With home prices skyrocketing over the last couple of years, there are opportunities to snag foreclosed properties well below their market value because they require TLC from the right buyer to bring back their luster. In preparation for a great homebuying adventure, let’s look at 5 things you should know about buying foreclosures in Atlanta:
Always Do an Inspection
The regular suggestion of having a home inspection done by a licensed home inspector stands true. However, with a foreclosed home, the extra attention to detail could save you from some serious headaches.
When you’re buying foreclosures, an inspection provides you with a wealth of information and a chance to learn about the systems and utilities of the home prior to making a hefty financial investment. Your inspector will do a cursory check of all of the utilities in the home to ensure they can operate and comply with safety standards.
It’s worthwhile to take notes during the inspection to both have a reference that you can use in a pinch as well as use for additional leverage during negotiations with the seller.
Scrutinize Any Disclosures
Once you begin the process of seriously buying foreclosures in Atlanta, the seller is required by law to provide you with any applicable disclosures.
These disclosures will vary based on the local market and laws, but you can expect disclosures related to lead paint, structural issues, and natural disasters, such as flooding. Take the data contained in these disclosures to heart but continue to carefully look at all angles of the home instead of believing the disclosures at face value and moving on.
Keep in mind that any disclosures are based on the supposed knowledge of the seller, so a seller that maybe has little to no on-site experience with the property – such as a bank or private mortgage lender – often possesses a great deal of plausible deniability.
Handle the Utilities
Since you are looking to purchase a foreclosed home, there’s always the possibility that the utilities are shut off and have been shut off for quite some time.
Due to this variable, it is recommended that you call in professionals with each specific system to inspect and test each of them to the best of their ability. For instance, the last thing you want to do is close on the home and then discover major plumbing issues that have built up as pipes containing stagnant water expanded and contracted through the winter and then began to crack and leak.
Investigate Title Issues
Besides the physical condition of a foreclosed property, the red tape needs to be thoroughly examined and dealt with before closing. Specifically, a title officer needs to be brought in to discover any liens that may exist on the property. This is a very important step when buying foreclosures to make sure the title is clear.
A more common example of a lien would be fines accrued over time due to landscaping not being cared for by the current seller. The local municipality will often then call in their own lawn care company to deal with the property, and put a lien on the home that needs to be paid off before the title can be transferred to a new owner.
Prioritize Your Repairs
From the very beginning, you will want to make note of any potential repairs that could be necessary prior to your moving in or even dealt with over time.
Planning as best you can for the investment of time and finances is key to getting the most from buying foreclosures. You can save yourself a lot of additional problems by knowing what work needs to be done and creating a loosely prioritized list of the order in which those repairs will be handled.
Help Buying Foreclosures in Atlanta
If you’re beginning the process of buying foreclosures in Atlanta and want an expert eye, contact us today at 770-668-4888!