Foreclosures have become the big thing in real estate over the last few years. For a while, investors were snatching them up by the dozens and turning them into investment properties and rental homes, but now it looks like the tide is turning. A recent survey found that not only is demand for these properties increasing, more people intend to live in them.
The property listing website Realtor.com surveyed more than 1,000 Americans to see what they felt about foreclosure properties, and the results were pretty amazing. Interest in foreclosures has jumped from 25 percent to nearly 65 percent in the last 30 months. What’s more, fewer than 7 percent of those surveyed said they were going to use the property as an investment, rather than living there.
Foreclosure properties are significantly less expensive than most other houses on the market. They may need some work to restore them to their original luster, but the cost savings could well be worth it. Potential VA borrowers who are seeking to use their VA loan benefits may want to be on the lookout for foreclosure properties that are in good condition. Why? Before a VA loan is approved the federal government requires an appraisal and inspection of the property to assure that it meets the VA minimum property requirements. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs guidelines for VA loans, a home must be livable and free from fire hazards, fungus growth, leaks and other problems that could create unsafe living.
Time spent finding a foreclosed property that meets VA guidelines could mean saving tens of thousands of dollars over the life of a loan. One spot to start the search is the VA’s designated website for VA-Owned Real Estate or REO Properties.