During the years after the housing bubble burst, banks foreclosed on a large number of homes in the Boston area. While lenders foreclosed on some new properties owned by developers, the availability of these properties is limited, but the values are significant. On the other hand, there are a significant number of foreclosed properties on the market that are priced much less than their fair market value. Prospective Boston home buyers who want to take advantage of the discounted prices on foreclosed homes often need to do some homework to find the lender that owns the property.
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The Process of Finding the Owner of a Foreclosed Home
When viewing and making offers foreclosed homes, the real estate company hired by the lender will be the primary point of contact. The only time a buyer is likely to have direct contact with the lender that owns the home is in the case of hard money loans where a private individual provided the funds for the previous owner to purchase the home.
- Beginning the Foreclosure House Hunt: If a prospective buyer is interested in exploring the options available in foreclosed homes, the most effective house hunting strategy is to work with a buyer’s agent that specializes in distressed properties. In addition to knowing the foreclosed homes that are on the market, these agents have the experience in dealing with the lenders so the process is as easy as possible for the buyer.
- Making an Offer on a Foreclosed Home: If a prospective buyer has independently found a foreclosed home that he or she wants to purchase, it might take some effort to find the lender or agent who handle the sale of the home. The county tax assessor can provide information as to who is the owner of the home. In the event that the foreclosure just occurred, the clerk of court can look up who filed the “Notice of Foreclosure” and provide the information as to who owns the property. Once the lender is located, the prospective buyer needs to make their strongest bid since the banks are more likely to turn down an offer rather than extend a counter offer.
While it takes a bit more effort to purchase a foreclosed home in the greater Boston area than non-distressed properties, it is worthwhile since the home buyer will be able to purchase a home at a significantly lower price than comparable properties on the market. If you need help nailing down the basics on the property, don’t hesitate to contact us.