Despite the reported upswing in foreclosures, it actually is not easy to find them. Nor, once you locate one to buy, is the purchase process simple. Even if done right, it can take a while to find and buy a bank-owned property. And the process is fraught with pitfalls.
“The search process is impossible,” said Michael Davin, co-founder of Catalist Homes, which offers a Web-based service that helps buyers hunt for bank-owned properties in some Southern California communities. “It’s taken me a year to figure it out.” And he’s an expert.
Foreclosures are plentiful — in October alone, banks repossessed 5,803 homes in six Southland counties, up from 753 during the same period a year ago, according to DataQuick Information Systems.
But it would be hard to tell by driving down the street — banks typically don’t trumpet that status on front yard for-sale signs.