Monday, March 3, 2008

Anoka County Foreclosures Rate Highest in Metro—How Does this Affect Homeowners?

Another housing report and more bad news; foreclosures are up in Anoka County. In fact, Anoka County ranks in first place in the 13 county metro area for foreclosures at 1.57% according to article by Paul Levy on StarTribune.com, Housing Crisis Hits Hardest in Anoka County. Does this come as a surprise?

Maybe for some, but there are some factors that could help explain. Anoka County is one of the largest counties in the metro with a southern border to Hennepin County where the foreclosure rate has been on the rise for many months. Add this to the housing development explosion all over Anoka County in the past 5 years in communities like Andover, Lino Lakes and Blaine. During this time period, many first time homebuyers took advantage of the zero down programs and adjustable rate financing to maximize purchasing power and possibly purchasing more than they could afford. With balloon payments coming due on these programs, rates rising and property values stagnant or in some cases falling, there is no refinancing safety net. Foreclosure is the ONLY option for those who are over extended.

So how will high foreclosure rate affect the property values of other homeowners in Anoka County?


Two factors give this situation a little more perspective:
  1. Real estate is local and Anoka County is a BIG county.

  2. The foreclosure rate less than 2% means that 98% of homes are NOT in foreclosure.
Sounds a little better right? Before we get too excited, we have to remember that some specific communities may be hit hard. If you live in a neighborhood where several of the homes are in the foreclosure process, if will probably have a negative affect on the value of your home. Families facing foreclosure often do not have the funds to keep up their homes so when the foreclosure process is complete, the bank has to sell at a discount to find a buyer. Banks don’t give away these homes so property values won’t plummet but they are not getting top dollar either.

If you don’t have to move over the next three to five years, you should be okay as this downturn should balance out in time. However if you need to sell your home this year, it is more important than ever to have good expert advise from someone who knows the community where you live.

Understanding and assessing the neighboring property values and positioning your home to compete with foreclosed homes for sale will take knowledge and expertise of a Realtor who works to sell homes in your specific community every day.

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If you are buying, selling or relocating to Minnesota and need help from a professional Realtor, give me a call or visit my website for a FREE Relocation Packet. I specialize in acreage and lakeshore properties in the north and east Twin Cities metro area including Ham Lake, Lino Lakes and all communities in the Forest Lake School District! Serving Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties in Minnesota.