Buying REO properties (Real Estate Owned by lending institutions) is the easiest and least problematic way to invest in foreclosed properties. Short Sales (sometimes called Pre-Foreclosures) also allow you to purchase property at prices not seen in years. (See the Short Sale page for more information.)
You can create your own search the MLS for Foreclosure and Short Sale homes in the Portland are on my Search for Homes page. Scroll down to the “Distressed” option in the search criteria. Or use the buttons below.
The process of a lender foreclosing on a property involves 3 stages. Each stage has opportunities and pitfalls for the investor.
Stage 1 — The Pre-Foreclosure period. This is when a borrower who has stopped making loan payments receives a notice of default form the lender. While this situation is difficult for a property owner, an investor can create a great opportunity for investment and provide the property owner with a way out of their financial difficulties.
Success here requires identifying properties in default, evaluating them as investments, negotiating with the owner (and sometimes the lender), and closing on the property.
Pros: Good opportunity to buy property at a discount. There is time for investigation and research. Sometimes a creative sales agreement is possible.
Cons: Hard to locate such properties. Other investors compete for these properties. Negotiating with holders of loans can be difficult. Be sure you’re negotiating with the owner.
Stage 2 — The Auction on the Courthouse Steps. Not for the faint of heart. There’s the most reward where there’s the most risk—and you’ll find it at the courthouse steps. This is where the property is auctioned off to the highest bidder. You’ll be bidding against the lender, junior lien holders and other investors. And the auction moves very quickly.
Pros: Great discounts on properties. If you know your real estate, this is an opportunity to buy way below market value.
Cons: No time to inspect most properties before the sale. Be very careful about title issues. Most sales are cash or 10% down & the balance due in days or weeks. This deters most investors.
Stage 3 — REO Properties are just a click away. Real Estate Owned (REO) properties are taken back by the lender to sell and recoup at least some of the lender’s losses. Lenders don’t want to own the property. They want dollars to lend again. Most lenders list these properties with Realtors in the MLS. You can search for them on the Foreclosure Quick Search Box at the top left of this page.
Pros: Easy to find properties. Time for reflection & analysis. Usually not a worry about title issues Underlying loans are wiped out. Taxes are also usually up to date.
Cons: Less chance to buy at a “deep” discount; usually a good deal rather than a great deal.
The idea of foreclosure sends most homeowners spiraling into misery, and they quickly make the decision to opt for a short sale instead. It is no wonder short sales have become so prominent. However, this preferred solution might not always offer the best alternative, as it is not always easy to execute a short sale. In fact, some short sales have been unsuccessful, leading to the abhorred foreclosures and bankruptcies. Here are some highlights to ensure you don not get the short end of a short sale. As a homeowner, do not make the mistake of...read more
Foreclosure homes in Portland (also called bank owned properties) will continue to drive the Portland real estate market for the coming year. Here’s why you need to know what is anticipated for foreclosures in Portland. For the short term Portland home buyers and investors should see the Portland real estate market improving. Long term, home sellers may see the beginning of the end of the foreclosure homes bloating the market. (Although it may take most of 2012 to begin to see strong results. There are still a number of foreclosures in...read more
Many homeowners could avoid foreclosure by refinancing their home loan to a lower interest rate. Yet refinancing to today’s low, low rates has been all but impossible for many home owners trying to avoid foreclosure. If you are trying to avoid foreclosure by making your payments more affordable, changes to the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) could help you stay in your home. The changes coming out by the end of the year are expected to help you refinance even if you owe more than then current market...read more