Home Buying in North Shores>Question Details

Alberto Diaz, Home Buyer in Hollywood, FL

We are a couple looking for a foreclosure townhouse/condo as our 1st home purchase.

Asked by Alberto Diaz, Hollywood, FL Tue Feb 19, 2008

What are some things we need to know before we buy?

Help the community by answering this question:


My first point to you would be as follows...... Do not say that you are interested in Foreclosure properties. Unless you WANT to work with a rookie agent.

As a rookie agent, I worked these and now, as an experienced agent, I will not work with a client looking at foreclosures. I found that it left us both disappointed.

Say instead that you are interested in Bargain Properties.

If you are dead set on a foreclosure, because you are thinking that it is the best deal, here are a few points that the GURUS who sell the "BUY A FORECLOSURE" books don't tell you.

(These are not 100% rules. There are exceptions)

Foreclosure: The house has been stripped and has been sitting for a long time.
Homeowner: The house has been maintained and cared for.

Foreclosure: You are going to negotiate with a corporation and the experts in that corporation. Their motivation is ONLY highest dollar.
Homeowner: You are going to negotiate with a person who has a motivation. His motivation is not highest dollar. His motivation is to move, highest dollar is a second order effect.

Foreclosure: The will be no recourse in the end of the transaction. If you find that the roof was painted on and made of pixie dust, caveat emptor.
Homeowner: The homeowner can be made to answer for his actions.

Foreclosure: You get what you pay for
Homeowner: You get what he paid for.

All in all, I worked in that market and often found that it was a solid waste of time, but if I ever write a book about it, I will change my mind and sell a hundred thousand copies.

Gary De Pury
Bay Vista Realty & Investments, Inc.
Chairman, Communications Committee
Director, Florida Association of REALTORS®
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 24, 2008
I have to agree with Kevin here. Banks are notorious for NOT negotiating and when they do, you can wait weeks for an answer. And the people at the bank never lived in the house. So they can't give you a property disclosure. As a matter of fact, they'll make you sign a boatload of addendums that releases them from any responsibility as to the condition of the home.

There are plenty of actual sellers who really need to sell, who will accept a lower offer. And they'll be able to tell you everything they know about the house.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2008
First time home buyer tips
Are you a first time home buyer? Here are some helpful tips to get you started on the right path.

1. The first step before you do anything is to find out how much money you can borrow from a bank/mortgage company. Check with different lenders to see who can get you the best deal. Once you know what you can afford, then you can begin to plan.

2. Determine what you need in a home, not necessarily what you want in a home. Make a list of those needs to give to your Realtor. When you are searching for homes you will find that it is very rare to find a home that has absolutely everything you are looking for. If you stick to what you actually need, you will have better success in your search.

3. Research areas/communities that are of interest to you. Determine what things are important such as schools, proximity to shopping, restaurants, and local activities. Drive through the communities to get a feel for what they are like.

4. Learn as much as you can about the process of buying a home. Some local Realtors or lenders will offer first time home buying seminars. If you can find one in your local area it would be helpful to attend. If you cannot attend a seminar, look on the Internet for a home buyers guide such as the one at Bankrate.com - http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/real-estate/BuyerGuide2004/…

5. Select a local Realtor to help you begin your search for a home. You can search Internet sites such as Realtor.com or Homes.com, but a Realtor has access to all of the homes in the local MLS. They can provide you with information on the home, the area and answer any questions you may have. A Realtor can show you properties of interest.

6. Learn about the contract and what is involved. Your Realtor can take you through step by step the process of a contract. After it is signed by buyer and seller, it is called an executed contract. Then you would want to get a home inspection. If everything is fine with the inspection, then you can go forward towards closing.

7. Know what happens at closing. Again, a Realtor can walk you through what to expect at closing. You will need to have money for closing costs such as title search, processing fees, taxes, and insurance.

Buying your first home is an exciting and overwhelming experience. So make sure you are prepared.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Sandals Realty, Punta Gorda, FL tammyhayesre@gmail.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 18, 2010
You need get pre-qualified and be ready to make multiple offers on a number of properties. I have worked as an REO buyer specialist. A Foreclosure known in the real estate industry as an REO (Real Esate Owned by the Bank). You will find in your search that most of the lstings that you will look at will either be Foreclosures or short sales. Over 60% of the market are distressed sales and if you happen to make an offfer on a short sale be prepared to wait up to 6 to 7 months to have your offer accepted by the bank. I am a certified distressed property expert and have haled a number of buyers purchase these distressed properties. If you have any other questions please feel free to call me.

Claudio Rivero
South Florida Brokers & Associates
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 29, 2010
There is a big difference between a foreclosed property (one that a bank already owns) and a short sale (the owners still own the property). We have not found the banks very willing to "deal" on the short sale properties. On the other hand, we have have great success with the properties that are already foreclosed. The banks want to gets these properties off the books and in most cases are giving deep discounts.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 20, 2008
Get pre qualified andi f you want a pre-foreclosure (Short Sale) be prepared to wait a few months and do not be surprised if the bargain is no longer a bargain in 3 months. Look for Bank Owned (REO) for a good deal however do use a good property inspector and have them check for mold also
Web Reference: http://www.mypbchomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 11, 2008
The "foreclosure" route of purchasing property can be the more difficult road traveled......In today's market there are excellent opportunities by going the conventional route and not having to deal with "AS IS" agreements, bank delays & red tage, etc. etc.

A good agent, might be able to find you a better deal by going the conventional route if given the chance. You should not rule this out........

Good luck,

The "Eckler Team"
Century 21 Almar 7 Associates
Venice, FL 34285
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 20, 2008
I think the first thing you need to do is to get prequalified by a lender to see what you can afford.
Web Reference: http://getprequalified.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2008
Hello Alberto,

Don't believe all the media hype. If you buy a foreclosure, you better know what you are getting yourself into. The property is sold as is. Consider other properties too. Many home owners who have been forclosed on can do a lot of damage to the property.

If you insist on buying a foreclosure, make sure you work with a Realtor who is experienced with REOs and can guide you through the process. I hope you have money in reserve for necessary repairs.
Web Reference: http://www.PhilFowler.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2008
Inspections are or should be a primary concern. Many (not all) foreclosed properties have been abandoned for a long time, several months perhaps. The way the current market is, the prior foreclosures and short-sales set the "new" market value. There are several foreclosure opportunities, as well as great buys on the market; search all your options... The foreclosures may not be the very best deal.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2008
Question: Why would you only be interested in foreclosures? More times than not, the foreclosures and short-sales are NOT the best deals. Sometimes they are and sometimes they are not.

Many of the foreclosures were purchased at the top of the market, so therefore, the banks don't really have that much room to maneuver. Try finding people who purchased before 2004, those should be your best buys.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 19, 2008
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