Foreclosure Properties in the Austin TX Area
Foreclosure properties, REO's or "repos" as they are often called, are not for everyone. Some look like any other resale home but many are very indicative of the turmoil people's lives are in whose homes are being foreclosed on. Many people who are having their homes foreclosed have sometimes ripped out appliances and fixtures or pets have ruined the carpet and made even the concrete smell and do who knows what else to the home. Therefore, many may smell of pet urine and other unappealing odors and sights. You just never know what you may find. Foreclosed homes can be slightly more risky than buying from a "people" owner. Foreclosures are owned by the government or a bank- an "entity". There is no real person to talk to and negotiate with. You still may get a good buy after a thorough inspection. BUT- on many foreclosures- such as HUD homes (which are FHA foreclosures), YOU must pay to have the utilities turned on to test the water heater, range, dishwasher, air conditioner and heater, etc. When a regular owner is there "people", the owner is obligated (per the contract) to have all utilities on for the buyer's inspection. Banks and the government make their own rules with their properties. Sometimes though, if you are willing to put up with some of these issues, and factor in the cost of fixing them, you may get a property for several thousand less than market value or "bargain basement" pricing.
Types of Foreclosure Properties
HUD homes are FHA foreclosures.
Tax Foreclosures on the Courthouse Steps Every county dispenses with foreclosed on properties on the steps of the respective County Courthouse
Bank Foreclosures Banks have an REO or Real Estate Owned departments for homes or land they have had to foreclose on.
Texas Veterans Land Board has foreclosures too. See their website for Forfeited Land Sales
Short Sales are properties whose owners are behind on their mortgage payments. The bank or lienholder agrees to allow the home to be sold for less than is owed. Therefore, the lienholder or bank is who the buyer deals with. Many times the lender who is holding the note is slow to respond to an offer. So expect to wait as long as several weeks or even months to get a response to your offer. Do not expect any repairs to be made or to negotiate anything but sales price and that is usually only a slight deviation from list price.
Short Sales are almost the same as Foreclosures. Short Sales are when homeowners get behind on their payment and the bank allows them to pay less than they owe to get out of the bank note (home loan). Though the people (owners) are still living in the home, the bank makes the rules and decisions about the offer, sale and whole transaction. It can take well over a month or even two to even hear back from the bank about an offer being accepted. With a real people owner, you usually hear back in one or two days and can stipulate in the offer the time frame to hear back.