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What are Distressed Properties?

Distressed properties are a type of real estate that is being offered for sale because of an impending foreclosure or repossession. There are many different kinds of distressed properties, generally depending on what stage of the foreclosure process the property is under. There are distressed properties for sale:

  • from homeowners who have recently defaulted on their mortgage and are looking to sell before they get any further behind,
  • scheduled for public auction by lenders or local courts as the last stage of the months-long foreclosure process.

But what all distressed properties have in common is a low price tag. Distressed homes can sell for anywhere from 30%, to 45%, even up to 60% off what they are actually worth, which makes them an incredible opportunity for home buyers and real estate investors.. After purchasing the property, most investors or homebuyers hire a contractor or opt for DIY home projects to make any needed repairs or renovations.

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What are the Different Types of Distressed Properties?

Distressed Properties Investment

To understand the different types of foreclosure properties, you have to first understand the foreclosure process. All mortgages are loans, and when a homeowner fails to make their required monthly payments toward their mortgage loan, the lender will have no choice but to seek a foreclosure to get back the money they provided for the loan. A foreclosure allows the lender to ultimately pursue a public sale of the homeowner's property. By putting distressed homes up for sale, the lender can use the proceeds to cover the amount lost on the loan.

Pre-Foreclosures and the Notice of Default

After a homeowner defaults on payments of their mortgage, the lender will first issue a Notice of Default, informing them of the amount owed and giving them a certain period in which to pay. If the homeowner does not pay by this time, a distressed homes sale will be scheduled for their property. The Notice of Default marks the beginning of the pre-foreclosure period. The homeowner can halt the foreclosure at any time before the date of the sale by paying off the full amount of the debt owed on the loan, and this leads many homeowners to sell their distressed home themselves. Putting their distressed property for sale will allow them to avoid the foreclosure, which can have a significant long-term effect on their credit. But, since the homeowner only has to pay off the remaining debt owed on their loan, and not its full amount, they can sell their property for less than its full value to encourage a sale, and still make enough to cover their debt. This leads to great discounts for buyers, and great opportunities for distressed homeowners to avoid foreclosure.

Distressed Property Auctions and Sales

If the homeowner does not sell their property before the scheduled date of the foreclosure sale, the property will be sold at public auction by the lender or a trustee of the lender. Distressed home auctions are the most common way that most buyers find foreclosure homes for sale. Auctions happen all the time all over the country, and they are certainly one of the most straightforward ways to buy real estate of any kind. All you have to do is show up on the day of the auction ready to bid, and if you're the winning bidder, the property is yours. Of course, there's a lot of preparation that goes into buying cheap homes for sale at foreclosure auction. You have to be sure to secure your financing before hand so you can pay the amount of your winning bid, and you have to do as much research as you can into the property you want to buy before the sale to make sure it's a good, valuable investment. But whether you're a certified distressed property expert or a novice homebuyer, the auction process cuts out all of the red tap of a typical home sale. You won't have to haggle with an agent, and you'll be issued a Bill of Sale as soon as the auction is over. It's a fantastic way to buy property, and at 30% to 60% off market prices, the discounts are just as deep as you'll find anywhere else.

REO Homes and Bank Owned Distressed Properties

If a foreclosure auction does not produce a buyer, or the winning bid is below a certain 'minimum bid' amount set by the auctioneer, then the property will be awarded to the lender at the close of the auction. The lender, usually a bank or government agency, will then take full control of the property and offer it for sale themselves. These properties are called bank-owned homes or REO (real estate owned) properties. Almost all banks offer repossessed homes for sale, but the problem is that they usually don't have the time to advertise or market these properties. They instead rely on local agents to show the homes for them. Buying distressed real estate for sale as an REO can offer the same great discounts as you'll find on any other distressed real estate investment. Banks will often undersell distressed properties just to get them off their hands, and buyers can find some fantastic deals out there.

Can I Make Money Investing in Distressed Properties?

Whether you're buying a home for your family, as an investment property to rent out, or to turn around and sell for a higher price and profit, distressed properties make earning money on real estate investment simple. You'll find everything on the distressed properties market, from single family homes, townhouses and apartments, to multi family units and distressed commercial properties. Since they're all sold for below market values, you're earning value as soon as you buy, because you can turn around and sell it at its normal comparative value and turn a profit immediately. If you're into investing over the long term, buying for below market price means earning instant equity, getting you off to a great start in investment appreciation right away.

How Can Help

Distressed properties are great opportunities, but they can be difficult to find on your own. That's why makes it easy for anyone to get into the distressed real estate game. We stock hundreds of thousands of currently available listings for cheap foreclosure properties from all over the country in one database, so you can search for distressed properties and find a home for sale in your area within seconds. We'll teach you all about buying at auction, buying REOs, or getting deals on whatever kind of distressed property most interests you. We not only have the listings, we have the tools and educational information you need to become an informed buyer, so that you can choose the best properties with the best potential for future value. We'll show you how to find distressed properties like a pro, even if this is your first home purchase!

Learn more about the distressed properties market and foreclosure investment today, and start getting the best deals possible on real estate today!

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