If you were a Realtor, those were belt tightening times. My wife and I are thankful we were prepared to weather that storm. Distressed properties were saturating the market, as owners found themselves owing the bank far more than their home was worth. Banks played the role of "bad cop" very well and were reluctant to work with people to re-finance. Here in Palm Coast and Flagler Beach, FL, "short sales" represented 60% of our market for several years running. These short sales, an attempt to preclude foreclosure proceedings, destroyed values for Mom and Pop "normal" sales. To say the least, it was a mess!
As we moved into 2013, we knew the bad stuff was over, as we started a long, slow climb out of a very deep hole.
To say that we are in a "hot market" would be a stretch, but compared to those bubble busted years, we'll take it! This July, 2015, shows these very positive trends:
- Foreclosure filings (the beginning of the bank's process to take the house back) are way down from previous years.
- Actual repossessions (the final step for the bank) are up. The good news here is that distressed inventory is clearing out of the market, allowing true value to be re-established.
- Values are rising at a sustainable rate. It's slow and steady, but the trend is heading positive.
- Homes that are well priced and fixed up (staged well) are selling quickly.
- Mortgage money is beginning to be more available. For a few years it was quite odd, in that it seemed like the banks wanted to make buyers suffer... for the mess the banks created!!!
So, if you are ready, it really seems safe to say:
*** IT'S A GOOD TIME TO BUY ***