Written by Andrea Murad Published January 19, 2012 FOXBusiness
As banks begin to process their housing backlog, experts are expecting a wave of foreclosures to rock the already shaky real-estate market this year. Coupled with low interest rates, this could be a great opportunity for homebuyers to pick up a home or investment property at a bargain.
According to RealtyTrac, 31% of sales nationwide are of homes in pre-foreclosure or already bank owned—giving buyers many purchasing options if they do their homework. In 2011, real estate prices were flat, with the average price of a single-family home $169,500 in the third quarter, and $167,600 for condos and co-ops–up to a 20% discount from 2008 prices, with quarterly sales at 4.88 million, according to the National Association of Realtors.
Each state has a different timeline for the foreclosure process, and buyers have opportunities to purchase a pre-foreclosure or foreclosed (real estate owned (REO) or bank-owned) home during different parts of the process.
Prior to foreclosure, some homeowners choose to do a “short sale,” which is when the lender agrees to accept a payoff of less than the balance due on the loan.