Pitfalls with buying bank owned or government owned property

Serving Waukegan, Libertyville, Lake County, Gurnee & nearby areas of Illinois

There is no question that this is a buyer's market for real estate.  The market has been inundated with foreclosed properties now owned by banks and government entities Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and HUD.  These sellers are looking to unload their property as quickly as possible and with limited problems.  For a buyer, it is important to note that their rights in these cases are much more limited than they would be if buying from a typical seller.  Foreclosed properties are almost always sold "as is".  This means the seller will not make any repairs to the property, either before or after the closing.  You can minimize your risks by getting a professional home inspection. 

Sellers of foreclosed properties often offer limited protection as to the title being passed to the purchaser.  It is important to make sure that you have good title insurance in place.
Standard practice in Illinois has always been that the seller obtain and pay for a survey of the land being bought.  With bank owned or government owned property, the seller usually refuses to provide a survey.  We recommend that every purchaser take on this expense themselves so they know exactly what they are buying and to avoid any potential conflict with neighboring property owners.
Finally, a buyer must be especially careful when acquiring property that is governed by a condominium, town home or homeowners association.  Dues to these associations typically go unpaid for many months, even years, while the foreclosure process is working its way through the courts.  Certain provisions of the law allow the association to charge the new buyer with some, but not all, of the past dues assessments that have not been paid by the foreclosing party or the prior owner.
Many of our clients are taking advantage of the low prices and huge inventory of available real estate that is out there.  Hiring a good real estate attorney is essential to make sure you know what you are getting, what it will cost and that your rights are protected.  Contact us to see if we can help you.