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Getting Started in Real Estate Foreclosure Investing

Decide to Invest in Real Estate Foreclosure Investing

With the increase in Real Estate property appreciation rates across America, a prospective foreclosure buyer may want to fix up a property to improve its value to live in, to rent out or to resell. The strategy a buyer pursues will determine which foreclosure property to buy and the location.

For example with San Diego, California's media home prices topping at $500K+, a couple might not be in a position to afford a home of their own in San Diego, California. Yet, might be able to purchase a foreclosure property in another area or state with lower housing prices but in a faster growing market or with better future appreciation growth potential; when the property increases it's value in a few years time, sale of the property could provide the necessary capital to purchase in the San Diego area.

Locating Foreclosure Properties

Finding foreclosure properties can be done by visiting the local recorder's office and making photocopies, since listings are added on a daily basis, this can be daunting.

Using the internet, a number of web sites allow searches by state, county, city, and zipcode. All the sites listed below offer listings for a fee. Take advantage of the free trial period offered to fully evaluate thier listings. The sites should offer the latest listings with daily/monthly updates.

Determining the Distressed Property Valuation

Once you have identified a foreclosure property of interest in an area you have researched, determining the value proposition will determine whether or not to continue. The determination will be influenced by your investment strategy, i.e., whether you wish to live in, to rent out or to resell are factors to consider as well as your investment time frame.

The first step in foreclosure property valuation is the obtain information regarding the area. A number of web sites offer free sales comparables or "comps". This information greatly assists in determing the property value.

Securing Financing

Due to the quick window of opportunity a foreclosure presents, it is important for a potential buyer to be pre-qualified before engaging in Real Estate Foreclosure Investing.

Also, knowing the amount of monies available to the investor can be a guide to locating areas within the U.S. that are with the the investment range

Being pre-qualified allows the buyer to be in a financial position to purchase the foreclosure property. Pre-qualification provides an important edge in competitive markets. Once approved, financing in-hand makes negotiations easier.

Finding and working with Real Estate Agents

The single most important aspect of foreclosure investing involves finding and working with a Real Estate agent.

If a foreclosure property is being considered out of the area or state, then working with a local agent in that area -who can advise on the condition, knowledgable about the growth potential, advise on local conditions, is an important relationship to develop.

Since a majority of Real Estate agents focus on "traditional" real estate transactions, mentioning "foreclosures" might cause them to balk at potentially working with an prospective investor; Therefore, educating the agent on the opportunity of working with you is important.

"Buyer's representatives" have the home buyer's interests at heart, and are charged with finding the right property and negotiating the best price for their clients. Picking the right real estate agent will make a buyer's life much easier. There are agents who specialize in the foreclosure market, with specific experience in REO properties.

Look for an agent with foreclosure transaction experience, as well as knowledge of local, regional and state laws. But it's also important to consider the agent's knowledge of the area; their ability to close a deal; and their access to other professionals (attorneys, lenders, mortgage and title professionals) to ensure that the buyer is in good hands.

Making an Offer

Once you have determined the property valuation, researched the area and appreciation growth potential, and established a relationship with a Real Estate agent making an offer amount somewhere below the market value is the final step.

If the property is bank owned (REO), you could prepare an offer similar to a typical purchase offer, contingent on a full inspection and title search.

John Appleseed.

Learn more about bank foreclosures and how to get foreclosure listings at

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