How To Find Foreclosures

How To Find Foreclosures

How To Find Foreclosures and Buy a New Home! If you are looking to buy a new home but are turned off by the real estate prices you see, you may want to consider foreclosures. Foreclosures can be an excellent investment and a more affordable option for buying a home. Following are six things you need to know to find nd be prepared to bid on them. 

1) Search Free Database Services.

 Being the money miser I am, I frequently use free foreclosure databases like to search for foreclosures. Although its specialty is for-sale and rental listings that connect people with listing agents, I’m drawn to it because its site is simple and intuitive. Type in the city and location where you live or an area of interest, and off you go.

As an example, I did a quick search of four cities while researching this article and found…

92 homes available in Miami, FL
2 in Columbus, OH
100 in Houston, TX and
33 in San Diego, CA

All search results described whether the properties were in foreclosure or if a Notice of Default had been issued. They also included a history of the property’s sale prices, square footage, age of the home, number of bedrooms and baths, and the like.  Return to Top

Whether you’re looking for a single-family home, condo, townhouse, or even searching for a mobile home near you, you’ll find a treasure trove of foreclosures at paid sites like

Founded in 1999, offers information on Pre-foreclosures, Short Sales, Sheriff Sales, Bankruptcies, City Owned Properties, Rent to Own Properties, Tax Liens, As-Is Deals, and Fixer-Uppers! That’s almost every conceivable type of distressed property that you can imagine.

It has an impressive inventory of foreclosures, which it attributes to an extensive network of corporate sellers and multiple government agencies. Most of their listings come from them. While preparing and researching for this article, I was offered a 50% OFF Limited Time Special rate of $19.90/month, PLUS a FREE Trial! Perhaps you’ll be offered a similar deal!   Return to Top

3) Search Local City and County Offices

Days of driving to and from local city and county offices to get information about foreclosures are a thing of the past. Now, the data is readily accessible online, thus enabling you to review relevant property information from the comfort of your home, office, or on the road. I’ve visited most of the 67 Florida Counties' websites and found multiple ones to be similar in how they provide the information.

As an example, through their auction calendar notices, you can access the following information

  • dates and times of foreclosures
  • type of construction
  • age of the properties
  • sale price history
  • starting bid price
  • square footage (conditioned and unconditioned space)
  • number of bedrooms and baths
  • lot size
  • property address
  • and much more

See Broward County, Florida’s Action Calendar here!    Return to Top

4) Search Newspapers Listings (Print and Online)

Lenders foreclosing on properties must publicly advertise their intent to foreclose, and they do it by advertising in local publications, on and offline. At a minimum, the notifications give you enough information to find the property address.

The exact days of publication of notices vary from city to city, but you can quickly determine that by calling your local newspapers and asking what days they run their notices. City and county government offices also post announcements of upcoming foreclosures on their websites.   Return to Top

How To Find Foreclosures at Auctions in My Area & Nationwide

Real Estate Foreclosure Actions

One of the most popular ways foreclosures are bought and sold "as is" is at auctions. Typically, local auctions are held at city and county government offices, like the County Clerk Department.

A significant downside to buying a home at a foreclosure auction is that sometimes there’s no option to inspect pre-or post- auction. Consequently, some bidders are bidding on the home as-is, which is not so bad, but it could be profoundly disastrous if you don't do due diligence.   Return to Top

Preparing To Bid on Foreclosures Once You’ve Found Them

When you are serious about purchasing a foreclosed property at an auction, you must be prepared. This preparation includes having financing lined up if you are the winning bidder. Many auctions will require that you either have the money on hand or show proof that you have the financial resources needed to follow through with the sale.

Contingency loans are generally prohibited, and check deposits are sometimes required before placing a bid. As for the auction itself, it's not uncommon for offers to be private or sealed. Once everyone has placed a bid, the bidding will continue until the designated time expires or until bidders stop and a winner is declared!   Return to Top

Redemption Periods

Successful Foreclosure Bidder

If you are the winning bidder, it is essential to know that you may not be able to move into your new home immediately. You will likely be unable to do so.

Many states give current occupants a redemption period or a grace period; this is where they can still fight to keep their homes. After this point has passed, you can start the eviction process if the current occupants don't leave voluntarily.

Before bidding on a foreclosed home, you may want to attend a foreclosure auction and sit on the sidelines to observe and learn. You can discover much if you are unfamiliar with buying and selling real estate, foreclosures, or auctions.   Return to Top

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