FORECLOSURE BARGAINS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
As unemployment rises and home values plummet, more and more American families are finding it harder to keep up with their mortgage payments.
As unemployment rises and home values plummet, more and more American families are finding it harder to keep up with their mortgage payments. Foreclosures have soared 30% since last year, and the market has yet to show signs of recovery.
But what has become a nightmare for many homeowners also presents an opportunity for first-time homebuyers and bargain seekers. In some areas of the country, homes in foreclosure are selling for up to 50% less than they were previously valued. If you’ve got the means, now is the time to shop. Check out these buys from foreclosure-heavy towns, cities, and regions:By Louis Jones
Price last sold for: $600,000Current price: $292,500Bedrooms: 6Bathrooms: 2.5Square feet: 3,151 Half price, just a half-hour drive from the Vegas Strip and within a mile of a local park. This luxury property features a covered patio, four-car garage, and fenced-in backyard.
Price last sold for: $618,000Current price: $419,000Bedrooms: 5Bathrooms: 3.5Square feet: 4,482 Also just a poker chip's throw from downtown Sin City, this bank-owned home is loaded with amenities, including granite countertops, dual fireplaces, vaulted ceilings, and an office den with glass doors. Las Vegas real estate has been hammered by the downturn. Here's a vivid example.
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Price last sold for: $261,000Current price: $134,000Bedrooms: 3Bathrooms: 2Square feet: 2,400 The housing bubble has popped in the over-developed, higher-priced markets of the Sunshine State. Port Saint Lucie, 50 miles north of West Palm Beach on Florida's East Coast, is no exception. Built in 2006 in a new neighborhood, this bank-owned home is located one mile from the local elementary and high schools, and a couple of miles from several interstate highway exchanges.
Price last sold for: $355,000Current price: $182,900Bedrooms: 3Bathrooms: 2.5Square feet: 2,100 Foreclosure rates have soared in the Central Valley of California since a slew of buyers bought homes in anticipation of the 2005 opening of the of University of California-Merced campus. Speculation has given way to falling prices. Built in 2002, this bank-owned home is just two miles down the road from Yosemite Lake County Park.
Price last sold for: $372,000Current price: $127,900Bedrooms: 4Bathrooms: 2Square feet: 1,729 This Merced bank-owned home is priced at an extraordinary 66% less than it sold for in 2005. Located just a mile from the interstate and two miles from the Merced mall, it has a fully landscaped yard and two-car garage.
Price last sold for: $605,000Current price: $320,250Bedrooms: 4Bathrooms: 4Square feet: 2,310 Foreclosures are rampant in the outer suburbs and exurban areas around Washington D.C. Prince William County, where Bristow is located, has more than 630 foreclosures listed (one in every 211 homes, compared to one in every 440 nationally). At 47% below the price it last sold for and 35 miles east of the nation's capitol, this two-story brick home is a steal.
Price last sold for: 475,000Current price: $279,500Bedrooms: 3Bathrooms: 2Square feet: 2,709 With more than 450 foreclosures listed, Deschutes County, 150 miles sutheast of Portland and where Bend is located, is prime turf for bargain seekers. This A-frame chalet, listed as a short sale, comes with a fenced-in yard and two cement outbuildings for garage or storage.
Price last sold for: 379,000Current price: $218,000Bedrooms: 4Bathrooms: 2Square feet: 2,164 This Bend short sale was built by the owner in 2006. It's now listed for nearly half of its original appraisal value. Despite its rock-bottom price, the home has amenities such as hardwood floors, a gas fireplace and a fully landscaped yard with automatic sprinklers.
Lake Villa, Illinois
Price last sold for: 389,000Current price: $224,900Bedrooms: 3Bathrooms: 2.5Square feet: 2,600 Only 25 miles north of the Windy City, the Lake Villa area has a high foreclosure rate of one in every 247 homes. When last purchased in 2005, this short-sale home received $20,000 in upgrades, including hardwood floors and a marble fireplace.