The nation’s real estate market continues to be haunted by foreclosure. This week’s RealtyTrac reported the following highlights:
The foreclosure rate in America’s top 100 metro areas has hit 1.38 percent.
Detroit registered the highest foreclosure rate of any of the 100 largest metro areas, with nearly 5 percent of all homes going into foreclosure.
1.775 million foreclosures were filed in the last year – a one-year increase of 78.2 percent.
- California, Ohio and Florida are the hardest hit.
For smart investors, it’s a great time to acquire foreclosed and pre-foreclosed properties at very attractive prices. Plus, interest rates are low again. However, it’s important to remember that houses are appraising low, and many lenders are reluctant to write loans on properties that they view as questionable.
Other trends complicate matters, too. For example, rising oil prices can put a very big squeeze on investors who pay for heating apartment buildings. If you are a landlord, the cash flow you were expecting can go up in smoke, literally.
If you are a first-time investor, there are wise ways to ride out the current situation and profit from it – both today and in the months ahead. In fact, I have a realtor friend who is a first-time investor who has setup a home equity credit line and is waiting a month or two to buy homes at the point when prices have hit bottom.
If you’re thinking of taking advantage of the foreclosure market, remember this: knowledge is power. Be smart and use this uncertain time to get prepared to reap big profits quickly when the market rebounds.
If you’re looking to invest in the St. Louis market, now’s a great time. Prices are typically cheaper than you pay for east or west coast properties, and rents are healthy. I currently manage single-family homes in the metro-east. Please feel free to contact me if you’re interested in more information on the St. Louis market.