I-Team: What to know about buying a foreclosed home


It’s a seller’s market in southern Nevada right now. Buyers looking for a chance at a bargain may consider foreclosure properties.

Jerwin Laforteza is a realtor with Berskshire Hathaway HomeServices Laforteza Team. He’s also an investor.

“Where we focus is actually new builds,” he said. “Literally you walk in the front door and this is it. This is what you’re buying.”

With so much competition to buy a house in southern Nevada these days, potential homebuyers may consider foreclosures.

“If our client is patient about it, then hey – let’s go with it. But we want to make sure we communicate, and we explain all the details to them and what to expect and all the road bumps that comes with a foreclosure,” Laforteza said.

For example, dealing with one or two banks rather than just the seller and their realtor. Also, what you see is what you get.

In some cases, the buyer must wait until inspection to see the inside of the home for the first time. And while a regular home sale may normally take up to 45 days, a foreclosed home can take months and then fall through.

Laforteza says that happened to him personally. But sometimes patience can pay off like his nine-month wait for another foreclosure.

He points to rising home values in southern Nevada and says the home is now worth more than he paid.

But foreclosures don’t always mean deals, especially in southern Nevada’s current sellers’ market. There just aren’t many homes for buyers to choose from.

The housing crash hit in 2008 and foreclosures reached record highs, but now there is a dramatic drop.

Residential Foreclosures Report for Nevada

“Once in a while, you will get one that’s actually below market value. However, typically it catches up from the back end where it’s as is. So, you have to drop all that money in the home to fix it up and make sure it’s livable,” Laforteza said.

He took the I-Team inside a foreclosed home in Inspirada, a master planned community in Henderson which he also markets. The bank-owned four-bed, three-bath property, without much of a backyard, is listed for close to $290,000.

“I personally believe that this house is priced pretty competitive,” he said.

The home has been listed since at least April which Laforteza calls a rarity for most homes on the market in the Las Vegas area, especially with an abundance of buyers.

“That’s the American dream, right?  Have a three-bedroom, two-bath, white picket fence with a little dog.”

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