A bank owned home or a REO (real estate owned) property is one that the entire foreclosure process has been completed and is now owned by the bank. Bank owned homes are still a significant part of the housing market and can be a great deal for buyers and investors.

Finding bank owned homes is easy: Our website provides you a bank owned search field to show you all of the bank owned homes available in the North Central Florida area from Gainesville to Lake City. Your Horizon Realtor can also assist you with additional information and details to help find the perfect property for you.

Be aware that bank owned/REO properties are not automatically bargains. Most banks do price their homes competitively for a quicker sale than most traditional sellers. Some homes are deeply discounted due to severe damage and repairs that are needed. Additionally, it is important to understand that many of these homes have been vacant for months or even years and that REO homes are generally sold "AS IS" with no warranties of any kind. It is strongly recommended that you obtain a professional home inspection to protect you and potentially determine huge, expensive repairs needed such as plumbing leaks in the slab, copper being stolen behind walls or in the attic, and many other not readily observable defects. Your Horizon Realtor can assist you in finding a home inspector that is familiar with bank owned homes and some of the inherent problems that may exist.

Not all banks obtain title searches prior to listing their properties, never assume that the title is clear and be aware that title issues may cause delays in the closing or even prevent the property from being sold. Horizon Realty recommends that you consider doing your own title and lien search through a local attorney or title company.

Depending on the properties condition, financing a bank owned home is no different than any other home. For homes that need rehabilitation, your Horizon Realtor can assist you to find a loan product that will provide additional funds for these repairs or updating. If you plan to pay cash for an REO or bank owned property, you will be required to provide proof of funds for the purchase.

Patience is required to purchase a bank owned home. The offer process usually takes several days to obtain acceptance and then even more time to get the signed contract documents back from the bank. In many cases, your Horizon Realtor will enter your offer online and then the Asset Management company with negotiate online until an acceptable price and terms are agreed upon. Once the terms are agreed, the Asset Manager will provide your Realtor with additional documents and addenda for your signatures and review. As always, you should consult with your real estate attorney if you have any questions regarding these documents. After you sign the contract documents, it may then take several more days for the seller to sign and return the contract back.

Most REO or bank owned contracts do provide for an inspection period but it can be very limited. Be sure to do your inspections timely. Also, be prepared that the bank will probably not do any repairs to the property. After your inspection period, the closing process begins. Your Horizon Realtor will walk you step by step through this process.

Closing on a bank owned home can be a little different than closing with a traditional seller. The actual closing may be done at the Realtor's office, your attorney's office or Title Company. More than likely they will require that you wire your closing funds to the seller's title company before the closing. In many cases you will not be provided your keys at the closing and in some cases it can be as much as 3 days later. It is also very important to re-key your new property immediately as the keys that the bank uses are used by many, many people including property preservation personnel, appraisers, Realtors and inspectors.

Although the process is different, your Horizon Realtor is highly-experienced and educated in the process and will be there to assist you from finding a home or investment property to closing.