Local News

Buyers look to foreclosed homes

Posted February 21, 2009 5:07 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:13 p.m. EDT

— Some home buyers hoping to get good deals are looking at properties that have been foreclosed.

In North Carolina, 2,386 properties received at least one foreclosure-related notice. North Carolina, which ranks 10th nationally in population, ranks 33rd in foreclosures, according to RealtyTrac. Wake County had 430 foreclosures in January.

Jeanna Reeves, a real-estate agent with ReMax United in Raleigh, said the high interest and high number of foreclosed homes in the Triangle prompted her to offer a monthly bus tour of foreclosed homes. Such tours are popular on the West Coast, and Reeves wanted to try bringing them to the Triangle.

Reeves led 57 potential buyers on a tour of five foreclosed homes in Wake Forest and north Raleigh on Saturday. She said in North Carolina, she has listings for at least 50 foreclosed properties.

“Sad stories for other people, but there’s a lot of opportunity for people who want to buy a home,” Reeves said.

Foreclosed homes are not easily distinguished. They have for-sale signs in the yard, just like other homes on the market. The clue to a foreclosed home is typically in the window – although not always as obvious as a sheriff's notice. Some sheets of paper say the home has been “winterized.”

The tour looked at homes in the Crenshsaw Hall neighborhood in Wake Forest, where one home with a tax value of $418,000 was listed for $280,000.

Debbie and Hugh Hoover took the tour to find a property they can purchase, fix up and rent.

Experts say the safest way to buy a foreclosure is to find one that didn't sell at auction and is listed on the MLS database for real-estate listings.