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real estate

How to Find Foreclosures

It's smart to work with an agent, but you can start your search online.

If you've been tempted by the bargain prices of foreclosed homes, Foreclosures at Rock-Bottom Prices offers several resources for finding bank-owned homes. Start with these Web sites, then consider enlisting an agent to help you with the legal hurdles that come with buying a foreclosure:

Online marketplaces. See homes in foreclosure at RealtyTrac.com (free for seven days; basic subscription, $29 a month; premium, $49) and Foreclosure.com (free for seven days; $40).

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REOBroker.com. Search by location for agents that market real-estate-owned properties, or REOs, for lenders.

HomePath.com. Besides listings, Fannie Mae's site also offers two types of financing to its REO buyers: the HomePath mortgage, which allows as little as 3% down, and a renovation mortgage, which finances both your purchase and a "light" renovation.

HomeSteps.com. Buyers of a Freddie Mac home that they plan to live in may qualify for a two-year home warranty and a discount of up to 30% on appliances.

HomeSales.gov. You'll find homes owned by the federal government.

Online auction companies. Some institutional sellers list and sell REOs via auction. Three companies are Hudson & Marshall, RealtyBid.com and Altisource Homes.

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