Purchasing a foreclosed home may be an excellent way to acquire your first house or to start investing in real estate with a limited budget and limited expenses. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to pay for foreclosure listings. In actuality, most foreclosure directories offer public information that you can get for yourself with a little bit of time, effort and know how. The secret to finding the properties that are totally free is to locate listings and government online directories. While it may take a little bit of time to find out exactly where these listings are, by employing the strategies and methods that follow, you can be on your way to owning seriously discounted real estate.

Start your real estate search at your local county recorders office. Some cities and states supply foreclosure listings free of charge, and several of them provide the listings online as well as at their physical locations. However, it is going to be difficult find pictures on those websites.

Stay abreast of government and bank owned listings via their online divisions. The website for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) maintains web links to listings of foreclosed homes by state. Additional listings can be found through the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VHA).

Doing the searches for free will allow you to bypass websites that charge monthly for access to exclusive lists of foreclosed properties in your area. For commercial listings, they are not always listed in these directories because they are too common for inclusion.

It is a good idea to verify these listings in your neighborhood newspaper. In most counties, notices of foreclosure can be found in the newspaper along with corresponding upcoming auctions. While searching for foreclosures online can be much more convenient and efficient, validating the same listings in your local newspaper can save you some time.

You also have the option of contacting your local board of realtors to get the names of some agents who specialize in foreclosures. Your bank’s realty officer should be able to point you in the right direction.

Finally, there are a few tips to follow when searching for distressed properties online. Low prices don’t always guarantee the best investments. Ask your local realtor about the prospects for growth in a particular neighborhood. You should also inquire about crime rates, nearby schools, local attractions and shopping areas.

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