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Dallas-area foreclosures offer bargains, but few can take advantage | Dallas-Fort Worth Business News – News for Dallas, Texas – The Dallas Morning News

March 27, 2011

Dallas-area foreclosures offer bargains, but few can take advantage

By STEVE BROWN
Real Estate Editor
stevebrown@dallasnews.com

Published 25 March 2011 10:22 PM

Investors who buy homes at foreclosure auctions get a big price break. But not many are able to take advantage of the foreclosure deals.

During March, investors and individuals who acquired foreclosed homes on the courthouse steps paid less than 60 cents on the dollar, according to a Foreclosure Listing Service study of sales in 18 Texas counties.

But only about 6 percent of the foreclosures in this month’s sale were purchased by outside buyers. The rest were taken back by lenders, the Addison foreclosure tracking firm said.

Foreclosure Listing Service looked at home foreclosures in counties in North and Central Texas to come up with the statistics.

In March, 1,236 homes were sold at foreclosure auction in the four-county Dallas-Fort Worth area — only about a quarter of the total foreclosure filings made by lenders.

“Something occurred to prevent these postings from being auctioned on the day of the foreclosure sale,” Foreclosure Listing Service CEO George Roddy said Friday.

In most cases, the foreclosures are delayed while borrowers negotiate with their mortgage companies or because they arrange alternatives to the foreclosure.

When lenders do foreclose, only a small number of the homes sold at public auction wind up in the hands of third-party buyers, Roddy said.

“These buyers are typically investors; however, there are a number of folks out there simply looking for a good deal on a home for their family to live in,” he said.

It’s not practical for most buyers to get a house at a foreclosure auction because bidders must be able to pay the seller almost immediately.

Still, buyers who could purchase a foreclosure paid about 57 cents on the dollar, based on the tax appraisal for the real estate in 18 Texas counties, according to Foreclosure Listing Service’s study of the March foreclosures. The price was even lower in the D-FW area: 47 cents on the dollar in Dallas County and 49 cents in Tarrant.

Denton and Collin counties had the largest share of investment buyers.

“Today’s investors and buyers are getting a great bang for the buck at the foreclosure auctions,” Roddy said.

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