Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Foreclosure Inventory Down; House Prices Up—Are there Still Good Deals on Acreage and Lakeshore in Anoka County?

Absolutely! There are still GREAT deals on many acreage and lakeshore home throughout Anoka County (and Washington County too)!

$8000 tax credit caused a flurry of activity at the end of the summer. With the original end of November deadline looming, people rushed to snatch up deals on acreage and lakeshore homes throughout Anoka, Chisago, Ramsey and Washington Counties. But now with the extension and expansion of the tax credit, many first time homebuyers and previous owners alike are excited that they too can STILL get a credit but wonder if they missed out on all the good deals. Not a chance. There are still deals to be found throughout the Twin Cities north and east metro!
Looking for a foreclosure, bank-owned or short sale but need to be able to live in the home immediately after closing?
Good news is that foreclosures are no longer always trashed, fixer-uppers. Today's foreclosures can be simply AWESOME! This economy has forced builders and responsible homeowners alike to let amazing properties go back to the bank. Many are still in pristine condition. Some still may require a bit of cleanup or a few cosmetic changes but there are many in move in condition too.
But not ALL deals are foreclosures!
Many homes priced to sell are people who have to sell do to a lifestyle change that is not financial. Whether relocating for a new job, getting married or having twins, people have to find new places to live. If a seller is motivated, they are pricing to compete with the foreclosure market. So don’t think the only deals are lender mediated or you could miss out on a beauty!
Here are a few of the treasures I noted while perusing the Twin Cities MLS in Anoka and Washington County today:
  • New Construction on 2+Acres in Ham Lake. Wooded backyard. Walkout basement. Custom built two story 4BR/3BA/3Car home with over 2500 square feet of finished living space. Down $30K Offered at $361,900

  • Like NEW Rambler on Egg Lake in Hugo. Beautiful views in awesome 2005 Built executive rambler w/granite, mstr suite and more. Awesome 4BR/3BA/3Car home with walkout and over 3000 square feet of finished living space. Sold for $539K in 2006 now offered at $399,900

  • Almost NEW Coon Lake Treasure Lakeshore PLUS Acreage !! 2005 built 5BR/3BA on almost 3 wooded acres and 200ft on Coon. Home has 1700+ sq ft finished w/lower level sheetrocked and wired for 1700 more. Priced under $380K.

  • 6200+Sq ft Ham Lake 2Sty on 3.5 Acres! 6BR/6BA/4 car built in 2005 with picture perfect landscaping, oak floors and huge master suite. Originally listed at $825K but short sale priced at $545K!

  • BRAND NEW 2BR/1BA/3Car Linwood Rambler on 2.5 Acres Main flr laundry, hickory cabinets, landscaped yard and framed for 2 BR and bath in lower level! Originally listed at $249K now $235K!

  • Amazing value on 100 Ft of Forest Lake shoreline. 1988 built 3BR/3BA/2Car remodeled inside and out with breathtaking views of Forest Lake available due to relocation. Tax valued at $530K and NOT a short sale but down $150K being offered at $374,900

  • 3BR/2BA/3CAR on 7 ACRES in Linwood! Built in 2006 custom built rambler in almost new condition. 3 BR on main, private master with whirlpool, front porch. Original asking price $349K but priced short at $249K.
If you are in the market for a great deal on a lakeshore or acreage home, time to get organized because the rules to buy are a bit different in this changed market. Many times you can be submitting your offer to a bank rather than a traditional seller and how they assess your purchase agreement is all business and less heart.
Eight Tips for homebuyers in this CHANGED real estate market:
  1. Don’t wait until after the holidays! Homes are being listed every day…even in November and December. If you wait until January 1st to contact a REALTOR and loan officer for preapproval, you will miss out on a deal or two. Many people choose to wait out until after the holidays…smart buyers will be ready to write an offer even if the home is listed a few days before Santa arrives!

  2. Banks LOVE clean offers. Heck…traditional sellers love them too! Buyers MUST be preapproved with credit checked and employment and funds verified. Documentation must accompany the offer or it won't be considered.

  3. Banks reject lowball offers...often without negotiation. They are a business and know the value of the asset they are selling. Traditional sellers often will be offended by an unreasonable offer and less likely to negotiate. Make sure your agent provides comparable sales to review before writing your offer on the purchase agreement so it makes good sense to both you as a buyer and the seller.

  4. Well priced homes get multiple offers. Serious buyers put in their best bid first.

  5. Banks sell homes AS-IS. Homes held in an estate or owned by a relocation company will also routinely require AS-IS agreements.What you see is what you get. Buyers must be prepared to make all necessary repairs out of their own pocket after closing.

  6. Banks will not pay for inspections in most cases. This includes the septic system and/or well. Be prepared as all inspections could end up being the buyer's responsibility. If you chose to inspect the septic or the county requires a septic compliance test, expect to pay $400-$500 for this inspection. A well test will run around $150. A whole house inspection is $350-$500. Conversely, traditional sellers and relocation companies will often negotiate to determine who will pay for some types of the inspections. A basic home inspection is usually paid for by the homebuyer.

  7. Personal property is not included as part of the sale when a lender owns the home. So if the appliances are at the home when you close, they are a bonus. The bank will not remove. But they don't guarantee will remain at the home or that they are in working order. This means if someone breaks in the home prior to the closing and takes them, the bank will not replace. This is not the case with a traditional sale. Make certain every appliance, as well as any other personal property, is listed in the purchase agreement if the home is sold by a traditional seller.

  8. Having your own REALTOR® to represent your interests is essential. The listing agent is under contract to represent the bank or seller of the property. In many cases, banks do not allow a dual agency so if a buyer contacts the listing agent to write the offer, the buyer does not have representation. This means all of your information goes to the seller...the listing agent is required to tell the seller and their representatives everything that you say about your financing and the amount you are able or willing to pay. But the listing agent is not required to tell you anything in return. The listing agent works only for the seller of the property. Having your own REALTOR® to represent your interests in the transaction usually does not cost anything…It is paid for by the seller.

Copyright 2009 Teri Eckholm