Foreclosures are expected to begin a slow but sure return to pre-pandemic levels. New Jersey has the second highest rate of foreclosures in the country, meaning there are usually many foreclosed homes for sale in the state. Many real estate investors see foreclosures as an excellent investment. At the same time, regular homebuyers consider foreclosures a chance to get a great house on the cheap. If you are considering purchasing an NJ foreclosed property for the first time in 2022, here are some things you should keep in mind.
1. Housing inventory is low—and competition will be high.
Be prepared to face some steep competition. The NJ real estate market is still low on listings. While homes stay on the market longer now than in 2020 and 2021, you should still expect some competition. This will be especially true of foreclosed properties as homebuyers look to take advantage of the lower cost of purchasing a foreclosed home. Because foreclosed properties are so attractive to investors, you could also find yourself up against big-name real estate investors that pay cash.
2. Foreclosed homes are sold as-is.
There is no way to guarantee the condition of a foreclosed home. The bank is not required to disclose information about the state of the property. If you are considering purchasing a foreclosed home, you should work with an experienced real estate agent in your area to find out what you can about the property before you put in a bid. With some sweat equity, you can ensure you'll get the most out of your investment. The more time and work you put into refurbishing your new home, the less money you will spend on contracting out that labor.
3. The deals are there—but you have to look.
Not every home sold at a foreclosure auction will be a good investment. Some homes will require significant repairs even to be habitable. If you do not possess the skills or funding to make the necessary repairs, you could purchase a home you can neither live in nor turn into an investment property. Even if the house is in decent shape, don't let a low price tag distract you from whether or not a property fits your needs. That being said, there are plenty of amazing deals at foreclosure auctions.
4. Hire an experienced real estate team.
Working with an experienced local real estate agent can give you a leg up in the competition. An agent can help you do your due diligence when it comes to researching the history of a home and can help you understand the foreclosure process. An experienced agent with knowledge of the area might have an insider's scoop on foreclosures that haven't yet landed on the market.
Buying a New Jersey foreclosed home in 2022 and beyond could be an excellent opportunity to snag a real estate deal, but you need to ensure it is the right fit. Veitengruber Law is a full-service NJ real estate law firm. We can review your contracts to ensure you are legally protected as you pursue your real estate goals.