By Amy E. Feldman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Thinking about buying a foreclosed property? You might want to think again.
A Florida man who bought a home in a foreclosure auction last month got a gruesome surprise when he finally got to enter the house he’d bought – a corpse, likely of the owner who hadn’t been seen or paid the bills for three years. Ew.
Which is the first thing to know about buying a foreclosed property — you don’t always get to look inside to see the condition of the house before you buy it. So evicted owners who have left have been known to become vindictive and destroy the inside of the property before leaving.
But, beyond the physical damage is what you’ll need to know about the financial damage that’s been done.
You need to make sure that everyone with an interest in the property has actually been notified of the sale – all of the mortgage holders, the taxing agency, etc. because if they haven’t been notified, you will get the property with those liens still on it.
Second, in many municipalities if a property is sold for tax delinquencies, the owner has a right to redeem for up to a year – that means if he pays he can get his property back.
So you’d get back the money you paid for the property but you wouldn’t get back money for improvements you’ve made or the carpets you’ve had cleaned from the last bodies living or dying there.