With the first-time home buyer tax credit deadline having come and gone, you may be asking yourself, “What now?” Fortunately, the door is now open to a new wave of savings: distressed properties.
For many buyers, the term foreclosure brings up images of run-down homes with no heat and rotting wood. While this is still the case for some homes, it’s no longer the standard. In fact, first time buyers are snatching up distressed deals in decent condition for great prices.
According to a November 2009 Keller Williams Research Buying Distressed Properties Survey, 40 percent of all buyers for bank-owned foreclosures (REOs) were first-time buyers in 2009. 50 percent of all short sale buyers were first-time buyers.
By definition, a distressed property is one that was purchased with a loan and the homeowner is no longer able to make their mortgage payment resulting in foreclosure – or if they’re lucky a short sale – meaning they owe more on the home than it’s currently worth. With a 20 percent increase in foreclosures from 2009, distressed properties still remain a large portion of home sales and are going to continue well into 2010 as homeowners continue to feel the effects of an economy on the mend.
If you’re in the market for a home and are prepared for a unique(more timely) transaction, a distressed property can be a great option. Here’s why:
Prices are low – Buying a foreclosed property is an excellent way to get a home for less(if it is in “ok” condition and you are getting a deal). Research shows you can save 10-40 percent over the price of similar properties in a traditional sale.
Mortgage costs are low(all across the board now) – With rates hovering near historic lows, financing costs to are favorable. Keep in mind, rates are always changing. It’s important to begin the pre-approval process so that you know how much you can realistically afford.
You have options – The number of homes in some stage of the foreclosure process still remains high. RealtyTrac, a site dedicated to tracking foreclosures across the country, estimates that there are approximately 2.1 million homes in some stage of foreclosure in the United States.
Sellers and lenders are motivated – According to data from RealtyTrac, in April, one in every 387 households in the country has received a foreclosure filing. The bottom line is that many sellers are still feeling the pain of a down economy and are anxious to out get from under a home that is putting stress on their current financial frustrations. While it is still an emotional transaction, these sellers are willing to come down on price or even consider concessions such as helping out on closing costs. Banks holding on to large portfolios of Real Estate Owned (REO) properties want to unload quickly – and price these home to sell.
Your best ally when purchasing a distressed property is an expert. Always have a professional REALTOR®, Kim or Terra, by your side to help you make informative decisions.