best places to invest in real estate

Is Real Estate a Good Investment? 5 Reasons Why the Answer is Yes

Whether you’re thinking about retirement or you’re trying to learn ways to build your wealth, investing is always a viable option. And, there are more ways to invest your money than playing the stock market. You could also consider investing in real estate. 

But, is real estate a good investment? And, if so, why?

These may be just a few of the first questions you will ask when starting to build your investment portfolio. You may also wonder what type of real estate investment is right for you. 

Not to fear! In this article, we’re discussing a few good reasons why investing in real estate is such a great idea. We’ll also give you some pointers to get through your first purchase. Keep reading to learn more.  

Is Real Estate a Good Investment?

If you’re wondering why a real estate investment is the best way to secure your future, then you’re in the right place. Here is a detailed breakdown of what a real estate investment can do for your financial dreams. 


When you’re investing in stocks, you’re taking a risk against your available assets, especially if the stock plunges below market value, or worse. 

A home investment yields great potential for your assets because there will always be value in your land and your home or investment property.  

You also have an opportunity to protect your investment and corresponding assets with a homeowner’s or property insurance policy. 

Better Returns

Why do people invest in real estate? 

Because it provides better returns than the stock market with little to no volatility. Traditionally, the longer you hold onto your investment, the more your risk of loss is minimized. This will help you build equity as the market improves.  

Real estate offers you more control over your investment. Your property is a tangible asset that can be used to leverage and capitalize on other revenue streams, all while gaining capital appreciation


Real estate values will always increase over time. This means, even if the market takes a dip, your investment will bounce back when the market recovers. And, the longer you hold on to your investment, the more return you will see when you finally sell.

You can also feel secure during times of inflation. Home and rent values typically increase during times of inflation leaving you with a sound investment that will appreciate while keeping pace with the market.  

Portfolio Diversification

So, why invest in real estate? 

Your financial planner will probably tell you that investing in real estate is one of the best things you can do for your investment portfolio. Diversifying your portfolio spreads out your risk and mitigates potential pitfalls. 

On the other hand, many investors have increased their wealth significantly by solely investing in real estate.  

Tax Benefits

Unlike other investments such as stocks, real estate investing offers many tax advantages. You can write off mortgage interest, operating expenses and other costs, as well as property taxes, cash flow from your investment and insurance and depreciation. Add all of this up at the end of the year and you could see tremendous deductions that add cash to your wallet. 

Advice for Investing in Real Estate

Now that you know why real estate investments are so popular, it’s time to gain a better understanding of how it all works. Read on to learn more about what your first real estate investment transaction should look like.   


Before you can begin investing in real estate, you’ll need to make sure you have a budget for it. Buying a home or apartment or piece of land is expensive. Not to mention maintenance costs and potential income gaps between tenants, if you’re renting.

It’s important to weigh out all of the potential costs you may face with your new investment before making a commitment.   

Pay With Cash

Many financial experts recommend paying for your real estate investments in cash. This eliminates the financial burden of a mortgage so you can begin enjoying your returns right away. 

If you can’t pay with cash, you should make sure that you can afford the mortgage payment, even without rental income. Missing mortgage payments will negatively affect your credit which can cost you thousands or more in the long run.  

Research Properties Thoroughly

Especially if you’re purchasing property that you’ll want to sell later, you should research the deed of the property to ensure there are no liens or judgments. Also, consider the neighborhood and comparables in the area that could affect your property value, now and later. 

If you’re considering purchasing a foreclosed property, you’ll want to keep an open line of communication with the bank to avoid any surprises at the time of closing.

Start Small 

The best way to get into real estate investing is to start with a small home or property. You can work your way up to an investment property such as a duplex or apartment complex after you’ve gained some returns on your first investment.

Alternatively, you may consider purchasing an apartment building so that you can live in one unit while renting out the others. This is a great way to get your feet wet and get more comfortable with being a landlord and managing your investment property. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re still asking yourself, should I invest in real estate, then you may not be ready. Don’t jump into anything that you can’t handle. Sometimes it’s best to wait for the next property on the market while you compose your finances and other preparations.

Overall, the final answer to the question, is real estate a good investment, is a resounding yes. The market remains steady and rates are still low, so what are you waiting for? Get out there and find your next investment and start building your wealth right away. 

If you still have questions or would like to perform more research on investing in real estate, check out this blog post for more information. We strive to bring you accurate and up to date details about short sale real estate and other real estate transactions.  

investment property financing/buying a foreclosed home

The Beginner’s Guide to Investment Property Financing

Only 7 million Americans (or 3% of the population) consider themselves to be real estate investors. Yet, real estate is one of the best ways to make money.

From renting to renovating and selling, there are so many ways to make your investment property profitable. In fact, real estate is safer and often yields a better return than stocks.

But first, you need to secure an investment property loan. Read on to learn what you need to know about investment property financing so you can get started.

Understand Your Credit Rating

The first thing you need to do before getting investment property loans is to look at your credit profile. This will give you a sense of where you are financially and what options you should pursue.

Get a free copy of your credit report from any of these credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

You may find items on your credit report that you need to dispute. Now is the time to fix any errors and understand what position you are in.

If your score isn’t great, you can take some time to raise it before you try to get a mortgage for an investment property. But, you don’t have the time to wait for your credit to improve, you can still move forward with securing an investment property loan.

Gather Your Down Payment

The best way to secure investment property financing is to have a sizable down payment. The more money you can put down, the better chance you have of getting the best interest rate.

You will need at least 20% down in most cases. While many times people use the sale of their home to gather a down payment, you probably aren’t selling.

There are various ways you can gather some money for a down payment if you don’t have it in savings. You may want to find an investment partner. Maybe you know someone who doesn’t have the time to dedicate to an investment property but are willing to partially fund the project.

Collect Your Paperwork

The next step is to make copies of your financial documents. You will need these documents as proof your financial situation before you can get a loan.

Print out two months of bank statements and credit card statements. You’ll also need statements from any investment or retirement accounts.

Be prepared to present your two most recent pay stubs from your current employer. You’ll also need to bring your driver’s license and Social Security card.

If you are self-employed you will need to show your business license, your tax returns for the past two years and bank statements. You may also need a letter from your CPA as proof that you have been self-employed for the past two years.

Now, you’re all set for the next step.

Get Pre-Approved

Once you have your documents ready to go, you can start to try to get pre-approved for a loan.

By now you should have an idea of how much money you need and what type of home you’ll be investing in.

Getting pre-approved means that you get a document in writing that states that a lender is willing to loan you a certain amount of money. This document is useful when you work with the seller. It shows that you won’t back out because you couldn’t get financing.

Sometimes it’s difficult to get approved by traditional banks for an investment property. Especially if your credit isn’t stellar and your down payment isn’t huge.

But that is not your only option.

Consider Neighbourhood Banks

A neighborhood bank may be a better fit for you compared to a large national financial institution.

Typically, neighborhood banks are more flexible. They want to invest in your local area and often have a better grasp of your area’s market than banks.

Go With A Mortgage Broker

You may also want to work with a mortgage broker to find an investment property loan. Brokers have access to a large variety of loan options and can secure you one that you might not have been able to get on your own.

Just make sure you research the broker you plan to work with. Make sure they have the required credentials including a college degree. You can ask if they belong to any professional organizations before you settle on any one broker.

It does take some work on your part, but it is worth the effort if your broker finds you what you need.

Explore All Your Options

Still no luck? Well, that means it’s time to think outside the box. Don’t abandon your dreams of having an investment property just yet.

Especially if you have your eye on a particular property that will yield a great profit such as a foreclosure. Just make sure you understand how to get a profit from fixing a foreclosure home.

You might find that a home equity line of credit or taking a lump sum out of an insurance policy is the right solution for you to get a decent down payment.

You can also get investment property loans from private peer-to-peer lenders. There are various sites such as Proser and LendingClub connect investors with individual lenders.

Each lender may have specific credit score requirements. That means it may take time to find a suitable lender. Yet, for the most part, private lenders may be more willing to take more risks than banks.

Final Word on Investment Property Financing

There you have it. A beginner’s guide to securing investment property financing.

Remember, to stay positive. Repeat real estate investors will tell you that getting the financing for the first property is always the hardest.

As your credit improves and you build a proven track record of success, your future projects will be easier to get going.

Next, read about common real estate investment mistakes to avoid.

how to get out of foreclosure

How to Get Out of Foreclosure When You’re Short on Cash

Fewer people are foreclosing on their homes these days. In fact, foreclosure activity dropped to a 12-year low in 2017.

At the same time, though, there are still hundreds of thousands of foreclosures occurring each year.

Are you currently facing foreclosure? Are you unsure of how to avoid it without spending a lot of money you don’t have?

If you’ve been wondering how to get out of foreclosure, keep reading. Some effective strategies you can use even when you’re short on cash are explained below.

Look for Ways to Raise Extra Funds

If you’re not too far behind on your payments, you might be able to scrape together the funds to avoid foreclosure by implementing some of these tips:

Cut Expenses

Start by eliminating all “extras” from your budget. This includes cable TV, a gym membership, your expensive cell phone plan, your second car, etc. Anything that isn’t absolutely necessary should go.

Sell Your Belongings

Sell anything of value that you don’t absolutely need. This includes electronics, a second car, musical instruments, collectibles, jewelry, etc. Sell these items in a yard sale, on Craiglist, or at a local pawn shop.

Look for a Side Job

You might be able to earn extra money by picking up a side job with a company like Lyft or Uber. You can also look into babysitting, dog walking, or delivering food for GrubHub. There are tons of gigs out there you can use to earn extra cash.

Withdraw from Your Retirement

Finally, you may also want to consider withdrawing money from your retirement. If you have a Roth IRA, you can do this without incurring any penalties or taxes.

If you have a regular IRA or 401(k), though, keep in mind you’ll have to pay taxes and early withdrawal penalties on the money you take out.

The money can be worth it, though, if it allows you to get caught up on your house payments and avoid foreclosure.

Consider Refinancing

If, after taking the above steps, you’re still short on the money you need to avoid foreclosure, consider refinancing your mortgage.

By refinancing your home loan, you’ll experience very little impact on your credit score. You’ll also get a more affordable loan with lower monthly payments.

Of course, you also get to continue living in your home, which is almost always the end goal when you’re facing foreclosure.

You can talk to your lender about refinancing your home loan.

There are also several programs that help to simplify the process, including the Federal Housing Authority and the Home Affordable Refinance Program.

Talk to Your Lender

If refinancing isn’t an option for you, there are several other plans you can use to improve your financial situation and avoid foreclosure, including the following:

Loan Modification

With this approach, your lender modifies aspects of your loan (interest rate, type of interest, term length, etc.)


A lender might agree to reduce or suspend your mortgage payment for a certain period of time while you get back on your feet (find a new job, go back to work after being on disability leave, etc.).

Look into a Short Sale

If you can’t figure out a way to stay in your home, you may want to consider a short sale.

A short sale involves selling your home for less than the amount that you have left on your mortgage. The lender takes the money from the sale and you’re able to walk away and start over again.

In some cases, you can’t get as much money as you need from your house. Lenders will often accept whatever you can get, though. Even though they lose some money, they get to avoid the expensive and time-consuming foreclosure process.

How to Get Out of Foreclosure with a Short Sale

Are you interested in using a short sale to get out of foreclosure? If so, you’ll have to follow these steps:

Understand the Consequences

First of all, it’s important to understand the consequences of a short sale. For example, a short sale will negatively impact your credit score (although, not as much as a foreclosure will).

There may also be tax consequences. The IRS typically considers canceled debt from a short sale to be taxable income.

For example, if you sold your home for $150,000 and owed your lender $200,000, there would be a deficiency of $50,000. If the lender forgives that $50,000 debt, they will issue a tax form known as a 1099-C. This money is then considered taxable income to you.

Contact Your Lender

If you’re aware of and accept the consequences of a shorts ale, start by contacting the loss mitigation department of your bank.

They’ll have you fill out an application and some other paperwork. You’ll also have to provide documents detailing your financial situation.

List Your Home

If your lender decides that a short sale is the best option for you, you’ll have to put your home up for sale. Once you get an offer, you’ll take it to the lender in order to have your short sale approved.

It can take quite a while for a short sale to be complete, especially since you have to go back and forth to the bank after getting an offer. It may be a time-consuming process, but most people find it worth it to avoid foreclosure.

Read the Fine Print

Finally, be sure to read through all the paperwork thoroughly before agreeing to anything.

Lenders don’t always accept the proceeds from your short sale as a full payment of your home loan. Make sure that your lender will accept to this before you start the short sale process. That way, you won’t be in for any unpleasant surprises later on.

Want to Learn More about Short Sales?

Do you want to know more about how to get out of foreclosure with a short sale? Or, do you just want to learn more about short sales in general?

Either way, we have resources for you.

Check out the short sale archives of our blog today to learn everything you need to know about the short sale process, including information on how to use a short sale to avoid foreclosure.

mortgage restructuring

How Mortgage Restructuring Can Save You Thousands of Dollars

The value of outstanding mortgage debt in the U.S. in 2017 was nearly $15 trillion. That’s more than $45,000 for every man, woman, and child in the country.

Your home is the single most expensive item you will ever buy in your life. And most of us have to pay off our mortgage debt over decades.

But circumstances can often change, meaning that those monthly mortgage repayments are can become a serious burden. One way to try to alleviate some of that burden is by restructuring your mortgage.

Read on as we take a look at how you can save serious money by mortgage restructuring.

Restructure Your Payments

There are two ways to do this, depending on whether you want to save money in the long or short term.

If your lender will allow it, you can restructure your mortgage so that it is over a longer period. This means that your monthly repayments will reduce, saving you money in the short term. But the downside is that the total you pay overall will increase, as you are paying interest over a longer period of time.

If you want to save money in the long term, then you can restructure your payments so that you’re overpaying your monthly payment. In this way, you will pay your mortgage off sooner and be paying interest for a shorter period of time. The savings can easily be several thousand dollars.

Recast Your Mortgage

Another way to pay your mortgage off more quickly is by a process known as recasting.

This involves paying off a lump sum of your mortgage, usually $5,000 or more. Your mortgage is then recalculated, which means that your monthly payments will reduce. In addition, you will also make huge savings overall as the interest you will accrue will be significantly less than your previous mortgage.

There is a fee incurred for recasting your mortgage which usually amounts to a few hundred dollars. This is more than outweighed by the savings you will make. But recasting your mortgage does require you to have a large sum of money available.

Refinance Your Mortgage

If you want to change things up completely, you could consider refinancing.

Finding a different mortgage at a preferential rate can save you both on your monthly payments and the overall amount of interest you will pay. But this needs to be weighed up against the fees you may incur for leaving your current mortgage early. These can often be a significant percentage of your current loan amount.

You will also need to be approved for your new mortgage, which has become more challenging since the financial crisis.

Defer Your Payments

If you are really struggling to meet your monthly mortgage repayments currently, but believe you will be able to make up the shortfall in the future, then it might be worth trying to defer your payments.

Realistically, few mortgage providers will agree to this unless there is a clear reason why you need the deferment. You would need evidence that you will be able to return to the normal schedule within a reasonable timeframe and make up the shortfall you will have accrued.

The likelihood is that in most cases you are unlikely to be successful. But it may be possible as it means that the lender will still end up receiving all the money they are owed, which is not always the case in foreclosure sales.

Pay Bi-Weekly

This is a really simple trick that sounds like it shouldn’t work but can end up saving you tens of thousands of dollars.

Instead of monthly mortgage repayments, you pay half the amount every two weeks. At first glance, this seems like you will just end up paying the same amount over the course of the year. But since every month but February is actually longer than four weeks, you actually end up paying off more.

52 weeks of bi-weekly payments equate to 13 monthly payments instead of 12. And whilst this doesn’t sound like much, the savings can be huge.

For example, for a $300,000 mortgage at 5% over 30 years, your monthly repayments would be $1,610.46, and the total you would repay over the whole term would be $579,767.35. If you paid $805.23 bi-weekly, you would finish paying off your loan nearly 5 years sooner. Your total repayment would be $528,275.45, which is a saving of an enormous $51,491.90.

Not all lenders allow bi-weekly payments, however, so you will need to discuss this option with your mortgage provider.

Extend the Term

If your current repayments are becoming difficult to manage, one option is to extend the length of your mortgage.

By paying off your mortgage over a longer period, it means that your monthly payments will be reduced, making them easier to manage. But the downside of this is that you will be paying interest over a longer period, so the total that you end up paying will increase.

The length of time that you can extend your mortgage will also depend on a number of factors. These include your age and how many more years you are likely to be working.

Switch to Interest Only

Another way to reduce the size of your monthly repayments is to switch to an interest-only mortgage.

Under this type of agreement, you are only paying down the interest each month, which makes your repayments far more easy to manage. There is a serious concern with this type of mortgage, however. Since you are paying down none of the principal amounts that you borrowed, you still owe the full amount of your loan.  This will still have to be paid off at some point.

Unless you are expecting a sudden windfall, you will need to start saving to pay off the loan at some point in the future.

What Are Your Options Outside of Mortgage Restructuring?

If mortgage restructuring isn’t going to work for you then there are other options.

If the repayments on your home are becoming burdensome, one option is to consider a short sale. Our site is packed with useful information on everything you need to know about short sales, whether you’re selling or looking to invest.

We also have plenty of useful articles on real estate financing too. Feel free to take a look around.

The Las Vegas Short Sale Market: From Then Till Now

Las Vegas’ housing market has traditionally been considered a weak one, with banks dominating local real estate. But as the market improves home owners are managing to do fine without their help.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors says that as of January 2014, 70% of used home sales are comprised of private buyer seller deals. That is an improvement of 19% from 12 months ago and an increase of 26% compared to two years ago.

As Las Vegas makes its slow recovery from the recession it is evident that both locals and investors are buying and selling properties in the market.

The banks are still actively involved in handling the short sales market, but there are decidedly fewer foreclosures. Short sales made up nearly 50% of all real estate deals a year ago but now only account for 21%.

Remember that the “short” reference in the name is not a reference to time span, it is a reference to paying short on your mortgage. If anything a short sale could turn into a lengthy process so be prepared.

Foreclosures On The Demise

One of the reasons short sales have become so popular in the Las Vegas property market is the attractive alternative they present to foreclosures. In Fall of 2012 Nevada signed in its robosigning law. This forced the banks to deliver more paperwork before they could seize homes. This has slowed down foreclosures significantly and reduced the number of homes for sale by the bank.

The Short Sale Market

When the Las Vegas property market decreased in value, lots of investors entered it, with the intention of buying short sale properties cheaply and renting them out. This demand resulted in Las Vegas property values growing at one of the fastest rates in the country.

In November 2013 the median price of a Las Vegas home stood at $167 000, a 31% increase from a year ago. However in the third quarter of last year it emerged that 40% Las Vegas’ home owners who had mortgages were upside down, or had debt greater than the value of their homes. This gave Las Vegas the highest rate in the United States, but it was still well below 71%, the national peak two years ago.

A Different Response To The Ups And Downs Of The Las Vegas Property Market

Some Las Vegas home owners have made peace with the market trend, opting to wait it out and escape negative equity. If the values do rise they have the opportunity of making a traditional sale without the need to enter into short sale negotiations. Economics experts argue that home owners are no longer as panicked as they used to be about the prospect of a short sale. And while there are still short sales available, there are a lot fewer than there used to be.

The lesson that can be learnt from this, is that you can also postpone or avoid a short sale simply by being patient. If you have no reason to sell right now, then don’t do it.

The Short Sale Market In 2013

The short sale market took off in 2013 as the result of a combination of a number of different factors. The first major factor was banks issuing default notices to home owners who were not paying their monthly installments. By contrast notices were not issued towards the end of 2012, resulting in the foreclosure rate dropping to an all-time low in December of that year.

Secondly the Co-operative Short Sale Program incentivized all major lenders to enter into short sales. Thirdly the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act was extended until the end of 2013, from its original date at the end of 2012.

From Then Till Now

Since they appeared for the first time in 2007 short sales have changed tremendously. At that time it was very difficult to convince banks to take up the short sale process. These days the banks also want to avoid foreclosures and are more receptive to adopting short sales as an alternative to help achieve that.

The Short Sale Market In 2014

The number of short sales has had a positive influence on the Las Vegas property market to date. The market is now experiencing something of a revival as foreclosed and short sale buyers have used their opportunities and re-entered the market.

Short Sale Advice For Property Buyers In Las Vegas

It is advisable that buyers keep a buffer between their offering price and what they could end up paying for a property. Counter offers from lenders have become more popular for properties in the short sale market, sometimes asking between 3 and 5% higher than the original asking price if a buyer is interested.

The counter offers are sometimes used as short sales can turn into lengthy processes. The short sale market for properties under $100 000 is especially solid at the moment.

An experienced short sale realtor who has proven success dealing with properties that are under water will be able to help you make an informed decision about your property and how to sell it. Remember that vacant homes cost the banks more money so if you really cannot sell, it is in the bank’s best interests to accept a short sale. Your short sale agent will be able to help you apply with your lender. He or she will also help you to be prepared for the process and advice you how long it should take, so you can make all the other necessary arrangements.

There are a number of specialist short sale agents working in Las Vegas who all have significant experience handling short sale properties. If you need to make a choice shortlist from those who have sold the most properties.

Short sales have helped a number of Las Vegas residents to change their lives and take control of their finances again. They present a proverbial lifeline to people who owe more than they can sell their homes for on their mortgages.

buying a foreclosed home at auction

5 Tips for Buying a Foreclosed Home at an Auction

As the foreclosure crisis has affected hundreds of thousands of homeowners around the country, there are also some homeowners who got their first home from one. I

f you’re a first home homebuyer or looking to build wealth through real estate, buying a foreclosed home at an auction is a smart move.

Here are five tips for finding the perfect home when looking for a foreclosed home at an auction.

1. Finding the Right Auction

If you want to succeed at auctioning, you need to find the right one. There are online and print resources that offer information all about where to find auctions and which offer the best deals.

Foreclosure auctions happen all the time and offer some great deals. Try or RealtyTrac if you want to find auctions in your area. If you’re looking to buy right away, you can find an auction happening in your region soon.

Forecloser sales are usually compiled within each county. Either online or at the county offices, you’ll find data telling you all about the local market. Third-party sales agents or “trustees” even track foreclosure data and may be happy to share that data should you choose to work with them.

Ask local real estate agents to help you find good properties that are up for auction. By law, there’s no agent commission on foreclosure sales, but you may end up finding that the price is inflated to cover fees that the sellers incur.

Ask around for who is handling foreclosure auctions and you’re sure to find a few people who know where to look.

2. Do Research On Properties

It’s vital for you to do lots of research whenever you’re considering a property at an auction. Either the properties or the auction itself should offer due diligence documents and transaction details. These give you an insight into what’s happening with the properties up for auction and what to expect during the course of the auction.

Real estate attorneys know what to look for when seeking information on properties. Get some independent advice by hiring a knowledgeable real estate agent or attorney to advise you on properties.

Before you commit to an auction, you need to know the estimated resale value of a property. Submitting a bid on a property that’s higher than the resale value puts you at a financial disadvantage.

Without proper research, you’ll put yourself into a position to get hit with property liens. There’s a high probability that properties that are foreclosed upon have been borrowed against. This borrowing, based on the value of the home, is up for repayment when a house is sold.

It’s now your responsibility if the borrower doesn’t settle before the home is sold.

3. Take a Look At The Property

If you have time, drive by the property and take a look at what the condition is. When you know what the condition is from the outside, you’ll be able to guess what it looks like on the inside.

Homes under foreclosure aren’t necessarily ready to be moved into. If the home is occupied, it’s the renter or the financial institution who is foreclosing on the person inside. Disturbing the occupant is illegal, rude, and considered trespassing if someone lives at the property now.

Foreclosed properties receive bids under an “as-is” condition. The condition of the interior of the home is typically unknowable until it’s yours. Once you own the property, expect the worst and allow yourself to be surprised.

Put aside several thousand dollars to handle the repairs to make it liveable. In order to bid comfortably, leave yourself a few thousand dollars to get the ball rolling. The looks of things on the outside are a fair indicator of what’s inside, but not the full story.

A poorly kept exterior typically indicates an unfortunate interior. However, lots of people keep up a home on appearances while letting things fall apart inside. This is especially in the favor of sellers looking to get a good price.

4. Secure Your Financing

Before you start dreaming about ideal home situations, doublecheck your funding.

If you have bad credit but lots of cash on hand, you’re in the perfect situation. Most foreclosure auctions will take cash, cashier’s check, or a money order endorsed by a bank. Since auctions need to be paid in full as soon as you win the property, you’ll need to have payment ready at a moment’s notice.

Some states allow you to pay a percentage while requiring the rest within a set period of time. Don’t expect this to be the case, however. Have your money ready ASAP.

If you’re buying from a county foreclosure, you may even have to put money down in advance. Depending on where you’re located, 5% or 10% on the day-of must be put down. This ensures that only serious and competitive bids end up in the final tally.

5. Confirm the Details

Even if the auction is happening today, call in to see that all the details of the auction are the same as when you first read about it. Some foreclosure auctions get canceled or postponed on the day of.

If the person who owns the house comes up with the money, they can push back a foreclosure. Some buyers get a loan modification or sell the property as a short sale. Every buyer has a different situation and everyone home has a different story, some of them with a twist right before the end.

Buying a Foreclosed Home at an Auction is Smart

No matter what your financial situation, buying a home in foreclosure is a way to start building wealth. Buying a foreclosed home at an auction offers you the opportunity to get your first house or start revitalizing a community.

If you’re looking for a way to turn a foreclosed home into something that turns a profit, check out our guide for more info.

The Most Common Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Short Sale

Are you looking to snap up a home via a short sale?

Well, the idea of buying a new home at a fraction of the price doesn’t seem possible. However, this is the reality for a number of home buyers and investors who are able to find a short sale.

If you’ve never heard of a short sale or aren’t sure what it is, then this article is for you. We’ll also discuss some of the mistakes you should avoid making when buying a short sale.

Let’s review.

What is a Short Sale?

Simply put, a short sale is a home that’s sold for less than what the homeowner owes on it. At this point, the lender won’t get all the money it’s owed. This works out in situations where the house is in foreclosure.

The only way a home can be sold on a short sale is when the lender approves of it. Now, while this may seem like a great advantage as a home buyer, there are some expenses you must be aware of.

These typically occur after the purchase of the property. For instance, say you purchase a property, then end up paying $50K in renovations. These are considered hidden costs, especially if you were unaware of the amount of work required beforehand.

It’s essential to have a reliable inspector inspect the property to ensure there’s no major damage from termites or with the plumbing, foundation, and electrical system.

Next, let’s review some of the most common mistakes buyers make when purchasing short sale houses.

Not Reviewing Property Issues

Again, knowing what’s wrong with a property is key when you’re trying to get a “deal.” It’s not much of a bargain if you spend more than you bargained for.

There are instances where prior property owners are spiteful and damage the property. Then there are other cases where properties sit empty for years and develop plumbing and mold problems.

Whatever issues exist in a home, be sure you know about all of them before you sign on the dotted line.

On the upside, you may qualify for loan programs like Fannie Mae HomeStyle that offer assistance to home buyers that have to renovate.

Not Having a Home Inspection

It’s not enough to talk to the past owners, the realtor, or the bank. It’s also not good enough to do a walk-through of the property on your own. It’s best to have a knowledgeable expert inspect all areas of the property.

If you have to hire more than one, then do so. Everything from the plumbing and electrical to the foundation and roof requires inspecting.

There are a number of expensive problems you can run into, such as termites and structural damage. Plus, these problems can be dangerous. Do note there’s a time frame for having a home inspected, which is called an inspection period.

In a short sale, this can give you leverage when it comes time to make a final deal.

Not Reviewing Legal and Insurance Details

Buying from a bank comes with risks because they often sell properties as is, without any disclosure. This means you have to do extra research on your part. Normally, a disclosure statement will detail things like whether a home is within a floodplain or if there are unpermitted renovations.

You can get cited by the city if you make renovations without getting them permitted and approved. If this is present in your property, then it falls on you, whether you did the renovation or not.

Not Giving Enough Closing Time

The process of buying a short sale property is a bit longer than with a typical home. This is because the lender has to go over and approve the foreclosure terms and price. This will be lower than what the home seller owes the lender.

Of course, this leaves them with the short end of the stick, which is why they’re not so quick to let the property go. This will tarnish their reputation since most won’t want to get a loan from a bank that has a mortgage on a short sale.

Choosing the Wrong Property

Unfortunately the saying “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” couldn’t be more factual for buying short sales. In many cases, if the deal is a bit too low for a property, then there’s likely more to it than meets the eye.

This is where common sense comes into play. It’s important to consider whether you’ll be able to afford to rent it out at the same rate or less than the mortgage payments you have. And how much do you have to invest to make the property habitable?

Not Offering Enough

When you’re presented with a short sale, you’re tempted to go as low as you can. However, making low ball offers isn’t the way to go. While the lender is trying to avoid costly foreclosures, they’re still trying to get as much as possible.

This means you could end up outbid, losing your chance of getting the property. Also, if your offer causes a greater loss than a foreclosure would, then they’re not going to accept your deal.

Offering Too Much

While you can make an offer that’s too low, there’s also the possibility of putting too much on the table. There has to be some middle ground when making your offer.

When you end up paying too much on a short sale, you could end up “upside down.” This is when you paid more than the current market value in a market that’s declining. In other words, it’s going to take a very long time to see the value rise to a profitable level.

Any investment you make should yield an ROI. The only way to do this is to buy low and sell high. You can’t do that if you purchase a short sale house with a declining value, especially if it’s lower than what you purchased it for.

Buying a Short Sale Home

Now that you have a better idea of what a short sale is and the mistakes to avoid, it’s time to consider buying a short sale property.

If you’re looking to learn more about short sales and investing in properties, keep tabs on our blog. You will find a ton of great tips and information you can use to ensure you’re making profitable investments.

The Most Common Issues to Look out for When Buying Foreclosed Homes

One in every 2,402 homes in the United States gets foreclosed.

Delaware has the highest rate, with one in every 831 homes facing foreclosure.

Buying foreclosed homes can seem like a great deal or investment. Often times, individuals who buy foreclosed homes “flip” them. In most cases, this means they buy them, rehab them, then sell them for market value.

While it seems amazing to buy a house for dirt cheap, everything comes with a price. With a foreclosed home, the price isn’t necessarily monetary, but you may pay in other ways.

Read on to find out about some of the issues to look out for when purchasing a foreclosed home.

Buying Foreclosed Homes: Previous Owner Destruction

In most cases, the previous owner of the home was kicked out of their house. This is typically due to non-payment of their mortgage over a period of months.

Obviously, this is an incredibly grim situation and a low point in their lives. They may have even lost their home due to circumstances beyond their control such as medical problems that rendered them unable to earn enough money to pay the mortgage.

Sometimes, this means that they take out their rage on the home itself. They may destroy part of the property with a sledgehammer, rip out sinks and fixtures, or even vandalize the property. They may also take appliances like refrigerators from the house.

There is little you can do about this, except repair the damage that they did.


Some homes are foreclosed on because the owner neglected the property. This can happen often for individuals who have second homes but can’t keep up their payments on their secondary residence. As a result, their home gets foreclosed.

If the owner knew they could not pay for their second property, they may have stopped visiting it altogether and let it fall into disarray.

There could be issues with molding, trash in the home, the pool having insects or vermin in it, rotting wood, problems with the roof, etc.

Neglect can also occur when the previous owner lived in the property. Some people are not capable of cleaning and keeping up their home, especially if they suffer from physical or mental disabilities. By the time the home gets foreclosed on, there could be huge structural issues with the house.

You may even have the unpleasant issue of purchasing a foreclosed home in which a former owner was an animal hoarder. Animal urine and feces can also cause the wood inside the home to warp and rot, and you may have to redo the floors completely.

There Is No Disclosure

You’ve probably seen television shows in which the characters purchase a house and the real estate agent must tell you that five people have died in it.

There is no such disclosure when the bank owns the home.

Disclosure doesn’t have to be about nefarious goings-on in the house. It can mean disclosing to the new residents that there is asbestos in the attic or that the floor is rotted in the kitchen.

Since the bank hasn’t lived in the property, like the former residents, they will have no idea about any of this information.

In some cases, you can obtain records to see if there is anything about the house you should know about. But mostly, you’ll be in the dark.

That is, of course, unless the house you’re purchasing is already famous either nationally or by local legend.


When you move into a new home, it is usually clean and ready for you to move in. Even if the property hasn’t been vandalized or neglected by previous owners, there is no guarantee the home is going to be clean.

Even if the previous owners were not neglectful of their property, they still might not have been particularly clean people.

You’ll have to make sure you do a thorough cleaning of the house before moving in or starting to flip it.


If the home sat by itself with no occupants for a long while, it could have been susceptible to vandalism. This doesn’t always mean that the vandalism needed to have come from former owners, either.

Local teenagers might have known the house was empty and went there to party.

People may have realized it was abandoned and went into the house to practice their graffiti and artwork skills on the walls. Or, they may have helped themselves to fixtures and appliances inside of the home.

They may have also vandalized the outside of the home, with spray paint, glue or anything else they may have felt like doing at the time.

Unfortunately, because you’re the new owner, it will be your responsibility to repair all of this once the house is yours. This can be a costly project, and often times, banks don’t give credit to people attempting to remodel a foreclosed home.

Is Buying a Foreclosed Home Worth It?

Buying foreclosed homes can be worth it or more trouble than they’re worth, depending on what your purpose is. If you’re looking for a huge project to complete with your family or hired contractors, it might be one of the best things you ever do.

If you’re a huge fan of remodeling homes then selling them, they also might present a fun challenge for you and those who are in business with you.

For more information on all things related to short sales and buying foreclosed homes, visit our blog.

How Does a Short Sale Affect Your Credit Score?

When a person defaults on their mortgage payments, they are often forced to lose their home to foreclosure or sell it via a short sale. Foreclosures often accompany bankruptcy and have a drastic impact on one’s credit and finances.

But does that mean a short sale will save your credit?

For the answer to “How does a short sale affect your credit?” and much more, keep reading. We’ll tell you everything you need to know!

What Happens During a Short Sale?

Put simply, a short sale means that you’ve sold your house for an amount less than what is left on the mortgage. But there’s a lot more to a short sale than its definition implies.

For example, why would a homeowner agree to a short sale anyway?

It is common for a homeowner to agree to a short sale in the event that they cannot afford their mortgage payments. It is often the last resort for people who don’t want to face all of the consequences of a foreclosure.

With that said, the homeowner is usually the one who initiates a short sale. It typically takes place after the home’s value has decreased by at least 20%.

Filing a short sale isn’t a quick or easy process. The financial institution that the mortgage is through is bound to lose a lot of money because they have to accept the sale of the house for a lesser amount.

So, short sales have to be approved.

Applying for a Short Sale

The process of applying for a short sale is heavy in paperwork and involves the input of multiple parties. In fact, it sometimes takes an entire year to finish processing the details of this sale.

This is the documentation you will need to gather:

Letter of Authorization

You will need to have a letter of authorization signed and notarized. The purpose of the letter is to give the bank permission to speak about the details of your mortgage with real estate agents or potential buyers.

Hardship Letter

A hardship letter has to prove that you are in significant, irreversible debt. It has to show that you are between 60 and 90 days behind on payments with no access to resources that can bring you up to date.

These resources can include:

  • Cars
  • Jewelry
  • Heirlooms
  • Vacation homes
  • Retirement plans
  • Cash or savings
  • Stocks or bonds

In this letter, you will need to include as much evidence as possible to explain your financial hardship. It might be something like divorce papers, paperwork from a repossession, tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements.

Statement of Property’s Value

A qualifying document to display the value of your property would be an appraisal or a price opinion from a broker. And of course, the lower the estimate is, the higher your chances of having your short sale approved.

The purpose of this document is to prove to the lender that they won’t be able to sell the house for an amount that is equal to or surpasses what is left on the mortgage.

You should also include other details that might make the home difficult to sell. For example:

  • The crime rate has increased in the neighborhood
  • Numerous nearby properties are up for foreclosure
  • High tax or insurance rate
  • Poorly performing schools within the district

If the lender is convinced that selling the property will be a headache, they will more likely approve the short sale.

Contract or Purchase Offer

One of the best ways to have your short sale approved is to find a buyer who is willing to sign a contract or purchase offer showing their intentions. This will have to be put in writing because lenders don’t typically entertain offers that are tentative or finicky.

When you file for the short sale, you should have this documentation ready to go before you meet with your lender.

Settlement Statement

A settlement statement should accompany the proposed price. The statement will explain how much money the lender will make and how much will be lost.

The purchase price and other fees should be included as well. A real estate attorney or closing agent can prepare this paperwork.

How Does a Short Sale Affect Your Credit?

There isn’t a straight answer to tell you how a short sale can affect your credit. The reason is, the impact depends on what your credit standing was beforehand.

In most instances, a short sale can decrease a person’s credit score by 160 points or so. But if your credit was already low, it could take a harder hit.

Another thing to consider is that your credit probably already suffered before the short sale because of missed payments.

On the brighter side, the damage a short sale puts on a person’s credit isn’t permanent. Here are some tips to help you get it back on track:

Analyze Your Credit Report

Did you know that 4 in 5 credit reports have errors on them? These errors can cause your score to be even lower than it should be.

Take a look at your credit report and dispute anything that doesn’t belong. If you have those errors removed, you may see your score improve.

Take Care of Your Other Accounts

Don’t allow a short sale to get you down, it isn’t the only activity on your credit report that’s hurting your score. Make sure you are on time with all of your other payments, keep the utilization on your credit cards low, and don’t close accounts after you’ve paid them off.

Use a Secured Credit Card

Secured credit cards are designed to help people improve their credit scores. Using the card to make small purchases that you can pay off before your due date is one of the best ways to improve your score.

Need More Short Sale Advice?

Now that you know how does a short sale affect your credit, you probably want more information about short sales and avoiding foreclosure. We’ve based our entire website on that concept to help you out.

Follow us and you’ll find all the advice you need.

Foreclosure vs Short Sale: What’s the Difference?

Most experts agree that real estate is one of the safest investments you can make.

Not only can you earn passive income from rental properties, but it’s also a safe way to make a long-term investment. But, buying real estate takes more than researching CMAs.

The type of property you buy is important, too. For instance, many investors prefer buying short sale or foreclosed homes.

Knowing the difference between foreclosure vs short sale is important if you’re getting into the real estate game. If you haven’t considered these types of properties yet, we’re here to help.

In this guide, we discuss the differences so you can make the most informed decision for your financial future.

What You Already Know

More than 65% of American homeowners have a mortgage. This means that they put some cash down on their home and financed the rest. The most common mortgage terms are for 15 or 30 years.

This means it will take the homeowner 15 or 30 years to own their home free and clear. Now, there are exceptions, like paying the loan off early or selling it before then. Some people refinance their loans, which can alter the maturity date.

Every month a homeowner pays money towards the interest, principal, and in many cases, into an escrow account. But there are times when the owner runs into an emergency or falls into extreme financial peril.

If this happens and the homeowner falls behind on their mortgage payments, they have some options. If none of the options help or they don’t qualify, the bank can start the foreclosure process.

What Is a Foreclosure?

A foreclosure is one of the least favorable options for a homeowner or borrower. This is when, after three to six months of missed payments, the lender steps in to take possession of the home.

This is a legal process and can take a long time.

The lender files a Notice of Default with the court. This is the pre-foreclosure period which can last up to 120 days. The borrower gets notified of the lender’s intention to take possession of the property.

The lender will have a set amount that the borrower can pay to keep the property. Usually, this is back payments, late payments, and added filing and administrative fees. If the borrower can pay the amount, they’re in the clear and can keep their home.

But, if they can’t amend the issue, the lender steps in and takes possession. From there, they sell the house at auction to recoup some of their money.

What Is a Short Sale?

During the pre-foreclosure period, borrowers can try to sell the property. This becomes a short sale home.

Don’t let the name fool you, though. It is not a quick process. The term “short sale” refers to the lender getting “shorted” on what the borrower owes.

In other words, say a mortgage balance is $200,000, but the home is only worth $150,000. In a short sale, the bank would have to agree to accept the $150,000.

Differences Between Foreclosure vs Short Sale

In a foreclosure, the lender recoups their money at an auction. Often, they don’t get the full value of the mortgage.

In a short sale, they don’t either, but there are significant benefits to the bank for agreeing to it.

There’s a lot of paperwork involved in a short sale. The first step is to prove the short sale makes sense for the lender. If it’s approved, the new buyer has to get financing from a third-party lender or pay cash.

If it’s getting financed, the third-party lender has to agree to the exact amount the original bank agreed to in the short sale. That means, there isn’t room for negotiating price.

Then, there are mounds of more paperwork. It can also be a lengthy process. Some short sales can take up to a year to process.

In both cases, the original borrower will lose their home. But in a short sale, it’s a softer blow to their credit score. In a foreclosure, your credit gets hit harder, and you will have financial repercussions, but it’s often more convenient.

But About Buying These Kinds of Properties?

If you’re looking to invest in these kinds of properties, the first thing you need to do is reach out to a professional. There are lenders, real estate agents, and lawyers that specialize in short sales.

You already know it’s an arduous process. Hiring professionals that understand the ins and outs of laws and guidelines will make the transaction go smoother.

Now, you also know that in a short sale, you have to get approved for financing first. You can’t find the home, negotiate a price, then find a lender based on the final sales price.

But the good news is that you can finance a short sale home pretty easily. With a foreclosure, it can be more difficult.

When you’re considering buying a foreclosure vs short sale, there is another thing to consider: The state of the property.

With short sale homes, the original borrower/homeowner has taken some steps to salvage their credit and financial future. At least, they do this as much as they can.

In a foreclosed property, the borrower has, in essence, just let it go. Often, these homes are in disarray and need a lot of work.

You may come across a short sale that is also distressed. But in most cases, the owner/borrower lives in the home until the sale goes through. This reduces the likelihood that it’s in complete disrepair.

You may want to do some updating or renovations, but for the most part, the home is in working order.

If you buy a foreclosed home, prepare for the worst. You’ll pay less than if the home is a short sale but you’ll make that up in remodels and renovations. Sometimes, you can spend thousands just to get the plumbing to work again.

Foreclosure vs Short Sale: Knowledge Is Key

When you’re considering you’re foreclosure vs short sale options, the key is knowing what you’re getting into.

Research all your options, know the timeframe involved in the process, and hire professionals.

If you’re still not sure if investing in these kinds of properties is best for you, check out our blog. We have more helpful tips on investing in short sale properties.