Foreclosed homes no longer a bargain

January 28, 2011 01:02PM

Though foreclosed homes usually sell at significant discounts, sometimes up to 50 percent of market-rate, they are no longer considered such a bargain. With home prices down nationally 25 to 70 percent, and one million homes having been taken back by lenders last year, foreclosures are no longer the exception, Forbes reported. “Foreclosures are the market,” said Richard Schulman, a West Los Angeles broker who’s gone from doing no business in troubled real estate four years ago to 60 percent now. Technically, the term “foreclosure” refers to a property that’s been repossessed by a lender, but that term is now used more loosely to describe many forms of troubled homes, including those for which foreclosure proceedings are underway. Others are the subject of short-sale negotiations in which owners try to convince their lenders to agree to a sale for less than the full mortgage balance to avoid the cost and hassle of formally foreclosing. Potential home buyers are warned against buying a home at a public auction, where ignorant buyers have been deceived in the past. [Forbes]