Buying A House The Not-So-Easy Way

On September 29th I finally closed on my house, on September 30th I took possession. Since then I have been spewing cash from my savings getting the place ready to move in. My apartment lease is up at the end of the month, so there’s not much time left. For those considering a foreclosed house, I have some advice for you.

Closing on a foreclosed house is nothing like closing on a normally private owned home. Keep in mind that a corporation owns it. If you work for a big company, think about what it would be like if they were selling a house. There’s a bureaucracy involved. They have their legal requirements to ensure all the “i”s are dotted and “t”s are crossed. Not to mention that the individuals at the company have no personal interest to ensure that the process is speedy.

Next you add on items such as liens and other legal matters that have to be cleared up before the owning bank can sell it. In my case, there were liens that took longer than they probably should have to clear up. The State of New Mexico had s legal interest in the property so official clearance from the state had to be issued saying they weren’t going to take possession of the property after the liens were paid. In this case, the state would only offer those documents via the US postal service, no fedex, no couriers.

The closing officer said my closing went pretty well compared to most. Sometimes liens can be near impossible to clear up, such as those from the federal government. Can you imagine what it takes to get a lien removed from the DEA? The closing officer also said my paperwork wasn’t so bad, he had a guy in the day before with a literal foot high of paperwork to sign.

Take this advice if your looking for a foreclosed house.

  • Be prepared to wait, wait and wait some more.
  • Be prepared to be disappointed. I looked at several houses, a few that were foreclosed on before this one. In one case the previous deal had fallen through and the house was back on the market. We didn’t understand the problem at first but now I can see how these things can not work out. Most of the hold ups on my house were on the owning banks side. Yet they had the nerve to say that if it wasn’t funded by September 30th they were going to call the whole thing off. I had the approved loan, I was ready the bank needed to get their act together.
  • Get a real estate agent. There’s a ton of issues with this sort of house and the un-savvy can get very overwhelmed quickly. It’s not going to cost you anything.
  • Find a agent that will work with you. Some agents wont take the time and effort to deal with all the various issues especially considering how long it can take to close. I have to give mad props (as the kids say) to Paul Taylor. He was awesome though all this and took care of everything for me. I didn’t have to deal with the idiocy of the sellers at all.

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