Times are tough for many home-owners across Michigan. So tough, many are losing their homes. One study finds there are 66 percent more homes up for foreclosure in Michigan than a year ago. The state now ranks sixth in the nation for foreclosures. Here in Ingham County the Web site www.realtytrac.com lists more than 900 homes in foreclosure.
Experts blame risky no-down payment mortgages, interest rate increases, mortgage fraud, and job losses in Michigan's weakening economy. Meanwhile foreclosures aren't helping the weak economy. Real Estate Agent and Certified Mortgage Consultant Matt Fisher says foreclosures often sit vacant on the market for weeks while falling into disrepair. They can turn into eyesores, bringing down the values of neighboring homes.
Here's how Fisher says you can prevent foreclosures:
1. Make sure you work with a reputable lender with referrals.
2. Don't depend on the lender to tell you what you can afford. Either budget out what you can spend on a mortgage on your own or see a certified financial planner.
3. Read the small print in the loan.
4. If you get into financial trouble after buying, communicate with your lender.
Remember, even banks don't win in foreclosures. They lose in interest and can have a tough time selling the home at a price high enough to cover their loss. To avoid this many lenders are willing to work with costumers when they are having trouble making payments.
Meanwhile, it is possible to get a good deal by buying a home in foreclosure. If you're interested in doing so contact a real estate agent. The auction company Hudson and Marshall will be holding several auctions in Michigan of foreclosed homes later this month, including one in Lansing. For more information click on the "Seen on Ten" link.