Homebuyers Can Still Get A Great Price Even In Today’s Rising Market
Today’s Wilmington NC housing market is well into recovery mode in most areas of the country. Along with rising home prices, mortgage interest rates have also been inching up. If you are among the would-be homebuyers who are ready to come to the party before it’s too late, don’t despair. There are still many opportunities available to steal a great home at a great price—whether you want to buy your first home, a move-up home, a vacation property or an investment property to rent out.
The key is knowing what types of properties still offer bargains in our market. Here are some of the best places right now to focus your search to get a great price:
- Pre-foreclosure sales occur when borrowers find they can no longer afford to pay their mortgage; they sometimes have a window of time to sell their home before their lender starts the foreclosure process. Because time is of the essence, these “short sale” homeowners often lower the property’s price and offer attractive terms to invite a quick sale.
- Foreclosure auctions involve homes where a homeowner has defaulted on the loan and the lender is selling the property at public auction (sometimes called a trustee’s sale or sheriff’s sale). Auction sales are often listed in local newspapers.
- Post-foreclosure sales. These homes include real estate owned (REO) by lenders and corporations. Lender REOs are foreclosed properties that did not sell at auction. Corporate REOs are usually homes purchased from a corporation’s employees who were transferred before the properties could be sold. Most post-foreclosure properties are listed with real estate agents in the area.
- Government-owned properties include homes that previously had loans backed by the federal government through programs sponsored by entities such as Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Once these loans are in default, the lender takes over the property. Then, the government entity pays off the loan and takes possession of the property. Government-owned homes are generally listed on the agency’s website or in the newspaper. The bidding process is conducted through real estate brokers who have taken the government agency’s training program. While government-owned homes are sold “as is,” HUD may escrow part of the sales price to bring a property up to its standards to qualify for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan.
- Tax sales result when homeowners fail to pay their property taxes. The taxing authority schedules the tax sale at which a buyer can bid the amount owed in taxes (or more) and, if the bid is accepted, take ownership of the property. Even then, the original homeowner may have time to redeem the property (by paying the outstanding taxes, penalties, etc.). The rules of these types of sales vary from one locality to the next, so it is essential to be familiar with local processes.
- Fix-up properties generally are in disrepair and are often sold “as is,” with the discounted price reflecting their condition. Paying for a professional home inspection is especially important when considering these types of “sweat equity” properties.
- Estate sales result when people who have inherited properties decide to sell them. Many prefer to sell them “as is” to quickly liquidate the estate. Those who view the inheritance as a windfall may be more interested in a fast sale, and less concerned about the sales price.
- Divorce sales come on the market as part of a divorce settlement. As with estate sales, the owners may value a speedy sale over a higher price.
- Builder close-outs occur when builders approach the completion of a housing development. Eager to move on to the next project, builders may lower prices or, more frequently, offer valuable incentives such as free upgrades of appliances, fixtures, materials or custom build-outs.
Remember, price is just one part of the equation. You’ll want to ensure that these types of properties won’t surprise you with unanticipated and costly physical challenges or legal issues. Working with an experienced real estate professional will help you find a great deal and navigate through the purchase process.
In addition, securing a mortgage with a monthly payment you can afford is critical to any successful home purchase. Call on us to find the right loan program for your low-cost high-value home purchase.