While the housing market downturn has clearly been bad for a lot of homeowners, it has been a boon for real estate investors with available cash and the ability to withstand the downturn. Non-investors have also been able to benefit because the foreclosure listings are full of great properties priced at a fraction of their appraised value so the mortgage holders can recoup some of their losses. Here are three ways you can find those listings yourself.
1. Local Newspapers
In most states, foreclosures have to be reported via a public notice. That way anyone who has a claim on the property is assumed to have been notified, including property owners. However, you can also use the newspaper as a way to find available foreclosure properties.
The disadvantage here is that you’re only going to be able to see a small number of the available properties at a time. Public notices only have to be published for a short time so if you miss that window you’ve missed the property.
2. Asset Management Companies
Another way to find foreclosure listings is by making contact with asset management companies. These firms are retained by banks to help them get rid of the properties they’ve foreclosed on which have not sold at auction. These are typically referred to as REO properties.
The disadvantage is that making these connections is more difficult than it sounds for the average person and even if you can make that connection you’ll probably only be allowed to see the listings handled by that company.
3. Online Foreclosure Listings
With this approach, you can visit a web site and get full foreclosure listings for a specified area. The advantage is that you’ll have access to the listings for anywhere in the country.