Seeking Foreclosures

Seeking Foreclosures
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#1

I am a potential home buyer. Do you have advice on where I might obtain listings of homes being foreclosed upon or having circumstances resulting in a property being put up for sale at a lower cost than the regular market? I know there are companies that provide lists for a fee. I also heard that the information is not always accurate, nor on the up-and-up. I am always very leery of giving those companies my credit card information.
Any assistance will be much appreciated. Thank you.


#2

Hi, @MicheleM, and welcome to the community. You heard right – those lists take advantage of folks who don’t know much about real estate and think that there are a ton of unloved properties out there.

Typically, there are far more people looking for bargains than there are bargains to be had. If a property has an asking price below other comparable homes, it often needs a ton of work and/or has serious structural problems – either that, or the sellers are trying to set off a bidding war. Sometimes a home will be listed slightly below market because the owner needs to get out fast, but if there’s any kind of deep discount, typically the price will be bid up by people who recognize the deal.

All of this describes a normal-to-hot market. If you live in an area with declining population, you might find more bargains…but then again, you can’t expect much if any appreciation.

A good real estate agent should be able to help you spot a reasonable deal that’s within your budget. We also have a first time homebuyer guide that might be helpful:

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/mortgages/first-time-home-buyer/

Good luck!