Is the balance the amount I would pay if I took ownership of a house?

The balance listed on RealtyTrac is based on the defaulted lien amount or the total amount unpaid on the loan in default. A buyer will be responsible for this amount along with potential other costs that are negotiated with the owner in default and lien holder(s).

Other costs to consider:
-Additional liens against the property besides the loan that is in default (these can include delinquent taxes). These can be researched using the customized reports available through RealtyTrac on many properties, through a local agent or by checking with the county clerk or recorder.
-Repairs if the property has not been maintained properly. You can get a general sense of this just by looking at the property from the outside, but if possible it's best to do a thorough inspection of the entire house.
-Any additional payment you might choose to offer the owner in default if they have any equity left in the property.

The goal is always to get a good bargain, but you shouldn't necessarily expect to buy the property for just the defaulted lien amount. Usually the final purchase price is somewhere between the market value and the total amount owed on the property.

For Premium Subscribers RealtyTrac offers Estimated Property Value ranges and Estimated Property Market Values to help determine an estimate of the market value of any given property. 
What is the estimated property value range and the estimated property market value?

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