Property is cheap these days, with many bargains to be had due to the many home buyers who had sub-prime mortgages but were then unable to pay their monthly payments. If you’re not sure whether or not the home you want to purchase has been foreclosed on, there are several ways in which you can find out.
Typically, the advertisements in newspapers and fliers will note whether or not the home has been foreclosed upon, but sometimes the information is not disclosed publicly. You can go to the agent who is selling the house to inquire about more information. If you can’t get in contact with them, try asking a real estate agent whom you know as they know how to check the public records in order to find that information easily and quickly.
You can also go to your county’s courthouse and check for a Lis Penden which is the Latin term used for a pending law suit, or foreclosure. The information should be in the land records office and information may be available on their website. Information of the foreclosure will also be listed in the local newspaper, so you can go to your library, if that’s easier than a trip to the courthouse, and ask the staff for the easiest way in which you can search their newspaper archives. And since most newspapers put a lot of their information on the web, you might even be able to find it online. You can also see if the home shows up in the short sale listings as a short sale is just one step before a foreclosure.
There are also websites that can inform you whether or not the home you are looking at is in going to be, in the process of or already been foreclosed on. Not all of these sites cover the whole United States, and some charge a fee, so you may have to check a couple of sites in order to get the most complete information.
If you do determine that the house you want to buy is a foreclosure, do make sure to inspect it thoroughly, especially if it’s been vacant for any length of time. If no one’s living in it, there could be damages caused by improper maintenance during that the vacancy. However, if you can get your hands on a good foreclosure, you’re likely getting a great deal!