Raleigh, NC, May 23, 2007 --(PR.com
)-- Beverly Baskin, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina, announced today that home prices are falling all across the country, but foreclosures are on the increase. According to Realty.com, an online marketplace for foreclosure properties, more than 1.2 million foreclosures were filed in 2006. Industry experts expect the number will continue to rise throughout the next year.
Losing a home to foreclosure can be devastating for any family. However, foreclosure property can provide a window of opportunity for those in the market for a house. The Better Business Bureau cautions home buyers who want to take this route to homeownership to do research and know the facts about purchasing foreclosed homes before venturing into this type of deal.
The BBB offers the following tips:
Know your options. Home buyers can purchase foreclosed properties through pre-foreclosure which allows you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure; at auctions where you will bid against other interested buyers; or properties that are Real Estate Owned, also known as REO.
Conduct a “title search.” This process can help you find out whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.
Be aware that if you purchase the house in an auction, you may not be able to look inside the home or conduct a home inspection in advance of the sale. Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.” This can create problems when trying to obtain a mortgage loan.
Obtain help if you need it. Find a real estate agent that is experienced in foreclosures and check them out online at www.bbb.org. The BBB offers free reliability reports on more than three million businesses.
Have your agent check nearby or comparable homes to see if the asking price for a foreclosed home is, in fact, a bargain.
Foreclosure laws vary from state to state so check the laws in your area by contacting your county clerk’s office.
About the BBB of Eastern North Carolina:
The Better Business Bureau of Eastern North Carolina is a 501 (c)(6) not-for-profit corporation serving 33 counties in Eastern North Carolina. The organization is funded primarily by membership dues from more than 3,000 local business and professional firms. The BBB promotes integrity, consumer confidence and business ethics through business self-regulation in the local marketplace. Services provided by the BBB include, reports on companies and charitable organizations, general monitoring of advertising in the marketplace, dispute resolution services, and consumer/business education programs. All services are provided at no cost to the public, with the occasional exception of mediation and arbitration. Visit www.bbb.org.