Real Estate Insider Blog

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How to Purchase Foreclosures

There are many advantages to buying a foreclosed property. Requiring thoughtful budgeting, real estate knowledge, and patience, foreclosures are an excellent way to acquire real estate at a lower price than would otherwise be possible. Carefully considering what type of foreclosures you're interested in and what your real estate goals are, foreclosures are a great source of real estate deals.

Choose a Foreclosure Stage

An involved process, foreclosed or distressed property is sold in various ways and through a variety of channels. Pre-foreclosure, auction, and bank owned are the three basic stages of foreclosure. Choosing a stage of foreclosure to focus on will allow you to tailor your buying approach.


Pre-foreclosure is the stage directly prior to an owner losing their home. During pre-foreclosure you can buy a home directly from the owner. A short sale, or a house where an owner owes more than the home is worth, is a popular sale method during the pre-foreclosure stage. Similar to a regular real estate purchase, a pre-foreclosure sale requires inspections, title insurance, and adequate financing prior to purchase completion.


A property arrives at an auction when the owner or owners were unable to sell, refinance, or pay in any way. The exact execution for an auction varies, but, generally, properties are sold as-is. Subject to any existing loans and liens, an auctioned property requires full payment, in...

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DENVER — “This is going to be the longest economic expansion in the post-World-War-II era,” stated Kevin Thorpe, the global chief economist at Cushman & Wakefield.

He was giving an assessment to a crowd of reporters at the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference, and the general message was one of growth — not risk.


“The U.S. will not be going into recessions anytime soon,” Thorpe said.

“Recessions don’t just happen,” he added. “First we need to see imbalances somewhere in the economy — too much credit, too much exuberance in any particular sector.” Equity markets, oil prices, what the Federal Reserve does with interest rates and “wild cards” could change that, of course, but in general, Thorpe was confident that the economy is strong and will remain so for the immediate future.

“Of course there will be another recession at some point, and the next question becomes ‘What will the next recession look like?'”

In Thorpe’s opinion, it won’t look as gnarly as the last one. “It’s not likely to be nearly as severe as the one we went through in 2008-2009,” he noted. “Big recessions don’t happen very often; every 50 years seems to be the pattern. The next recession is probably more likely to be a traditional recession, with two to three quarters of job...

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After the invention of air conditioning, land in Florida has always been attractive, especially to retiring baby boomers.

While the oldest of the generation have already called it quits, the largest part of the population cohort, born from 1957 to 1961, have yet to retire. When they do, they'll find winters in Ohio inhospitable, and like those who've retired before them, they'll flock to warmer climes.

While Texas and other energy-rich states have gained a lot of media attention for creating jobs and attracting workers, Florida is still in the business of attracting retirees and those that serve them.

From July 2013 to July 2014, six of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the U.S. were in Florida. The state added almost 200,000 people during that time, and passed New York as the third most populous state, with just shy of 20 million people. The fastest growing metropolitan area in the country was The Villages, a retirement community in Sumter County, FL whose population jumped by 5.4% over the course of the year.

Naples, Fort Myers, and Sarasota were also among the other top-growth spots.

This ever-growing Florida population will eventually fuel a steady rise in real estate prices. We can already see this in the number of vacation homes sold. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), people bought 1.13 million vacation homes last year! That was 57.4% more than 2013, which had experienced a 30% increase from 2012.

The numbers might be inflated a bit ...

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