How do I find a house below market value? Something like a fixer upper.

Asked by Stephanie Ann, Magnolia, DE Sat Apr 6, 2013

I am looking for homes in upper Delaware and South Jersey. I am looking for a house that is really cheap to fix it up and live in it. How or where do I find homes like foreclosed bank owned ect.?

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54
Doe Snt Matt…, Home Buyer, Brockton, MA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
If there is a house you have in mind, check the Registry of Deeds to find out which bank holds the mortgage or owns the property. Contact that bank and see if you can work a deal for the property, such as take over the existing mortgage or work out a lower price. Ask if the bank will be willing to lend extra money for the repairs in increments as the work is being done.

Contact the mortgage loan departments in different banks in the area your are interested in and ask if they have any properties, foreclosed or otherwise, that they are willing to sell. Discuss the prices and get the addresses and go look at the property. You may find one that needs little or no repair.

The main consideration in buying a fixer-upper is how sound is the bones/structure of the house. Is the foundation, roof and siding intact? If the house is solid and in need of cosmetic repairs (fixing holes in walls, paint, cleaning, etc) then that house is a good prospect. A project house can give you a lot of experience as you research the ways to repair something. I am not an Agent, so I am not looking for a commission. I have fixed properties over the years and I am giving my honest opinion/advice. I realize the question is from 2013, but my answer may help someone else out. Happy House Hunting and Repairing.
134 votes
Unless you know a lot about home construction, or have a close friend who does, a fixer upper can end up costing you more than a house in good repair. The young couple who bought the house next to mine found a new headache every time they thought they were fixing something else. Altogether, it cost them $200,000. Just in repairs. Sewer line, roof, 50 ft steel beams to reinforce the second floor when another repair revealed that it was constructed with 2X2s! And more. Needless to say, their enjoyment of the house was affected. Banks know the pitfalls and are reluctant to lend on these properties without a fat down payment.
Flag Fri Apr 21, 2017
very helpful . thank you
Flag Fri Apr 21, 2017
I agree about the "bones of the house ," they need to be strong! I am an artist, sculptor, also restored several antiques learned from a pro! I found that I could also restore old oak flooring, cabinets, and match damaged molding just by using my art skills! I found dry rot along the bottom of our French doors and the door frame! Since it was a custom fit, I knew it would be expensive to replace... So, I used plastic wood to fill all the spaces left after removing the dry rot, I matched and smoothed it after it dried I primed, painted it.. We had our house appraisedshortly afterwards, the inspector couldn't find any dry rot in those doors! They looked like new!
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Thank you for your response. I am currently looking at foreclosed fixer upper homes her in Hyde Park, MA.
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
thanks : )
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Auction. Com
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
R.mordokh Miami Florda, he did answer the question. He stated to contact banks to see if they have any forclosures they would be willing to negotiate on.
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
wow, it may be old question but i just found out all your advices, thank you, marianela
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
you're not answering the question of how to find these fixer upper homes, which is what the question is
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Thank you for your reply!!! It definitely helped me!! I had the same question!

Thanks.

Carmen
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Thanks. Good info!
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Thank you. I don't know about her. But you sure helped me. Thank you
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
tim, Home Buyer, Tillamook, OR
Thu Apr 20, 2017
The first thing I would tell you is CASH! Most fixers that are cheap are sold to guys like me that have cash. I've been in the business of buying fixers for over 40 years. I have over 250k just in tools, and the knowledge of how to use them and this takes a lot of learning. I have seen many times a person with little skill jumps into a project, buys a house with a loan and starts the remodel process only to find they lack the skill or ability to get the job done and no idea of costs of materials. The end result is they walk away from the house and I get it cheap, I thank the world for fools for they have made me a wealthy man.
17 votes
This guy is scare of the new boys in town trying to take over the market. I saw many of them in auctions,
You don't have to be a master of remodelation to buy, fix and sell successfully! I bought and sold my first five houses last year with an excellent profit, I know the right people, foundation guys plumbers, electricians, carpenters and everything else in the middle that will work for cheap. I just take care of the math and code compliances.
I see the fear in their eyes knowing that their time has passed, our time is now....
Flag Thu Apr 27, 2017
Not just wealthy, but humble too. I've always wanted to meet someone cool enough to spend $250,000 in tools... Wealthy, humble, and... Wise???
Flag Sun Apr 23, 2017
Wooooow your Majisty/ Highness Tim ... aren't you a little too full of it?
Flag Sun Apr 23, 2017
Please e-mail me with your answer. Thank you.
Flag Sat Apr 22, 2017
As a question to a pro-fixer, my 95 yr old mother has a house she bought with dad 46+ yrs ago. Never a problem with the foundation. A city water main broke in front of her house, washed away dirt, was fixed, and a pipe broke in the wall. A break happened a couple months later in front of her house and walls fell down, and more property damage. Mom has had another pipe break in her kitchen. Worse, the garage is pulling away from the house, cracks in the brick mortar, and cracks in the garage floor and new driveway. Mud jackers say can't help, and 2 other construction repair contractors just offered to put pylons under the edge. The last (3rd one) asked for a civil, structural engineer written report. $400 to come, $800 if written. What do we need to do to help my mom? One thing we do know is putting in only pylons will leave a hole under the garage--a sink hole waiting to happen. My husband has worked construction and one of my sons in laws is doing so now. We need a good answer!
Flag Sat Apr 22, 2017
What is NEVER mentioned is doing the math. Buyers NEVER calculate the cost to purchase the property + the cost to renovate and whether they will end up with a profit or a loss. Very sad.
Flag Fri Apr 21, 2017
Tim, Can you please send me your email? I have a few more questions if you dont mind.
Flag Fri Apr 21, 2017
Amen.... I laugh at the "reality" shows where the investor needs to have walls and floors reconditioned, patched, dried, sanded, patched, dried sanded, painted coat 1, dried, painted finished, trimmed and readied all in 24 hours.... NOT. I may be exaggerating.. but am I?
Flag Fri Apr 21, 2017
Hey Tim I have access to off market wholesale deals if you're looking for more inventory!!
Ilovecharlottehomes@gmail.com
Flag Fri Apr 21, 2017
Great reply, Tim. You're right on the money.
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
It's not bragging if it is true. The takeaway is that a lot of buyers think they will automatically gain equity by buying a fixer upper and doing their own work - or even by hiring contractors. Not true, and you can dig yourself in a very deep hole. This is a first time buyer myth :). Anyone who has really done repairs or remodeling knows better.
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
People need to learn from their mistakes. Glad you've made a lot of money and are bragging. How about using yr skills, teach a younger person yr wonderful skills a d give the next generation an opportunity to buy a house.
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
modesty is not one of your strong points either
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Toni Sadiq-L…, Agent, Sewell, NJ
Sat Apr 6, 2013
Hi Stephanie,
1. Pick your area
2. Look at what has sold
3. Look for homes priced below that average.

You can use Trulia to do the above.

That said, you'll still want to use an agent to assist you. If you find a fixer $30,000 below market value but it needs $50,000 in work, you'll find it's not a great deal after all. An agent can assist you with that.

Let me know if I can help.
12 votes
So far this answer is the only one that answered the question of How do I find a fixer upper.

Also, could advice on using a broker who will know where the distressed houses are.

Definitely take into consideration the costs of fixing the houzse.
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Please be very careful when using an agent. I've been screwed so many times by agents only looking out for themselves. I now buy and sell all my properties by myself. All you need is a good home inspector and a good real estate attorney. You can go to the home inspectors association and the bar association in your state for an inspector or an attorney. Best of luck. Please stay away from agents.
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Good advice.
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Matthew J. J…, Home Buyer, Lee, MA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Hello Stephanie,
That is a tall order. First, what knowledge and understanding of home construction do you bring to the table ? Assuming you have down payment money, and reserve for repairs, you are potentially a qualified buyer.
But, if you 'miss' a key needed element of the repairs, whether it be a needed re-roof or foundation difficulties you could get in 'over your head'. If you bring skills such as carpentry, drywall installation and electrical knowledge along with painting, you have a good starting point for the adventure.
A thorough understanding of the house condition you decide to buy is important - - if the incoming electrical service needs an upgrade or the plumbing is old soil pipe and in need of replacement, you then have need for the help of a licensed plumber and electrician, which changes the cost picture rapidly. In the plumbing area, is it a septic system or city sewers?
Also, there is the potential need for a heating system replacement, or your desires to have air conditioning. Taking the previous four mentioned items into account can require a large amount of cash. And last, is the home in a location and possessing of a curb appeal that should you want or need to sell, will the investment of time and money will return ?

It can be done, I live in a house that had 23 inches of water standing in the basement when I bought it, but it took two years of day in day out work to be able to move in, and I had the help of a plumber, electrician, and a friend that installed the new septic system... and they all worked on trust for me, they carried me, they let me pay them in cash in $500 increments, but did the work first for no money. Then in the following years, I put the woodwork back up painted, and took care of honey do's. It helped greatly that I was self employed and could occasionally take time for large parts of the project. Being tired is apart of this type of home ownership. Good Luck, Matt
8 votes
Cara Castrat…, Agent, Turnersville, NJ
Sun Jun 16, 2013
Hello Stephanie. There is a lot that goes into a home search. There are also some key things you need to know before your house hunt. When you are looking at a fixer upper, you need to know what a lender would require to be "fixed" before you can obtain a mortgage. It is a lot more specific that obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy, which most people are concerned with. You don't want to find out from the lender once you have had all of your home inspection and appraisal that you can't purchase the home because of the holes in the wall, or lack of a stove that you will now have to purchase before settlement. Which may seem like no big deal until the appraisal comes in lower and the seller or bank refuses to lower the price. This is just an example of a potential hazard if you are not working with an experienced agent.

Another option is an FHA 203K loan which you can finance "necessary" repairs. You will also have extra costs associated with this loan and if you are buying a short-sale or bank owned, you may run into an issue because of the amount of time needed to make the repairs versus the amount of time the bank is willing to hold the contract,

These are all things you need to take into consideration. I would be more than happy to help you. You can reach me best on my cell phone at 856-896-8078.
6 votes
IMO you'd be a fool to buy a true fixer-upper with anything but all-cash. That's what distressed, distant, or disinterested sellers will most want, and the thing that gets u the best deal.
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Luiswu007, Home Buyer, Phoenix, AZ
Thu Apr 20, 2017
there is a website called homepath.com, i get a mailing list of short sales and foreclosure properties. I think this is by run or managed by HUD. I got a short sales from there and works out pretty good.
4 votes
Roan LaPlante, Renter, Proctorville, OH
Thu Apr 20, 2017
How do you find houses below market values that are in disrepair? There are a variety of strategies.

Yes, you can look on the MLS. Depending on where you are, you may find some houses that are well undervalued, but they tend to be gone pretty quick.

I suggest to look on craigslist. In the last six months I purchased four properties that were substantially below market value, with cash, from deals that were posted on Craigslist. Those properties happen to be in West Virginia where the real estate market is not competitively exploding the way it is in many major cities in the US right now. If you're looking to purchase properties in New York City, Boston, San Francisco, or other megalopoles, browsing craigslist is unlikely to work very well because the deals there are gobbled up by somebody as soon as they appear (and the number of irrelevant postings advertizing vacation condominiums in Florida is very high). In Delaware and Southern New Jersey, I suspect you might be able to find some deals on craigslist, but I don't know that area.

There are a variety of other strategies that I know about which are employed by real estate investors looking for depressed properties, which include browsing the local municipal foreclosure auctions for deals, direct mail marketing (i.e., send large volumes of unsolicited mail asking to buy their house for below market price) and driving for dollars (i.e., drive around randomly and look for FOR SALE signs and/or abandoned properties)

Do you need an agent to do any of that? Probably not. Should you listen to these agents who are responding telling you that you need an agent? Probably not, but you can do what you like. Your situation might be different from mine, maybe an agent would be a good investment. I'm an investor and I only do deals if I think they are profitable and that generally means I can't afford to pay middlemen. I'm not totally opposed to paying agents if a deal makes me money, but the opportunities that I've found where the seller has an agent never seem to work out. I've never successfully closed any investment deals through an agent, although I've investigated some. I did use an agent to buy my primary residences which I was willing to buy at retail price because I wanted to live in a particular area.
4 votes
Look for the worst house in a good neighborhood. That is in addition to all the excellent other advice you've seen here.
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Leohaas, Home Owner, Arnold, MD
Thu Apr 20, 2017
If you can choose between North DE and South NJ, pick DE. Property taxes are a recurring cost, and they are low in DE, but high in NJ.
4 votes
Thom, Home Buyer, Smyrna, GA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
There are many factors to consider when determining a home's market value...which is the core of your question. Some essential factors include, location, location, location (of course), the home's condition (can range from move-in ready to light rehab to full gut), schools, crime rate, and the home's status (foreclosure, at auction, standard sale, REO/short sale, etc). This will help you to assess an appropriate target price, location of where you want the home, and the method you will use to uncover possible homes.

Honestly there is not enough room to discuss at any length the numerous ways to find homes. Some people pay thousands to get educated on how to be a real estate investor (like me), others are more passive, read a few books and approach it more like a hobby. Frankly the knowledge you will get by being trained professionally will more than pay for itself in the savings you will realize from the mistakes you will not be making. But assuming you are not looking to invest and want to take the low cost approach using free/public resources, here are some suggestions:

Web sites like Google, and Craigslist, Realtor.com, Zillow.com, and Trulia are good resources. You want to use search terms like "new Paint", "Investor special", "motivated seller", "needs TLC" or similar terms. Once you read a few of the postings, you will uncover new terms. Write them down and search again.

You can drive around target neighborhoods. When you see homes with boarded up windows, abandoned homes, or homes clearly in need of attention, you can go to your county's property tax database (available online), look up the owner and reach out to them asking to purchase. If the owner's address is not the same as the home's address, it may be an absentee owner who would love to unload the property.

Networking is always a good resource. You can find local REIA (Real Estate Investor Association) meetings on Meet-up.com. Find a few and attend. Likely you will meet people trying to sell the very type of properties you are seeking. People known as "wholesalers" do this, and only this, as their job. You want to get on their buyer's list.

So, hopefully this will get you started. If you just do this much, you will be more than busy each week, and the results will come soon. There are paid sites too that are valuable resources, and time savers, but for now I stuck with a few of the "free resources".

Good Luck

Thom Mead
aka: Captain Rehab
TEMCO Properties, LLC
3 votes
Naji Boutros, Agent, Valencia, CA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Most real estate websites have a direct feed to the MLS that will allow you to filter by foreclosures and short sales. However, you should know that not all short sales/foreclosures are deals, and not all deals are short sales/foreclosures.

If the website allows you to search for terms in the description, searching for terms like "fixer", "TLC", "investor", etc can yield some good results.

Most great deals don't make it onto the open market though. Any amazing deal that lands on a realtor's desk will probably be shown to that realtor's pocket investor first. So another strategy is to start building a relationship with your local realtors. Specifically the ones who list a lot of properties, and work with investors.
3 votes
Lynn Munoz, , Johns Island, SC
Fri Apr 21, 2017
As one who has bought/sold several houses (not as an agent) since the 1970s I can offer a little advice. I like all the hints given here. Something else important which I didn't see mentioned is to have the electrical and plumbing checked. Also, be aware of your own fix-it skills and know your limits. If you can barely operate a screwdriver (like me) but have a mate, friend, or relative you trust who has home repair/fix-it skills, that's good. Some repairs can be very expensive. Also, if you know somebody who is a licensed contractor or home inspector, that is a plus and might save you a lot of expense and heartbreak in the future. You don't want to think you're getting a bargain, then discover you've bought a lemon. It happened to me, so once taken, thrice shy. I admire anybody undertaking something like what you mention and wish you and other potential homebuyers the very best.
2 votes
Jfw, Home Owner, Laurel, MD
Thu Apr 20, 2017
There are three reasons I can think of why someone might get a great deal on a house.

1. it doesn't show well. I own a few rental properties and when I'm looking at a place with a aluminum storm door, particularly in disrepair, I am overjoyed. Looks like hell, takes 10 minutes to remove. That purple and brown living room will look just fine with a couple coats of cream colored paint. I seek out places that look like hell but have no serious problems.

2. it needs major work - obvious roofing problems with visible water damage inside, for example. Here you need to have some skills and a REALLY good home inspector and maybe some friends in the trades.

3. it is risky - some homes are sold at auction, for cash, and you are not able to enter the house beforehand. I have even seen foreclosures where the new owner will be responsible for evicting the original owner and dealing with whatever damage they do on the way out. If you buy ten of these things average out. If you are buying one it is a lottery ticket.

Any do-it-yourselfer can do (1) if they have some vision. (2) requires some knowledge and some cash. (3) requires a lot of cash and a strong stomach.
2 votes
Sally Barton, Both Buyer And Seller, Sacramento, CA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
I'm amazed by these replies and not by any of the advice.
2 votes
If you sort through all of these replies you will find some good suggestions.

Just gotta sift!
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Then give better advice
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Reginald Wed…, Home Owner, Bellingham, WA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
You may be somewhat behind trend here. A lot of these properties were purchased two to fours ago and even previously. A lot of the current market now includes these homes that were found, purchased and renovated, upgraded, remodeled, brought up to code and standard, etc.

You should also think at least twice about wanting to do this. You may be better off to purchase a property on which someone else has already expended all this work, etc. and you can purchase a "new" house for yourself with all the heartache and sorrow of the rehab process.

Finding and "fixing up" one of these deplorable properties can lead to a deterioration of both your physical and mental health. It is just not worth it.
2 votes
You make a good point when you mention that you have to bring a house up to code - don't forget that for major repairs that require new electric or plumbing, or structural changes, you will probably need to get a permit from the town, which costs extra, and will require periodic inspections as the work progresses. Most likely, you would need to hire licensed contractors to make these repairs, so that you pass inspection. If you are a novice and do the repairs yourself, you run the risk of having the town disallow the permits - which could land you in trouble. Or if you decide to do the work under the radar, and skip the permits, you could have trouble selling your house down the road if the work is not up to code. There are a lot of land-mines with fixer-uppers.
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Gail Socha, Home Buyer, 56311
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Look for a home that is less exspensive in a neighborhood that has higher comparables. Example if the average priced home in a neighborhood runs around $200-250 thousand, find one that is going for less than $200,000. Make sure the price allows you room for updates and remodeling if need be.
1 vote
Ron Egoroff, Home Buyer, Melbourne, FL
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Finding a home below market price can be a daunting task unless you really know what to look for! I have been selling to investors for over 20 years and the process can take some time except for the obvious "Foreclosed" or "Fixer Upper" Titles use when marketing the property.

My first advice is to find a Realtor that specializes in finding these types of properties (Reason being) Realtors who specialize have more of a pulse on whatever market they specialize in as they are doing the research day in and day out! One of the many things I keep up to date on is the "Price Per Square Foot of the Sales" as they are a good indication of the difference between wholesale and retail. IF for example in one of my market area's Home's are averaging sold prices of +- $175.00 PSF, I will search using a program I set up to find like kind homes that sell for 30% or better under that price PSF, giving the investor room to do all the improvements and make a profit at Retail!
This is only the tip of the iceberg! there are so much more variables to look at when doing the research and analytics! Good luck! Find a good agent and you will find a good property!
1 vote
Arthurbotting, Home Buyer, Los Angeles, CA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Stephanie,

I recommend before you start looking for a house have your financing in place. Know how much money you have available to you to pay for a house and how quickly you can get it.

There are a few ways I would look for a house under market value. The first is to do what you're doing now. Ask people in UD and SJ if they know of any houses that need work or know people who are motivated to sell a house quickly.

Another way is called driving for dollars. This is where you drive around neighborhoods where you'd like to live and look for houses that have visible signs of distress. Bad roofs, overgrown lawns, lots of visible trash on the property are signs of distress. Take down the address and then go to the county's tax assessor website. The owner information is a public record and there should be a mailing address for them. You can write them a letter asking if they want to sell the house.

Another way you can find a house is to get a mailing list of houses that are tax delinquent, have code violations, or are in foreclosure. There are a few companies that have these lists. The company that I use to get mailing lists from is listsource.com. Once you have a list you can start sending letters or postcards to homeowners on the list. I send postcards because it is cheaper than sending letter. I send a lot and have outsourced it to a company called postcardmania.com. However you can do it yourself if you have the time.

My best advice to you is to create a routine for your search. The routine will become habitual and habits become persistent. Persistence is the most important thing someone can have in getting what they want.

Good luck!
1 vote
Donna Paden, Home Buyer, Manassas, VA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Hi Stephanie,

Your Realtor should be able to find bank owned homes for you to see. After a bank forecloses on a home they often buy the house back. In those cases the houses become bank owned properties. They often are great buys.

Make sure that your Realtor has helped you get in touch with a lender to get pre-approved for a mortgage. You may be able to find a great home that is not a foreclosure.

Good Luck with your search.
1 vote
Busybec, Home Buyer, West Des Moines, IA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Slightly off topic- Caveat Emptor! If you have to ask this question, you really aren't prepared to do this. You still need to do legwork. There are a lot of ways that someone can screw you out of money.

We have had experience with agents (pimps - I have used a lawyer on all but one home), found homes by going to estate sales, church, and heard about homes through the grapevine. And Craig's list or a newspaper ad? That was a scary close call, I thought I had seen it all, we ran into one old woman that seemed a little pushy about wanting "earnest" money. After some serious sleuthing, we found that she had been taking earnest money from others, spending it, and doing it again. She was under a "conservatorship" and legally unable to enter into a contract and all the folks before me were SOL to recoup their funds.

Do your research, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Talk to the neighbors, compliment them on their neighborhood (if appropriate), take your dog for a walk around the neighborhood, morning, noon and night. it is surprising what they will tell you. Be upfront with them, they may give you a lead that was not even on your radar.

My last one (final one) I purchased was a private listing from Zillow/Trulia 6 months ago, it was on the market too long and too expensive, but they had reduced it twice, it was a great custom builder (still in business), an estate with the original owners deceased, 23 years old. I thought I got screwed on the price because I had fallen in love with the view. I have lucked out, but there have still been nights with apprehension.

A wise man told me that it's always better to learn painful lessons with small investments and it's always what you don't see and know that will hurt the most.

Good hunting!
1 vote
Jonathan Whe…, Home Buyer, West Chicago, IL
Thu Apr 20, 2017
You may want to consider connecting with a local wholesaler if you're looking for off-market (not listed on MLS) properties where there is a lot less competition. I operate in the western and northwest suburbs of Chicago but there's wholesalers with discounted properties all over the country. Cash buyers in the Chicago area can connect w/me at selltojon@gmail.com
1 vote
Jonathan, cAn you please connect me with a wholesaler in Massachussetts?
Thank you in advance
Flag Mon Apr 24, 2017
Nunya Bidness, Home Buyer, Houston, TX
Thu Apr 20, 2017
How to find a fixer upper? You have to look each and everyday. During times like now where regular real estate is under heavy demand in a lot of areas you probably won't find any.

Simple reason is during a strong and vibrant real estate market the realtors will either swoop in first and take them, the bank may sit on it and repair it themselves.

High resale values in real estate and properties that sell with in 30 days or less of being listed and fixer uppers will be scarce. Everyone out there is looking for a fixer upper.

The best fixer uppers are ones that a bank won't loan money on. Walk in with cash. Problem is many people looking to buy fixer uppers often get in over their heads. A fixer upper isn't for everyone.
1 vote
Jerisimpson, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Thu Apr 20, 2017
I think the easiest way to do it is to contact a local real estate agent. Let him or her do the dirty work for you.
1 vote
The truth is that you will likely buy a money pit, nightmare with this plan. I'm a sixteen year veteran in the Real Estate business. These "deals" are not deals in the end. Buy the home you can afford. There are always homes that are not updated and need some work that are not foreclosures or short sales etc. It amazes me that people constantly want more than they are willing to pay for. A home (or anything else for that matter) is worth whatever two parties agree is should sell for. I'd like to go buy all new appliances and a car for 30% less than everyone else pays for the same thing. Wouldn't we all? Life doesn't work that way.
Flag Thu Apr 20, 2017
Thomas.hoatad, Home Buyer, Sicklerville, NJ
Thu Apr 20, 2017
You can find people in trouble by ads on Craigslist list or look in local papers for sheriff sale notices the go to those people and see if y can help save Thier credit by buying there home instead of it going to bank
1 vote
Ramirafa, Home Buyer, Sicklerville, NJ
Sun Apr 23, 2017
Become friend of a corrupted judge, city staff , dishonest HOA member or a crooked mortgage loan officer any of those who take advantage of information on hand and the position held for their personal benefit and profit...

I am sure you can located one you would obtain what you looking for - other wise you must pay regular person market value...

Best of luck in your quest.
0 votes
Jonatha.jm78, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Fri Apr 21, 2017
Contact a local Realtor. They will be able to help, I am currently located in North Jersey
0 votes
Christina, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Fri Apr 21, 2017
Find a broker who specializes in REO/Bank Owned properties. You can ask through the major banks but your best bet is going to FannieMae and FreddieMac websites. The have recommended agents who are registered with them. Good Luck and if you're ever looking in Montg. Cty., Maryland look me up...Christina Mullen w/Long & Foster.
0 votes
Martha Smith, Home Buyer, Ambridge, PA
Fri Apr 21, 2017
Sign up for Trulia with a price range in mind that you know would be below market value for your area. Watch the listings that come through, go to open houses etc to get feel for the true market value for the area you are considering. I would suggest you find a house in an area that you know well e.g. know the school district, the benefits of living in that area etc. After a while - you should know a bargain when you see one. See the listing with a real estate agent so you can see what they say about the house as well as what has been disclosed about the house. ( By law seller has to disclose problems with house etc. if they know them.) Check out the house with a contractor to assess what the major fixes would be and cost. Remember it is location, location, location - so know the location you choose well so that when a bargain comes up - you will be more confident taking the risk. M
0 votes
Jean Johnson, Agent, Knoxville, TN
Fri Apr 21, 2017
Hello Stephanie, I am a Realtor in the Knoxville TN area. To buy a home you want to fix up you will need 20% down at least and some would actually require a cash purchase, unless you do a 203K with FHA. These are federal rules for a home loan. You would not be able to take advantage of home loan assistance programs like USDA which require no down payment. One program in TN will give you a substantial grant to buy a home. Except for the FHA 203K loan you can borrow the money to fix the home along with your purchase price. You will need to consult a lender to find out what your per-approval price is. You will need a realtor to guide you through the process of trying to figure out how much it will cost to fix the home before making an offer, you will have to combine you purchase price with your cost of fixing the home to make sure you are not over your pre-approval amount. Even with all that if it doesn't appraise for more than the investment you have wasted time when you could buy a home move in ready. Not to mention you will be living in a construction site for some time.
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Sherie.ottes…, Home Buyer, Laurel, MS
Thu Apr 20, 2017
As I browse the house listings I've noticed several " off the market" or " contact for estimate" which I have found to be foreclose or public auction. Then the are the ones listed as " fixer uppers" or need TLC. Hope that helps.
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Jfle3, Home Buyer, Keego Harbor, MI
Thu Apr 20, 2017
The "Official" HUD site on-line, should only charge you
$1.00, making sure your serious. Some realtors work in this area also,
you just need to ask.
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Dave, Home Buyer, Afton, NY
Thu Apr 20, 2017
You might try home auction sites on the internet. Happy bidding.
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Ellen A Madd…, Home Buyer, Boise, ID
Thu Apr 20, 2017
try forclosure.com and your paper most likely will also post Trustee and Sherifs sales. Just do your homework and make sure there are not liens or seconds on properties you might be liable. Sometimes a title company will also give you the information. Good Luck!
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Libertad Cas…, Home Buyer, Long Beach, CA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Hi there does anyone knows how to research repossed lands that allow mobile homes near highland park, ca
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Libertad Cas…, Home Buyer, Long Beach, CA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Hello i am trying to buy a lot near highland park, Ca to place a mobile home or a manufactured home. Does anyone know how i can research repossed lands that allow mobile homes?
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Ron Egoroff, Home Buyer, Melbourne, FL
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Finding a home below market price can be a daunting task unless you really know what to look for! I have been selling to investors for over 20 years and the process can take some time except for the obvious "Foreclosed" or "Fixer Upper" Titles use when marketing the property.

My first advice is to find a Realtor that specializes in finding these types of properties (Reason being) Realtors who specialize have more of a pulse on whatever market they specialize in as they are doing the research day in and day out! One of the many things I keep up to date on is the "Price Per Square Foot of the Sales" as they are a good indication of the difference between wholesale and retail. IF for example in one of my market area's Home's are averaging sold prices of +- $175.00 PSF, I will search using a program I set up to find like kind homes that sell for 30% or better under that price PSF, giving the investor room to do all the improvements and make a profit at Retail!
This is only the tip of the iceberg! there are so much more variables to look at when doing the research and analytics! Good luck! Find a good agent and you will find a good property!
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Nomail, Home Buyer, Murrieta, CA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
This is how I bought... searched homes in zip code that I wanted to live, saved homes below the market price, I used another app at that point which let me filter bank owned/foreclosed homes. Asked my agent to take a look inside, went with an open mind. The home that I selected was in good locations, block away from freeway and few blocks away from schools. It was in livable condition listed $50k less than comparables, but one of the bath was not completely in working condition. I made an offer 5k less than asking, was accepted by bank since I came up with 20% down, I don't know why other people turned away just for the bath that was fixed later with 5k.... custom made
Now I live in that home with quite a bit of equity. But I did put about 20k to improve kitchen and baths.
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Donna Johnson, Agent, Kalispell, MT
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Check with a local real estate agent. He/She has access to listed properties owned by banks. I don't know about your area, though in Montana, Title Companies have access to bank owned properties and properties that in in the process of foreclosure. Finally the County Clerks may also have records of properties that have been repossessed.
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PIFA, Home Buyer, Upland, CA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Look on the redfin on line. You can put the order of least expensive to most on there. Then read the descriptions. Or just call a realtor and tell her I want to see below priced stuff that needs work.

http://www.bankforeclosureslist.net/foreclosure-homes/?adid=…
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Jennifergras…, Home Buyer, Carmichaels, PA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Zillow lists a lot of foreclosures in need of repairs that are well below market value. Simple question with a simple answer. I am searching in central/south Jersey myself and have personally seen a ton of them. Just know what you're getting into before you buy. If you have the skills needed to do the repairs yourself, there shouldn't be an issue. If you are worried about the costs of owning a home you can look into the USDA Rural Development loan. Many areas in south Jersey are elegible for it and it requires no down payment but the home has to pass inspection. You can find information on the USDA web page.
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Smelm0, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Thu Apr 20, 2017
you can contact banks which play in that area and hold mortgages, some of which will b defaulting near term or maybe already foreclosed on. sometimes you can negotiate with them re: a property they own or with an owner of a property who is sliding into foreclosure and might b looking for an exit.
that said, this technique as well as tax foreclosure exposes you to many risks which if your resources are constrained are prob best avoided.
you can always offer whatever price you think is doable for you, no matter the house and area. in depressed markets, any offer is preferable to no offer and often home owners will anxiously entertain a reasonable on. that's prob the safest way for you to find an affordable house.
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Pastormoffett, Home Buyer, Desoto, TX
Thu Apr 20, 2017
How to find bank foreclosures in lakeridge in cedar hill, tx
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Donna Sherid…, Home Buyer, Fairfield, NJ
Thu Apr 20, 2017
tulia click at top for foreclosed properties. these are properties that went to auction and were not sold and are no with a realtor on mls. I have been doing this but its not easy
its easier to contact a realtor in a real estate office that just does these REO properties so when something is coming on market they still have to list it but you can buy it fast
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Mjenglish, Home Buyer, Sicklerville, NJ
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Join your local REIA (Real Estate Investment Association) and attend the meetings. Several members are generally wholesalers and others may have more properties on their hands than they can rehab in a timely manner.
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Mjenglish, Home Buyer, Sicklerville, NJ
Thu Apr 20, 2017
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Luiswu007, Home Buyer, Phoenix, AZ
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Check out homepath.com. Once you sign up and give your geographical location, you'll be on their mailing list. I got a short sales that way.
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Jackg11228, Home Buyer, Little Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Thu Apr 20, 2017
That's what real estate brokers are for. You need to visit every office in the area because each office has 'in-house only' listings, and be sure to stay in contact with as many brokers as possible.
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Ertel415, Home Buyer, Gaylord, MI
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Be careful what you are stepping into, but try these sites for leads: homepath.com, homesteps.com, auction.com, any local autioneer house. Some states work with gov't approved auctioneers so you could check with the county website or do some Internet searching to find leads.

Good luck and don't let yourself fall in love with an opportunity until you own it. I have been in bidding wars and it is easy to get caught up in the excitement and make a bad bid.
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Jonathan, Home Owner, Seaford, DE
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Easy, buy a foreclosure. They will always be below market value and will always be a fixer upper to a heavy or light degree depending on each home and what state it is in.

https://www.homepath.com/
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Jonathan Whe…, Home Buyer, West Chicago, IL
Thu Apr 20, 2017
If you are looking for fixer uppers that are off-market (not on the MLS) where there is a lot less competition, you might want to consider connecting with a local wholesaler (like myself). I operate in the western and northwest suburbs but there are wholesalers with discounted properties all over the country. Cash buyers looking for homes in Chicagoland can connect with me at selltojon@gmail.com
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Mark Wheeler, Home Buyer, DuBois, PA
Thu Apr 20, 2017
Watch the obituary notices. Go check houses of the deceased to see what you like and which ones might be distressed. Drive after dark and see which ones are not lighted at night. Contact the surviving heirs and purchase something out of the estate.

Or drive around and leave printed cards on houses that you are interested in, soliciting for phone calls to discuss purchase. Empty houses and/or derelict houses can be purchased cheaply.
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