Sunday, April 5, 2009

Anoka County Lakeshore and Acreage Foreclosures—Expect the Unexpected! And in a GOOD way too!

When someone says foreclosure, bank-owned or short sale, what do you expect to see? The proverbial money-pit? Remember that old 80’s movie where everything fell apart and one repair evolved humorously into a huge renovation? Are bank-owned properties, homes that take thousands upon thousands to repair? Will walking in the house require wearing a hazmat protective suit just to walk through the door?

Believe it or not, the answer is no in many cases. Today's foreclosures can be simply AWESOME! This economy has forced builders and responsible homeowners alike to let amazing properties go back to the bank. Many are still in pristine condition. Some may require a bit of cleanup or a few cosmetic changes but there are many in move in condition too.

Here are a few of the treasures I noted on the Twin Cities MLS in Anoka County this weekend:

  • Ham Lake executive quality new construction home with all the bells and whistles and a view of Lake Amelia for $260K less than the original list price.
  • Coon Lake shoreline new construction two story on the north side of the lake with a wall of windows to view the shoreline and dock at less than half of the original list price. New construction on Coon Lake for under $350K…Amazing!
  • Burns Township bank-owned one story with a 1600 sq ft foundation located Pinnaker Lake in northern Anoka County. This one needs a bit of cosmetic work but is priced at over $170K less than tax value.
  • Five wooded acre paradise in Ham Lake with 3 car attached garage and detached 30X60 additional garage. Priced at $80K less than tax valued. With a bit of elbow grease another gem!
  • Beautiful brick Ham Lake rambler on 2 acres with 1900+ foundation and all the bells and whistles…especially for the mechanic. 4 car attached above ground and 4 car/shop below. The bank is offering this at under $400K!
  • A 2005 built 4 level split on 2.5 acres in Linwood…picture perfect under $275K
  • East Bethel one story beauty on 3.7 wooded acres with 1400 foundation and basement almost finished. This one was built in 2004 and is listed by the bank for under $225K.
  • 4.5+ wooded acres! Andover rambler with almost 1900 sq ft foundation and 5+ bedrooms with pool in move in condition. Bank offering under $400K…over $175K less than tax value.
If you are in the market for a great deal on a foreclosed home, get your ducks in a row because the rules to buy are a bit different than when working with a traditional seller.
Seven Tips for homebuyers considering a foreclosed home:
  1. Banks LOVE clean offers. Buyers MUST be preapproved with credit checked and employment and funds verified. Documentation must accompany the offer or it won’t be considered.
  2. Banks reject lowball offers…no negotiation. They are a business and know the value of the asset they are selling.
  3. Well priced foreclosed homes get multiple offers. Serious buyers put in their best bid first.
  4. Banks sell homes AS-IS. What you see is what you get. Repairs will not be made.
  5. Banks will not pay for inspections. This includes the septic system and/or well. All inspections will be the buyer’s responsibility. If you chose to inspect the septic or the county requires a septic compliance test, expect to pay $400-$500 for this inspection. A well test will run around $150. A whole house inspection is $350-$500.
  6. Personal property is not included as part of the sale. So if the appliances are at the home when you close, they are a bonus. The bank will not remove. But they don’t guarantee will remain at the home or that they are in working order. This means if someone breaks in the home prior to the closing and takes them, the bank will not replace.
  7. Having your own REALTOR® to represent your interests is essential. The listing agent is under contract to represent the bank. In many cases, the bank will not allow a dual agency so if a buyer contacts the listing agent to write the offer, the buyer does not have representation. This means all of your information goes to the bank…the listing agent is required to tell the bank everything that you say about your financing and the amount you are able or willing to pay. But the agent is not required to tell you anything in return. The agent works only for the bank.

Copyright 2009 Teri Eckholm