They worst decision you could make is to buy if you may be forced to sell back into this market. The transaction costs are high, and this would likely cost you serious money. So, if your finances are "iffy", then buying is not a good option.
Foreclosures are not automatically a good buy. Banks have appraisals or broker price opinions, and they try hard to get the market value indicated by these "appraisals".
Sometimes, non-foreclosures (or perhaps "not-yet foreclosures") can yield a good buy. With foreclosures, well-priced homes can go quickly because the whole buying community knows about them, and most of the interested buyers will NOT get it (only one will, after all). With non-foreclosures, a persistent broker may be able to get a response from a seller that provides YOU, and only you, with a great deal, with no other buyer competition.
But, in the end, you need the financial strength to NOT be forced to sell until you want to.
If you might be foced to resell shortly after buying, then you should pass, and not buy.
Buying a foreclosue compared to a non one is you might get it a lot cheaper or not! You have to do your home work, and check all the prices, and what are their amenitys. first pick a great realtor, and sign a buyers agency agreement ask. other wise realtors are all working for the sellers, we 100% work for the sellers.
It is a great time to buy, however it must be a good time for you also. As the others, I would suggest that you talk with a mortgage professional that will walk you through the pre-qualification process and provide all the information necessary for you to make a sound decision. Doing this will allow you to plan accordingly and no suprises. There are several great first time home buyer programs available to you in Rapids.
I wish you the very best. If I may be of service to you and provide more detailed information, please feel free to contact me. Also, please visit my website where you will find more information to assist you in making your decision. Make it a great Sunday!!!!!!
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Darren has some great thoughts on your question.
Your comment: "With the financial situation I'm in right now, I wouldn't buy a house!" makes me think that you and your husband might want to get pre-qualified or pre-approved at a lender of your choice. Buying a foreclosure property is still buying a house - just one that is owned by a bank. Payments, insurance, taxes, maintenance, utilities, etc. are all paid by you, and these amounts vary as the price of the home does.
In some cases, the bank that owns the property will offer a favorable mortgage to a qualified buyer.
1. Connect with a local lender and get your financial situation checked out. It should cost you nothing for a pre-qualification. If you get a go-ahead:
2. Hook up with a local real estate agent. Have that person help you navigate through the local market and assist you in locating a home you will love, AND be able to afford.
As for whether or not now is a good time-it depends upon your timing. What I mean by that is real estate, traditionally, has alway appreciated in value over time. The key is the "over time" part of this statement. If you know you'll be in the home for 4-5 years minimum, then you should see some adequate appreciation for the time and money spent. Along with that you'll see a personal income tax advantage as you have the opportunity to write off the interest paid toward the home loan in that timeframe as well.
How to get started? It would be best if you called a well known and well respected REALTOR in your area. They have great connections in the industry and can get you in touch with a lender who can help you get a sense of what you'll qualify for in a mortgage and more importantly, what you'll be comfortable paying on a monthly basis toward the mortgage. Beyond that they will be in tune with the local real estate market and can guide you through all of the questions regarding what to buy, what price is fair for a property, what opportunities there might be in the foreclosure market, etc....
Good lukc and great question!