properties for typically there are no home warranties or guarantees of what expenses you may have in the future.

Sometimes, a foreclosed property may need so many repairs that it may be less expensive to purchase an home on the market or potentially a new home.

Bank foreclosed properties can be a good investment or they could be a bad investment. If you need assistance with previewing bank-owned, foreclosed properties in Savannah, Richmond Hill, Pooler, Rincon, Guyton, Hinesville or Tybee Island (Georgia), please contact me for assistance.

Kindest Regards,
Diane Strickland
REMAX Accent
Cell: (912) 429-1093
Office: (912) 756-5888 X 149
To Preview Bank Foreclosed Property Listings - Visit:
http://www.dianestrickland@remax-georgia.com

Information is subject to errors and omissions. No warranties or guarantees. Information and pricing subject to change without notice.
1 vote
Jenny Ruther…, Agent, Tybee Island, GA
Tue Aug 20, 2013
Hi Jill! I see that you asked this question back in 2008. Luckily in todays market there are very few foreclosures coming on the market here in Savannah. You can offer whatever you like on a foreclosure, however, the bank will have a bottom line they are looking to net. If they market it low enough, they will start a bidding war though!
0 votes
Mr. Ed Yanne…, Agent, Savannah, GA
Wed May 22, 2013
Hi Jill!

To many question to answer via email. We have a list i can send you of ALL the foreclosure in Chatham county i can send you! My wife and i have bought and flipped 25 or 30 distressed proeprties in Chatham County and know we can help you! See our bio/story on our website http://www.myhomesavannah.com. 912-844-9000 or email edyannett@kw.com THANK YOU!
0 votes
Diane Strick…, , Savannah, GA
Fri Jun 15, 2012
Dear Jill,

Savannah, Georgia and the surrounding area known as Coastal Georgia is a great place to call home. Savannah is home to one of the largest Container Ports in the US, there are approximately 10-plus import distribution centers in the region. Savannah also has a vibrant economy with various manufacturing companies located in our region such as Gulfstream, JC Bamford, International Paper plus we have three major hospitals, Candler, St. Joseph and Memorial which are major employers for the area.

The first thing a buyer needs to do is to be pre-qualified for a loan if you are not a cash buyer. Typically banks/mortgage companies do not usually take "contingency offers" such as the buyer has to sell another home. Banks typically require a letter from a bank/mortgage company regarding your ability to purchase the property. Banks are searching for a ready and willing buyer who can close within a relatively short period of time.

If you are interested in purchasing a bank-owned, foreclosed home, I would advise an "inspection period" and based on the condition of the home I would get a home inspection, termite inspection, potentially mold inspection, structural inspection and a property/lot survey. The type of inspections required may depend on the structual status and condition of the home.

It is also important to know what flood zone the property is located in according to FEMA. If a home is located in a high-velocity zone, flood insurance could be costly, so you need to get a price quote for Flood Insurance from a licensed insurance company. They will let you know what Flood Zone the property is located and your premiums. Some homes may not be in a Flood Zone but your insurance provider may advise you to investigate the cost of insuring your home. You may also want to investigate if the neighborhood has a homeowner's association, the financial condition of the association, required HOA fees and potential "special assessments", it there are any law suits against the HOA which could be a negative for a lending instiution or a buyer.

The type of information you may require or need to gather may be based on the condition of the property, home, structure as well as other conditions.

You also need to make sure the home has electricity, water or gas turned on so you may test the HVAC, Water Heater, Dishwasher, Stove, Refridgerator, Fireplace, etc. Sometimes, banks are ready to move a home and has the electrical services to the property. At times, some bank-foreclosed home may not have air conditioners, heating systems, working sewage and water systems so you need to be cautious.

Since most of the bank-owned properties are "As-Is" you need to be sure to have the property inspected by licensed inspectors, engineers, specialists. In certain cases, you may wish to have a licensed appraiser appraise the property or have a licensed realtor perform a comparable marketing analysis for you for the home.

With the various concerns that an inexperienced buyer or invester may have when trying to purchase a bank-owned and/or foreclosed property, it is advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced licensed real estate agent. Most of the bank-owned properties are "Buyer Beware" properties for typically there are no home warranties or guarantees of what expenses you may have in the future.

Sometimes, a foreclosed property may need so many repairs that it may be less expensive to purchase an home on the market or potentially a new home.

Bank foreclosed properties can be a good investment or they could be a bad investment. If you need assistance with previewing bank-owned, foreclosed properties in Savannah, Richmond Hill, Pooler, Rincon, Guyton, Hinesville or Tybee Island (Georgia), please contact me for assistance.

Kindest Regards,
Diane Strickland
REMAX Accent
Cell: (912) 429-1093
Office: (912) 756-5888 X 149
To Preview Bank Foreclosed Property Listings - Visit:
http://www.dianestrickland@remax-georgia.com

Information is subject to errors and omissions. No warranties or guarantees. Information and pricing subject to change without notice.
0 votes
Holly Henke, , Savannah, GA
Fri May 9, 2008
Hi Jill,

As a Realtor who works with repeat investors, I have only a few additions to Marian's excellent answer -- regarding your questions, and from the point of view of someone who works with the many LISTED foreclosures:
The bank (or other foreclosure institution) does not have to take the offer. And iin fact, depending on the property and area, there is sometimes a "bidding war" on the house. "Cash" (meaning no financing needed) sometimes holds more weight with the company holding the mortgage - they want to get rid of the property quickly (for as much as they can), and don't want to take the chance that someone's financing might fall through. One of the many reasons to use a Realtor (remember, you're not paying your buyer's agent) is because every institution has different rules and it helps to have someone who knows how to "navigate".
Of course I'd be happy to speak with you about this!
Holly

Holly A. Henke
Realtor
Keller Williams Realty
912-247-1124
Web Reference:  http://www.hollyhenke.com
0 votes
Marian Mercer, , 31312
Fri May 9, 2008
Hi Jill - two words: HOME INSPECTION. When a bank forecloses on a property, they usually do not have access to the maintenance history of that home, which translates to no seller's disclosure. Without a seller's disclosure (which is a signed and acknowledged document from the seller advising any maintenance issues or repairs that had occurred during their period of homeownership), a buyer is rolling the dice as to the adequacy of the maintenance on the property. And a word of warning: If a person can't make their house payment, they probably aren't keeping the property maintenance up to par either.

Foreclosed homes come with a special warranty deed and not a general warranty deed. This may or may not affect your ability to get title insurance, it just depends on the property and it's individual history. Keep that in mind during your negotiations.

With that being said, speak to your lender and keep in mind that if you are not buying a home as a primary residence, it's considered investment property. Most banks or mortgage companies require a minimum 10% investment, but under certain circumstances (particularly if you finance with the bank that had foreclosed) they may waive that.

As an agent, YES! You need an agent - only if you are interested in a foreclosed property that has been listed through a real estate brokerage. If you are purchasing a foreclosed property on the courthouse steps, a buyer's agent will cost you and not the bank.

While it is unfortunate, typically renters who are in a property that is foreclosed on are evicted (through no fault of their own). So while it may not be hard to get renters out, beware of the damage that an angry tenant (or owner for that matter) may cause before leaving. Again, we've come full circle to the home inspection - things like cut electrical wires and cement in plumbing are becoming more and more commonplace and you need to know of these headaches prior to purchasing.

If you have any more questions, or if I can help you with anything please feel free to contact me. I have successfully sold foreclosed properties and protected the interests of my clients simultaneously. I can provide references if needed.

Thank you,

Marian Mercer, Realtor
Southern Homes and Land Real Estate
(912) 772-6683
(912) 536-8945 - cell
marian@southernhomesandland.com
0 votes
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