Tips on Buying A Foreclosed Home

Foreclosed and foreclosing properties dominate many of today’s U.S. real estate markets—more than four years after the sharpest observers saw the market shift coming, and more than two years after the reality hit home for millions of American home owners. 

First-time home buyers make up almost half of all buyers of bank-owned foreclosures and soon-to-be foreclosed short sale properties. They’re followed closely by investors seeking rental properties, and a third important group—homeowners who find they can move up to a bigger or better home they previously could not afford.

The truth is: these markets demand most of the same things an ordinary market demands of buyers—only more intensely and pointedly:

  • Money: Buyers must be financially qualified and ready to buy. The best properties go quickly. Buyers must look strong to lenders.
  • Motivation: Buyers must be motivated to compete successfully. Keller Williams agents urge their buyers in this market to be clear about both their “motivating why" and their criteria for the property itself (size, location, condition, floor plan, etc.)
  • Location: Contrary to the rumors, prime buying opportunities exist in almost every neighborhood and price range.
  • Condition: Buyers should understand that repair costs are not necessarily large. 
  • Expert Help: Finally, smart buyers know they need to be even smarter—they become a team with a local expert agent who knows local property, pricing, lenders, and the best listing agents. A strong listing agent can be a critical advantage in seeing a distressed property through from contract to close.

keller williams cincinnati oh Real Estate 513-404-3920So, bottom line—if you think you want to buy, have a talk with yourself first, check your financial readiness, and get with an expert and learn everything you need to know, in order to get what you want in this market. I am here to help you, every step of the way! Contact Gregg Sutter today at 513-404-3920.

When Is a Fixer-upper a Good Idea?

Some considerations for undertaking a major home renovation project.

Some great deals can be had for the homeowner who is willing to put some elbow grease into their newly acquired property. But there are some important questions to ask yourself before you dive in to such a project.

fixer upper homes for sale

Probably the single most important consideration: how bad is it? Is the house in good enough condition to warrant improvement? Key hear is the home inspection. If a property has major structural defects, such as major termite damage or a faulty foundation, it's probably beyond the scope of most amateur remodelers. Such a property might be a prime target for the bulldozer.

A home inspection will reveal major structural problems.

If the house is structurally sound, then fixing it up is feasible. The question now becomes: do you have the skills to do repair work? Do you know how to put up drywall? Can you install a floor? Do you know how to re-wire a house, install a new furnace and/ or air conditioner?

Even if the answer to some of these questions is "no," that doesn't automatically mean that fixing up a house is out of the question. If you like working with your hands, then it can very well make sense to go ahead even if you don't have the skill sets needed. The reason: you like the work, so learning new skills would be enjoyable.

At this point, you have a good candidate property, and you enjoy the work. Now comes a very important question: Do you have the time? If you have a demanding job that requires more than 40 hours per week, you may not be able to devote the hours needed to upgrade the house within the foreseeable future. And that's important, because you don't want your family living in substandard housing for a long time.

For example, even though I'm a former builder and love doing this type of work, there is no way I would take on a fixer-upper at this point in my life. I simply don't have the time for it. My real estate business takes up an enormous amount of time, mainly because I take seriously the importance of helping people find the right home. I don't want to have to cut back on my clients because I have to re-wire the basement at the house. Even though I like the work and can do virtually all conceivable construction jobs, undertaking a fixer-upper project is just not in the cards for me right now.

Transforming a run-down property into a beautiful home is a hugely satisfying undertaking and can reap large benefits, both financially and esthetically. Just be sure the stars are in the correct alignment before you commit to such a project.

If you would like some help deciding whether a fixer-upper is the right move for you, contact Gregg Sutter Realty.


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