Foreclosures Slide May be Good News for Leisure Village Homeowners When the number of foreclosures decreases, it’s not without impact for Leisure Village homeowners and investors. In any given month, Leisure Village foreclosures may not always mimic the national averages, but over the long run, they do tend to be pretty close. And the national trend is clear: first quarter foreclosure activity decreased to the lowest level since the second quarter of 2007 (‘activity’ includes default notices, scheduled auctions and outright bank repossessions). Recent figures from RealtyTrac, the leading source of housing data, put U.S. foreclosures at their lowest levels in seven years. The 42-month national decrease had been momentarily interrupted by a 4% rise in March, but even with that momentary hiccup, foreclosure rates were still 23% below 2013 levels. RealtyTrac calculates that there were just over 30,000 bank repossessions in the U.S. in April—a slight uptick from the previous month, but still a full 14% lower than a year ago. • One Reason Why Rising prices mean that more people have positive equity in their homes. In the second quarter of 2013, 2.5 million of the homeowners who’d been underwater found themselves back in positive territory. As property prices continue to rise in 2014, more homeowners are moving out of the negative equity trap. • Many Foreclosed-On Homeowners Still in Their Homes Although the 2007 downturn led to a surge foreclosures, many homeowners have stayed in their properties. It’s estimated that currently half of all bank-owned properties are occupied by either the original owner or the tenant. • More Work for Investors A significant proportion of Leisure Village buyers in the post-2007 market were investors bold enough to capitalize on bargain prices for properties. When national and Leisure Village foreclosures decline, it indicates that fewer distressed properties will come up for sale. That means more competition for them, and fewer acceptances for lowball offers. Ultimately, it signals a shift toward more owner-occupiers. • Drop Isn’t Everywhere While the national charts show a steady decrease in the number of foreclosures, the trend is not universal. And there’s another reason investors can still find some opportunities. The number of scheduled foreclosure auctions in the judicial process hit the highest level in three years in 2013. This suggests that, while fewer homes are falling into foreclosure, more of those in the works are getting close to reaching the end of the line. It’s a painful process, but when the smoke clears, will serve to help rebalance the real estate market. The drop in foreclosures is a good indicator of the health of the current market. Rising property prices and an improving economy mean that fewer homes are ending up in the hands of the banks—news that all homeowners should be happy to hear. For an update on the foreclosure activity in your Leisure Village neighborhood, contact me today for a detailed property pricing report.
A coyote ran through Village 13 and 15 at about 10:00 AM today and also last week. Many residents have been seeing more of them recently (unless it is one or two that are being seen over and over). We’d like to remind owners to keep your dogs on a lease and close by. There is a missing dog since yesterday (Wed.) in the late afternoon and has not been found. The dog’s name is Luzi is a 12 pound Havanese. If you have any information please contact Kathleen Craig at 482-3983.
How to Make Showing Your Leisure Village Home a Breeze
When you’re selling your home, keeping it ready to show at a moment’s notice can sometimes make a major difference. In a perfect world, prospective buyers will always have time to schedule showings in advance—but exceptions do occur. That’s why experienced sellers know how to juggle living a normal life at the same time they are keeping their place ‘show-ready’ by calling on a few organizational tricks. They really aren’t all that difficult (but do take a commitment to stay organized). When you follow them, it makes showing your home in Leisure Village a snap!
Supplies at the Ready:
The easiest way to stay on top of messes is to nail them when they start. Stock up on wipes and ready-to-use supplies (think pre-soaked wipes and erasers instead of rags, sprays and mops)—and stash them in key locations around the house. Between showings, you can even keep them in plain sight: it reminds you to wipe down surfaces after each use without making it a major project. Regular quick wipe-downs will keep your home shiny and inviting—even when showing your Leisure Village home comes as a last-minute surprise.
Place a few attractive bins and storage ottomans strategically in rooms that are prone to clutter (playrooms, bedrooms and dens). Encourage everyone to make a habit of throwing the odds and ends into them before the end of the day, and removing things only as they are needed. Showing your home on a dime becomes a no-brainer when the clutter lives out of sight.
If you haven’t already started packing, get going early. Pack up everything you don’t use regularly—like those shelves of books you haven’t touched in years. And deal with the off-season wardrobe: when you’re actively showing your home in Leisure Village this spring or summer, those fall and winter items should be headed into storage.
Make Small Adjustments
This idea is optional—but it really works! Encourage everyone to remove their shoes at the front door. Place a decorative mat at the entrance (and include a coat rack if the weather calls for it). This temporary house rule works to get everyone in on the act, and subtly helps keep them conscious that showing your home is partly everyone’s responsibility. It’s also a reminder to keep packages and bags from building up near those doorways.
When showing your home is part of a well-planned and systematic project, just a few of these relatively minor adjustments can keep you and your family cool and collected—and make even last-minute showings a breeze. My clients make the rules for what the minimum heads-up time for scheduling a showing will be, and I stick to it. But when they are able to create an environment when the odd last-minute showing is a no-stress possibility, it does seem to have a way of increasing the odds that the latest showing…becomes the last!