It's an ill wind...
November 8, 2015 3:58 PM   Subscribe

Have you purchased residential real estate, especially a condo, in foreclosure? Please share so that I may learn.

I recently took a rental apartment in a building that well managed and maintained. The residents seem friendly, but not frighteningly so, and the location is great. I haven't been here that long but I think I might want to stay in the building, especially if I buy.

I learned today that there's a condo in foreclosure one floor above mine. I don't know enough about the process to know what stage it's in, but it's been listed on Zillow for about four months.

So I guess my questions are:

* Should I be interested in this condo, how do I look into it? There's a law firm listed as the contact on Zillow.
* Should I engage a buyer's broker or realtor of my own? (I always hire a lawyer.)
* How does the foreclosure purchase process work?

If you've bought residential real estate, especially a condo, in foreclosure, I'd like to hear your experiences.

posted by Sheydem-tants to Home & Garden (1 answer total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We looked at a lot of foreclosure houses a couple years ago. The main differences compared to a regular house purchase:
1) They were often trashed by the angry former owners. There were holes in walls, concrete in toilets, wiring ripped out, etc. Your condo might or might not have these issues.

2) They were sold as-is. You could not ask the bank to make any repairs. This often meant that they could not get a conventional mortgage because they were in such bad condition (see #1).

3) The agent representing the properties was not very motivated and often did not return phone calls, because they get a small, fixed fee for listing them rather than the usual percentage for a "normal" sale. (This might be different where you are.)

4) It was a *very* slow, drawn-out process to complete the purchase. Fannie Mae (or Freddie Mac?) kept taking the property we wanted on and off of "for sale" status. We spent several months calling the & bugging people both there & at the real estate company to keep things moving along.

5) If it's a short sale rather than already owned by the bank, don't hold your breath. Around here, banks never seem to actually approve offers on short sales, so you can waste months hanging in limbo. If the foreclosure is already done & the bank owns it, you have slightly better chances.

YMMV on all this. In the end, we got a really good deal, but was very stressful getting to the end.
posted by belladonna at 6:02 AM on November 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

« Older What's the best ladder for using on stairs?   |   My foundation always looks cakey. What am I doing... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.