due diligence

As an experienced individual pursuing preforeclosures what due diligence process do you go through before contacting the owner? Steps please. Do you research the deed? How much upfront work do you do?

Howdy Flyer:

I get the list and call the owner if I believe there is equity. If I can not find the owner on the phone I will go to the property and ask around. No reason to do a title search if you can not find the owner. I would not spend any money on anything until you are sure you have the deal tied up or know some how that it will go to the sale and you have the cash to buy at the sale. I started doing REO’s because of the frantic pace of pre-foreclosures and short sales.


These are a few that I was given. Not sure if ALL of these things are necessary, but: In addition to checking the title, check zoning, nuisance and abatement liens (code compliance), mold or aesbestous, well & septic, even radon.

Incidentally – anyone know how to check zoning? I have a house I’m interested in which seems to have been built oddly close to the curb. Wondering if thats a bad sign. Would a zone check help me here?

To check zoning, go to the city planning offices. If your house was built too close to the street, it may have been done before the zoning was in place. If that is the case, then the property should be “grandfathered”. (It will be a non-conforming property, but it should not be required to be corrected) If the property was built after the ordinance was enacted, then the code official might have some ability to see that it is corrected. My experience with such problems has been that they are ignored unless someone starts stirring the hornets nest. You might ask the compliance official if there are any code violations on the property.