Saturday, 10 August 2019


A distressed property is a property whose value has been affected by certain factors which have negatively impacted on its price and the owner or someone who has the legal right to sell is prepared to accept a discounted price. This scenario presents both opportunities and risks for the prepared investor.

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Profiting from distressed properties require more than looking at the price of a property. There is a need to research the market and understand the reason behind the sale. However, if the property fits into the right frame, an investor can make significant profit from the transaction.

There are several reasons why a property can be distressed. A property can become distressed because of personal, national or global economic issues that have negatively impacted the property or the neighbourhood where the property is located.

A property can fall into this category by the inability of the owner to service his or her mortgage on the property. An economic downturn or natural disaster can also lead to a rapid fall in the value of real estate thus forcing some people to sell their properties.

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Purchasing a property in such an area is a very risky venture because you are not sure of when or how the economy will recover. It could also turn out to be a fantastic opportunity if you know what to look for.

It is important for you to evaluate these opportunities in the light of tested principles. Aspiring real estate investors should never rush into deals and should take their time to do their due diligence. You should familiarise yourself with the requirement of the government. Engage the services of real estate professionals such as valuers in order to determine the reasonable value it will command in the event of a fire sale.

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You should also engage the services of those who can check the structure on the land to see if the property is fit for living, requires major or minor repairs. Where a good property is located in a bad area it is usually not a good purchase because the perception of the area will affect the value of the property.

However, where a bad property or a distressed property is in a good area, it will enjoy the positive perception of the neighbourhood. If you do not carefully consider these simple issues you might fall into the trap of buying property from a person who just wanted to get out of a very bad investment by selling it cheaply to an ignorant person.

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There is always the need to carefully compare the risk and reward of any investment before you go ahead. The higher the risk the higher the possibility of reward but also the cost of any loss .You should not get sentimental at this stage and to help you do this, you need to focus on the facts. What is the cost of repairs? What will it cost me to repair or refurbish this property and will the outcome be profitable overall? If the numbers are not right, do not go ahead on the account that the property is cheap.

There are many ways of knowing which properties are available as a distressed property sale. You can contact the mortgage or home loan section of any bank and ask them for a list of foreclosed properties. The government also has an Asset Management Company whose brief is to acquire the toxic assets of banks and has the power to sell the properties that were used as collaterals. You can also speak with Real Estate Agents that you know and ask them to provide you with the details of any distressed sales in any area that you are interested in.

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If you intend to make money in real estate by buying distressed properties at a discount and then refurbishing them for sale at a higher price, you must ensure that you have access to funds. Distressed properties can be competitive because of their discounted prices and you may not have enough time to start sourcing for funds at the time of purchase because the sellers need their money quickly. It is only the prepared investor who has access to funds that can use that as a bargaining tool to get a good deal from the person that is desperate to sell. If you are planning on accessing bank loan, it is important that you secure pre-approval for the loan before you start searching for the distressed property sales. (Punch)

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