How To Buy A Foreclosure
The Houston real estate market has it's fair share of foreclosures and with the influx of buyers to our city, the foreclosure rating has been steadily climbing due to attractive interest rates and new home builder incentives.
Buying foreclosures is surely one of the most attractive ways to build equity almost immediately. If you buy a home at $60,000 when it's worth $100,000, you've instantly built net worth. You can then take this equity you've built and either rent out your real estate investment for a positive cash flow, or sell the property (also known as flipping) for an immediate profit.
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There are necessary precautions and risk assessments you must perform before putting your hard earned capital on a Houston real estate investment, so the more research you perform beforehand the better off you are likely to be with making the right investment decision.
If you've ever considered purchasing a HUD home or any type of Houston real estate, I recommend you read on to learn about the process of buying homes owned by the government and advertised for sale by the Housing and Urban Development.
Buying a HUD Home
First of all, what exactly is a HUD home? A HUD home may be any type of residence (single family, multifamily, condo, etc.) which has been deeded (transferred title) back to FHA (Federal Housing Administration) or HUD (Housing and Urban Development) by lenders whose had foreclosed on a FHA-insured loan.
That's a mouthful, isn't it? In lamens terms, it's a repossessed home that is owned by the government. In Houston, these homes are listed through agents and put up for sale through SouthwestAlliance.com (Also part of Bidselect.com).
Why go through so much of a process when you can have all of the work done for you for free? Our consultants can guide you and help you throughout the process to buying a HUD home, so contact us to begin the process.
Beginning the Search Yourself
There are two ways to receive the listings from HUD. You can send an inquiry here to be included in our weekly mailing list of HUD homes, or you can begin your search directly at Bidselect.com.
Assuming you choose to do a search through Bidselect.com, you'll see a window open, and you must now select your state. Obviously for Houston, we would select, "Texas". Next, click the button below that selection box named, "Search", to begin searching.
There are three types of ways a property can be financed. Under "FHA Financing Insurability" for each property description, you'll find that it will either say:
- FHA Insured - FHA financing is available.
- FHA Uninsured - FHA financing is not available. You must use conventional financing.
- Insured with Escrow - FHA financing available and if you are using FHA financing, a repair escrow is given. (A certain amount of money to do necessary repairs with)
Once You've Found One
Found a home you're interested in? Fantastic! We recommend to take a drive by the residence and get a feel for the neighborhood and surrounding areas. You may also get a feel for the home curb appeal and get a preliminary look at it's cosmetic condition. If you would like to take a look at the home thereafter, feel free to contact one of our consultants and we'd be happy to come out and show you the property.
Before we do come out, however, we will ask if you have secured financing. The foreclosure market in Houston is so volatile that if you are planning on bidding, you cannot waste time! Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the best way to minimize the risk, as you don't have time to waste with foreclosure deadlines. Once you're pre-approved for financing, we can come out and show the home to you.
Submitting a Bid
Each Friday, homes are added to their database and listed for sale. During the first 10 days of sale, bidders who will occupy the property get preference and are allowed to bid first. If it is still available after 10 days, investors may bid on the property as well.
Each bid must be submitted by 11:59PM Pacific (1:59AM our time) on the specified due date. You must get your bid in on the property before the due date and time for your offer to be considered! You cannot place bids yourself. You must have a HUD registered consultant (such as our consultants) to place the bid on your behalf.
Earnest Money - If the home is priced below $50,000, you will need to be able to provide a certified check in the amount of $500. If the home is priced over $50,000, the earnest money need is $1,000. If you are unsuccessful in bidding, you will receive your earnest money back.
Inspecting The Home
All HUD homes are sold as-is. HUD will allow you 15 days to perform an inspection on the home to gauge the costs of renovation (if needed). The electricity is not provided during this time and you will have to pay for a few days of activation for a licensed state inspector to perform the inspection.
If the house was built before 1978, you may need to get a lead based paint inspection. Homes built prior to 1978 all have the possibility of containing lead based paint in the home which could be hazardous to your heath.
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