18 Nov 2008

La Mirada Bank Repos ~ Foreclosure Sales in La Mirada

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La Mirada Bank Repos ~ La Mirada Foreclosure Sales Mid-October through Mid-Money SqueezeNovember 2008.

The City of La Mirada, CA is like many others in SoCal is not immune to the housing declines experienced in the the Southland.   La Mirada’s current inventory of existing listings is similar to many other surrounding communities when it comes to distressed sales.

La Mirada’s current re-sale inventory vs. foreclosures/short sales and “traditional sales”:

159 total La Mirada properties currently for sale (almost idential to last month) 17 are identified as Bank Repos, that’s slightly over 10% of total inventory, down from about 15% last month.

However, when you factor in current short sale/and/or in-default properties that total swells to approximately 38% of the current inventory, compared to 49% last month. More than 1/3 of the properties for sale in La Mirada can be identified as distressed sales.

That’s right another 44 homes and condos are identified as short sales in the Multiple Listing Service. (It’s most likely a few others which may not be properly identified in the MLS as a short sale).

La Mirada bank repos are currently priced froma low of $84,000 for a 474 square foot studio condo in the Los Olivos complex at Ocaso and La Mirada Blvd. to $469,000 for a 3 bedroom 3 bath, 1,461 square foot  two-story home built in 1997.

It’s interesting to note the $84,000 condo previously sold for $192,000 in August 2005 and the $469,000 home last sold for $680,000 in April 2006.

Not every distressed sale is a repossession or short sale so let’s define distressed sales, a bank repossession/foreclosures, short sales vs. personal circumstances:

 •1.       Bank Repo, aka REO or Bank Foreclosure~ A bank/lender/government repo is owned by the institution that held the loan on the property, or in some cases actually insured that loan. REO=Real Estate Owned is a term used by institutions to identify properties on their books.

 •2.       Short Sale ~ A term used when a property is offered for and/or sells for less than the current amount owed on a loan. For example, (a)the case where a home buyer purchased a property for  one amount, the value declined and the owner could not sell for the amount owed on  the loan. On the other hand,(b) other short sales may result from a property being re-financed at any period of time and the value declined (c) where an owner has tapped the equity in the form of a home equity line of credit, aka HELOC and again there has been a decline in values. Again where the sales price would be less than the amount owed to the lender.

  •3.       Job Loss/Transfer/Death/Divorce/Bankruptcy ~ Any or all of these could be contributing factors for a distressed sale. However for the purpose of this report we’re focusing on bank repo’s and short sales.

 As you can imagine many bank repos and short sales include the reasons identified in #3 as contributing factors to the short sale/repo problem.  At times it seems like divorces bring about financial problems and vice versa.

So if you’re interested in buying a bank reposession/foreclosure property it’s important you understand the Common Traits In Purchasing a Bank Repo:

The vast majority of bank repos are sold in “as is” or “present physical” condition depending on your contract.  Most likely the existing condition on the date of purchase,  with very few exceptions if any.  Probably (yet not always) a pest control clearance may be provided by the lender/seller.

You also need to be prepared for an avalanche of seller (lender) generated addendum’s mostly holding them harmless for almost anything.  Many states exclude banks from traditional property disclosures.  The logic being, since most lenders have never viewed/occupied a property they’re usually not required to provide normal seller disclosures on property condition.  And if you’re not in agreement to the terms, their attitude is usually, next. Be sure to check the laws of your state and understand your contract!

So what’s in it for you as a home buyer? Hopefully a home at a great price!   Lenders are not in the business of owning real estate, they make loans on real estate. Yet depending on your market I’ve seen some buyers pay more than they should have, especially at some of the live auctions!

I would urge a word of caution: Do your homework ahead of time and work with a great REALTOR who can help.

 As For Short Sales:

It’s important to understand that on a short sale, each lender must approve the terms of a sale.  Just because something is listed for sale at a reduced price, does not mean it will actually sell for this amount. A fairly recent tactic has been to offer a property and an unbelievable price in hopes of creating buyer interest and therefore an acceptable offer to the seller and his/her lender.

Oh, one more wrench in the works, you may be negotiating with more than one lender making a decision if there’s more than one loan on the property. 

It takes real stamina to hang in there for these things. I’ve watched repo sales for over twenty-five years and urge you to work with someone who understands your local market. Again, do your homework ahead of time!

For more info in Living In La Mirada.it’s a great place to call home. La Mirada was also named ‘One of the best places to live in 2007″ by Money Magazine.

For real estate know-how, contact me, Lynda@PreferredHomeBrokers.com. Preferred Home Brokers is a full service real estate company proudly representing SoCal home buyers and sellers for over thirty years.

–CA Department of Real Estate License Number 00402040

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About the Author


I maintains an active residential re-sale brokerage in Brea, CA, located in Orange County, about 20 minutes north of Disneyland. Contact Lynda directly at (714) 595-1494, or Lynda@PreferredHomeBrokers.com – CA License #00402040

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