By Jacqueline Sit, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- With an ailing housing market across the nation, foreclosures are becoming a problem for many, but they're turning into hot buys for others.
The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office has an auction every other week selling foreclosed homes and from their numbers, more and more people seem to be buying them.
"My guys don't like to go out and empty people out of their homes, but that's not our goal. We do like to help people, but it's a court order and it has to be done," said Ann Marie with Oklahoma County Sheriff Judicial Services.
The sign of the trying times is evident in and around the metro as more homeowners face foreclosures. It's a matter the Oklahoma County Sheriff's deal with everyday because homeowners simply can't afford to make the payments.
There were 49 up for sale Thursday, which is a relatively small number compared to the average of 150 homes up for bids. In January, the Sheriff's auction sold 284 foreclosed homes.
"We could get more house for a good price if we look into the foreclosures. There's a little more risk involved with them," said Bo Turner, who is looking at foreclosed homes.
Experts agree the risks mean it's important to do your homework. Check out the record of deeds, pull the file and see who's pulled the liens against the home, check for second mortgages tax dues, mechanical liens, for example, like mowing fees, and if the house has been sitting empty or if cleanup fees are owed to the city.
The best thing to do is be patient because competition is fierce.
"Once we got out there in the market place, we found there are a lot of people just like us looking to buy these homes," Turner said.
"Because you can get in that bidding war and get excited and get the winning bid, and it's not what you intended, so set your limit. Do your homework and all that good stuff before you go," Ann Marie said.