Distressed homes in Bakersfield are selling for way below market value. There are bargains in just about all price ranges and neighborhoods. The average foreclosure sales price in January for a Bakersfield home was $125,865 according to RealtyTrac data. There are many REO’s and pre-foreclosure homes for sale as well in Bakersfield and the surrounding areas. Finding terrific investment opportunities is easy now because there are a large number of apartments, multi-family dwellings, and single-family homes on the market. You will also find HUD foreclosures and VA foreclosure bargains. Whether you are looking for fixer-upper handyman specials or move in condition homes, there is a large selection to choose from at great discounts. Through sheriff sales and government foreclosures, you should be able to find really cheap homes.
Finding Cheap Homes
In fact, foreclosure auctions are so popular right now, there is a high demand for these homes and a lot of competition. Homes are sold as is so you are responsible for having an inspection to find out the condition of the home. Some homes are in poor condition so you need to allow for repairs when you are bidding. Foreclosures are offered at public auction sales. Some foreclosures auctions are conducted online. You will have to check on the Internet to find online auctions. It is always a good idea to drive by the property if you live in the area to check out the neighborhood and determine whether the home is vacant or not. If there are still former owners or tenants living there then you are responsible for evicting them as the new buyer if your bid is accepted at the auction.
Other places to find bargain homes are in the newspaper, by driving the area and looking for vacant properties or foreclosure signs, on the Internet at foreclosure websites, with Realtors and at the county clerk’s offices. REO’s (real estate owned) are listed with local Realtors. REO’s are homes that don’t sell at auctions that the lenders buy back and offer for resale. The good thing about REO’s is you can get title insurance because the bank pays off the liens. With a home you purchase at a foreclosure auction, you are responsible for paying off the liens. It is always important to conduct a title search on any property you purchase whether you are buying it at an auction or not.
What to Keep in Mind?
Check the auction bidding rules before you go. You will need to bring a cashier’s check for a deposit to bid. Generally, it’s 10% of the bid price. When you purchase a foreclosure at a Bakersfield auction, you need cash so have your funds available. If you are using cash or have a line of credit, make sure you are ready in case your bid gets accepted. Foreclosures in California are conducted by trustee sale and don’t need court approval. So you will have to make arrangements to pay the balance of the property right after the sale. A few tips on bidding at foreclosure auctions include doing your due diligence in advance and registering early. You might want to bring someone that has experience bidding at foreclosure auctions because bidding goes quickly and you don’t want to get caught up in the excitement and over bid or make a mistake. Just because a home is offered at a foreclosure auction, doesn’t always mean it’s a good deal. You have to check the sales prices of other comparable homes to make sure you are getting a real bargain.
If you purchase a short sale pre-foreclosure or a REO property, you may be able to obtain financing. However, banks prefer cash offers on short sales. With interest rates so low now and home prices so affordable, you can afford to purchase more for your money. That is why foreclosure homes are so popular with first time home buyers and investors. They recognize the value these homes offer. Don’t be surprised if there is competition for auction and REO’s from other buyers. Short sales tend to be less popular among first time home buyers because there is no guarantee that an offer will be accepted by the seller’s bank, and they take longer to get approved and closed. Investors tend to make offers on short sales because they have time to wait and don’t need to move into the homes.
Foreclosure homes may not be for everyone so you need to think about the risks. There are no warranties. Former angry owners may have stripped the homes of anything value. Frequently, kitchens and bathrooms are bare. Appliances, countertops, cupboards, toilets and vanities may be missing. You might have to replace the entire kitchen and bathrooms, buy new fixtures and hardware. So make sure you budget all those repairs before you make a commitment and bid. You need cash to purchase an auction home, and you may not always get to inspect the home. While the prices are substantially lower, you must investigate whether the home is in good enough condition to live in or rent out. If you are confident that you have a good home that just needs some cosmetic repairs, then you should definitely consider buying a foreclosure home because you will be getting a home with built in equity and a discounted price that you may not have otherwise been able to purchase.