There is an all-time high amount of the foreclosure home for sale in the U.S. and now is a good time to think about investing in one (or more) of them for your home, as a second home, or to resell at a higher price. While the conception of foreclosures in the past has been of down-trodden homes in undesirable areas, you can now find upscale homes in affluent areas that are at some stage in the process of foreclosure.
While it's true that it is possible to get foreclosures at up to 50% below market value, most worthwhile properties will really only be 5% to 10% below, so keep this in mind as you are doing your searches. Also keep in mind that you should take the time to learn the process before you seriously start to consider investing your money.
As you know, the beginning of the foreclosure process starts when the owner is not able (or is unwilling) to keep up with the mortgage payments. The case is usually that the owner is simply unable to keep up, and will do everything in their power to make the payments, which means that any upkeep or repairs to the house will be sacrificed. This might translate to a lower price for you, but you also need to consider the price of the repairs that you will eventually end up doing.
If you are new to the real estate investing game, your best bet is to buy from the lender who can work with you on financing and the down-payment. You may even not have to pay for an appraisal as the bank may have recently already had this done. However, you might even prefer to have a second opinion on that as well.
There is another type of foreclosure home for sale that could appeal to you. These don't often show up as foreclosures in any lists but they are homes that were just built and then not able to have been sold off. So what happens is that the lender who handed out the construction loan will take possession of the home and try to sell it through real-estate agents. These are harder to find because no one ever really refers to them as foreclosures, but that is what they are.
Pre-foreclosure homes are another appealing stage for those investors who have more experience and feel that they can take on more risk. In this case, you would want to locate a home owner who is about to foreclose and try to make a direct deal with him or her. You can get good deals this way but the process can be long and drawn out before you even find out if the home is really the one that you would like to invest in. Whichever way you decide to go, you will not have a hard time finding a foreclosure home for sale.