Foreclosure activity is slowing, it seems. If you're shopping for bank-owned homes, therefore, supplies may be limited.
Less REO Means Fewer Foreclosure "Deals"
According to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac, the number of national foreclosure filings plunged 35 percent in March 2011 as compared to March 2010. A "Foreclosure filing" is a catch-all term comprising default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions.
Foreclosures filings were down in all but 8 states last month. The rapid improvement is a reflection on both the housing market and the economy -- each is outperforming expectations.
Activity remains concentrated, too. More than half of all bank repossessions can be tied to just a handful of states.
Like Real Estate, Bank Repossessions Are Local
In March, just 6 states accounted for 51% of the country's bank repossessions. If you're an investor buying foreclosures, or a first-time buyer looking for a deal, you'll find more raw foreclosures in these 6 states:
- California : 15% of all repossessions
- Florida : 9% of all repossessions
- Arizona : 7% of all repossessions
- Michigan : 7% of all repossessions
- Texas : 6% of all repossessions
- Nevada : 5% of all repossessions
And then, at the other end of the spectrum is Vermont. With just 5 repossessions for all of March, Vermont accounted for 0.008% of repossessions nationwide -- the lowest rate in the country.
Use A Free Foreclosure Search Engine
Foreclosures and short sales are in high demand with today's home buyers, accounting for almost 40% of all home resales.
It's no wonder. Distressed homes typically sell for 15% off as compared to non-distressed homes. Buying foreclosures can be a great "deal". The hard part can be finding them.
One trick to finding foreclosures is to search the databases that other buyers aren't. There's plenty of free ones available, including RealtyTrac's free foreclosure database and the one from HUDForeclosed.com. Both sites give 7-day, all-access membership for free.
After 7 days, you can cancel your membership, or stay on as a paid member.
Then, after you've narrowed down your search, call your real estate agent to see the home, and start with negotiations. Buying foreclosures is different from buying "traditional" homes. You'll want somebody experienced to help you.
Otherwise, the banks may work you over a bit.
Get A "Foreclosure Pre-Approval"
Once you've done your foreclosure research, call or click here to email me for a foreclosure-specific pre-approval letter.
I'm experienced with short sales, REOs and my bank can close quickly. I finance homes for investors with more than 4 mortgages, and I offer the HomePath product, too.
Plus, my rates are great.
About the Author
Shawn Kaplan is an active, multi-state Licensed loan officer with Access National Mortgage.
Email Shawn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615-426-3182.
Bonus: Click to get a free, no-obligation rate quote. I love to work with my readers!