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04/27/2022 - David Sicherman
What Should You Look Out For When Evaluating Foreclosed Properties In Palm Beach?


When seeking to purchase real estate, the most common way to do so is by purchasing a property that has been listed for sale with the help of a real estate agent. However, there are other ways of purchasing real estate property. One of such ways is purchasing a foreclosed property.

What is a Foreclosed Property?

A foreclosed property is a property that has been repossessed from the homeowner by a creditor, that is, a bank or a lending organization and put up for sale to reclaim what is being owed.

Buying a foreclosed property has its advantages - they are usually cheaper when compared to properties that are not in foreclosure. However, the process of purchasing one involves a whole lot of evaluation and documentation. 

Asides from having a significantly high cost of living, buying homes is also an expensive activity in Palm Beach. If you are looking to live in this beautiful island town and you are hoping to get a less expensive property, your best bet is one that is foreclosed and listed for sale. 

When evaluating a foreclosed property in Palm Beach, the following conditions should be considered:

State of the Property

Most foreclosed properties are repossessed due to the homeowner defaulting on mortgage payments or because the homeowner is in serious debt. If the homeowner is in such a financial crisis, it should not come as a surprise if routine maintenance and repairs are not followed through. 

Foreclosed properties are also usually left vacant and unattended. This leaves the property prone to damage by natural elements and/or deliberate actions. Repairs and renovation solely rest on the buyer so it is crucial to carefully assess whether the property's structural integrity is still intact.

Sufficient Funding

Although not all foreclosed properties are in a bad state, it is still necessary and safer to have reserve funds for repairs and other unforeseeable expenses that may arise during and after the period of purchase. 


One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing real estate, regardless of the method of acquisition, is the location of the property. The location’s potential for development, access to basic amenities, and safety profile should all be taken into consideration.


The overall purpose of buying a foreclosed property is to save money and make profits. Thus, when looking to purchase, take adequate time to compare prices with similar properties. Consider a house with a higher price but more favorable terms, such as a lower initial deposit, fewer expenses for renovations, etc.

After-Repair Value

This encompasses profit made after all expenditures and taxes have been deducted. Before purchasing a foreclosed property, ensure its value and potential income is higher than its expenditure to guarantee future profits. 

Liens on the Property

Another factor to consider is the presence of multiple or outstanding liens on the property such as a mechanic lien. An easy way to determine if there is an outstanding lien on a property is through a real estate public records request that will show the current liens on the property.

Property Title and Documentation

It is crucial to ensure that the title and all documents associated with the property in question are clear and duly signed by all parties involved. In a case where it is possible, try to identify the initial owner of the property to get a copy of the title. Potential buyers should always ensure they are buying a sellable title to avoid future complications and losses.

Payment Terms

As a buyer, it is important to identify how payments would be made and what method suits you. Take into consideration the time duration given for payment, the minimum down payment, and other monetary terms to be sure you are fine with them. 

Types Of Foreclosures

Foreclosed properties can be classified generally into the following:

Real Estate Owned Foreclosures

These are also known as bank-owned foreclosures. These properties have been listed and auctioned, but were, however, not purchased. Thus, their ownership reverts to the creditors, which are usually banks. 

Government-Owned Foreclosures

When a home is purchased by a government-backed mortgage, the government, and not the lender, automatically repossess the property if the purchaser defaults on repayment.

Short Sale

These properties are usually listed and sold by the seller or creditor at a price below what is owed. 


Here, the creditor has informed the property owner of a breach in the contract but the property is yet to be listed or put up for sale.

Sheriff’s sale

This is similar to the pre-foreclosure property. The difference is the window period allowed by the creditor to enable the debtor to pay what is owed has elapsed and an auction has been set to allow the creditor to gain his or her money back

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Avoid the Risks Associated with Purchasing a Foreclosed Property?

You can avoid these risks by: Engaging the services of real estate professionals who specialize in foreclosed real estate property. These professionals have at their disposal, adequate information about the specialties associated with purchasing foreclosed properties and help you make informed decisions to avoid pitfalls. 

In Palm Beach, PBCHomeAuctions guarantee you access to thousands of foreclosed properties on the market. 

Carry out thorough and detailed background checks on various properties, taking into account the prices of similar properties, accessibility of the property, arrears on utilities, after repair value, etc. Remember, never underestimate the cost of repairs.

Why Are Foreclosed Properties Cheaper?

Purchasing a foreclosed property is generally less expensive than the traditional method of purchasing real estate property because the creditor is trying to make back the money they are owed as soon as possible. So, most times, these properties are sold below the actual price. 


Purchasing a foreclosed property is one of the ways that real estate investors make profits as these properties are typically sold below market value. This is because the creditor is trying to regain what is being owed as soon as possible. However, this obvious opportunity can end up as a loss if proper investigation and care are not taken during the purchase of the property. The tips given above should guarantee you an easy purchase of your choice foreclosed property.

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