Where to find foreclosure homes for sale
Although there are considerable profits to be made from buying foreclosures, there are thousands of other investors out there looking for exactly the same thing. Part of being a successful foreclosure investor is finding foreclosure property before other investors.
How you go about finding foreclosure homes for sale will depend on whether you are looking for pre-foreclosures, property sold at auction or REO's (Real Estate-Owned property). There are different tricks for each stage so you should modify your property search accordingly.
For pre-foreclosures, the best place to start looking is the local county courthouse. This is where notices of default and Lis Pendens are filed against homeowners who default on their home loan repayments. In most states, investors are entitled to browse the listings at the court. You can then find the addresses and phone numbers of homeowners in default and approach them with an offer on the home.
These listings will also reveal details of lenders who are issuing notices of default. If you approach these lenders directly, you may be able to obtain a list of other properties in default to the same lender. However, you may have to pay a fee or agree to use the lender's services to close any sales to obtain these listings.
To find foreclosure homes that are being offered for sale at auction, check the 'Legal Notices' section of your local newspaper for notices of upcoming foreclosure auctions or 'trustee sales'. Alternatively, contact the local County Courthouse and inquire about upcoming auctions. The website NETROnline (http://www.netronline.com) has lots of useful information about properties across the US, including information on notices of default and property liens.
Finding REO's (Real Estate-Owned properties) is much easier. These properties are listed by private Real Estate agents and some government departments, including the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD, http://www.hud.gov). VA foreclosures as sold on through the broker Ocwen Financial Corporation (http://www.ocwen.com). You can find REO more listings through Fannie Mae (http://www.fanniemae.com) and Freddie Mac (http://www.freddiemac.com).
There are hundreds of websites that offer online lists of foreclosure homes for sale, but there is normally increased competition for properties on these lists. In addition, viewing the lists is rarely fee - despite the promises of 'free searches' on many websites. Most of the properties listed are REO's, so these sites are only really useful for finding bank-foreclosed property.