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Investing in Foreclosures Can Be a Profitable Business

Rescue Home Owners from the Fate of Foreclosure and Create a Good Stream of Income for Yourself

Some may think that investing in foreclosures would make you a devil, but for some you may become their guardian angel. It will all depend on the manner in which you conduct yourself and your business.

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During the last two year's boom in real estate, many people took advantage of higher risk mortgage plans than was seen in previous years. This was due to the escalation of property values in most regions of America, which resulted in masses of borrowers turning to hybrid adjustable and interest only mortgages, with dangerous levels of LTV, in order to find affordability. Some wanted to buy up or have homes that they would have normally not been able to afford, and others simply jumped on the investment bandwagon only to now find themselves being shunted aside.

Although the job situation has improved for some, it has also gotten worse for others, resulting in many recent foreclosures. The out-sourcing of American jobs and a recent trend for down-sizing has left many families with only one income per household. Many have also supplemented their incomes with more than a few credit cards, and they are behind this 8-ball as well. Couple all of this with expensive automobiles and all the other luxuries that Americans now feel they must have, and you have the recipe for foreclosure on a truly grand scale.

Many try to hold on to their dream of relief from this economic disaster for too long, hoping for a positive outcome. However, all that happens is the inevitable; they are eventually faced with foreclosure. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the last twenty years has seen a rise in foreclosures of 250%, and although the number of foreclosures today, is about the same as it was a year ago, many experts predict that this situation will not hold for long.

If being bailed out by a "rich uncle" or a sudden increase of income is not in the cards, then someone facing the prospect of foreclosure must resign themselves to the situation and attempt to conduct as much damage control as they can. If they are able to find a buyer for there property before the foreclosure occurs, they may not be happy about it, but they will be able to mitigate their circumstances as best that they can. For an investor in foreclosures to find a property enticing, they need to purchase it while it is still in pre-foreclosure This is the time frame within the foreclosure process when the mortgagor files the notice of default in the official public record, or takes it to the courts in the form of a legal action to announce the date of the foreclosure auction or trustee's sale.

Anyone who must come to terms with foreclosure and seeks to sell before that inevitability, is what is known as a motivated seller. Similar to someone who is going through a division of property due to a divorce or who needs ready cash for a family emergency, people in foreclosure often find themselves at the mercy of investors. All they can hope for is that the person they find to take over their property will be scrupulous and fair.

If you are on the other end of this situation, and poised to enter the foreclosure investment market, you must consider a few basic things. Buying foreclosures is not for just anyone, you must have good credit, operating capital and patience.

Going to foreclosure auctions is not it's done, by those in the know. The only way to consistently turn a good profit on foreclosure investments is getting in prior to the home being put on the block. It can take from three to ten months for the foreclosure of a home to become final, and this is the period that investors have to work within.

Due to the levels of stress and the personal feelings of pride that people have during these unwanted times, it is as much a matter of diplomacy which will get someone to understand that as an investor, you are their ally and not their enemy. They can either be proactive and come to terms with their reality, or they can choose to stand by and realize nothing from the situation, except the loss of their home and the promise of very bad or near irrevocable damage to their credit. As an investor you must be able to get the seller to realize all of this, and either sell them their equity or arrange to take over the loan at a an affordable cost.

Finding people who are faced with foreclosure is the first step in the process. Much of this information can be found in the traditional manner by taking a trip to the county clerk's office and examining public records. The Internet is also a hotbed of information on foreclosures.

Once the foreclosures have been targeted, as a prospective investor, you must know how to best approach the owners and their legal advisors who are responsible to the whole process. Like anything else, this all takes time, study and practice, to hone your skills to the point where it becomes second nature. Knowing all of the pitfalls and which properties to avoid are also key aspects to success.

As a foreclosure investor, you must be able to uncover all the information that will be needed to make a proper assessment. Primary on this list is whether or not the homeowners have taken too much equity out of the property. This alone can be the single biggest stumbling block to be encountered. What amount the owner has been late on, what the payments will run and how much interest has accrued, are all crucial to the final determination of investment viability. As in any property acquisition, a title search should be performed, and an investigation into whether or not any liens exist due to extenuating legal actions against the homeowner. After all, their problems may not be as straight forward as the loss of a job or poor financial acumen, there may be other skeletons hiding in the closet.

When investing in pre-foreclosures, you must also posses a few other traits and abilities to come out on top. A good rapport with lenders is one. For them to navigate the process and secure these properties for their portfolios, you must have good credit scores, operating capital and the ability to borrow money when necessary. You must also know how to asses the defects of a home whether they are obvious or hidden. In order to get a good price when you go to turn the property over, it must have appeal and be marketable. And, you must know how to sell. To end up sitting on a property too long can be detrimental, unless your plan is to become a landlord and intend on keeping the property as an income producing one.

Whatever the strategy that is employed, it will take time, an investment of capital and the wherewithal to stick it out. Rome wasn't built in a day and foreclosures aren't flipped over night. But, if you are serious, do your homework and continue to perceiver, you will find the right properties, sellers and situations that will make you money in the process.

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