A foreclosure is what happens when a property owner defaults on the mortgage and falls woefully behind on mortgage payments – the lender takes the property back. Then, the lender will try to recoup losses by selling the foreclosed property for less than its actual worth. That is, of course, bad news for the former owner, but good news for you if you’re in the market for foreclosure opportunities. But not all foreclosure properties and deals are created equal. Some wind up being a nightmarish money pit. So you need to know how to identify the best and most promising foreclosure opportunities in Los Angeles.
Foreclosure Opportunities Checklist
It’s easy enough to find plenty of foreclosed properties, but the real task lies in identifying the foreclosure opportunities in Los Angeles that have real potential, that promise a good return on your investment. Following is a checklist that will help you do just that:
What kind of shape is the landscaping in? This can tell you a lot about how long the house has been unoccupied. And the longer it’s been vacant, the worse shape it is probably in because vacant homes deteriorate much quicker than occupied ones.
Was the house winterized? If a foreclosed home sat over the winter without proper winterization, then there are probably plumbing problems – and that could mean a lot of costly repairs. You won’t know for sure if water lines have burst till you turn on the water or have an inspection done, but in cold climates, they are probably there.
What is the neighborhood like? Location is critical, so the quality of the neighborhood is just as important as the condition of the house when you’re assessing foreclosure opportunities in Los Angeles. Pay attention to things like the surrounding businesses, the school district, and other homes for sale. Basically, ask yourself this question: Would you want to live in the neighborhood?
How are the prices of comparable homes in the area? You can get a ballpark figure of the home’s worth comparing its price against the sale prices of other similar homes in the neighborhood. Even better is to run or have your agent run a comparative market analysis. That way, you can find out whether the lender’s price is too high and whether it is indeed among the good foreclosure opportunities in Los Angeles.
The thing to keep in mind is that there usually isn’t a lot negotiating wiggle room when it comes to foreclosed properties. The list price is typically pretty close to the lender’s bottom dollar. You will have to make repairs, so if you aren’t getting a good deal, it may be better to pass.
Use an Agent with Experience
Perhaps the best way to sort through properties that are and aren’t good foreclosure opportunities in Los Angeles is by using an agent with extensive experience in foreclosed properties and so is knowledgeable about the foreclosure process. Look for an agent with training in this area, with, for example, certifications such as the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) or the Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR) designation.
Just make sure you use an agent with knowledge of and experience with foreclosures if you want to find the best foreclosure opportunities in Los Angeles. Whether you’re buying the property to live in or for investment purposes, it can be either a great deal or an expensive nightmare. Use a good agent to avoid the latter. Our agents can help you find those foreclosure opportunities you’re looking for. Find out how we can assist you. Contact us today! 562-881-9811