Things You Should Know When Buying Bank Foreclosures

1) Location, Location, Location

Location is still everything when it comes to buying a house but think to the future before finding that short sale bargain and beginning a facelift. It can be easy to forget what happened a few short years ago with the onslaught of bank foreclosures when you see the making of a dream home before your eyes.

2) Buy Now, Expand Later

Take a view of the neighborhood and determine what the homes are worth. Homes are many times evaluated by appraisers with surrounding houses. Adding an addition may sound like a good idea at the time but consider the value, or lack of, that will result. By increasing the size of your home, it may bring a great feeling of pride but will not increase its worth if sitting beside smaller, less expensive houses.

3) The Cheapest House in the Block

When buying foreclosures, look for a smaller house in a good neighborhood.If you are intent on turning a house into a home of your own making from a short sale, go for the lowest priced home on the block. This will give you the opportunity to save money, start from scratch and keep overkill from occurring. You will be able to redecorate the interior and exterior in an aesthetic style that fits your personal taste but remain in the ballpark of like values.

4) Budget

Create a budget for remodeling right after purchasing a short sale and do not exceed. A crystal chandelier may look dazzling in the foyer but ask yourself if it is worth spending $2000 as opposed to a hanging light that costs $200. Simplicity is best, especially as we crawl out of the devastation of the housing bust. The future can be shaky for years to come and learning to stay within your means should be a lesson well learned.

5) Remodeling: Pace Yourself

Take the time and think before charging head first into a remodeling project after buying a short sale so you are not left with a loss at the end of the day. If you find a house in a short sale that only allows a couple thousand dollars in renovation, walk away. It will not be worth your time and money to try and stay within the neighborhood overview.

6) Shop Around

There are still many bank foreclosures to select from today. Take your time and think about all the aspects of investing your money into a house. Do not hope that the neighborhood will grow in value but instead, consider what will happen if the surrounding homes fall in price. It is much easier to increase a home’s value than to remove the dollars poured into one.

In Closing:

If you want to purchase a home in a short sale and turn into a home of your dreams for retirement, shop around the neighborhoods that have the appropriate size and location. Look for the smallest and worst house in the area, preferably looking misplaced. This will give you the opportunity to improve a house that may be dragging down the value of surrounding homes and give you the opportunity to improve to your liking.

The Pros and Cons of Lease Purchase Homes in Atlanta

Many people looking for a rent to own house can find excellent options available in Atlanta, home to over 420,000 people. This city is the capital of Georgia and also boasts the highest population of any city within the state. Atlanta is an international city that boasts plenty of culture for those that appreciate the arts and has much to offer in the way of entertainment and recreation. Of course, most people looking for lease purchase homes in Atlanta are concerned about finding jobs, the state of the economy and other important issues. If you are considering a home in the area, here is a helpful look at the pros and cons Atlanta has to offer you.

The Pros

Search for rent-to-own houses in Atlanta, GAThe metropolitan area of Atlanta has many pros to offer those interested in lease purchase homes in Atlanta.

One of the main pros of the area is that it boasts one of the largest economies within the country. The city is home to regional, country and international headquarters for many large corporations. It even is the third most saturated city with Fortune 500 companies. Some of the big corporations that have their headquarters within the city include The Home Depot, The Coca-Cola Company and UPS. The economy is also quite diverse, which is also a big benefit.

Another pro that those choosing lease purchase homes in Atlanta can enjoy is the comfortable climate. For those that don’t enjoy being buried in snow each winter, Atlanta is a great place to live. The city sees little snow and temperate winter temperatures. In the summer, the humid subtropical climate sees upper 80′s and low 90′s along with some humidity.

The education opportunities are a big pro to consider if you are thinking about going with one of the lease purchase homes in Atlanta. With low student to teacher ratios and a higher than average amount of money spent on each student, the public school systems have a lot to offer. Both private schools and charter schools are available options too. Those who want to pursue a higher education can enjoy choosing from one of the many colleges and universities located within the city.

The Cons

Of course, while Atlanta offers many pros to those looking for rent to own houses in the area, it’s also important to consider some of the cons of the area. One of the main cons is the hard hit economy. While the entire country was hit very hard by the 2008 financial crisis, Atlanta has been one of the hardest hit areas. The housing market has been hit hard and prices have dropped by record percentages. Even in 2012, prices have continued to drop in the area.

Another con is the high unemployment rate in the Atlanta area. When considering lease purchase homes in Atlanta, individuals want to make sure they have a job. Unemployment is above 9% and has stayed higher than the national average unemployment rate for some time. However, while the unemployment numbers look bleak, the area does show some positive job growth.

Understanding the pros and cons of the city can help you decide if going with lease purchase homes in Atlanta is the right choice for your needs. The area does boast a large and diverse economy, a comfortable climate and excellent educational opportunities for young students and those who want to pursue a higher education. On the negative side, the hard hit economy and high unemployment should definitely be considered. Overall, the city has much to offer, depending on your unique needs.

Explore the Pros and Cons of Rent to Own Homes in Jacksonville Florida

Lease to own homes in Jacksonville, FLLocated in Northern Florida on the Atlantic coast, Jacksonville Florida has the largest city by population within Florida and it’s also the largest city by area within the state. The city has a population of over 800,000 people and the Jacksonville metro area boasts far over a million people.

If you’re considering relocation to the city, it’s a good idea to learn more about this city before deciding to choose one of the many rent to own homes in Jacksonville Florida. Learning more about the pros and cons offered by this city can enable you to make an informed decision as you’re considering relocation to this Florida city.

The Pros

Rent to own homes in Jacksonville Florida come with some excellent pros that make the area very attractive to those looking for a new place to live. The diverse economy offered by the city is one pro to consider. Since the city is right on the St. Johns River and on the Atlantic coast, it helps strengthen and diversify the local economy. As one of the main ports on the East Coast, the economy definitely benefits. Several different industries make up the diverse economy, such as financial services, manufacturing, information services and other industries. The area is also home to several different Fortune 500 companies.

Another big pro that the area has to offer those considering rent to own homes in Jacksonville Florida is the lovely climate. It’s an attractive climate for those who prefer mild winters, since snow rarely falls and winter temperatures are quite mild. During the summer months, the temperatures can be quite warm in this humid subtropical climate. Rain also occurs on a regular basis, especially in the summer when thunderstorms crop up in the afternoons on a regular basis.

The schools available within the Jacksonville area are also a big pro to those looking for cheap houses for rent in the city. The student to teacher ratio is low, which many parents find important. Newsweek has featured quite a few schools in the area on a list of the country’s top public high schools. Several schools featured include Stanton College Preparatory School, Mandarin High School and Paxon School for Advanced studies. Charter schools and a variety of private schools offer alternative educational options for parents. Those interested in a higher education will find several colleges and universities in the area to choose from.

The low cost of living is another excellent pro that many people looking for rent to own homes in Jacksonville appreciate. The cost of living within the city is much lower than in many other areas in the country.

The Cons

While Jacksonville offers many pros, it’s essential to look closely at the cons before deciding to go with rent to own homes in Jacksonville Florida. The main con that consumers have to consider is the high unemployment rate. Unemployment is currently at almost 10% within Jacksonville, which is higher than unemployment rates in many other places in the country today. Another con that adds to this problem is the negative job growth within the city. Instead of seeing the job market grow, the area is currently seeing jobs disappear, which can make it difficult for new people moving to the area.

Exploring the pros and cons of rent to own homes in Jacksonville Florida can help consumers carefully make an informed decision on whether the area is the best place for them to live. The area does offer a lot to those relocating there, such as a nice climate, a diverse economy, good schools and a low cost of living. However, the negative job growth and high unemployment rate must also be taken into consideration before making the final decision.

Smoke-Free Housing Tools from HUD

The Housing and Urban Development Department of the United States of America along with the United States department of Health and Human Services and health advocates has unveiled a series of tools for making HUD homes smoke free. The tool kits which were developed by Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control of HUD in conjunction with other agencies are designed to make home owners and home managers more aware with regard to smoke free housing policies for HUD homes.

While these initiatives from HUD are bound to improve the quality of HUD homes, they will also end up making cheap homes more attractive to potential buyers as they would be buying homes that will automatically give them healthier lifestyles. These tool kits are easy enough to be used by all types of people involved with homes such as multifamily housing managers, individual residents and even public housing agencies. In fact, there are specific tool kits for different types of people such as tool kits for owners and for residents.

Some basic aspects of these tool kits include an information based guide focusing on no smoking policies, resident survey templates, home smoke free pledge kits and a series of other highly relevant educational material that can be used to make HUD homes a better place to live in.

Demand for Foreclosures on the Rise

A recent study conducted by has revealed that the demand for foreclosures in the last two and a half years has tripled as people look for cheap homes to not only invest in but to also reside in. While the growth itself is not surprising, what is surprising is the fact that an incredible 92.1 percent of the people interested in foreclosures now want to live in them as opposed to investing in them.

According to the research conducted by in October 2009, foreclosures accounted for only 29 percent of all home sales in the country. Furthermore, since 2009 the interest amongst homebuyers in cheap homes and bank foreclosures has spiked by an unbelievable 159 percent.

It is also worth mentioning that, as of now, around 64.9 percent of today’s potential homebuyers have stated that they are likely to purchase foreclosures. This is in direct contrast to 2009 when only 25.3 percent of people had stated this. In addition to this, Realtor’s survey also revealed that only a paltry 6.9 percent of potential foreclosure buyers today are interested in buying these cheap homes for investment purposes. This means that interest in foreclosures as investment properties has dropped to the tune of 6.3 percent in the last two and a half years.

As per the Chief Executive Officer of, Steve Berkowitz, the change in statistics is a result of a wide variety of factors. Even so, he did specify three major causes for these statistics, and they are:

  1. Projections of improvement in the real estate market
  2. Reduction in supply
  3. Changing attitudes that used to cast foreclosures in a negative light

Mixed Industry Dynamics Visible In Austin Foreclosure Listings

The American real estate industry is currently balanced on an edge, and recent numbers on foreclosure listings in the Austin area of the country reflect this concisely. According to recent statistics of the Austin region, bank foreclosures went up by 14.5 percent for the month of July. However, this increase is yet to reflect in the yearly statistics as the region’s yearly foreclosure listings numbers, as of now, show a drop of around 12 percent.

In July 2012, the report showed 981 foreclosure listings while in the same month of the previous year the number was 857. In terms of the annual numbers, the foreclosure listings between January and July this year were to the tune of 6,549 while the same period last year showed 7,433 foreclosure listings.

This report covers foreclosure listings for four counties in the United States of America. These are Williamson, Bastrop, Hays and Travis. These statistics, if put in perspective, make for an interesting read. For instance, most real estate experts in the country are predicting the industry to start looking up but are afraid that increasing numbers of bank foreclosures might affect this improvement.

Real Estate Market Growth May Be Stunted By Short Sale Delays

The real estate market of the United States of America has been showing signs of revival in the last few weeks. However, while the inventories are going down which shows that the real estate prices are going up, this improvement in the market may be negated by short sale delays from the banks and more foreclosures flooding the American market.

When a buyer puts in a bid for a home on short sale, he has to wait a considerable amount of time before the bank comes back to him. This can easily result in the potential buyers of the foreclosures being disenchanted with the wait and moving on to find other real estate properties that are easier to get. Consequently, the foreclosures and homes on short sale stay on the market for a longer period of time. This, in turn, brings down the market.

Industry experts suggest that even though banks are trying to streamline the process, an approval can take anything from between three months to seven months. Even so, there may be signs of improvement in the future as banks look to resolve the problem of short sale delays through providing preapproved pricing on properties that they decide to put up on the market.

Foreclosures in Alabama

Alabama is a state that manages to combine the benefits of both the countryside and the urban setting. The reason for this is simply that the state of Alabama is one of the major agricultural and manufacturing hubs in the country. As an effect of this, the state boasts of beautiful landscapes and vistas which are contrasted by its practical and highly optimized urban settings. If you are looking for a home in the state of Alabama, then your best option would be to go through foreclosures in Alabama.

If you go through the various Alabama foreclosure listings in order to find REO homes, repossessed homes,cheap homes and, in general, affordable housing, you will find the largest concentrations of the same in the more populated cities of the region. The largest city in the state of Alabama is Birmingham, which boasts of around one fourth of the population of the state. Following close on its heels is the capital of the state of Alabama, Montgomery which is located in a wonderful location. Alabama is a beautiful state that can offer both sanguinity and excitement in the same measures to people looking for homes in the state.

For instance, while this article was being written, there were around 31444 foreclosures in Alabama on the basis of the Alabama listings provided by The majority of these foreclosures were focused in counties such as Baldwin County, Jefferson County, Madison County and Montgomery County.

In terms of the cities in the state of Alabama, most foreclosure listings were found in Birmingham, Mobile, Montgomery, Huntsville, Foley, Gulf Shores, Daphne, Orange Beach, Fairhope and Theodore. The zip codes that should get your attention the most if you are looking for foreclosures in Alabama are 35242, 35124, 35215, 35216 and 35226 amongst many others.