You may be surprised to find that your search for foreclosures returns zero results. As you can imagine, in a booming market homes have lots of equity and owners have more and more options to sell their home before it goes into foreclosure.
What's important to think of when buying a foreclosed home is your motivation. If you are buying to to get a great deal and pay less than market value. Unfortunately, you may be even more surprised to find that foreclosures have some much demand on them, they often sell at fair market value.
Here's the scoop- in Georgia, we use a non-judicial foreclosure process and what that means is that getting "the deal" comes with a risk and buying the foreclosed home sight unseen during the foreclosure sale/auction. You see, in order to foreclose in Georgia, a lender is required to advertise the defaulted mortgage for 4 weeks and then they get to sell the asset (home) at the courthouse steps to the highest bidder. So this is where the opportunity exists...But...Here's what you need to do:
1. You need to be prepared to pay cash at the sale. Don't go with a briefcase cuffed to your writs. You can bring certified checks made payable to yourself. BTW- no back is going to financing you buying this way. They will want the asset appraised and have a title search done first.
2. You won't have the opportunity to have any representation...this short post may be the only advice you may get.
3. You need to protect yourself by performing a title search prior to the purchase to make sure you are getting a marketable title without any federal liens or other liens that stick with the home.
4. You may be buying a home with damage. Remember, the house is not on the market and the current owner is not likely to let you come in a tour the home he/she is losing.
5. You will likely need to evict the current occupant- this may be the current owner or perhaps a tenant.
6. There may be a current lease on the property that you may get stuck honoring.
7. Deferred maintenance is almost a certainty when buying a foreclosure. People who can't afford to pay their mortgage are most certainly not coming up with the funds necessary to maintain their HVAC, rotten exterior items such as trim, gutters, or other things that break.
8. The property could be vandalized by the occupant when they move out- think the worst- cement being flushed in toilet and flushed or tubs being purposely overflowed.
So, you need to make sure that their is ample reward to outweigh the risks of buying property this way. The point is, this type of risk is generally only taken on by the professionals.
If this is what you were looking for, great, I hope I have offered you some things to think about going forward. If this is way more than you want to consider, then maybe the traditional method of purchasing a home is right for you- and with that, I would love to help!