Foreclosure Investing Blog: Watch Out For Red Flags When Buying At Foreclosure Auctions!

Buying real estate at foreclosure auctions can be one of the most lucrative deals available. It is also the riskiest way to buy real estate. It can be the biggest loss as well if you don’t research what you’re buying. No luxury of title guarantees, escrow services, or in most cases an inspection. Once the cash is handed over you own it; no guarantees on property condition. Hopefully you have done some due diligence on that property you think you really want, prior to showing up to a foreclosure auction.

Here are some common red flags:

  1. Reconsider bidding on properties that are either in the flood plain, previous meth labs, zoning/permit violations, or tagged uninhabitable, these issues are going to add a significant amount of time and money to resolve in order to flip that property.  Go to in content tab click “maps,” then click “IMAP” in middle of page click start “map” and input your parcel # or address. This screen will open up a wealth of information, for example if you go to “district reports” you can go to permits and see the violations. Other counties have similar sites, play around and see what kind of information you can find.
  2.  Recorded Sheriffs sales – If you’re a flipper these properties come with another layer of difficulties that can take over a year to resolve; time is money.
  3. Don’t buy condo’s that are not ?FHA approved? – Unless you actually want a long term rental.

Laurie has 20 years of experience as a Real Estate investor specializing in the acquisition, rehabilitation and the sales of distressed property in King, Snohomish and Pierce Counties. As owner of Turnkey Properties, Inc. her company has flipped over 125 properties in Washington. Find Laurie online at:

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