Just when we thought we saw the light

By Vicki Mabrey

Aug 13, 2009 5:32pm

Just when it seemed there were far fewer foreclosed houses available in Detroit when I was there a couple of weeks ago… 
When home sales were up….
When the jobs report wasn't great, but at least wasnn't as bad as expected…
Just when it seemed that things might be looking up, RealtyTrac releases a gloomy foreclosure report.  The foreclosure tracking company reported today that a record 360,149 homeowners were at some stage of the foreclosure process in July, up 7% from the previous month, and up 32% from a year ago. 

But, you may be saying, home sales are up — both existing and new!  That's right.  I think that's because many people, both investors and personal buyers, are taking advantage of bargains.  Because there ARE bargains to be had — I saw one in Detroit — a six-bed, five bath, 4800 square foot "gingerbread" house in tony Palmer Woods (where the car execs built their mansions back in the '20s and '30s) for — get this — $84,900.  Okay, yes, the previous owners had the worst color sense I've ever seen (unless you've got a thing for turquoise), and it needs loads of work.  But the major systems are there, the bones are excellent, and it's $85,000 for a 4800 square foot house.   Unbelievable! 

So I've been telling my property virgin friends that NOW is the time — prices are low, there's inventory, and there's that $8000 first-time homebuyer tax credit as long as you get the deal underway by November.  Do you agree — is now the time?  What's happening to prices in your area??

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