Whether you are interested in purchasing a single-family home, townhome, condo or even land that has been foreclosed on, there are many options throughout Lancaster County. Areas all across the county – such as Manheim Township, Hempfield, Lititz, Ephrata, Eastern Lancaster County, and more – have opportunity for folks looking to purchase a foreclosed property.
There are many misconceptions about how to purchase a foreclosed home. Many foreclosures that are offered for sale are being offered by various government agencies. These homes often have special requirements for buyers who wish to purchase them. If you are considering purchasing a foreclosed home, there are a few key things you should be aware of.
How will I pay for the home?
If you are obtaining financing, the best place to start is by getting preapproved for your mortgage. You can then determine the type of financing and the amount that you are comfortable spending. This will is an important first step in the process because the owners of many bank owned or foreclosed homes will not accept some of the popular types of financing buyers choose.
Who will help me buy the home?
It is important to work with a realtor who specializes in representing buyers and who has access to all of the foreclosed homes. This will ensure you don’t miss any available homes and you have someone to educate and represent you.
Can I do an inspection on the property?
While many homes that are being sold as foreclosures are being sold as-is, owners will often still allow potential buyers to do a home inspection and various other inspections on the property. Although the owners may not agree to repair anything, this gives the buyer an opportunity to terminate the contract if they find there is more work needed on the home than anticipated. In some instances, buyers are not allowed to turn on the utilities of the property and must accept the home as-is.
Must I live in the home?
Sometimes foreclosed homes have an initial bid period where only buyers who plan to live in the home may bid on them. Other times, buyers have to agree not to sell the property for an agreed upon period of time after settlement. Every situation is unique.
Purchasing a foreclosed property can be very rewarding, but can also be a minefield if you are not properly educated or properly prepared. This is why it’s so important for buyers to be well prepared up front so that when the right home comes along they don’t get in the middle of a bad situation and have a lot of surprises.
Again, the best place to start is to determine your comfort range, know your financing options, and choose a realtor that has a great deal of knowledge and experience helping buyers through this process. Be sure to watch future for future blog posts on how to purchase short sales and estate sales. For additional information, contact us any time.