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Foreclosure Activity Drops Throughout The Most Foreclosure-Heavy States

Foreclosure Change By State (January 2011)

Foreclosure activity is slowing. According to foreclosure-tracker RealtyTrac, the number of foreclosure filings dropped 17 percent on an annual basis last month. Monthly filings ticked higher 1 percent after a combined 23 percent decrease through November and December 2010.

The phrase “foreclosure filing” is a catch-all term, comprising default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions. 

January marked the third straight month of sub-300,000 filings after 20 straight months above it.

As compared to January 2010, six of the nation’s 10 most foreclosure-heavy states posted an annual foreclosure filing reduction. The remaining four showed modest worsening.

It’s noteworthy that states like California and Florida posted declines of 7 percent and 54 percent, respectively, and that Nevada posted a relatively-low 3 percent gain. These three states have been at the leading edge of foreclosure activity since 2007. Their subsequent recoveries, therefore, may foreshadow a better housing market ahead.

Or, this may be lasting effects from the “robo-signer” controversy.

Regardless, home buyers in Colorado continue to clamor for distressed homes.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, properties in various stages of the foreclosure and short sale process are selling at discounts in the range of 10-15 percent so it’s no wonder they now account for 36 percent of all home resales. Buying a foreclosure can be a great “deal”.  They can be more trouble and cost than they’re worth.

Therefore, If you’re in the market for a foreclosed home , be sure to speak with a licensed real estate agent. The process of buying a distressed home is different from buying a non-distressed home. An experienced professional can help make sure you negotiate your best possible price.

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Foreclosure Activity Falls For The Second Straight Month, Drops To 30-Month Low

Foreclosure concentration December 2010According to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac, the number of foreclosure filings nationwide dropped for the second straight month in December. After falling 21 percent in November, filings were down by an additional 2 percent in December.

“Foreclosure filing” is a catch-all term, comprising default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions.

Like most months, a small number of states dominated December’s national foreclosure figures. 6 states accounted for more than 50 percent of all bank repossessions.

  1. California : 17% of all repossessions
  2. Florida : 11% of all repossessions
  3. Arizona : 6% of all repossessions
  4. Michigan : 6% of all repossessions
  5. Texas : 6% of all repossessions
  6. Nevada : 4% of all repossessions

December’s foreclosure filings fell to its lowest levels since June 2008, but we can’t read into the report too much just yet. Foreclosure volume continue to be dampened by lawsuits and moratoriums related to controversy surrounding the so-called robo-signers.

Foreclosure activity may have lessened in December anyway, but we can’t know for certain. 

Distressed properties are in high demand among home buyers, accounting for one-third of all home sales; typically sold at a steep, 15 percent discount as compared to non-distressed properties.

Buying foreclosures can be a terrific “deal”.

That said, buying a foreclosed home is different from buying a non-foreclosed home. Specifically, because you’re buying from a bank and not a person, contracts may vary from what’s “customary” and negotiations may be drawn-out.

It’s one reason why buyers in Broomfield  — first-timers and investors alike — should talk with a real estate agent before writing an offer for a foreclosed property. You can learn a lot from the internet, but when it comes time to actually purchase a home, you’ll want an experienced professional on your side.

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Foreclosure Activity Plunges (But With An Asterisk)

Foreclosures per household, November 2010

According to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac, the foreclosure filings fell 21 percent in November to 262,339 units nationwide. A foreclosure filing is defined as default notice, scheduled auction, or bank repossession. 

November marked the first time since February 2009 that the number of monthly filings failed to surpass 300,000 units.

There were other notable November statistics, too, included:

  • November’s 21 percent month-to-month decrease was the largest in RealtyTrac’s recorded history
  • November’s 14 percent year-to-year decrease was the largest in RealtyTrac’s recorded history
  • Nevada led the nation in foreclosure activity for the 47th straight month

However, we can’t read into November’s RealtyTrac report too much; ultimately, history may treat it with an asterisk. Controversy surrounding the so-called robo-signers forced some of the biggest banks to institute a temporary halt to foreclosures in November. Foreclosure activity did fall last month, but the moratorium makes the figures look better for housing than if there had been no interference.

The halt in foreclosures is also why Utah leaped into the #2 state for foreclosures nationwide. Perennial foreclosure-leading states like California, Michigan and Arizona posted double-digit improvements in November whereas Utah did not.

Banks have since resumed foreclosure activity so December’s results may be a better gauge for how the market is truly performing.

Foreclosures tend to be sold at discount and low home prices can entice home buyers to make an offer. If you’re such a buyer in Broomfield and want to look at foreclosed homes, talk to a real estate agent first.

Although there’s a host of online search engines that specialize in foreclosures, a licensed agent may have access to broader inventory, plus the ability to negotiate it more effectively.

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October 2010 : 5 States Account For Half Of The Nation’s Foreclosure Activity

Foreclosures, cumulative by state (October 2010)

According to October data from foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings topped 300,000 for the 20th straight month last month as 1 in every 389 U.S. homes received a foreclosure filing.

The generic term “foreclosure filing” is defined to include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions. Versus the month prior, filings fell 4 percent, and as compared to October 2009, filings were essentially the same.

As usual, foreclosure density varied by region last month, with just 5 states accounting for close to half of the nation’s repossessed homes.

  • California : 14.8 percent of all bank repossessions
  • Florida : 14.4 percent of all bank repossessions
  • Michigan : 7.3 percent of all bank repossessions
  • Texas : 6.6 percent of all bank repossessions
  • Arizona : 6.0 percent of all bank repossessions

The other 45 states accounted for the remaining half.

It reminds us that, like everything else in real estate, foreclosures are local.

For today’s Broomfield home buyers, though, foreclosures represent an interesting opportunity. 

Homes bought in various stages of foreclosure are often less expensive than other, non-foreclosure homes and it’s one of the reasons why distressed home sales now represent 35 percent of all home resales.  But don’t confuse less expensive for less costly.  Foreclosed homes may also be in various stages of disrepair. Getting them into living condition can be expensive.

Your best real estate “deal”, therefore, may be that non-distressed home that’s in sound, move-in ready condition.

If you’re buying foreclosures — or even just thinking about it — make sure you talk with a real estate agent first. Buying distressed property is different from the “typical” home purchase. You’ll want somebody experienced in your corner.

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Foreclosure Activity By Metro Area, Q3 2010

Foreclosures by Metro Area, Q3 2010

Foreclosures are a big part of the housing market, with distressed properties accounting for 35 percent of all home resales last month, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

But for as common as foreclosures can be, they remain a localized concern. Data from foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac shows that more than half of last quarter’s foreclosures came from just 19 metropolitan areas, with the Miami-Fort Lauderdale are accountable for the largest number of filings.

A “foreclosure filing” is defined as a default notice, scheduled auction, or bank repossession.

On a per-household basis last quarter, the Las Vegas area was hardest hit. 1 in every 25 households received some form of foreclosure notice.

The RealtyTrac report features other interesting figures, too:

  • California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada account for the top 10, and19 of the top 20 metro areas for foreclosures
  • Compared to Q3 2009, foreclosure activity dropped in 72 metro areas, including No. 2 Cape Coral/Fort Myers, FL
  • Foreclosure activity dropped 1 percent from Q3 2009 in the nation’s 20 most-populated cities

And, despite a 27 percent increase in foreclosures from the second quarter, Utica/Rome, NY posted the lowest foreclosure rate in the nation — 1 for every 8,003 households.  The next closest city, Charleston, WV, posted 1 for every 2,600 households, by comparison.

Foreclosures, like everything in real estate, are local. And buying them is “different” from buying a typical home resale. If you’re planning to buy a foreclosed home, speak with a real estate agent with specific experience with homes in foreclosure. Professional advice is helpful.

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The VA Vendee Financing Program

I was asked the following question when showing one of our VA (Veterans Administration) owned properties:

 “Are you familiar with the Vendee Program in which Bank of America offers to buyers? And I am curious if you’ve had real estate deals involving the Veterans Administration.”va

Since we are witnessing more and more Veteran Administration-owned properties in the real estate market, I assume that many more people have the same question or are unaware of financing that they may in fact qualify for. 

Vendee financing is a program Veterans Admin offers to help finance VA REO (bank-owned) properties. The appeal of this is the times when a VA loan product or program is offered to non-veterans. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bank Reposessions Top 100,000 In A Month For The First Time Ever

Foreclosure concentration, by state (September 2010)The number of foreclosure filings rose 3 percent in September, according to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac. The term “foreclosure filing” is a catch-all word for housing, comprising default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions.

September marked the 19th straight month that the number of filings topped 300,000, and the first month in which 100,000 repossessions were logged.

As usual, a small number of states dominated the national foreclosure figures, accounting for more than half of all repossessions.

  1. California : 17% of all repossessions
  2. Florida : 13% of all repossessions
  3. Michigan : 7% of all repossessions
  4. Arizona : 7% of all repossessions
  5. Texas : 5% of all repossessions
  6. Georgia : 5% of all repossessions

Thankfully for home sellers, mortgage servicers appear to be metering the pace at these newly bank-owned homes are made available to the public. RealtyTrac notes that, in doing so, servicers prevent “the further erosion of home prices”.

That said, distressed properties still sell at a steep discount.

In the second quarter of 2010, the average sale price of homes in the foreclosure process was 26 percent lower than the average sale price of homes not in the foreclosure process. It’s no surprise, therefore, that, based on RealtyTrac’s preliminary data, 31 percent of all homes sold in September were “distressed”.

There’s lot of good deals out there, in other words, but they come with certain risks.

Buying a foreclosed home is not the same as buying a non-foreclosed home. Specifically, you’re buying from a corporation and not from a “person”. Contracts may vary, and so may terms.

Therefore, Longmont home buyers — even experienced ones — should talk with a real estate agent before making an offer. It’s important to understand the foreclosure-buying process.

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