Can someone explain home forclosures to me?

First off, I live in Minnesota. I’ll be in the market for a newer home in the next few months. I googled ‘house forclosures’ thinking I’d take a look at what’s out there. To my surprise, every single site cost money. This doesn’t make sense to me. What would the buyer of a product need to pay to see the product? Shouldn’t I be able to see all the listings? Wouldn’t that help their sales? This made me think that the sites were all a scam and that they had very few if any listings for me to even look at.

Can anyone explain this? Should I join one of them? I know my next question is possibly a debate question, but if anyone has some experience and can recommend one to me, which one would it be?


Perhaps the sites you visited were only selling FC notices, not actually trying to sell the FC properties?

The pay sites are trying sell information to speculators who buy a distressed or underpriced property, then fix it up and sell it. They are only in it to make a buck, so they will sometimes pay for leads on potential properties. At least, that is the way it worked before the housing market went into the dumper. I would imagine the sites you are talking about are finding comparatively slim pickings these days.

Be very wary if you are contemplating the purchase of a foreclosed home and do not have experience and expertise in dealing with them. The hidden costs and extra headaches can bury you in financial and personal ruin. Consider the worst case, such as the tenant destroying the property just before his eviction or enacting some sort of psychopathic vengence on the person he perceives as destroying his family. Even in the best of circumstances, there can be everything from massive structural neglect to years of back taxes owed, for which you will be liable. It’s not an avenue for the novice.

You can view a lot of foreclosed homes (note, in your Googling, that there’s one more “e” in “foreclosure” than you’re putting in there) at the government’s HUD Homes Web site. The link for Minnesota takes you to this site, which doesn’t appear to charge anything for the info. At least, I was able to look at listings for no charge. I don’t know how comprehensive it is.