The rise in home foreclosures and distressed properties around the country has created unique investment opportunities for prospective homeowners who are willing to take a chance on a house in order to save some money. After a lender has taken possession of a property and has failed to find a buyer, they may choose to sell the home through an auction house just to get some return on their investment. This Washington Examiner article
explained some of the things that buyers should know about Louisville real estate auctions
By the time a home is offered at an auction, a buyer can be sure that there are no liens or financial problems associated with the property as the bank will have cleared the title on the home. Generally, auction houses host three types of auctions:
- Reserve auctions – The most common type of auction, reserve auctions involve sellers who have a minimum price in mind that isn't published. The seller can choose to accept, reject, or counter any bids on their property—even the highest bidder's offer.
- Absolute auctions – Absolute auctions are fairly straightforward. There is no reserve price on a property and a home is sold to the highest bidder regardless of the size of their offer.
- Minimum-bid auctions – In a minimum-bid auction, the seller publishes the minimum offer they are willing to take for the property and take the highest bid offered by buyers.
Although it is not mandatory for auction buyers to have a real estate agent assist them, it is a good idea to have one, especially for first-time homebuyers....!--more-->
An article that appeared in HometownAnnapolis.com
brings up a helpful topic for home buyers and home sellers to consider: what to look for in a real estate agent. Many people interested in buying or selling a home don't invest much thought in which real estate agent they choose to assist them with the process. However, the right agent can make a huge difference in how smoothly your sale or purchase goes, and the article outlined a few of the things to look for in a real estate agent:
- Knowledge of the market – This is invaluable to buyers and sellers, as a real estate agent's knowledge of the market can help with pricing strategies, making an offer that won't insult the seller and inform their clients' decisions in countless, but very helpful ways.
- Experience – There is no substitute for experience. An experienced real estate agent who has assisted buyers and sellers in hundreds or thousands of real estate transactions is a huge asset for any client. They have seen countless deal-makers fall apart and can prevent buyers and sellers from making the same mistakes.
- Negotiating skills – Real estate agents with good negotiating skills can finesse many challenging impasses in real estate deals and help the buyer and seller appreciate each other's point of view. Negotiating skills can make all the difference between a deal falling apart and the parties reaching an accommodation.
- A resident's perspective – Look for a real estate agent who has lived in the area for many years and can save you a great deal of time by helping you find real estate in towns...
A recent article that appeared in the Washington Examiner
discusses a topic that many people want to know: what is the difference between Realtors®, real estate agents and real estate brokers? With the federal tax credit drawing more and more first-time home buyers to the real estate market, many people have no idea about what differentiates one type of real estate professional
from another. Here are some brief explanations of the differences:
- Real estate agents – real estate agents have passed any licensing requirements of the state or states where they conduct business. They have also passed the real estate exam issued by the state or states as well as a national exam.
- Real estate brokers – brokers are real estate agents who have several years of experience selling real estate, have passed additional education courses and have passed their state's real estate brokers exam. They are licensed to buy and sell real estate and are able to open their own real estate business.
- Realtors® – A realtor is a real estate agent who has taken additional classes on real estate ethics, is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and agrees to uphold the stringent business principles outlined in the ethics class.
Most real estate agents take the extra classes and invest the time to become Realtors®, but there are several different ways that a Realtor® or real estate agent can perform their duties. The majority of real estate professionals are independent contractors who are professionally affiliated with a real estate firm. It can be a difficult business to gain traction in, as most home buyers...!--more-->
An article on home foreclosures that recently appeared on WLKY.com
cites a Louisville Courier-Journal report that claims there are more than 6,000 vacant homes in and around the city. The vast majority of these homes are foreclosures. The abandoned properties have become neighborhood eyesores, and city leaders are growing concerned about the hazards that these homes present.
In early June 2009, Louisville hosted a national conference that focused on home foreclosures and some Louisville residents said that the conference is long overdue. Prentice Hawkins, a home craftsman who restores old, dilapidated homes, said, "A lot of them I wish I could purchase. I really do because I like doing this kind of work. I hate to see houses in the neighborhood like that going from a nice house to a boarded up house. It really brings the neighborhood down."
A large concentration of Louisville's foreclosed homes is in the city's upper west side. The Director of the National Vacant Property Campaign, Jennifer Leonard, claims that Louisville's foreclosure problems are not unique. "What's happened over the last couple of years with the foreclosure economic crisis, though, is that cities all across the country large and small, rural, suburban, really strong market cities, and mid-market cities are having increasing problems with vacant properties and abandonment," she said.
She also said that it is in Louisville's best interests to take strong, proactive measures to reduce the amount of foreclosures throughout the city. Foreclosed homes adversely affect entire communities through neglect, increased rodent populations, lower property values and many other undesirable attributes. Often, foreclosed properties sit vacant for many years and then they become a burden on taxpayers, as the city frequently has to pay for razing the home and removing the hazard.
If you need more information on how to avoid foreclosure,...!--more-->
Kentucky business news source, The Lane Report, claims in a recent article
that one sector of Kentucky's housing market is going strong while other segments flag in the economic downturn. Baby boomers nearing retirement age are driving sales in condominium-style housing, which allows owners to experience a lifestyle with much less property maintenance than a stand-alone home. During a period where Kentucky home sales are down around 40 percent, condo sales represent the lone bright spot in a sluggish housing market.
Louisville realtor Mira Farmer said, "This type of buyer is looking for maintenance-free living, yet is not ready to go into assisted living or ‘retirement' communities. Most of these buyers want smaller house payments as the majority of them are either on fixed incomes, or have lost a significant amount of their retirement in the past few months due to the downturn in the economy."
Many empty nesters are weary of mowing lawns, shoveling snow, painting, tree trimming and all the other maintenance that goes with owning a home and Kentucky condo developers are responding to the demand for a more leisurely lifestyle. Also called "garden" or "patio" homes, newer ranch-style condo designs are growing increasingly popular with buyers as they allow owners less stress and more time to travel and explore other leisure pursuits.
Condo developers say that this emerging demographic favors upscale features such as glassed-in sunrooms, screened porches, brick patios, first-floor master bedrooms, granite countertops and other amenities. In spite of the current performance of the economy in Kentucky and the country as a whole, builders claim that the economic downturn presents unique opportunities for Kentucky home buyers
and are hoping that the current uptick in condo sales will continue.
Despite the state of the economy, there perhaps has never been a better time to buy in Kentucky....!--more-->
The Louisville Courier-Journal recently published an article claiming that Louisville home prices rebounded slightly
in May 2009. The Greater Louisville Association of Realtors said that the median price of homes sold by its members in May rose 1.5 percent over homes sold in May 2008. The median selling price in May was $137,000 and this is the first monthly gain in Louisville residential real estate
since January 2008. Jan Scholtz, the association's president, said that Louisville realtors who belong to the organization greeted the news with enthusiasm.
"Obviously we're elated," said Jan Scholtz, "We just think there is a little bit of easing of the lack of consumer confidence."
However, Scholtz also cautioned members against placing too much emphasis on the impact that a one-month hike in Louisville home prices might have on the Louisville real estate market. She said that she expects the market's median home selling price to experience an overall drop for 2009, mostly due to the amount of first-time home buyers taking advantage of the federal tax credit. The program is intended to boost home sales around the country by offering qualified first-time home buyers up to $8,000 in tax credit toward the purchase of a home until December 1, 2009.
Scholtz claims that first-time home buyers accounted for around 70 percent of all Louisville home buyers. She also said that since first-time buyers tend to purchase less expensive homes, the median selling price of homes in the Louisville area is down. Members of the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors reported selling 921 homes in May 2009, which was a 20 percent drop from the same period a year earlier.
If you would like more information regarding Louisville real estate services, feel free to contact Louisville Properties
by phone at 502.744.9504...
A recent article in the Market Watch section
of the Wall Street Journal claims that foreign real estate investors predict that the U.S. housing market will rebound in the second quarter of 2010. The Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate (AFIRE) issued a survey to its more than 200 members, and respondents expect to triple their investments over the final six months of 2009.
The survey also indicated that over two-thirds of AFIRE's members plan to invest in real estate in the U.S. before the end of 2009. Just below one-third of the members claimed that they are more optimistic in the recovery of the U.S. real estate market now than they were at the beginning of the year, only 16 percent claimed that they were more pessimistic, and 53 percent said that they feel about the same now as they did at the beginning of 2009.
Respondents said they expect the real estate markets in Washington, D.C., New York City and San Francisco respectively to lead the market recovery and identified those markets are prime targets for investment. Boston and Los Angeles rounded out the top five U.S. markets for foreign investors and respondents expected commercial office buildings to recover first, followed by multifamily housing and industrial property.
Their expectations represent a shift in opinion from the last time AFIRE members were surveyed when respondents favored multifamily real estate investments over commercial office buildings for their investments. Founded in 1988, the real estate investors association and its members represent 20 different countries around the world. Real estate professionals around the U.S. who have been eagerly looking for a turnaround in the country's real estate market are cautiously optimistic about the possibility of a market rebound in all sectors of the market.
If you would like more information regarding Louisville real estate ...
The economic slowdown and depressed real estate values in many markets have created investment opportunities for perceptive investors with deep pockets. Individual investors with cash on hand buying foreclosed homes at bargain prices have boosted home sales figures over the last several months, and there are indicators that a similar trend is underway in the commercial real estate market. A recent CNN.com article about commercial real estate investing
claims that some real estate investment trusts (REITs) are raising capital to buy distressed commercial properties while their value is low and hoping to cash in later when the economy rebounds.
REITs allow investors to invest in real estate without having to deal with getting approved for financing or the administrative hassles of taking possession of a piece of property. In addition, according to New York real estate research firm, Real Capital Analytics, now is a good time to invest in commercial real estate as the firm estimates that there is around $90 billion in "distressed' commercial real estate on the market. The firm describes distressed commercial real estate as property in foreclosure or property that is owned by someone who is either in default or has declared bankruptcy.
Real Capital editorial director, Peter Slatin, claims that conditions will be favorable for commercial real estate investors for several years in addition to the current investment opportunities. "On top of those properties, there are hundreds of billions more in debt coming due in the next few years," said Slatin. "Some REITs are getting prepared for that." Savvy commercial real estate
investors around the country are watching the commercial real estate market very closely, and many are buying distressed properties specifically for the purpose of selling them to REITs. These conditions may...!--more-->
The number of homeowners delinquent on their mortgage payments and the number of home foreclosures rose to record levels in the first quarter of this year. Interest rates on home loans climbed as the government's efforts to contain falling home prices appeared to lose momentum. The foreclosure report on Bloomberg.com
claims that the delinquency rate climbed from 7.88 percent to a seasonally-adjusted 9.12 percent, and the number of home loans entering foreclosure rose to 1.37 percent.
The Mortgage Bankers Association said that the 1.37 percent jump represented the largest increase in history and that the 9.12 percent jump in foreclosures was also an all-time record since they began tracking in 1972. The housing decline—now in its third year with no sign of a turnaround—has thus far resisted government efforts to reverse or stabilize foreclosure and delinquency rates. In a sign that job losses across the country are fueling a new wave of foreclosures, prime fixed-rate mortgages to the most creditworthy borrowers accounted for the single largest share of new home foreclosures at 29 percent.
Jay Brinkman, the MBA's chief economist, said in a recent interview, "If people don't have a paycheck they can't support a mortgage. The longer the recession lasts, the more people run through their savings reserves, leading to higher delinquencies and higher foreclosures."
Right now, one in every eight American homeowner is either late on a house payment or their home is already in foreclosure as the economy continues to shed jobs and people fall behind. The MBA claims that around half of the latest wave of foreclosures is in four states: Nevada, Florida, California and Arizona. If you're thinking about buying a foreclosed Louisville home as an investment or primary residence, visit LouisvilleProperties.com for the area's most extensive Louisville real estate listings...