The Short Guide on Buying Foreclosure Properties as a BRRR Strategy
Updated: Apr 25
Real estate investing can be a lucrative way to build wealth, but it requires careful planning and execution. One strategy that has gained popularity in recent years is the BRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) method, which involves acquiring distressed properties, renovating them, renting them out, refinancing the property, and repeating the process to build a real estate portfolio.
One way to acquire distressed properties is through foreclosure sales. However, buying foreclosure properties can be a complex process that requires a thorough understanding of the foreclosure process, careful research, and strategic planning. In this short guide, we will walk you through the key steps involved in using foreclosure properties as part of a BRRR strategy for real estate investment.
Understand the Foreclosure Process
Foreclosure is a legal process that occurs when a borrower fails to make mortgage payments, and the lender seeks to take possession of the property. The foreclosure process varies by state, so it’s important to understand the laws in the area where you plan to invest. Generally, there are two types of foreclosure: judicial and non-judicial. Judicial foreclosure involves going through the court system, while non-judicial foreclosure does not. You should also be familiar with the timeline of the foreclosure process and the steps involved. You can learn all more about that on hud.gov.
Find Foreclosure Properties
Once you understand the foreclosure process, you can begin to look for properties in foreclosure. There are several ways to do this, including:
Real Estate Websites: Many real estate websites list foreclosure properties. You can also search for local websites that specialize in foreclosure listings such as foreclosure.com.
Auctions: Foreclosure auctions are another way to find properties in foreclosure. These auctions are typically held by the county or the lender and can be found on their websites or in local newspapers.
Real Estate Agents: A real estate agent who specializes in foreclosure properties can also be a valuable resource. They can help you find properties that meet your criteria and guide you through the purchasing process.
Research the Property
Once you find a foreclosure property that interests you, it’s important to do your research. This includes:
Inspecting the Property: Before making an offer, you should inspect the property to identify any issues that need to be addressed. This will help you estimate the cost of repairs and renovations. That being said, not all properties can be inspected and are sold as is.
Researching the Neighborhood: You should also research the neighborhood to determine the property’s potential value and rental income. Look at the local real estate market, crime rates, schools, and amenities.
Checking Liens: Check for any liens on the property, as they can affect your ability to acquire clear title.
Determine the After Repair Value
Determining the after repair value (ARV) of a property is a crucial step in the BRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) strategy. The ARV is the estimated value of the property after all necessary repairs and renovations have been completed. It is critical to get this one rights as it will determine the max potential profit in the deal and it will help you know if it is worthwhile or not. Here are the key steps to determine the ARV of a property:
Analyze Comps: Look at comparable properties (comps) in the same neighborhood that have recently sold and are similar in size, layout, and features to the property you plan to purchase. This will give you an idea of the current market value of the property.
Account for Differences: Once you have identified comparable properties, you need to account for any differences between those properties and the one you plan to purchase. For example, if the property you plan to purchase has a larger lot size or more bedrooms, you may need to adjust the estimated value accordingly.
Verify the ARV: Before finalizing your ARV estimate, it is a good idea to have it verified by an appraiser or a local real estate agent. This will help ensure that your estimate is realistic.
Develop a Renovation Plan
After you acquire the property, you will need to develop a renovation plan. This includes identifying the necessary repairs and renovations and estimating the cost. Your renovation plan should also include a timeline for completing the work. Verify the purchase price + renovation costs are significantly below the ARV before.
Buying Foreclosure Properties
Finance the Purchase and Renovations
There are several ways to finance the purchase and renovations of a foreclosure property, including:
Cash: If you have the funds available, paying cash for the property and renovations is the simplest option.
Construction loan: A construction loan is a type of financing that is specifically designed for real estate construction or renovation projects. These loans can be used to purchase and renovate properties as part of a BRRR (Buy, Rehab, Rent, Refinance, Repeat) strategy.
Hard Money Loans: Hard money loans are short-term loans that are used to purchase and renovate investment properties. They have higher interest rates but can be easier to obtain than traditional bank loans.
FHA 203(k) Loan: An FHA 203(k) loan is a government-backed loan that can be used to purchase and renovate a property. These loans are designed for owner-occupants, so they may not be an option if you plan to rent the property.
Rent the Property
After the renovations are complete, you can begin to rent the property. You should have a solid rental agreement in place and be prepared to manage the property or hire a property manager.
Refinance & Repeat
Once the property is rented and generating income, you can refinance the property to pull out your investment and repeat the BRRRR process with another property. The refinancing process involves obtaining a new loan that replaces the original mortgage. The new loan should be large enough to cover the remaining balance of the original mortgage and any additional expenses you incurred during the renovation process. By refinancing, you can access the equity in the property and use it to fund future investments.
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