The general assumption is that to purchase cheap real estate, real estate auctions and foreclosures are the best bet.

But this assumption is usually not valid, as the cost of refurbishment of these houses is maybe bogus.

Your concept of a project cost and the bank’s gauge may be altogether different.

Firstly, auctions are generally exciting. You can easily get carried away by the bidding competition’s activities and energy and end up bidding way above your budget.

So, it would help if you were cautious not to get excessively carried away during the auction.

But also be careful not to be overly cautious during the auction, so you do not end up missing out on great deals.

And when we talk about great deals in auctions, we do not mean saving a few thousand dollars but saving significant cash like tens of thousands of dollars.

It is conceivable to get a deal like that in an auction.

But it depends on if you understand how auctions generally work, the various types of auctions, and, more importantly, what to search for when you want to purchase a house at auctions if you are persistent enough to search for the perfect house at the perfect price.

There are majorly two sorts of properties available to be purchased at auctions, seized by banks through foreclosures and houses seized by governments due to unpaid taxes on the seized property.

At times a house would need to be sold because the owner is experiencing bankruptcy. There are likewise times when a couple is separating and needs to sell off the house abruptly.

However, it is usual for houses to be available for auction when the owner dies and the beneficiaries do not want the house for reasons best known to them.

Suppose indeed you prefer to purchase your real estate for half of the price.

In that case, there are a few spots you can discover houses other than real estate agent listings, for example, public auctions, private auctions, or straightforwardly from the bank.

Public Auction

Public auctions are usually announced on the websites and in local papers.

Numerous websites post information on auctions within your locality, and some of these websites offer free weekly newsletters.

Public auction houses are usually paid for in full after a successful bid.

These houses are also purchased in a “with no guarantees” condition.

Smart real estate investors will pay for an inquiry on the property up for auction.

If there are liens on the property, for example, delinquent mortgage dues, outstanding loans, or uncleared taxes, these outstandings on the house are purchased along with the right to own the property.

Public auctions are also flooded with real estate experts and investors, which invariably affects your odds of winning bids on a desired property.

Private auction

Private auctions are also usually announced on websites and in local papers but are only opened to certified dealers and professionals.

But you can be represented by proxy by a certified dealer at these auctions.

Auction companies usually have their auctions at various times and in various locations.

Private auction companies usually give enough time frame to acquire financing or mortgage to purchase the house.

When you successfully win a bid in a house auction, only about 10 percent payment is required while you are given 20 days to raise the other 90 percent or risk losing both the house and the initial investment.

Mostly, auction companies allow inspection of properties before commencing bidding.

But a vital bidding strategy is to limit your budget and be mindful not to lose focus during the bidding event.

Direct Bank Purchase

When it comes to purchasing real estate for half of its price, one of the best strategies is to eliminate competition.

And this can be achieved by contacting banks directly to request cheap foreclosures.

Banks can always offer a discount on purchase costs if a purchaser purchases more than one home in a package.

A few banks keep a list of forclosure houses available for sale on their website.

Likewise, purchasers can check the U.S. Division of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) site for a list of HUD-owned homes.

How to set your budget for your house auction

The maximum budget is the highest you are willing to spend on a particular property during the auction exercise.

Firstly, start with the market value, which is the property’s worth if it was in good condition, i.e., has delightful finishing and is fit for immediate move-in.

However, because houses being sold at auction are rarely in top conditions, you knock the market value down to 80 percent.

Then you remove the total cost of renovation and other legal expenses. This then becomes your maximum budget for the bid.

Finally, purchasing a house through an auction can likewise be an incredible way to get your first house cheaply and quickly if you are patient and able to follow the strategies above.

Ensure you understand what you are getting into in advance. If so, you need to ensure you are in the clear financially, i.e., that you are not currently financially indebted.

You also need to ensure that you have about three months of emergency fund saved up, have at least 15 percent pay down on a 15 years fixed-rate mortgage, and have a budget set aside solely to repair the purchased property.


You may run over a few terms that confound you on the off chance that you are new to the house auction process, which is the exact opposite thing you need in the auction process.

Here are some standard terms to know about.

  1. Bidder’s guide: It is a document that should be given to bidders by the auctioning agency before the auction. It gives detailed information on the registration procedure for the auction and relevant paperwork, the general privacy laws, and the auction’s principles and guidelines.
  2. Reserve: Perhaps the most fundamental term, the reserve, is the point where the auction turns out to be “live.” If the bid does not go over the reserve, at that point, a negotiation between the highest bidder and the seller takes place.
  3. Rises and advances: This is the sum by which bid increases during an auction and is generally decided by the auction agency. The auctioneer can dismiss your bid if they think you have not progressed the bidding enough.
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