Sizing Up Foreclosures

In recent years, particularly after the subprime mortgage crisis, foreclosures have been on every buyer’s mind.

Investors Cherry-Pick
In fact, a foreclosed house in good condition can be an excellent value. But in most markets — including Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and Fairfield counties — foreclosures in mint or near mint condition are quickly snapped up by investors who buy to flip.

The foreclosures left over after investors have cherry-picked the best should be approached like bears in the woods — very cautiously.

Foreclosure For SaleDeferred Maintenance
Most homeowners struggling to make ends meet will defer maintenance before falling behind on mortgage payments. The curb appeal of a foreclosed house may still be high, but major systems — think heating, roof, siding, plumbing, appliances — may be distressed or failing.

Gutted Houses
Some homeowners take out their frustration at losing their home by literally yanking out air conditioners, appliances, lighting fixtures, plumbing and more. Sometimes the rude removals are the work of vandals. Either way, the gutted foreclosure will cost a lot more to restore than you might imagine.

Hidden Defects
Some problems with foreclosures are hard to spot because everything is okay on the surface.  Older homes may have inadequate wiring or failing heating and plumbing systems. Foreclosures that have been empty for an extended period could be land mines waiting to be triggered. Houses deteriorate quickly when heating, cooling, electricity, and running water have been turned off for a while.

Inspect, Inspect, Inspect
Your Balch Buyer’s Agent has been around the block a few times and can help you sort the deals from the duds. But when looking at a foreclosure — as when looking at any house — it’s always wise to engage a licensed home inspector before committing to buy.

To talk about foreclosures and other ways to buy economically, call us at (845) 278-8761 or send us your requirements by email.

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