Foreclosures sales up and expected to stay there

Foreclosed isn’t a dirty word anymore.

Christine Keller, a realtor with Century 21 Jeff Keller Realty, said foreclosures are so much a part of the housing market now that she has people requesting to look at only foreclosed homes.

“It’s actually a popular term now,” she said.

The number of foreclosed homes on the market has increased over the past year, Keller said, and she doesn’t expect for it to slow down soon.

“They’ve been up, and I don’t think they’ll be coming down for a while,” she said.

With the increase in foreclosed homes for sale, a wider variety of homes are available at a cut price.

Keller said this has turned many homebuyers’ idea of foreclosed homes from a risky buy to a good deal.

“A lot of people used to think they were only in bad places or in bad shape, but they’re everywhere now,” she said. “People are looking for deals.”

According to RealtyTrac, a real estate statistics agency, there are 110 foreclosure properties in Richmond County and 51 in Columbia County for sale now.

Keller helped Greg Brentnell find a house in Columbia County. Brentnell looked specifically for foreclosed homes.

“It’s a financial thing,” he said. “I can fix stuff, so it’s not even a necessity to have a move-in-ready home.”

Brentnell’s house off Belair Road is on a large lot with a workshop and deck, and he said he is happy with what he had been able to buy.

“I found what I was looking for,” he said.

More customers like Brentnell are finding good homes at a bargain price, and it won’t stop soon, said Justin Bolin, with VanderMorgan Realty.

VanderMorgan specializes in foreclosures and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development homes and has sold 110 properties this year so far.

Bolin said there is a two- to three-year backlog on most properties, so even if all foreclosures stopped tomorrow, there would be a high number of foreclosure homes on the market for the next few years.

“Everybody is subject to foreclosures in this economy,” he said.

VanderMorgan conducts bus tours all over the area on Saturdays to show buyers foreclosed homes. Bolin said the number of people shopping for foreclosed homes is staggering.

“It’s the reason they’re calling,” he said. “They’re looking for foreclosures.”

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