Foreclosures - Posted by Steve Hanson

Posted by Rich[FL] on February 12, 2002 at 18:34:15:

Rob, here in Florida, the state legislature mandated that all records publically available at the courthouse would be available online by the end of last year. It was a struggle, but it appears that all of the counties do have their records online, in one fashion or another. One of the arguments that I heard was that these records were public records and that all people, especially the handicapped ones, would have easier access, if not access in the first place, if they were online.

The best thing to do is to call your courthouse and ask them if their records are available on the internet, or if they are available through other electronic means. I don’t think every courthouse has their records available - yet. It’s probably only a matter of time.


Foreclosures - Posted by Steve Hanson

Posted by Steve Hanson on February 11, 2002 at 14:46:59:

Hi, I am trying to find out if there are any decent websites which you can use to find foreclosed properties. I have found a few that do but they all require that you pay a monthly fee before they give you any information. I have no problem paying for good information, but I do not know anybody that uses any of these sites, and I am sure that there are many that are very poor. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

  • Steve

Free Preforeclosure Leads - Posted by Rob Knute

Posted by Rob Knute on February 12, 2002 at 15:43:19:

If you are interested in preforeclosures you can sign up for free at the site. I bought one of their preforeclosure houses from someone who was 5 days away from going to the courthouse steps.

Re: Foreclosures - Posted by Utah Investor

Posted by Utah Investor on February 12, 2002 at 10:11:12:


You got some great advice from Rich.

Please don’t buy a list.

As I tell most people I’ve Mentored:

You don’t need no stinkin’ list!

They are old, sold to all of your competitors, and very expensive.

You will create your own list as Rich has said.

Here’s what I do?

Doing research is #1. Have you bought any books/courses? Don’t jump in without knowing what you are doing. You can make great money doing this, but you can get burned if you don’t have the knowledge to do-it right.

I say to young beginners, I tell them to go to the library and get every foreclosure book you can find, check them out & read them all, next, go to Barnes & Noble and read theirs, or buy the good ones and read them. Get some knowledge. Next go the Foreclosure Trustee Sales and watch, listen, ask & learn, learn, learn. Eventually you will want a Guru to help you, but they ain’t cheap.

OK, Thanks for the advice. I?ve completed most of what you said. What is next?

I’d focus on going to the County Recorder’s Office and just get to know the place. Look up information on your house, your friend?s homes & your neighbors. Just start looking up houses, get all the information you can. Feel comfortable with everything there at the recorder’s office and how to look up all the information about any house. They’ll have computers you can use, microfilm machines, big map books. Go play, look, dig, ask questions, watch other people, listen to their questions, watch how they got their answer. Look for a bulletin board for foreclosure (Trustee Sales) postings.

Go to the Courthouse. Look for a Sheriff’s bulletin board for Sheriff’s Sales. Look for public access to computers to look up cases. Look up your family & friends, see if any of them have traffic tickets, see if they’ve been sued or sued others or have judgments. Get familiar with how to look stuff up.

Look in the papers for Foreclosure (Trustee Sales) postings, should be small print in the legal section just before the classifieds. Find some foreclosures. When are the sales? Go to some foreclosure sales. Just jump right in to this whole process and ask, read, learn and just be aware of what’s going on.

As you go do all this, don’t get frustrated if you can’t look something up, if no one will talk to you at the foreclosure sales, if the clerk at the court or recorder’s office won’t help you, it’s OK. Just experience this whole process, learn what you can, and you’ll have some good stories to share with me, & some great questions to ask when I get there.

Do I do fixer-uppers?

As far as fix-up goes, I don’t believe in it. I use to do it, but not anymore.

Simply put, the greatest market to sell to is the “fixer-upper” market. Fixing it myself requires me to now sell for full price, and then comes the question, Why buy my fixed-up, full price house?

I sell it as a fixer, I leave money on the table for the next guy, and I’ve sold houses in less than 45 min. and many in less than a day or two. I usually sell my houses in less than a week and close within 30 days. I have ways to sell quickly.

I’ve been meaning to share another point about picking up distressed properties.

First I’d like to state that I believe we are all mostly working on distressed properties. By that I mean, we are striving to pickup a property for pennies on the dollar, and either flip it or rent it for a positive cash flow. Either way, we are all looking for a good deal. 90% of good deals are distressed properties. It might be a divorce, relocation, bank repo, foreclosure, job loss, etc…

The 2nd point is that you don’t have to have good credit, nor get a loan from a bank. You can work a situation out with the homeowner without getting a new loan. There are many ways to structure it.

Many great people on this forum will give you great advice, mine is that all the deals I’ve done in the past 3 years, I’ve never got a new loan, I always worked it out with the homeowner. You can do a L/O, or do a wrap with them, or just make their payments in their behalf (the bank doesn’t know and doesn’t mostly care either). Next is just sell the place, make your lump sums of cash, and move on to the next deal.

Make Sense?

How do you evaluate a deal and do it in less than 10 minutes?

I search a property through either the County Court House or Recorder’s Office (aka Recorder of Deeds - depending on the State you live in), and evaluate whether it’s a good deal or bad one. I get over the internet:
Year built
Square feet
County Assessor Market Value
Existing loans

from this information, I not only know if it’s a good deal or not, I can describe what the house will look like in my area.

I mostly use the County Tax Assessor (Appraiser in some States) Market value & existing loans on the property. From those 2 items, I can decide if it’s a good deal or not.

I want a property where the 1st mortgage is 75% or less of what the property is worth in a “as-is” value, or where there are two mortgages and the 1st mortgage is less than 70% or less of what the property is worth (I don’t care how big the 2nd mortgage is because I’m going to buy it for 10 cents on the dollar or foreclose it off & pay nothing.

I hope you understand this.

Picking-up Preforeclosures: Do you mail flyers, call them, or knock on their door?
I do all three. I mail fliers immediatly. I look them up in the phone book (only about 1/2 will have numbers) and I call the ones I can. Then I drive by those I didn’t talk to and knock on their door between 5 - 8 p.m. during the week, and on Saturdays. Those 3 ways always bring me more deals than I can handle.

These are the basic steps, there is much more. But hopefully now your eyes have been opened to the possibilities.

Are you sorry you asked? :slight_smile:

Follow these ways, & you will get what you want in Real Estate, and in life.

Best Regards,

Re: Foreclosures - Posted by Rich[FL]

Posted by Rich[FL] on February 11, 2002 at 16:30:22:

Hi Steve! I’m just beginning to work this area in earnest right now. Best thing to do is get ahold of Joe Kaiser’s course on dominating your foreclosure market. General consensus seems to be these companies that offer lists of foreclosures provide “old” data. By the time they get the information then get it published, either the courthouse foreclosure is about to take place, or the banks are now the owners and are trying to sell.

There are two ways to approach foreclosures. One is to try to purchase them from the banks after they have repossessed them; the other is to get to the owners before the foreclosure takes place. Any good real estate agent can generally provide you with the information for the former. For the latter, it’s best you spend some “quality” time with your courthouse records (either physically or online) and search out the people who are being foreclosed on. The initial notification is usually a “Lis Pendens” that is filed in the public records.

Last Friday I just sent out 30 postcards to people I pulled from the records that covered the last two weeks in January. I already have two phone calls from that batch, both of which sort of “scare” me. One is in an area quite a ways from town, in a country style setting; I’m not very familiar with the property values or rental values in that area - yet. Too many unknowns. The other is a rather expensive home, about $250k mortgage, $350k appraised value. It is a waterfront lot, 200’ on the water with dock and boat house; main house is 3000sf. A lot of equity and I’m not sure what the owner wants (going to call them both tonight) or how I’m going to get into this house. The message he left said he had it listed with realtors with no help in the past. A lot of questions in both cases.

Which goes to show you need to speak with the sellers to find out what their needs are. And individual sellers are generally more flexible than the banks are when it comes to getting into these properties. Many of the creative techniques can come into play here - lease/options, subject-to, purchase the mortage from the bank at a discount, etc. Also foreclosures, actually pre-foreclosures in these cases, are not necessarily for beginners. You’ll probably need some cash up front to clear the back payments and the ability to continue to make the payments until you get some renters in it or get it sold.

Buying these properties on the back end, from the bank after they own them, will require getting some type of loan unless you have to cash for really good bargains. You may still be able to get some good deals, and you may pay more (less than retail but more than in the pre-foreclosure phase), but these are “easier” to purchase for the newbie investors since they’re close to “conventional” real estate transactions.

Hope this helps.


Re: Foreclosures - Posted by Rob (IN)

Posted by Rob (IN) on February 12, 2002 at 13:04:23:


I have been reading on the CREonline about flipping, but have not purchased a property for that purpose yet (currently buying to rent). How do you find your buyers to flip to? Are these the same people with the “I Buy house for Cash” listing in the papers or someone else. BTW, thanks for the in depth discussion in your previous posting. While it was long, I personally found it very informative!


Re: Foreclosures - Posted by Rob (IN)

Posted by Rob (IN) on February 12, 2002 at 13:08:07:

How are you guys able to look up the records on-line? Just curious if all courthouses have this access or certain ones.


Re: Foreclosures - Posted by Utah Investor

Posted by Utah Investor on February 13, 2002 at 06:24:07:

How Do I Sell a Property Fast:

I sell my properties 2 main ways, either by myself (FSBO), or listed through a Realtor:

  1. By myself ? For Sale by owner. Answer - Place an ad in the paper. But now here is the secret. 99% of the people don?t know what type of ad to place. Ask yourself, ?If you were looking to buy a property, would you call your own ad?? What separates your ad from every other one? Big Questions. The answer is you want to move it quick, so word the ad that way:
    Owner Desperate
    Bring all offers. Must Sell.
    123 Main St. Your Town
    $94,900 obo 555-1212

Have your FSBO sign up at the property, have fliers there in a flier box, have the blinds up so people can see inside. Many will drive by the house, grab a flier, look in the windows, and your phone will ring off the hook! People need to feel like they took advantage of you, they want to feel like they won, so I let them. It doesn?t mean I didn?t sell it for what I wanted, I just set the situation up for them to beat me up on the price and feel like they won. Make sense?

  1. Through a Realtor ? Same questions apply even more. Thousand of homes for sale in the County, Why buy mine? What separates mine from every one? Everyone lists their house for 6 points. Greedy Realtors try and get 7 points from some people. I pay 8 points. I have the only listing in the County for 8 points. I?ve sold everyone listed for 8 points in less than 30 days. And yes, my net profit was what I wanted. You see, the secret is to pick up a property for such a huge discount, that you can sell it for a profit and still sell it at a discount, leaving room on the table for the next guy to make a few bucks too. Make sense?

Why would I sell a property through a Realtor instead of just selling it myself?

It’s my way of paying back the Realtor for all the great deals she finds for me and refers me too.

Hope this answers your question.

Best Regards,