Some states provide information about foreclosed homes through their local courthouse, and others with county records. You can also use a commercial database to obtain information on these homes. These may require a small fee obtain a list or to search their websites. The Federal Housing Administration, the Veterans Administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) also have information on foreclosed homes. (http://www.hud.gov/homes/homesforsale.cfm)
- After you have chosen a property you need to pay someone to inspect it. Make sure there are no structural problems that require a large investment.
- Look for pest problems and other issues that may affect home value.
- Obtain information about houses and their values from local realtors to ensure you are getting a good bargain.
- Find out if back taxes are owed or if there are any liens on the property that were held by the current owner, because these will be transferred to you.
- Make sure that the house is up to code and that there are no problems with lax permits or structures that need to be altered or destroyed.
Foreclosures are a great investment if you know what you are doing. You need to know the resale value if you do not plan to live in the home. It is also important to understand the market, and if the house will resell at all. Make sure there are not an overabundance of foreclosures in the particular area in which you are purchasing. This is also true if you plan to live in the home. It may be that property taxes are exhorbitant. Buyer beware in some cases. Be sure to do your research.