According to the the latest Foreclosure Inventory Analysis showed nearly 1.5 million properties were currently in the foreclosure process or being held by banks as Real Estate Owned.
This was up 9 percent from the first quarter of 2012, but down significantly from the apex of foreclosure activity — 2.2 million units — in December 2010.
What Is Distressed Property?
“Distressed property” is a blanket term for homes in foreclosure, short sale or that are REO (Real Estate Owned).
Below are definitions of different types of distressed real estate, so that you can be familiar with the terms.
- Foreclosure: When a homeowner has defaulted on their mortgage for a specified period of time, the bank takes possession of the real estate.
- Short Sale: A homeowner facing foreclosure may request a short sale from their lender to sell the property for less than what is owed.
- REO: Real Estate Owned properties have gone through foreclosure and are held by the bank. This increases the possibility of purchasing these homes at a discount because maintaining an REO is costly for a lender.
All three scenarios offer opportunities for substantial savings, yet all include stipulations with regard to the contract and terms of purchase.
Special Requirements With Distressed Property Purchases
When you buy this type of property, you are dealing with a financial institution instead of a private seller, so it may take more time to get to the closing table.
Be prepared for a longer than normal communication cycle as there are often delays when working with the bank or mortgage lender to come to a decision on an acceptable offer and closing date.
Unfortunately, many distressed properties have more deferred maintenance and repair issues
If you are willing to take the chance and be patient, a distressed property could pay off in terms of a lower purchase price.
In the end, it is strongly advised that buyers work with an experienced property expert when interested in distressed properties because of the additional paperwork and requirements to complete the transaction.