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Bargain Hunters Close in on Foreclosure Market

As more than 25,000 properties fall into some stage of foreclosure, people around the Triangle are turning others' losses into big gains.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — As more than 25,000 properties fall into some state of foreclosure, some people around the Triangle are turning others' losses into big gains.

“We've hung the blinds and did all the trim work. We'll probably replace the cabinets,” Bonnie Miller said.

Miller and her husband recently bought a foreclosed home at a bargain price.

“It's a really great house, and it has all the things we want – a lot of room and we even have a pool in the back yard,” she said.

Statistics out this week show a 14 percent jump in homes lost because of financial struggles. Dozens of those foreclosed homes are auctioned off every week at the Wake County Courthouse.

Lisa Quin started coming to foreclosure auctions about a year ago. She is a real-estate broker who buys and flips foreclosed homes. Quin said there has been a recent surge in the number of homes up for auction.

“They are all over the place, and it has impacted every economic status. We had a property this morning (up for auction at) $400,000. There was one (property) that came up last week in the millions,” she said.

Quin warned foreclosures do not necessarily translate into big deals and profits, however.

“There has been a tremendous trend of 100 percent financing mortgages. So a lot of the times the properties that are coming up for sale are coming up right around market value right now, so you really have to sift through the properties to find a good investment,” she added.

“It worked out really well for us," Bonnie Miller said.

Realtors said families like the Miller's may be the biggest winners when foreclosures stack up.

Despite the increase in foreclosures, most real estate experts said the Triangle housing market is still faring better than other parts of the country.


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