How to find and finance bank-owned properties

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By Hal Bundrick

Home prices are still rising — they’re currently averaging just below all-time highs set in 2006, according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. Combine that with slim housing inventory in many markets, and you may believe you’ve missed the opportunity to buy your first, or your next, home.

But bank-owned properties, also known as real-estate owned houses, could be an affordable option for first-time or move-up homebuyers. Lenders are anxious to unload repossessed properties, and without emotional ties, they’re often more inclined to sell a property below market value.

A ‘great investment’

“I was kind of homeless!” Sheila Asseline of South Lake Tahoe, California, says, laughing as she recounts her housing situation of five years ago.

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