Local News

Home Foreclosures on the Rise in Wake County, Statewide

Posted March 7, 2007 5:31 p.m. EST
Updated March 7, 2007 6:36 p.m. EST

— Strong home sales in Raleigh reflect a brisk real estate market. But there’s also a downside to rapid growth -- the notable increase of foreclosures in Wake County.

About 200 to 300 people file court papers every month in Wake County after failing to make mortgage payments.

“Buy within your means,” said Realtor Randy Scheer. “Buy something you can afford. Don’t buy a house where you’re forced to eat macaroni three times a week.”

Scheer was showing his second foreclosure house of the day on Wednesday. A day like that used to be rare, he said, but not lately.

With statewide foreclosures up 300 percent in the last seven years -- 256 percent in Wake County alone -- Scheer said disreputable lenders are partly to blame.

“They’ve allowed a lot of people to get into homes with mortgages such as the interest-only loan where two to three years later, they can’t afford what they’ve bought,” he said.

Mortgage analyst Amy Bonis agreed with Scheer, urging house hunters to secure financing that fits their needs.

“People are learning that they shouldn’t do interest-only loans,” she said. “But they can work. I have one. It’s just that people don’t know what they’re involved in.”

Real estate experts said the bottom line for home buying is to not buy into a mortgage loan without thinking long-term.