real estate

Which to buy: short sale or foreclosure?

Know what you want
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Know what you want

Nothing in real estate is a sure thing, but you can bet on getting a good deal if you know what you're looking for in a home. If your family needs a house within one or two months, a foreclosure may be a good option, unless the seller is qualified in the HAFA program. If you have more time to work with, short sales could be within your realm of possibility.

Know your tolerance for defects and whether you have the time and money to fix up a house before buying a distressed abode. If the choice is right, you could help a homeowner stave off a foreclosure if you buy a short sale, or you could help alleviate the nation's glut of bank-owned properties.

You can snag a great deal with either a short sale or a well-maintained foreclosed home, Daubenmeyer says, but one requirement remains: You must find a good real estate agent.

"Deal with people who are educated and aware," she says. "There are tremendous deals with short sales on houses that are in really great condition. While it isn't a piece of cake and it isn't a party, (homebuyers) can close."




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