Friday, April 17, 2009

Foreclosure bus tour comes to Eugene

From the Register Guard:

Investors and other house buyers sought opportunity in misfortune this winter as real estate agents arranged bus tours of Eugene’s foreclosed homes — and the local foreclosure rate climbed.
More than 630 Lane County home­owners faced foreclosure filings in the first quarter of this year, a 112 percent increase from the same period last year.
Banks reclaimed 86 Lane County homes in the first quarter, up 617 percent from the previous year, according to RealtyTrac, a company based in Irvine,Calif.
In March, Oregon joined the top 10 of worst-hit states, behind Utah,Idaho, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, California, Arizona and Nevada.
Oregon’s foreclosures increased 151 percent over the past quarter.
Some of Lane County’s foreclosed houses bear the marks of their former owners’ angst, said broker Kit Sixel, who is organizing a second bus tour of Eugene’s foreclosed homes for this Saturday.
“You see the hole in the wall that you just know somebody put their foot or fist through in anger. All that takes is a little bit of plaster and a trowel to fix,” she said.
Sixel’s tours load up to 40 investors and home buyers on an Oregon Coachways bus and take them to nearly every corner of Eugene. Foreclosures have reached into almost all neighborhoods, with bank-set prices for homes ranging from $149,000 to $650,000.
But Sixel said prices are about as low as they’ll get, and with other factors aligning — interest rates, stimulus incentives — now’s the time to buy. Besides, real estate is practical compared with other potential investments, she said.
“When you put your money in the stock market — and the stocks drop and the company goes out of business — your money isn’t going to regenerate. It’s gone. When you invest in real estate, you have a physical object there that’s going to stay there and you can keep renting it out. Someone else is going to pay that mortgage payment for your house when they rent. Even if market values drop for that house, as it has for the last year, eventually it’s going to build up again,” she said.

If you put 10% down and prices drop 10% then your money isn't going to regenerate either. It's gone. You can't sell the 'asset' and you have to keep making the monthly payment.