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If you are trying to find a new home at a good price, you might have family and friends mentioning that you try to find a foreclosure property. In theory, this is not a bad idea. A home that is for sale because the current owner defaulted on his or her mortgage could sell for far below market value. In the wake of COVID-19, however, foreclosures have all but stopped, thanks largely to a moratorium put in place on foreclosures on federally insured mortgages. Private lenders have mostly followed suit, which means that there are probably not many foreclosure properties available. The good news is that you may have another option for finding a good value: a real estate owned home, more commonly known as an REO property.

What Is an REO Property?

When a home is foreclosed on due to default on the mortgage, the lender (or current holder of the mortgage loan) will eventually seize the home and attempt to sell it. This sale usually takes place at a public auction. In most cases, a foreclosure auction does not give participants the opportunity to see the property or inspect the home ahead of time. This means that bidders are effectively making offers on a property about which they know very little. Additionally, the highest bidder is usually required to pay cash for the property at the time of the auction. Financing is uncommon at foreclosure auctions.

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Wheaton, IL real estate attorneysThere are a number of reasons that you may want to purchase a home that is being sold by the owner. It could be that the property has everything you have been looking for, or it could simply be a desire to complete an expedient purchase. Whatever the case, there are some risks that you should be aware of, and some factors you should consider, when purchasing a "for sale by owner" (FSBO) property. These risks and factors - and how you can effectively manage them - could prove to be crucial.

You May Have to Do Some Leg Work

Real estate agents are paid (and trained) to address many details for both the buyer and the seller. A FSBO owner, though interested in selling their property, does not have the same knowledge or experience, which means they may fail to provide you with important information. This oversight may not necessarily be intentional, but it is something you should be aware of. Furthermore, FSBO owners may lack the organizational skills needed to complete paperwork in a timely manner.

Be prepared for possible delays and never agree to anything until you have done your homework. At the very least, this should include an investigation on any previous insurance claims filed on the home, a market analysis of the area, research on zoning details and specific details of the property, and an experienced real estate attorney who can protect your interests by examining the contract and other details of the transaction.

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Illinois house shopping, DuPage County Real Estate AttorneyPurchasing a new home can be both exciting and intimidating. Looking at different real estate listings, daydreaming about your ideal home, and gathering different decorating ideas can be fun. However, dealing with the financial requirements and trying to understand the real estate and legal jargon can be confusing. Therefore, consulting with your own DuPage County real estate attorney when you are ready to make the move is essential.

There are several common mistakes made when shopping for a new home, and knowing what those mistakes are can help you avoid those pitfalls.

Mistake #1: Looking Before You Are Ready

The first factor to consider is if you are really ready to purchase a home. Although you may prefer to build equity each month instead of handing your money to a landlord, most real estate specialists agree that if you are planning on moving away from the area in which you are currently living, then you should avoid purchasing a home until you know where you will be settling. If you purchase a home now, you may not be able to resell or rent the home when you move away.

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coronavirus, Wheaton real estate attorneysAs a novel (new) coronavirus continues to spread in the United States and around the world, governmental authorities and agencies have taken serious steps to limit the reach of the virus. Here in Illinois, Governor J.B. Pritzker first ordered the closure of non-essential businesses, eventually to be followed by a “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” order that became effective last weekend.

For many families, the COVID-19 outbreak coincided with their search for new homes or their attempts to sell their current homes. If this describes your situation, you may be wondering about the status of your transaction, as well as what the road ahead might look like.

Real Estate Is an Essential Industry

According to the governor’s list of essential and non-essential businesses, the real estate industry is considered essential. Under the Illinois shelter in place executive order, real estate businesses—including real estate brokers and attorneys—are permitted to remain operational, but they must remain compliant with social distancing and other required preventative measures. This means keeping a safe distance from other people, conducting as much business as possible using telephone, email, or video conferencing, and absolutely staying home if you feel sick.

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buying, Wheaton real estate lawyersBuying a new home can be a very exciting undertaking. However, there are also many potential pitfalls, and it is important to not take the process lightly. If you are in the market for a new home, it is a good idea to take your time and make sure that you are making the best possible decision for your situation. You should also enlist the help of a qualified residential real estate lawyer to assist you along the way. As you begin your home search, be on the lookout for red flags that might be indicators that the house you are thinking about buying would be a big mistake.

Difficulties With Inspections

A home inspection is an essential part of the home-buying process. The point of the inspection is to make sure that a prospective buyer is fully aware of any problems that exist with the home. Roof issues, water damage, outdated electrical wiring, plumbing concerns, and a variety of other problems are not always immediately noticeable without an inspection by a fully qualified inspector.

Unfortunately, not all homeowners are cooperative with the inspection process. An owner might try to influence the inspector or dissuade you from using your own inspector. If the current owner of the home you are considering is standing in the way of a comprehensive inspection, it could be a sign that the owner is attempting to conceal serious problems.

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