Buying foreclosures, question

I am in the South Florida area and new to the biz. Interested in rehabs and have found several listing services (free) that send provide lists of foreclosed properties. Some seem to good to be true. What is the catch with these lists? Why are all the rehabbers snapping them up? Another question is regarding areas, most of the low priced homes under $150K are in questionable neighborhoods, should we stay away from these?


Apparently, there are tons of sites that will refer you to foreclosures in your area. Many charge a fee to join. From what I’m hearing in these forums, many of these sites are weeks behind, meaning that the listing is probably already ‘stale’ when you see it.

I look here (Louisiana) for HUD (for your area:, the Departmentof Veterans Affairs - “VA” (for your area:, and I use a local Real Estate agent that is plugged into the REOs for local lending institutions.

The rehabbers are snapping them up because most are structurally sound and need cosmetic work (sometimes significant work). I bought a HUD foreclosure recently for $51K. It needs about $2500 in fixups (doors, baseboards, paint, CLEANING!, a few light fixtures, a couple of smoke detectors, and some carpet)…when I’m done (a few more weeks), it will rent here for $650.

As far as your last question, everyone has a ‘niche’…I try to find a house needing work in a blue collar neighboorhood (honest working people kind of neighboorhoods). But I try to stay over on the east side of the Red River and try to get properties near the Air Force base. As a retired military member, I have access to the base (to post the listing in the Housing Referal Office) and rents are a ‘snap’ to collect (military members are paid an allowance for Housing – if they don’t pay thei rent, a call to their Commander straightens things right out!)…I would say that if you feel uncomfortable going into a neighborhood to collect your rent or to view/work on your propertry then you probably shouldn’t invest there. there are several people here in htis area that specialize in “housing in the 'hood” and they basically hire bigger thugs to collect the rent and check on the properties. Each to his own, I guess.

Hope that helps in some way.


Keith, yes that helps so much, THANKS for the links!! I owe you one. :slight_smile:

I think with all the info that passes here, everyboby owes everyone something!

I am a realtor in Cincinnati, Ohio, and traditionally have served first-time home buyers. I would look at each house for it’s potential sale value. There are some homes in lower income neighborhoods that can be sold to low income families. If you get it at a good price, make the necessary repairs/renovations and market it properly, it will sell and make a profit for you. Lower income people have grant money for down payments and other special financing available to them and help to make home ownership a reality. :slight_smile: