I-Team: Buying a foreclosure in a tight housing market


From the foreclosure capital to low inventory for homebuyers, southern Nevada’s housing market is a very different picture from what it looked like 10 years ago.

Homebuyers who are looking for a steal may consider foreclosures, but as the I-Team found out, bargain hunting may be more challenging than you think.

The year 2008 marked a housing crisis in southern Nevada. The economy crashed, homeowners struggled to pay mortgages, and many lost their homes.

There were more than 24,000 foreclosures in Clark County, according to the financial firm Applied Analysis.

But fast forward nearly 10 years later, that number dropped to more than 500. Some of the reasons why include: Getting a loan is more difficult than it was in pre-Recession days; California residents are relocating for lower home prices and southern Nevada is a seller’s market again with low inventory for buyers.

So, if a homeowner can’t keep up with mortgage payments, they can likely sell their home before the bank takes it away.

“It’s a more competitive market,” said Maryn Potes, realtor, Berkshire Hathaway’s Laforteza team.

In her two years as a realtor, Potes says she hasn’t sold a single foreclosure.

“We’ve looked into it but then we have always steered off to a different angle especially because there aren’t that many foreclosed homes available.”

During the Recession, foreclosed homes accounted for more than half of home sales, according to the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

But that’s dropped below 3 percent.

Potes says the process to buy a foreclosure can be longer and more complicated and she says many prices are closer to market value anyway – but not all.

A Silverado ranch home is listed in the mid-600’s while it’s value is estimated at least a $100,000 more.

“It’s a really good deal for this home, in particular,” Potes said.

For most of us though, bargain or not – that’s a pretty penny.

Tuesday at 11 p.m., I-Team reporter Vanessa Murphy will have more on the process of trying to snag a foreclosure and how one man says the long wait is worth it.

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