Foreclosure Investing: How to Do it Without a Huge Investment

By: Hunter Craig

There are an incredible number of scams that promise you can make huge returns on foreclosure and pre-foreclosure investing without using a cent of your own money. They take the form of supposed "investment clubs," expensive how-to courses, books and e-books.

Unfortunately, the majority of these programs are about making someone else rich, not you. Though it would be great to have confidence that most advertisements involved legitimate, helpful products and services, the reality of human nature forces us to exert caution and weigh any business or investment opportunity before jumping in headlong.

Despite the risks, there are ways to make money on foreclosure investing without risking a large chunk of your own nest-egg, and here's how.

1. Buy a Property with Tenants

A foreclosure or pre-foreclosure property that already has tenants allows you to claim that rental income on your mortgage application. So, if you're applying to a lender for a mortgage loan, that rent will be seen as income and property, both reducing your borrowing rate and increasing your eligibility for a higher mortgage.

You will have to pay closing costs and a down payment, but the rental income will allow you to pay the mortgage until you're able to sell the property for a profit.

2. Find Tenants for the Property

If you have the cash to put a down payment on a foreclosure property and carry it for a few months while you locate good tenants, the potential rental income could pay the mortgage on the property while you wait for the property to appreciate in value. At that time, you can sell it for a profit, all without having to carry the lending costs associated with it.

3. Buying Direct from the Owner

Buying direct from an owner is an option that allows you to take over the deed and the mortgage of the property while retaining the existing owners as tenants. In turn, the owners may engage in a buy-back or rent-to-own program or simply continue as tenants until you decide to sell the home. If your credit is good, you can renegotiate the financing to obtain a lower rate.

Buy-direct and rent-to-own programs are legally tricky, meaning you'll have to invest in quality legal advice, contract preparation and real estate consulting, but you can save big on down payments, purchasing costs and interest.

4. Don't Get Involved in Investment Clubs

Unless you're dealing with trusted family members and very close friends, don't involve yourself in a foreclosure investment club. These supposed money-making ventures seek to pull together small investments to buy foreclosure and pre-foreclosure properties, sell them at a profit and then send the returns to the original investors.

Unfortunately, properties are often never bought, returns are frequently deflated and profits can be heavily skimmed.

If you're considering an investment club strategy, try taking it on with a group of close and well-known friends, and do so with a transparent structure and well-written legal contracts.

Foreclosure investing can be a lucrative business opportunity for the savvy investor who is will to take sufficient time to learn the details and "practice" them before placing huge sums of money at risk and simply hoping for the best.

Foreclosures
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