As far as unpaid property taxes, the banks that own them should be paying those fees (most of them do) but it's important to read each banks contracts and/or addendedums they may have to make sure all previous taxes are paid.
FHA loan is great if you don't have a huge downpayment. They require 3.5% down and the rest financed with PMI (private mortgage insurance). With your earning power and hopefully a decent credit score (above 620) you most likely will qualify.
Please feel free to contact me so that I may direct you to a FHA lender that I work with closely to get you pre-approved on a limit that is comfortable for you.
REOs are often considered to be fabulous starter homes because the sales prices for these properties is generally lower than that of a similar non-REO property. In today's market however, this may not always be the case. This is mostly due to the fact of the number of such properties in the market. Even though a property is an REO, it does not mean that the owner will not make a profit off the sale. Remember, after the foreclosure process, the REO owner is now allowed to make a profit, which may affect the sale price. A buyer will generally be more likely to get a lower price when purchasing a home in the pre-foreclosure or auction stage.
You will need a Realtor, who can protect your interests and make sure you get the best deal possible. Your Realtor will be able to generate reports for you showing comparable sales prices which will enable you to assess whether the asking price for the REO you are considering is appropriate. There are some statistics that show the average price of an REO is 15 - 30 percent lower of comparable sales prices. However, there are REASONS for this.
REOs are sold AS-IS. This means that what you see is what you get. You will need a qualified home inspector to guide you with this step of your REO purchase process. Only a qualified inspector will be able to reveal latent flaws or issues that you will need to consider before you purchase the REO. You will need to factor in the costs of potentially repairing, replacing or rehabilitating the necessary sections of the property into the price you will be paying.
REOs take longer. When purchasing an REO, you are not dealing with Joe and Jane Smith homeowner, you are dealing with either a Bank or an Investment Company. The decision making and sale approval process in a business takes much longer than with individuals. It could take weeks to get an approval on your offer. Additionally, even though most banks will remove tax liens and occupants (if need be) from the property, in order to protect yourself, you should perform a title search. Now you may not personally be able to do this, which is why you will hire a company to perform such a search for you, and the results may take up to a week to review. Another potentially time-consuming process is getting an appraisal. As a buyer, you should not trust the seller's appraisal blindly, get your own! Any time or money you spend beforehand may well be worth it in the long run. You want to know that you are getting what you are paying for!
Regarding financing, I have found that many buyers look to their Realtors for lending and financing advice. I believe that this causes many miscommunications and misunderstandings. While Realtors certainly have lots of experience in these matters, they are not technically trained to handle and answer your questions. For this reason, I have worked very hard to establish a solid working relationship with a Direct FHA Lender and as a result, have a dedicated representative at the Lender. My dedicated rep treats my clients with the utmost care and concern and makes himself available for them around the clock. I also have a very close working relationship with a home decorator who is a licensed contractor and offers estimates and consultations.
Please feel free to contact my rep at the Lender, whose information I have provided below. Make sure you let him know that you are a Crestico Realty referral so that I can personally guarantee the level of customer service you receive.
American Guardian Home Loans