Monthly Archives March 2019

Tampa Bay Real Estate

Real Estate Foreclosures For Sale: Finding the Deal

Posted by Kate Story on March 31, 2019  /  in NEWS  /  Comments off

Each county within Florida has a specific website dedicated to information regarding real estate foreclosures for sale. Click HEREto browse the Hillsborough Clerk of Courts or click HERE to browse the Pinellas County Foreclosure. There are sixty-seven counties in the state of Florida. On the county website they have an auction calendar that shows which foreclosure houses are going to auction on which day. They include the case #, final judgment amount, parcel ID, property address, and assessed value. They also include the time for each auction. Since they hold multiple auctions at once, you could very well find yourself bidding on two different houses at once.

It is extremely important to stay on top of the real estate foreclosures for sale calendars. These calendars date forward roughly six months, showing which houses are going for auction on which days. Although they forecast the real estate foreclosures for sale for the upcoming six months, it does not guarantee every one of those scheduled houses will make it to the bidding process. A foreclosure can cancel the day of the sale or anywhere from a week to a month prior to the sale. There are many variables that can play a role into whether a foreclosure goes to auction or is cancelled. For example, if an owner contests the foreclosure or if a third party is able to negotiate and pay off the existing mortgage.

An owner is able to contest their home’s foreclosure sale, however only a limited number of times. To contest the sale, the owner is required to submit a complaint stating their arguments for contesting the foreclosure. When an owner does this it prolongs the sale of the home because a hearing is scheduled for the complaint and reviewed by a judge. If the judge does not believe the owner’s complaint is sufficient, the house is placed back on the county’s foreclosure calendar and scheduled for auction. The other way a foreclosure can cancel is if a Buyer negotiates a deal with the owner and the bank or mortgage holder. For example, Joe is in foreclosure and owes a $70,000 payoff. If Real Estate Kate is able to strike a deal with all parties, paying $80,000, which satisfies the $70,000 payoff and puts $10,000 in Joes pocket, the sale is cancelled.

Zillow, a house hunting website and app, that according to DMR Business Statistics, has 188 million monthly visitors, also has the ability to show USA foreclosures for sale(DMR). On their website under the listing tab, and potential listings, they have “foreclosed” and “pre-foreclosure”. However, because they are not the direct source of USA foreclosures for sale, and pull it from other databases, their listing information can sometimes be inaccurate. For example, they may still show a home as a “pre-foreclosure” when the owner has actually caught up on payments or they may list a “foreclosed” home even after it has been sold at the auction.

Zillow can also connect you directly with an REO agent specialist. These agents specialize in real estate owned by the bank or mortgage companies. If bank owned foreclosures for sale do not sell at auction, they hit the open market on the multiple listing service (MLS). Since these REO agents have special relationships with the banks, they are usually chosen to list the bank owned foreclosures for sale.Having contact with one or more of these agents is a wise way to stay up to date on the latest bank owned foreclosures for sale. Not only do these agents get the listings themselves, but they also are usually friendly with the other REO agents and keep tabs on what they may have coming available soon.

To understand what is the process to buy a foreclosure, check out “What is the Process to Buy a Foreclosure? Understand Key Components”.

What is The Process to Buy a Foreclosure? Understanding Key Components

Posted by Kate Story on March 31, 2019  /  in NEWS  /  Comments off

Investors with an interest in bidding at the auction will likely want to know what is the process to buy a foreclosure. They will have questions such as “how long does it take to buy a foreclosure”, or “can anyone buy a foreclosure”. For those who are new to the auction, and foreclosures in general, the question of why buy a foreclosure may be relevant as well. These are just a few of the key components to understanding what is the process to buy a foreclosure.

In regards to the time and how long does it take to buy a foreclosure, it depends on the situation and the type of foreclosed property. For example, if Real Estate Kate wins the bid and buys a foreclosure property from the county auction, she buys it within a day. A 5% deposit of the property’s purchase price is required the same day and then the remaining balance is due the next day. Then 8-10 days later, the closing title (CT) is recorded. The closing title is considered the final step in the purchase process. This validates the property has been transferred to the new owner.

On the contrary, if Real Estate Kate purchases a foreclosure property from an online auction, such as Hubzu or, the process can take much longer. At minimum the closing will take place within 2-3 weeks. Sometimes if there is an issue, specifically with the title, it can take up to a month or more. Examples of how this process can be slowed is if multiple Seller signatures are needed, the property was involved in a cross-collateralization loan, or there are heavy fines, liens, or mortgage payoffs needed. As you can see, there are quite a few aspects that can affect the timeframe of a foreclosure, and therefore there is not a simple answer to “how long does it take to buy a foreclosure”.

To answer, “can anyone buy a foreclosure”, technically yes, anyone can buy a foreclosure as long as they are 18+. However, there are a few steps one must go through buy a foreclosure. Firstly, the Buyer must have the necessary capital available. This is typically in the form of liquid cash. If one is buying from the court steps, at the county auction, it must be liquid cash. In other cases, such as online auctions, a FHA 203k Improvement Loan can be used. Though, these types of loans can usually be a pain and have a tendency to fall through.

Aside from understanding what is the process to buy a foreclosure, another equally as important component is why buy a foreclosure. There is a reason why many investors are interested in understanding the foreclosure process of where to find the deals and how to buy the houses. That is because with a foreclosure, you typically get the best bang for your buck. For example, imagine trying to flip a house that is retail and listed on the MLS. Although you can see the vision (knocking down this wall, adding a door here, etc.), the Seller has already added their personal finishes and expects to get top dollar. The numbers just do not work out for each party.

To delve deeper and learn more about real estate foreclosures for sale, check out “Real Estate Foreclosures For Sale: Finding the Deal”.

How hard is it to buy a Foreclosure? Ask the Experts.

Posted by Kate Story on March 31, 2019  /  in NEWS  /  Comments off

A common question, particularly among investors, in the real estate industry is, “how hard is it to buy a foreclosure”? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as A or B. There are a number of factors that contribute to the foreclosure process and, therefore, can impact how easy or difficult it can be.

When people ask me, “is it easy to buy a foreclosure”, I remind them of the real estate market crash in 2008-2009. At that time, there was a surplus of foreclosed homes available. RealtyTrac reported that 1 in every 45 homes nationwide were in default during 2009 (CNN). This meant the investors had access to plenty of inventory. However, nowadays, since the foreclosure supply is drying up, there are fewer foreclosure homes hitting the market and an increase in competition. To learn more about the best way to find foreclosures for sale, check out “Best way to find foreclosures for sale: Ask Real Estate Kate”.

Next time you hear someone say, “is it difficult to buy a foreclosure”, remember this, foreclosures are “AS IS” and they typically have a zero inspection period. This means you may have to buy sight unseen. One should try and see the property to the best of their ability prior to bidding. The houses can be vacant or occupied; it just depends. If they are occupied, they can be inhabited by the previous owner themselves, friends, family, tenants, or squatters. If they are vacant, sometimes there is a lockbox. To access a lockbox, one must be, or be accompanied by, a licensed agent/broker. Worst-case scenario there is no interior access available, only exterior.

For those who question, “how easy is it to buy a foreclosure”, be aware, for a person to even able to bid at the county auction, one must be registered. If a person wins a bid, they must pay 5% of the purchase price the same day as the auction. The remaining amount must be paid the following day. Therefore, to bid at the foreclosure auction, one must have large amounts of liquid cash ready to use.

Lastly, when wondering, “is it safe to buy a foreclosure”, please keep in mind, foreclosure titles aren’t always free and clear. There can, and usually are, title encumbrances. One of the most important aspects of buying a foreclosure property is being able to understand title or having someone who specializes in title research. The last thing you want is an unforeseen second mortgage to appear after you win the bid and deposit your money. There are a number of unwanted items that can attach to a title, such as code enforcement issues, liens, and back taxes. Knowing what is named in the foreclosure and what will be wiped out is vital for you success when bidding.

Best Way to Find Foreclosures for Sale: Ask Real Estate Kate

Posted by Kate Story on March 31, 2019  /  in NEWS  /  Comments off

Real Estate Kate and her team are the best way to find foreclosures for sale because foreclosures are their bread and butter! Real Estate Kate and her team buy foreclosed homes at county and online auctions, take care of the title and any people occupying the property, then they resell them free and clear. This is one of the best ways to buy a foreclosurebecause you’re still able to buy a house AS IS, at an under market value price, but not have to deal with any evictions or having to clear the title of any encumbrances.

Each county holds their own auction. There are also a multitude of online auctions, such as Hubzu, Xome,, Hud Homes, Homepath, Hudson & Marshall, Williams & Williams, Realtybid, and Treasury Auctions. The most popular are Hubzu, Xome, and If you’re wondering how to buy a foreclosure with cash, just know it is necessary to have cash in order to buy a property from the county and Real Estate Kate and her team. In certain situations, when a property reaches the multiple listing service (MLS), a loan, such as the FHA 203k Improvement Loan, may be allowed, however these loans are typically a headache and can fall through or are beaten out by a cash offer. Therefore, cash is king. [Note: Real Estate Kate and her team also accept hard/private financing, depending on the terms, because it can be considered comparable to cash].

You may be asking yourself how do I buy a foreclosure? You are not alone; many people ask how to buy a foreclosure. There are a several steps involved in purchasing a foreclosure. One must be registered and have an account to do so. One must pay attention and stay up to date on what properties are going to auction. Lastly, one must be aware of what shape the title is in. Is there an outstanding mortgage? Are there code enforcement issues that have turned into liens? These are all very important factors to consider when considering how to buy a foreclosure. To learn more about how hard it is to buy a foreclosure, check out “How hard is it to buy a Foreclosure? Ask the Experts.”

How can you buy a foreclosure? The question may not be how do you buy a foreclosure property, but actually why. Foreclosure properties are a great way to capitalize on the buy low, sell high, strategy. Typically, with a foreclosure property one is able to accumulate more equity than if one were to buy it from a homeowner off the MLS. That being said, banks are motivated to get these properties sold. Therefore, they will negotiate on terms such as price and closing costs. Furthermore, when a bank deal doesn’t sell at the live auction, it hits the MLS and they then also offer a real estate commission. This is great for agents who are also investors.

As you can tell, there is a real advantage to buying foreclosures. However, there is also a huge risk in doing so. What if the title has a second mortgage you missed? What if the occupants don’t leave easily and destroy the property? Therefore, when considering what the best way to buy a foreclosure, remember Real Estate Kate and her team. They buy these properties, take care of any outstanding liens, mortgages, title encumbrances, people, and then resell them free and clear. They are still marked at an under market value price, so investors are able to have equity in a flip or income investment. The best way to find foreclosures for sale is to check Real Estate Kate’s website If you subscribe to her e-mail list (at the bottom of her home page), she will keep you updated and send you an e-mail when a new property comes available.

Wholesalers Providing Off Market Real Estate

Posted by Kate Story on March 31, 2019  /  in NEWS  /  Comments off

There is an ever-growing trend for finding off market real estate listings. This is a concept highly desirable to investors, developers, and traditional homebuyers looking for a great deal. Rather than spend hours, driving, looking to find for sale by owner (FSBO) signs, doing extensive computer research, or paying a hefty fee for, hopefully lucrative, “leads”, Real Estate Kate is able to provide off market real estate deals at a discounted price.

Off market real estate is not publicly advertised on the MLS (multiple listing service), a service available to thousands of real estate agents. The transaction is A to B, directly from the Seller to the Buyer. For example, Real Estate Kate and her team sell a house they purchased at auction to Joe, a local investor, who flips houses for a living. Therefore, rather than list it on the MLS and advertise it to thousands of agents/buyers, the sale is able to occur, directly, between the Seller and the Buyer, creating an off market real estate transaction.

Real Estate Kate and her team are able to acquire and sell a number of off market real estate deals. They purchase foreclosures from the county auctions and various auction websites. They negotiate short sales with people facing foreclosure. Lastly, they pick up deals from people who have no need for an inherited property or an investment property that has become neglected. Since Real Estate Kate and her team are able buy off market real estate, at a discounted price, they have room to add their mark up and still leave meat on the bone for another investor.

Ideally, off market real estate means the margins are bigger and there is more money to be made for both parties. It is consider a “better” deal because off market real estate sales are typically bought at an under market value price point. The Seller avoids having to pay a listing fee and or any realtor commissions. For example, if Real Estate Kate was not licensed and listed a $150,000 house, she would need to pay between $7,500 and $9,000 in commissions. Therefore, you can see why the exclusivity of off market real estate trend is what makes it such a preferred transaction.

Normally off mls real estate is seen as “harder to find” or “more difficult to deal with”. Luckily for the local investors of Tampa Bay, Real Estate Kate and her team are able to provide a multitude of these off market real estate properties (roughly 15-20 per month). The properties vary from around $100-250k. Since Real Estate Kate is both fair and professional, she is able to make off market real estate deals work for both the Buyer and the Seller. To learn more about how to find off market real estate, check out “The Difficulty in How to Find Off Market Real Estate”

Investment Real Estate for Sale

Posted by Kate Story on March 31, 2019  /  in NEWS  /  Comments off

In Tampa Bay, many people are searching for investment real estate for sale. Some people are purchasing these properties as rental investments for passive income. Other people are flipping these houses to put some quick cash in their pocket. The strong, growing, market and various HGTV shows, which highlight, specifically, the art of flipping, are a reason for an increasing number of people entering the real estate realm. Since there are more people involved and a heighted desire for these types of properties, it is becoming increasingly difficult for investors and developers alike to find investment real estate for sale.

Nowadays, since competition is so strong, one is lucky to find and buy an investment real estate listing through the multiple listing service (MLS). The few real estate agents who are still able to acquire these distressed listings are typically able to sell the properties before even having to list them on the MLS. For example, Real Estate Kate has an investment real estate listing, but already knows her Buyer Joe will want to purchase the property and therefore she never has to list it on the MLS. In this scenario the agents will only list the properties for numerical purposes, to record the sale’s data.

Today there are noticeably fewer properties hitting the MLS for sale, unlike back in 2008-2009, when the real estate market crashed. This bubble caused foreclosures to hit a record high of 81% (CNN). There was a surplus of foreclosed homes available. This caused banks and government owned agencies to offer REO listings to real estate agents. An REO listing is a foreclosed home that did not sell at auction and therefore the bank is required to resell on the open market. With an overflow of foreclosed homes, the market was full of opportunity.

Since the days of REO properties and agents are drying up, the sale of investment real estate property is becoming it’s own niche. Buyers are entertaining and looking towards other outlets and avenues to acquire these types of properties. Due to this, a big contributor that has sprung up in the market and sale of investment real estate is the wholesaler. Wholesalers are people who find and sell off market, not publicly advertised, properties. A large number or investors and developers are now utilizing wholesalers to source their deals. To learn more about these real estate deals and wholesalers, check out “Off Market Real Estate; The Advantage of Wholesale”.

For investors and developers interested in purchasing investment real estate, check out Real Estate Kate’s website, www.realestatekatefl.comHer inventory is full of off market, wholesale, investment properties. She typically has at least 15 properties at any given time. They range from single to multi family and have a purchase price that generally falls between $100,000-$200,000. The properties are sold as is, at an under market value, with a clear title. It’s a perfect source of inventory, specifically in this market, for those interested in purchasing investment real estate.

The Difficulty in How to Find Off Market Real Estate

Posted by Kate Story on March 31, 2019  /  in NEWS  /  Comments off

Off market real estate is a piece of property that has not yet been publicly listed or advertised. Once a house hits the market, thousands of agents have access to the listing. This creates a demand for how to find off market real estate deals. The Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) estimates the United States to have roughly 2 million licensed and active real estate agents. Therefore, with so many eyes on the multiple listing service (MLS), it’s not uncommon for, in a hot market, bid wars to occur. A bid war is when a house is so desirable that people are willing to pay over asking price. Typically, the person who puts in the highest offer wins the bid. Due to this, investors turn the idea of how to find off market real estate.

Investor’s strong passion for how to find off market real estate has created a spot for wholesalers. Wholesalers are people who know how to find off market real estate. The wholesaler’s main job is to get exclusive deals, which nobody else has seen yet. They are typically able to acquire these deals from outlets other than the overly saturated MLS. For example, Real Estate Kate finds and sells her Buyer, Joe, a house that has not been listed by an agent on the MLS or by a homeowner on Zillow. Many wholesalers contract a property with an assignment clause, which allows them to sign it over to the end Buyer. Real Estate Kate and her team always close on the front side of the property to ensure any previous mortgages, liens and violations, etc. are taken care of first.

Many investors are interested in trying to figure out how to find off market real estate on their own to save money and get a better deal. However, this is extremely difficult for them because it is typically a full time job and not a one-man show. Real Estate Kate and her team spend hours of time, money, and effort in mastering how to find off market real estate. They mail out thousands of letters to absentee owners and owners of distressed homes as well as thoroughly research the upcoming foreclosures, short sales, and REO auctions. Their office is filled with multiple employees who are assigned to different tasks. Due to this, they are able to specialize in how to find off market real estate.

Unfortunately some investors, who have taken the plunge to try and learn how to find off market real estate, by bidding at the auctions themselves, have wound up in disastrous situations. For example, a Florida couple bid and won on a nearly a half a million-dollar waterfront condo. After the sale, they were shocked to discover an unexpected first mortgage on the property, meaning the bank could soon foreclose. Foreclosure auctions can be risky for those not well versed in the process. Another resource for how to find off market real estate is by word of mouth. For example, a neighbor, relative’s acquaintance, or a friend of a friend. However, the chances of this occurring and being successful for one are slim and few.

Utilizing wholesalers, like Real Estate Kate, are great way for inventors wondering how to find off market real estate. Subscribe to Real Estate Kate’s e-mail list to stay kept up to date with the latest properties. You can also check out her website at www.realestatekatefl.comfor a list of her current inventory and best off market real estate deals. Let Real Estate Kate and her investors do the hard work of how to find off market real estate and provide a one stop shopping experience for you. To learn more about investment real estate for sale, check out “Investment Real Estate for Sale: Real Estate Kate”.

  • ***I am disclosing as much information as possible. I am NOT a licensed tradesman and or general contractor. The information should be deemed reliable, but NOT guaranteed. Buyer should ALWAYS do their own DUE DILIGENCE with licensed professionals and or city departments to determine the condition and use of the property prior to purchasing.

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