We've all seen the "Bank Owned" real estate signs in our neighborhood (and the corresponding brown yard full of Beer cans). Many of you have contacted me wondering how you would go about buying foreclosures. Well, here's what you want to do.
Start your research by looking at some bank inventory. Banks refer to their foreclosed property as Real Estate Owned or REO. This will get you a good understanding of what's available on the market. The following websites list various banks' REO properties:
- Countrywide's Bank-Owned Properties
- Downey Savings' Bank-Owned Properties
- Wells Fargo's Bank-Owned Properties
- Fannie Mae's Foreclosure Listings
Also, many people don't know that banks have Realtors list their foreclosures on the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). So, most Realtors can show you foreclosed property and help you negotiate the lowest possible price with the bank. I can access this information for you or you can go thru the public Metrolist portal online at the Sacbee.com or this link: http://www.metrolistmls.com/
Keep in mind that foreclosures are not always the best deals on the market, as Banks don't negotiate much or easily. But, if you're seriously considering purchasing foreclosed property, I would be glad to help you. I will even help you pick up the beer cans when you close the deal.
The AP (3/13/08 Veiga) reported that RealtyTrac said about "60 percent more U.S. homes faced foreclosure in February than in the same month last year, with Nevada, California, and Florida showing" the steepest foreclosure rates." The California-based company said 223,651 U.S. homes "received at least one notice from lenders last month related to overdue payments, up 59.8 percent from 139,922" in 2007. And, about "half of the homes on the most recent list had slipped into default for the first time." The "overall U.S. foreclosure rate last month was one filing for every 557 homes. February's total represents a four percent dip from January, but the decline was just a seasonal blip, said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's vice president of marketing." According to the AP, February "marked the 26th consecutive month with a national year-over-year increase in foreclosure-related filings. Meanwhile, the number of foreclosed properties that didn't sell at auction and ended up going back to lenders soared more than 110 percent last month versus February 2007, RealtyTrac said." The new numbers "suggest many homeowners across the nation continue to struggle with mortgage payments, despite highly publicized efforts by government, financial institutions, and consumer advocacy groups to modify loan terms, or work out long-term repayment plans for troubled borrowers."
Nearly 150 U.S. Mortgage lenders have shut down in the last year (2007), according to Mortgage Daily's - http://www.MortgageGraveyard.com