Buying A Foreclosed Home

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Florida continues to have one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation.
Buyers with money to invest can pick up some good deals on those homes and properties, but there are also some potential pitfalls.

The Bay County Clerk of Court's office posts a link to available foreclosure properties on their web-site.

"We have 24 set for sale just on Monday. There are still a lot of them out there," said Bill Kinsaul, Bay County's Clerk of Court.

It takes about thirty days from the final foreclosure action, til the home goes on the auction web-site.
Kinsaul says to research before you buy!
Unless you're experienced in foreclosure buying, the listings can get confusing.
Kinsaul gave one recent condo sale as an example.

"The judgement amount was $5,000 for a condominium. They jumped in there, put their deposit down, bid on it. They won the bid."

Turns out, the $5,000 only covered the home-owner's association fees and/or condominium fees, not the mortgage.

"It took us a while to tell them that they are the owners, but there's still that first mortgage. There's still money owed on that property and that bank is going to come after that property to be repaid," said Kinsaul.

If the deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

"If it has an assessment value of a couple hundred thousand dollars or even a hundred thousand dollars and the judgement amount is for $5,000 then that right there is a huge red flag."

Kinsaul says you can avoid this type of confusion if you read all of the available paperwork and do your due diligence.

If you have any questions or concerns on the foreclosure buying process, call the Civil Department in the Bay County Courthouse.

Kinsaul along with the Bay County Chamber of Commerce held a buying foreclosure seminar Tuesday morning which sold out.
Now there are plans in the works to hold another in the near future.

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