Bank Foreclosures in Columbus, OH

If you are thinking about buying bank foreclosures in Columbus, OH, here is what is going on in the area. According to Trulia.com, there were 2,924 bank foreclosures in Columbus, OH for the week ending February 17, 2010.  The median sales price for the period November 9, 2009 through January 10, 2010 was $80,000, a decrease of 20%, or $20,000, compared to the prior quarter and an increase of 2.5% compared to the same time a year ago. Sales prices have depreciated 34.4% over the last 5 years in Columbus area. The average listing price for Columbus homes was $156,461 for the week ending February 17, 2010, an increase of 0.2%, or $256, compared to the prior week and a decrease of 1.4%, or $2,295, compared to the week ending January 27, 2010. Hot Columbus neighborhoods include German Village, Victorian Village, Short North, Olde Town East, Harrison West, and Central Clintonville.

Bank Foreclosure vs. REO Purchase Process

Buying a bank foreclosure or REO (real estate owned) is different than buying a property from a private owner. Here are some things you should know:

  • The bank is the seller.
  • The property is sold in an as is condition.
  • REO’s are purchased by making a written offer through a Realtor who presents the offer to the bank.  Auction properties are awarded to the highest bidder.
  • Bank foreclosures and REO’s are usually not in as good of condition as non-foreclosure properties and generally need repairs. 
  • Bank foreclosures and REO’s are sold at discounted prices.
  • You can obtain title insurance on REO’s because they have clear title, but you cannot get title insurance on bank foreclosures sold at auctions.
  • REO’s are vacant properties, but there still could be an owner or tenant residing at a foreclosure auction property that has not vacated and that you are responsible for evicting if you are the successful bidder at an auction.
  • Banks like to close quickly on REO’s.
  • Auction properties must generally be paid in full at the end of the auction.  
  • You need to obtain your own financing from a lender of your choice on an REO, or you can pay cash. You need to pay cash to purchase a bank foreclosure auction property.
  • Banks will pay buyer’s closing costs if you ask for it in the contract.
  • You can conduct physical inspections on REO properties, but not on auction properties. You may be able to view the auction property prior to the auction. 

REO’s and bank foreclosures are in high demand these days because Columbus, Ohio buyers are looking for good deals. Since REO’s and bank foreclosures are sold at discounted prices, they are attractive investments to first time home buyers and investors because they have built in equity.  REO’s are already owned by the bank and have gone through the foreclosure process so they are less risky investments because you receive clear title and there are no unpaid liens against the property.

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