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Survey: More people willing to buy foreclosed homes

Posted May 21, 2009

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— With home foreclosures at record levels, the interest in them is growing among potential buyers.

More than 50 percent of U.S. adults are willing to consider buying a foreclosed home, and 40 percent see foreclosed properties as a bargain opportunity, according to a new survey.

The findings are part of a nationwide survey conducted by Harris interactive for RealtyTrac, which tracks foreclosure data across the U.S., and Trulia.com, a real estate search site.

North Carolina, the nation’s 10th largest state in terms of population, is ranked 34th in foreclosure activity, according to RealtyTrac’s survey for April.

Some 3,082 homes or properties were in some state of foreclosure last month. The total includes 648 notices of default, 1,371 properties that are involved in a trustee or foreclosure action and 1,063 properties that were foreclosed. The total is one in every 1,339 households.

The California-based firm reported that the number of U.S. households faced with losing their homes to foreclosure jumped 32 percent in April compared with the same month last year. Nevada, Florida and California have the highest rates.

More than 342,000 households received at least one foreclosure-related notice in April, RealtyTrac Inc. said. That means one in every 374 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing last month, the highest monthly rate since the Irvine, Calif.-based foreclosure listing firm began its report in January 2005.

The percentage of people open to the idea of purchasing a foreclosed property is eight points higher than a survey conducted in November. However, 85 percent of those surveyed still worry about problems such as hidden costs or loss of a home’s value related to foreclosures.

The percentage of potential buyers seeing foreclosures as a bargain increased nine percentage points. They also expect hefty discounts of 25 percent or more.

According to the survey, 74 percent of the adults who know something about recently passed federal mortgage assistance legislation believe the law could help home owners lower interest rates and prevent foreclosures.

“Although consumers are aware that there may be some challenges involved in purchasing a foreclosed home, they are very interested in the bargain opportunities available in the foreclosure market,” said Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac. “People want the best deals they can find and they are willing to go outside of their comfort zones if it means they can buy more home for less money. Consumers who educate themselves on the opportunities available will likely be rewarded.”

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  • FoxtrotUniformCharlieKiloakaCALM May 21, 2009

    "I guess they think they are sticking it to the bank."

    well normally (and I don't mean ALL THE TIME) people getting foreclosed on aren't the most responsible or logical types to begin with.

  • Of The South May 21, 2009

    Most of the homes built in recent times are not worthy long term investments. Have you seen how a lot of these places are built? I have. I'm a local architect that has had to go out to more than a few of these places and make recommendations for repairs.

    I can't believe what people will pay/finance in order to live in the suburbs. These structures were not built to last. Two year old houses with creaking floors and differential settlement, cracking foundations, moisture inside the walls? No thanks.

    People are so obsessed with living in huge houses (most of the space never even gets used). Hopefully the economic situation will wake people up and make them realize that quality, not quantity, should be the main selling point of a home.

    I grew up in a heavy timber home that was built in 1830. It survived tornados, hurricanes, ice storms, you name it. They don't make them like that anymore and that's a shameful fact.

  • FoxtrotUniformCharlieKiloakaCALM May 21, 2009

    I'd love to be able to find listing of foreclosed homes. I hop around the internet and all I find are sites that want your credit card info. I'm sorry, but if the banks want to sell these homes bad enough you'd think they would post the info for free.
    bill52674

    alot of local realtors that have websites list foreclosed homes in there listing of homes because they just have the general MLS listings

  • mrtwinturbo May 21, 2009

    If your going to trash a house you should go to your bosses house and destroy his for laying you off

  • rocket May 21, 2009

    "I wonder how many of these homes belong to our military community? If they are losing their homes, it's a travesty!"

    Do you think being a member of the military should exempt a person from paying their mortgage? What if it's a $300,000 house? I have nothing but respect for those that serve in the military but like everyone else, they know from the get go that if they don't pay their mortgage they could lose their home.

  • See Chart May 21, 2009

    I think it is a sad home that harbors such
    misery from having a previous owner hardships.
    I would not care to live in such a place with
    a history as this. JMO
    Now a repossessed auto ,that for me is a different story
    but then I know that business!

  • smegma May 21, 2009

    you must be a democrat iamyeary. obviously you have never been a business owner. why would i care what i charge my tenant? if you don't agree on the price then you go someplace else and 300 other people willing to pay will step up behind you

  • bill52674 May 21, 2009

    I'd love to be able to find listing of foreclosed homes. I hop around the internet and all I find are sites that want your credit card info. I'm sorry, but if the banks want to sell these homes bad enough you'd think they would post the info for free.

  • TeresaBee May 21, 2009

    The two posts above looked at homes in foreclosure at two different years and the homes as stated were different situations. Most homes now adays are trashed more so than neglected because most of todays owners of forclosed homes have spiraled down hill financially so quickly that the homes are in better conditon then years ago.

  • iamyeary May 21, 2009

    If so, there will be a huge supply of rental homes open for leasing. I'd like to see the prices for rent come down too. If the owner is getting a deal, then his/her tenant should also.

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