Investing in bankruptcy can be a big money maker for the real estate investor. It can also result in a substantial income when you choose the right property. There are several laws that can change from area to area that govern bankruptcies. This means that there are risks involved to the investor, and being aware of these risks can help your investing tremendously.

Be Aware of Risks

A large risk that you face with bankruptcies is that the owner can come back and lay claim to their property. Some states even have laws stating the bankruptcies are not complete for a certain amount of time. You will have to determine if your region has this type of law protecting the homeowners when they file bankruptcy. If this is the case you may want to make sure the home is vacant before making an offer on the property. You do not want to put your money into something only to lose it when the homeowners get back on their feet.

When the owner defaults on the mortgage a bankruptcy order is then put in place. The bank will start the proceedings necessary to regain possession of the property. These bankruptcy properties are usually listed in the local paper under the sheriff’s sale heading. The opening bid usually start at approximately two thirds of the appraised value of the home. The highest bidder is awarded the property. Investing in bankruptcies can greatly increase an investor’s portfolio.

Plan of Action

Having a plan of action when you are investing in bankruptcies is a crucial part. The first thing you must do is determine what your plans for the property are. Is it going to be a rental property or do you plan to flip the house? Determining what you want to do with your properties beforehand is important so that you know what area to look in, and how you can make a profit from your new property.

Choosing the bankruptcies carefully is a high priority. You do not want to find bankruptcies which will be depreciating, instead look for high growth potential that will increase in value. Just because the price seems to be right does not mean the property is the one for you. Determine what the average selling time was of the houses which have been sold. This will give you a good indication as to what you can get for the property you are looking at.

The Bottom Line

When investing in bankruptcies you should always look at the bottom line. If you can not make a 10% or greater return on the investment then it is not a good property to purchase. You must know your market. Looking at past sales in the area is key. Determining whether the area is growing or declining is an important factor in the bankruptcy. Knowing how long each house that sold stayed on the market is also significant. You may find bankruptcies which have been on the market for six months or more, this is a good indication that it is probably a bad investment. With all the other investors out there, if one of them did not want it, you probably do not want it either.

Once you become more familiar with investing in bankruptcies you will learn what to buy and what to avoid. You will understand which areas are good investments and which ones are not worth your time. You will also be able to understand more of the real estate market and the lending red tape. This will help when you are investing in bankruptcies.

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