Tuesday, February 17 2015
The foreclosure situation is a good deal different from what we were discussing a few years ago when the tidal wave of 7.3 million foreclosures and short sales swept the nation. When The New York Times “Dealbook” recently pronounced that the supply of cheap foreclosed homes in America is dwindling, it came as news to…well, no one.
Let’s face it: investors wouldn’t need to look up the latest statistics to guess that number of offerings would be down. The continuing rebound in home values, slow but steady improvement in the overall economic picture, and even just the passage of time has to mean that the glut of subprime-crisis-era foreclosures would have worked their way through the system.
But there are always new foreclosures, and for anyone hoping to make a bargain buy in today’s foreclosure market, the same qualities that brought post-crisis success still apply today:
The principal difference in today’s foreclosure milieu is that far fewer are available, and the difference between market value and listing price has narrowed. There may be fewer competitors to worry about, but some are still out there, as always. Today sees fewer institutional investors—in fact, some are leaving the market altogether, taking their profits and selling out to groups more committed to long-term property management.
Aside from the qualities described, there is still no blanket formula for landing the best foreclosure deal. But among other observations, there are two that are worth considering.
First, despite the lessening of the impact institutional investors previously had on the market, it may still be necessary to prepare to offer more than the listed price. The dwindling number of foreclosed homes tends to create an imbalance between supply and demand. If other buyers are offering higher amounts than the asking price, it can easily result in a bidding war situation. As always, by researching underlying values, the best investors avoid foreclosure buys that wind up being little more than break-even propositions.
Another wrinkle to be aware of is the possibility of future cost increases. For instance, it can transpire that an investor succeeds in purchasing a property significantly below its true value, only to find that a reassessment by taxing authorities raises its property tax bill through the roof! Canny investors prevent this surprise by finding out how the local Assessor’s office sets rates and schedules appraisals.
The foreclosure picture changes constantly. If you are interested in the investment possibilities—or are looking for a buy on your next home—don’t hesitate to give me a call to discuss the latest offerings! You can reach me on my cell phone: 812-499-9234 or email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com
Wednesday, October 17 2012
The questions frequently being asked today are buying short sale properties are safe? What are the risks associated?
Currently a massive number of house owners are underwater – the worth of their units being less than the loan due amount. To avoid foreclosure the best option for them is to opt for a short sale. The lenders too are not eager to foreclose anymore; they are realizing that by agreeing to a short sale they lose less than if they opted for foreclosure.
It is known as short sale because the amount agreed upon is short of the loan due amount. The borrower and the lender have to work together to close such a deal. Previously the banks inordinately delayed giving its nod but lately they have reversed their stand.
Apparently it seems that the buyer gains from a short sale but the truth is that everybody gains from a short sale except the buyer and the seller.
Suppose the buyer pays $400,000 for a house that had been originally bought for $500,000. It does not mean that the buyer pockets an equity of $100,000 because in all probability the seller at the time of purchase when the housing segment was in boom had paid too much for it.
During the boom years the banks were over eager to lend and allowed the house to be over-mortgaged; it meant that the mortgage was more than the real value of the house. Although illegal the appraisers were pressurized by the banks to inflate the property’s worth.
There are strict rules about being eligible to put up the property for short sale but many realtors, lacking ethics, pushes the seller into it minus the eligibility factor. The seller has to prove to the lender that he or she is in hardship. Many realtors skip this step.
Lenders insist upon a CMA or comparative-market-analysis or a BPO or broker-opinion-price. This way the lender will know which route to follow – foreclosure or short sale. Meanwhile the potential buyer wastes a lot of time waiting for the lender to give the green signal.
Lenders do not want to pay for certain expenses in a short sale – repairs, pest inspections etc.
If the seller is in default then there is the danger of a pending foreclosure suit if the lender delays in giving an answer. Sometimes there are two mortgages on the property. Usually the second lender does not want to give the permission because the latter’s share from the purchase price is negligible after the first holder chips in.
There are some lenders who nose in and make changes at the eleventh hour. They do so if the market mood changes or new laws come into enforcement. The lenders have lawyers attending on them all the time but this is not the case with buyers.
There is also the question of commission for the agents. If the lenders do not pay what the agent wants for doing extra work, the seller has to make up for it. Closing costs are also often pushed on to the buyer. Regarding closing the upper hand is with the lender.
The seller too may back out at the last minute if he or she notes that a foreclosure is better than this long drawn hassle. Although the seller can buy another house within two years after a short sale and in a foreclosure after seven years, if the seller is not thinking of buying this advantage has very little meaning.
Thus it is not easy to answer the questions – buying short sale properties are safe? What are the risks associated?
Thursday, May 24 2012
For quite a while now, bargain hunters have been able to take their time combing through Evansville foreclosure listings. They’ve been looking for the kind of terrific real estate bargains that the last few years have provided -- and there have been plenty. But recent signs show that it may be time for them to step up their efforts.
According to ReatyTrac, the outfit that reports on current real estate activity of all kinds, banks are increasingly leaning toward short sales as a way to handle defaulted properties. There are good reasons why they would prefer short sales over the foreclosure track. You would expect that if that trend is for real, we should see a decline in the number of foreclosure-related notices being issued. Last month, that is exactly what happened.
In April, fewer than 190,000 of the notices were reported. That makes it the lowest monthly total in 5 years (and a decline of 5% from March). In other words, although it takes some time for a foreclosure to occur, the writing seems to be on the wall: the high water mark in foreclosures may well have been passed.
Another sign: the average price of completed foreclosures rose from the year’s average of $226,953 to $256,027. Lower supply, higher prices -- if the early trend continues,local foreclosure bargain hunters may soon find themselves having to hunt a bit harder.
There are many online resources that provide foreclosure lists: properties that are in good shape as well as distressed foreclosure properties, pre-foreclosure properties, REO foreclosures and foreclosure auctions. Anyone thinking about taking advantage of the bargains that are still out there (and they ARE still out there) should consider consulting an experienced Evansville agent to help with the process.
First and foremost, we can provide you with a current and accurate foreclosure list. There are many web sites out there that claim to list foreclosed properties, but most of them charge fees for their listings, and sometimes contain little or no contact information for accessing a property (or worse, are inaccurate). Licensed real estate agents have the resources to obtain an accurate, timely list, as well as the experience in targeting the correct contact people.
Your agent can also be a guide through the sometimes tricky process of purchasing a foreclosed house. Many properties on the foreclosure list have not been well maintained; the lender may try to get more for the house than it is actually worth. If you intend to improve a property through your own sweat equity, our first-hand knowledge of local market values can help you project a property’s future value, too…either as an income-producing rental or to sell for profit.
To get the most bang for your buck, make sure to put your search in the hands of a professional. Call me anytime! You can reach me on my cell phone 812-499-9234.
Wednesday, February 01 2012
The bedrock of the residential real estate industry is the American Dream of owning your own home. But the current market has seen a rise in another facet of the industry: the ‘strictly business’ opportunity created by the rise in Evansville and Newburgh foreclosure listings. Everyone from first time buyers to seasoned investors are newly aware that housing market conditions warrant a serious look at the unusual bargains that are opening up.
The appeal is understandable due to some commonsense consequences caused by the mortgage meltdown (and the headlines that followed). When banks come into possession offoreclosed properties they find themselves in an unenviable position. Incented to sell them as soon as they can, they aren’t free to wait until the market rises to meet historic price levels. As a result, mounting numbers of those foreclosure listings are carrying price tags that are a fraction of their original market price.
For homeowners who see a second home as a path to create a passive rental income stream, foreclosure listings comprise tempting investment vehicles. And for first time homebuyers, the information in the same foreclosure listings can mean nothing less than a foot in the door of homeownership.
In both cases, the first step to buying a bank-owned property comes with finding reliable foreclosure listings. Looking for a trustworthy source means finding one that features up-to-date and accurate information. Too many dedicated “foreclosure” websites offer endlessly duplicated, incorrect, or woefully outdated information. Relying on them can send would-be buyers on a frustrating series of time-eating wild goose chases that end up locating houses that have already been sold.
One way to test a source of foreclosure listings is to take advantage of free trial subscriptions where they are offered. It’s a money-saving way to determine whether a foreclosure source can be trusted to include attractive properties listed soon after they come on the market. The good news is that the online field is developing rapidly -- so much so that it may even be possible for you or your agent to inquire (or even begin negotiations with the bank) through the Internet.
In any case, the opportunities that foreclosure listings represent also carry special characteristics that canny buyers need to take into account. Home inspection rules are one example. Banks are under no obligation to disclose information about a property’s flaws in the same way that regular homeowners must, so it’s imperative to make a physical investigation of a foreclosure listing before proceeding further.
If you are curious about your chances of finding a great deal in the foreclosure market, I will be happy to send you theforeclosure listings as well to help you identify any and all that may fit your goals. You can reach me at 812-499-9234 or by email Rolando@RolandoTrentini.com