Precautions To Take Before Bidding On Tax Foreclosure Properties

As you may already know, tax foreclosure properties are those that have been reclaimed by the local government for failure to pay taxes. The properties are then sold through auctions. While you can find some great deals by opting to purchase these homes, make sure to take a few precautions before you begin bidding.

Check Out the Property

If possible, you should try to see the property before you place a bid on it. As with other types of foreclosed homes, tax foreclosure properties are often not left in great shape by the past owners. To some extent, you can understand the bitterness and anger involved in having your home taken away but when youre the one purchasing the property and having to sink a lot of money into the home to repair ridiculous and deliberate damage it can also be frustrating.

By looking at the property before bidding, you can more accurately determine a maximum threshold for bidding. For example, if $20,000 in repairs are going to be needed, you may want to lower that upper bid level by about that much.

Check for IRS Liens

While local tax liens take precedence over mortgages and other types of liens that might tangle up the title to the property, claims on the property placed by the Internal Revenue Service cannot be so easily dismissed. Before bidding, you may want to do a check on the title of the property to make sure no IRS liens are present. Otherwise, you could find yourself owing someone elses tax bills and having to take the old owners to court to recoup your losses.

When youre purchasing tax foreclosure properties, you want to get the best deal possible so take the precautions listed above to make sure your purchase doesnt end up costing you more in the long run.

Steps to Owning Bank Foreclosure Properties

Owning bank foreclosure properties is a simple process which anyone can undertake without the help of agents or brokers. There are real deals to be made in buying one of these distressed properties as long as the buyer approaches the entire affair with diligence and caution.

The process for buying bank foreclosure properties begins with research. The best place to start is the Internet where there are multitudes of web sites providing listings and information on foreclosures. There are free sites that offer country-wide listings but they are highly susceptible to inaccuracies. Your best bet would be the web sites that charge for subscription. For a small investment you get access to all types of foreclosures all across the country as well as news and studies on the market. You can customize your search in these sites to yield only the properties that suit your needs and buying capability.

Once you have subscribed to a web service offering foreclosure listings and before selecting your main prospects, you need to prequalify for home financing first if you do plan to pay for your purchase in cash. You can go to your bank and submit for a financial assessment to know the kind of loan and the amount you qualify for. You need this pre-approval certificate when you make your offer.

The Value Appraisal

If you have selected the home you would like to purchase you need to get an appraisal of the value of the property or at least the most likely price of the home compared to others like it in the market and the neighborhood. Bank foreclosure properties are typically sold at around 20 to 30 percent less than their market value.

The Offer

A typical offer for a bank owned home comes with good-faith money given upfront which can be around three percent of the purchase price. Your loan pre-qualification document should also be included in your offer. After your offer is accepted the deed of sale is drawn up. Some important matters to take care of at this point are the inspection period and the closing date as this could impact the overall cost of your purchase. The bank will allow an inspection contingency phase where buyers can cancel their purchase based on the inspection results.