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Archive for January, 2011

Affordable Places to Live

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

This morning, ABC’s Good Morning America reported the top 10 places to live, according to Zillow. The cities were ranked by affordability, their unemployment rate, their foreclosure rate and the area’s price increases. The “winning” cities are:

  1. Utica NY. Utica has the lowest foreclosure in the US, with a median sales price of $104,000;
  2. Oklahoma City OK: Prices are up by 3% and the median price is $117,800;
  3. Rochester, NY: the median home price is $121,000. 91% of the homes sold in 2010, sold for a gain;
  4. Pittsburgh, PA: Home prices are up and the median price of a home is $110,300;
  5. Tulsa, OK: This was the most affordable housing market; the median home price was $112,300;
  6. Albany, NY: This is a stable housing market with a relatively low foreclosure rate. The median sales price in Albany is $193,100;
  7. Lancaster, PA: Lancaster boasts a realatively strong economy and low foreclosure rate. The median price in Lancaster is $179,300;
  8. Madison WI: Prices were down in 2009, but rebounded in the last quarter of 2010, asking the question “Have we seen the bottom yet”?;
  9. Green Bay, WI: The median sales price is $143,100 and their economy is improving: the unemployment rate fell 1% to 6.6%;
  10. Lincoln NE: Unemployment is 4% (lucky Lincoln!) and the median price of a home is $104,000.

This is great news for these cities. Foreclosures are down and their local economies are improving. Can the rest of the country be far off from this reporting?

Buying an Atlanta Foreclosure

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
Here are some tips to consider when trying to buy a foreclosure:

  1. Work with Realtor who has access to foreclosure information.
    Many home buyers assume that all agents have access to foreclosure listings. Ask your agent!
  2. Bank-owned properties usually close faster than short sales.
    While short sales can be bargains, they also can take a lot longer to close. Some banks will negotiate in a timely manner on short sales, but most will prioritize properties they have already repossessed.
  3. Always offer less than the asking price.
    Don’t assume that banks are firm on their price. For example, asset managers are responsible for liquidating bank-owned properties, but are often willing to consider a lower offer.
  4. Ask the bank to pay your closing costs.
    The worst that can happen is that they say no. Sometimes buyers are surprised to find that banks can be quite accommodating when they want to.
  5. Get pre-approved from the right bank.
    When making an offer on a short sale, sometimes it is helpful to be pre-approved by the same bank. During negotiations, this may tip the scales in your favor.

I’m here to help. Call or email me for more information!