Foreclosures Per Capita | February 2010 (Seattle, WA)

According to foreclosure-tracking firm RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings topped 300,000 for the 12th straight month last month as 1 in every 418 U.S. homes received a foreclosure filing.

It’s a small improvement from January and a just 6 percent increase over February 2009.

On a per-capita basis, foreclosure density varied by state:

  • Nevada : 1 foreclosure filing per 102 homes
  • Florida : 1 foreclosure filing per 163 homes
  • Arizona : 1 foreclosure filing per 163 homes
  • California : 1 foreclosure filing per 195 homes

Also, as in January 2010, foreclosures across the country were concentrated. 10 states beat the national Foreclosure Per Capita average; 40 states fell below. Like everything else is real estate, it seems, foreclosures are local.

For today’s home buyers, foreclosures represent an interesting opportunity.

Homes bought in various stages of foreclosure are often less expensive than other, non-foreclosure homes. It’s one reason why distressed home sales account for 38 percent of all resales. However, less expensive doesn’t always mean less costly.  A foreclosed home may be in various stages of disrepair and they’re often sold as-is, as policy.

Buying new or used can be cheaper than buying broken-down.

Therefore, if you’re in the market for a bank-owned home, make sure you know what you’re buying before you sign a contract. Have qualified professionals review and inspect the property, as needed. Damage to pipes or the property’s structure, for example, may not be so obvious on a walk-though and you’ll want to know about it before you buy.

Also, foreclosed homes are federal tax credit-eligible. Buyers must be under contract by April 30, 2010 and closed by June 30, 2010.

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