Most homebuyers in search of a property automatically assume buying a foreclosed home means they’re getting the best deal out there. However, this often isn’t the case. Purchasing a foreclosed home truly can be a great investment, but it could also be an eye-opening experience for those not aware of the process and problems that can arise along the way.

One of the reasons a foreclosure may not be as good of a deal as it appears to be on paper is that distressed home sellers may have more debt than just their home mortgage. They may have a lien or loans against their property, which the bank could factor into the sale price. Another issue could be the amount of work and repair needed on a home, if the sellers had stopped maintaining it. A home may sit vacant for months, which could be problematic in a tropical climate such as ours, where hot and humid temperatures can cause serious damage. Foreclosures typically take a lot longer to close on the sale, therefore buyers need to be flexible on their timeframe. Securing property prior to a foreclosure can mean the difference in having a move-in ready home versus a bank-owned home typically stripped of its contents. Buyers need to be aware of these types of concerns when pursuing a foreclosure, but if the price is right and the home is free of these types of issues, buying a foreclosed property can prove to be a very wise purchase.

Establishing a relationship with a knowledgeable Horizon Realty International agent and sharing what you are looking for up front will allow you to get a jumpstart on finding the best property for you. Knowledge of the local real estate market and access to a network of resources are invaluable in finding a great real estate opportunity. More often than not, in our market, the best real estate deals are found prior to a property facing foreclosure. Being aware of new inventory before it hits the market, monitoring shifts in the existing inventory (i.e. price reductions) and the ability to act quickly are all key strategies. A reputable Horizon Realty International agent should be able to offer insight on an ideal opportunity if it arises, as they’ll be in tune with a home’s value and current financial situation, both of which will help to determine the true value of the deal.

Our team of Realtors® is out in the local market every single day, networking with our contacts and working together for our clients so we can best represent their needs. Horizon Realty International has a proven track record and longstanding success to best represent you. Contact your Horizon Realty International agent today to learn more about great deals in the area and how we can help you find your next home, 941-238-0953



Is it a Good Time to Invest in a Rental?

If you’ve been watching the housing market’s long-term slump, you’ve probably wondered if it’s time to pick up an investment property. Here are the things you need to check before you make that commitment:

1. Your finances are solid and your emergency fund is in place. You have cash on hand to cover unexpected repairs. You’re either paying cash for the property or your credit is sound enough to get a good loan.

2. The overall economic picture is stagnant or improving. If you wait for the big turnaround, you’ll be too late. Beware of trying to catch the very bottom; it can’t be seen until it’s passed.

3. The local economy is strong. Keep in mind that all real estate is local. Some markets have turned around and others are beginning to turn around; these are the best places to begin your search. Make sure you understand where the economic growth comes from, and what will make it continue.

4. The rental market is good. When “for rent” signs disappear in a matter of days and landlords keep raising their rents, you’ve found a great prospect.

5. The cash flow looks wonderful. If that bargain foreclosure can be put in shape quickly and cheaply and your mortgage payments are covered by the rent, you have an ideal situation. If not, figure out how long it will be before you achieve positive cash flow. Be sure you can identify the catalysts that will keep your property value appreciating while you wait.

6. The property has location, location, location. The schools are good, transportation is accessible, and there are no big negatives.

7. The property is structurally sound. Look past dated appliances and dirty carpet. But if the house has major foundation cracks or termites, take a pass.

8. Make sure you’re ready for the commitment. A rental property can be a profitable investment, especially when a down economy creates lots of bargains. If you enjoy fixing up houses and can handle the occasional emergency call, being a landlord is for you. But owning rental property isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t a good deal everywhere. Make sure you understand the market and can meet the challenges before signing those papers.