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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Setting new records...

The 2008 Summer Olympics are about to start and there will undoubtedly be new records set in many events. we are setting new records in real estate too.

I read in this mornings paper that Oakland County had set a new record in June for the number of foreclosed homes (new foreclosures) in June, topping 800 for the month. According to the article, Michigan is on course to set a new record for the year, in excess of 10,000 foreclosures just in 2008. Then I also saw the tidbit below in a news feed that I get.

The Census Bureau says the 18.6 million homes sitting unoccupied nationwide during the second quarter set a new record, attributable to the housing slump and rising foreclosure rate. Year-over-year, the number of vacant dwellings was up 6.9 percent, and 2.8 percent of these vacant homes were non-rentals. The report also shows 4 million rentals standing empty during the second quarter and a jump in vacant homes in the "other" category, including foreclosures and those empty while undergoing improvements, to 3.2 million from 3 million in 2007.

Maybe the government could buy up all of the empty houses and give them to the homeless. That would get them off the streets and get somebody in the vacant houses. Of course the neighbors would have fits. Then again, the neighbors are having fits now. They’d probably spazz-out, if the new occupant showed up pushing all of his/her worldly belongings in a grocery cart.

The sad thing in all of the recent articles about the real estate market is the lack of any end in sight. Not a single economist (with the possible exception of Lawrence Yun, the economist for the National Association of Realtors) is predicting any turn around any time soon. In Michigan all we keep hearing about is more losses for the automakers and more layoffs. Believe me the remaining workers in those companies are not out buying houses right now.

In the face of all of this gloom, our little office in Milford had it best July EVER! How can that be? Well, it was possible because our agents are working hard and selling lots of smaller homes and foreclosed homes. All I see, right now, are people looking for foreclosures. It’s a great time to be a buyer, especially a buyer with some cash stashed away. I have looked at some pretty nasty foreclosed houses and some pretty good ones.

Today I showed a mold house – a house covered top to bottom in mold, the result of burst water pipes last winter. It has buckled floors, ceilings that have fallen and tons and tons of mold. It is so bad that we had to wear protective masks to even go in, yet there are people looking to buy it. It is priced just above the cost of the lot that it sits on, so I guess you could view it as a bargain. I’d view it as a tear-down, but I’m not the one looking to buy it.

So, as we head into the “dog days of summer”; there are folks out looking for bargains, and they are out there in one form or another. I can show you really nice foreclosures in the $500-750,000 range or really nasty ones for under $50,000 and everything in between. Give me a call and let’s find you a deal.

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