What Are My Loan Options For Buying A Foreclosed Home
If youre buying a foreclosed home at auction, you may need to have the purchase price available in cash. But in most circumstances, youll be able to get a home loan to finance the property. Most loan types youd use for a traditional transaction will be available to you.
Traditional mortgage: These fixed-rate loans offer you a stable monthly payment that wont change for the life of the loan. Many of these mortgages follow rules set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This includes a minimum credit score of 620 and a down payment as low as 3%.
FHA loan: These loans are issued by private lenders but backed by the federal government. You can qualify for a mortgage with a credit score as low as 500 and a 10% down payment. If your credit score is 580 or above, you may qualify for a down payment as low as 3.5%.
USDA loan: This government loan program allows low- to moderate-income families living in rural areas the chance to buy homes with no down payment.
VA loan: Military service members and veterans may be eligible for a VA loan, a benefit from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. VA loans generally dont require a down payment.
203 rehab loan: If youre buying a foreclosed home that needs repairs, the FHA also offers a rehabilitation loan program that may allow you to finance the purchase price of the home as well as the cost to fix it up.
Credible makes it easy to compare mortgage rates from multiple lenders.
Why Would I Buy A Foreclosure
You might want to buy a foreclosed home if you find one thats less expensive than comparable ones on the market. Another potential benefit is that it might be quicker for you to move in since foreclosed homes are vacant.
However, youll want to do your due diligence, get a proper inspection and know what the costs, risks and downsides are. Being thorough will help ensure it makes financial sense for you and avoid any costly surprises.
How To Buy A Foreclosed Home In Canada
Homes in Canada can be pricey, especially in popular urban areas. As a result, many homeowners cannot afford their mortgage payments and, eventually, their homes are foreclosed. People may also go through a foreclosure due to criminal activity, bad living conditions, and other such situations that cause them to be removed from the property. Whatever the cause of the foreclosure, the lenders who retain the liens to those properties need to do something with them to recuperate at least part of the loss theyve taken. As such, those same foreclosed homes may be put up for sale again.
Looking for an alternative to foreclosure? Take a look at this.
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Conduct A Title Search
Prior to foreclosure, the owner of a house may have taken out a second mortgage or a home equity line of credit forms of credit that use the house as collateral. If the primary mortgage lender forecloses, the lenders that issued those secondary loans may still have liens on the propertythat is, the right to collect what they’re owed when the house is sold. Liens attach to a property, not owners, so if liens are attached to the foreclosed home you buy, you may have to clear those lienspay off the previous owner’s debtsbefore you can sell the property. Undetected liens are hidden costs that can significantly undercut any bargain you get by purchasing a foreclosure.
A title search is a professional investigation that identifies liens, unpaid taxes and legal judgments that may be connected to a property expect to pay a few hundred dollars for the service. Conducting a title search on a foreclosed property you want to bid on an auction can save you big if it alerts you to a lien.
How To Buy A Foreclosed Home
You might be intimidated by the thought of buying a foreclosed home. But the process of buying a home in foreclosure isnt too different from purchasing a traditional home. Buying a foreclosure does require additional research, and youll need to be comfortable taking on a bit more risk.
But if you work with a real estate agent who understands your local foreclosure market, the stress shouldnt be much higher than during a traditional home buy.
Here, then, are the steps you need to take in order to successfully buy a foreclosed home.
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Risks Of Buying A Foreclosed Home
Don’t let an appealing price tag lead you into home-buying mistakes. There are serious risks involved.
- Expensive repairs: “Most experienced agents will not take first-time homebuyers to foreclosed properties since, often, they are in rough shape and could become money pits,” says Bhatt. Count all the costs before you close a deal.
- A drawn-out buying process: Because you’re dealing directly with a bank, there can be more red tape involved.
- Steep competition: If home prices continue soaring in 2021, foreclosures may become a popular way for buyers to find a deal, leading to increased buyer competition and higher prices.
- Redemption periods: Most states offer a period of redemption after a foreclosure sale. During this period, the original homeowner could still catch up on payments and earn their home back — even after you’ve moved into the house. Redemption periods can range from 30 days to a year, so be sure to check your state’s laws before you buy a foreclosure.
- Squatters: If a property has been abandoned for a while, squatters may be living there. And if they’ve been there for an extended time, you might run into problems. All states have laws that grant squatters rights of adverse possession after a certain period of time meaning the property legally becomes theirs. In some states, this window is as short as five years, but it’s usually longer. Make sure you assess your property thoroughly to avoid any potential squatter disputes.
Buying A Foreclosed Home At Auction
Picking up a foreclosed home in an auction is the least accessible option for most “normal” homebuyers.
Not only do you have to pay in cash, but since there are no contingencies, you might get stuck with expensive repairs.
But if you have the cash on hand and a high risk tolerance, you can buy foreclosures at either online or in-person auctions.
In-person auctions are often held at the county courthouse or other public venue. Finding them is usually as easy as searching online for “foreclosure auction in ” online.
These auctions are free to attend, but to make a bid, you must register and prove you have the funds to pay. The auctioneer will set a starting price, and the bids increase from there.
Online auctions work in a similar fashion, except registration requires a refundable deposit authorized on your credit card.
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What Is A Foreclosed Home
A foreclosure home is a property that has been repossessed by the bank or government. This happens when owners default on their loans by failing to make their mortgage or property tax payments.
After foreclosing on a home, the lender will then try to resell it to recoup the lost money. Banks normally want to get foreclosures off their hands as quickly as possible. They dont have time to fix up houses to sell for top dollar, so they offer discounts.
The bargain prices are like magnets for investors, house flippers and regular homebuyers looking to get the most house for their money.
But for someone who doesnt know how to buy a foreclosed home, the process can be a bit intimidating.
Types of Home Loans
Purchasing a foreclosure isnt as complicated as it sounds.
Yes, the process can take a little longer, and youll have to jump through some hoops. But its not much different than buying a normal house.
Plus, if it means shaving several thousand dollars off your bill, aren’t a few extra steps worth it?
Before we get into those extra steps, lets look at some of the different types of foreclosures you might run into during your search.
Using An Fha Loan To Buy A Bank
For people with less-than-perfect credit, Federal Housing Administration loans may be the best bet. Government-backed FHA loans are intended to help owner-occupants. They are not meant for investors or house-flippers. FHA loans can be used to buy almost any type of home, including bank-owned homes and short sales.
Thanks to federal backing, FHA-approved mortgage lenders are willing to provide more flexible underwriting and accept smaller down payments. The minimum credit score requirement is 500, for a mortgage with a down payment of 10%. With a score of 580 or higher, you may be able to put the minimum 3.5% down.
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Under The Best Of Circumstances Youre Unlikely To Qualify For Reasonable Home Loan Financing For At Least Two Years After A Foreclosure
Updated by Amy Loftsgordon, Attorney
Many people who have gone through foreclosure wonder if they’ll ever be able to buy a house again. may report foreclosures in your credit reports for seven years, longer if you’re seeking a loan for $150,000 or more. But sometimes, it might take less than seven years to get a new mortgage after a foreclosure. The amount of time you have to wait before applying for a new mortgage loan depends on the type of lender and your financial circumstances.
The chart below shows how long the waiting period is after a foreclosure for different kinds of loans, with more details below.
|Other Kinds of Loans||2-8 years|
Also, a foreclosure will cause a significant , making it more difficult to get a new mortgage. The amount of that decline depends on the strength of your credit before losing your home. If you previously had excellent credit, your score will go down more than if you’d already had late payments, charged-off accounts, or other negatives items in your credit reports.
Research The Home You Want To Buy
With a foreclosure, its important to do even more due diligence on the home youre interested in before deciding to buy it. If youre buying a home at auction, you may not have the opportunity to evaluate the interior ahead of the sale but you can at least drive by the property and see its condition from the outside. Also, look carefully atf comparable home prices in the area. This can give you an idea of what the home could be worth once its fixed up.
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How We Chose The Real Estate Websites
To choose the best seven, we reviewed 18 real estate websites. We uncovered their pros and cons, tested the search and sort capabilities, and dove into app reviews to see what people loved and what they wanted to see improved.
The companies’ reputations influenced our decision for the best as well. We studied and compared sites against each other to see which provided more information, how easy it was to find, and whether we can do it on the run in our mobile app.
Finally, we dug into how the website compiled information. Did it seek source data or did it glean it from another third-party site? And we looked at the money how its earned, and who pays for what services. Based on all of these important factors, we selected the best real estate websites.
What Is Caivrs For Government
The is the federal governments database to track individuals who have defaulted on federal financial obligations like defaulting on a student loan or foreclosing on a home with a government-backed loan.
You will not be able to access the CAIVRS list yourself, but your lender can and will check before approving your loan. If youre applying for an FHA, VA, or USDA loan and youre on the CAIVRS list, then you will not be approved for the loan.
Delinquencies like student loan debt will stay on the CAIVRS list until its resolved in full, but if youve foreclosed on a government-backed loan, then youll have to wait three years before being removed from the list.
Six government agencies report to CAIVRS the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, Small Business Administration, and the Department of Justice. If you defaulted on debts to any of these departments, then more than likely youll be on the CAIVRS list.
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Keep A Paperwork File
Be prepared to document everything finance-related in your postforeclosure life, advises Rodriguez. That includes pay stubs, bank and brokerage statements, and tax returns. Lenders will ask for this paperwork to verify everything you put on your mortgage application as a precaution to avoid another potential foreclosure.
And save your pennies! Unless youre using VA financing, you will probably need a larger down payment to secure a mortgage than you may have put down last time.
Figure 10% minimum, says Fleming. There may be exceptions, but they are rare.
Online Options: Foreclosure Websites
Using sites that specialize in foreclosures can help you learn about options that arent on the Multiple Listing Service . Here are a few free sites to try:
- Homepath.com. Shows Fannie Mae-owned foreclosures
- HomeSteps.com. Shows Freddie Mac-owned foreclosures
- HUD.gov. Shows government-owned foreclosures
- Auction.com. Shows foreclosures that arent on the MLS
- Zillow, Redfin. Through search filters, users can identify foreclosures for sale
You can also do an online search for the name of a county to find local auctions, which might be held online or in person.
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Tips About The Auction Process
Foreclosure auctions are usually run by a local county representative or a private company. Buying a foreclosure at a real estate auction means learning how the specific in-person auction or auction website works. Here are some tips.
Find Foreclosures For Sale
Although your real estate agent will likely be able to help you search for foreclosures, you may want to investigate for yourself as well. The internet has made it much easier than it used to be to find foreclosures in your area and in other parts of the U.S. There are now multiple different areas of the web where you can search. Here are three we especially recommend:
- Rocket Homes: This online repository for real estate listings will even tell you what type of foreclosure you are dealing with.
- HUD: This official government website lists foreclosed homes. There will be a real estate agent listed whom your own agent can contact.
- Fannie Mae HomePath®: Here you will be able to search for foreclosure listings by address, ZIP code or MLS number.
- Freddie Mac HomeSteps®: This is Freddie Macs answer to the Fannie Mae foreclosure site, with very similar functionality.
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Hire An Experienced Real Estate Agent
If you decide to go the route of purchasing a foreclosure, youll want to find an experienced real estate agent who has access to a local multiple listing service and knows the local market.
This agent can help you determine when a foreclosed home is offered at a bargain price or when its listed at an asking price thats too high for the risk involved. An agent may also help you find foreclosed properties that other buyers might miss.
Additionally, a good real estate agent can discuss challenges you could run into with a foreclosed property. Bear in mind that every state has unique laws and regulations concerning foreclosures. Its important to work with an expert who understands these laws.
Should You Buy A Foreclosed Home
If you dont mind fixer-uppers, consider looking at short sales and REO properties listed on the MLS. The process for buying them is similar to buying other publicly-listed properties, albeit with a few extra hoops to jump through to satisfy bureaucratic banks.
Most homebuyers should pass on pre-foreclosures or foreclosure auctions however. You cant access the interior of the home without the homeowners permission, and even contacting these homeowners involves a massive effort on your part. If you send direct mail campaigns to homeowners in foreclosure, you can expect a response rate in the 1% to 3% range. And few of the people who respond to you will end up actually selling to you.
Word to the wise: leave them for professional real estate investors.
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