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05.10.2015
Picture the typical foreclosed home, and a nondescript tract house or run-down bungalow might first pop to mind. But the real estate bust and foreclosure crisis hit all parts of the Tampa Bay area, even such high-end communities as Tampa's Avila and Pinellas County's Bayou Club. Of the bay area's 1,285 bank-owned homes currently on the market, 20 are listed for more than $500,000, including one a€” a lakefront mansion built by corporate raider Paul Bilzerian a€” priced at almost $5 million.
Like foreclosures on the low end of the scale, though, these opulent dwellings speak of a time when banks were making loans to almost everyone who walked through the door. After the bank started to foreclose, the man managed to hang on to the house for several years by repeatedly filing bankruptcy petitions. Other foreclosed borrowers whose high-end homes are for sale represent a cross section of Tampa Bay's population a€” a dentist, a Realtor, a financial planner and a high school graduate who did well in the beeper business. Two years ago, a Louisiana bank repossessed the 28,000-square-foot Avila mansion erected by Bilzerian, who moved to a prison cell after being found guilty of illegal stock manipulation. Another pricey foreclosure requiring extensive renovations is a 5,800-square-foot home on Boca Ciega Bay in St. When the bank finally took back the house in May, Chicouris found it occupied by people who apparently had been living there rent-free for years. Within the next two months, Chicouris expects to list a Pinellas Point home with wide-open views of Tampa Bay.
A rush of home investors has created a strong market for foreclosed homes, which is encouraging lenders to sell them through clerk of court auctions, RealtyTrac says.
Florida previously ranked second to Nevada in foreclosures, but the Sunshine State pulled ahead of Nevada in October, according to RealtyTrac, which lists foreclosed homes for sale. First, Florida always looks bad in foreclosure rankings because foreclosures here have to wind their way through the court system; some other states have speedier, nonjudicial foreclosures.
Lenders also seem to be more willing to sell homes in foreclosure lately instead of allowing foreclosures to linger in the court system. ABOUT USHere at News Talk Florida we strive to use creativity and innovation in order to introduce our followers to new and distinctive angles. Well, it’s Halloween, and I have some nifty yet sobering Halloween themed cartoons I planned to present today. The thing is, many citizens are simply wishing to return to those halcyon days when the biggest dilemma on Halloween was to figure out whether they should stay home and man the candy stash (since leaving the bowl of candy outside makes it vulnerable to candy hoarders) or decide to tour the neighborhood with everyone.
Whatever the case, I hope you find a little reprieve during this kid’s holiday and are able to engage in some Halloween fun as a short distraction from reality. I’d rather not give my kids cavities and I’d prefer not to indulge my sweet tooth (and gain pounds) so how else to deal with the excess? Our block is actually pretty dark and higher up into the woods so it could be a bit too “rural” for the family crowd.
We used to have tons of kids come by when one of our neighbors had school-aged children bring in their buddies. As you can see, as a full-time blogger (and one who does other web projects), my income is tied to advertising. Halloween was very quiet in our east Los Gatos neighborhood this year – just 30 little trick or treaters came by.


When it came time to list a certain foreclosed home in Tampa's Town 'N Country area in April, Realtor Irwin Wilensky figured $79,500 would be about the right price given its dilapidated condition. Both demand and prices for foreclosed homes are on the rise in Tampa Bay as the number of foreclosed properties dramatically shrinks.
According to a report Tuesday by the data analysis firm CoreLogic, 3.7 percent of Tampa Bay homes with mortgages were in some state of foreclosure in May. As the real estate bubble began to deflate in 2007 and interest rates rose on adjustable rate loans, tens of thousands of Tampa Bay borrowers found themselves unable to make their payments or sell their homes.
But thanks to an improving economy and loan modification programs, the number of new Hillsborough filings plunged to 4,649 last year while Pinellas filings dropped to 4,534. In June, the median price for foreclosed houses in Hillsborough hit $125,000, a jump of nearly 14 percent from a year earlier. Foreclosures "are not as great a bargain but the market is moving up so fast and the inventory is still so low that people are jumping in on whatever they can get,'' said Scott Samuels, a St. Samuels has noticed, though, that an increasing number of homes sold at county foreclosure auctions are going to third-party bidders instead of being repossessed by the bank. That can be a boon for investors and other third-party bidders, who are snagging houses in high-end areas for their tax-assessed value, typically much lower than the true market value.
Bidding on foreclosed properties at county auctions a€” which now are totally computerized a€” can be risky, though. All of the priciest bank-owned homes were bought or refinanced in the period between 2004 and 2008 when even people of modest income or no income at all could take on massive amounts of mortgage debt. He paid $1.375 million, got loans for most of that amount and stopped making payments in 2010.
Listing agent Jamie Meloni estimates it would take as much as $200,000 to bring it up to Avila standards. She stopped paying a year later and moved to the Fort Myers area after the bank began foreclosing. They were evicted, leaving behind a home that was missing sections of carpeting and that had been stripped of much of the cabinetry and plumbing fixtures. The borrower hasn't paid either the mortgage or the homeowners association dues in more than three years, yet is still living there. Eventually that should help lenders clear out their huge backlog of homes in foreclosure and those banks already have repossessed.
One in every 332 homes in Florida last month received some type of foreclosure filing, whether it was an initial foreclosure notice, a notice of court auction or a repossession by a lender. Petersburg-Clearwater area ranked fifth in the country in foreclosures among large metropolitan areas last month, with 1 in 302 homes getting some kind of foreclosure filing. Those states have cleared their backlog of foreclosures, RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said. In Florida, the number of notices of foreclosure sale — in which lenders schedule a foreclosure auction through the clerk of court — reached a three-year high in October, Blomquist said. The foreclosure map below of the general area where I live literally illustrates which areas are hit the hardest around my neighborhood. Take a look at “10 Things To Do With All That Halloween Candy” or this article with a similar title.


I think those kids are now older and no longer trick or treat so yeah, we’re down 50% of visitors compared to last year! My family wonders how much we’ll be affected by the slowdown as our livelihoods are tied to the economic situation.
My spouse is in retail, so his income is similarly affected (although he says it’s not that noticeable yet) and my bro-in-law is in private equity, which I imagine is an area where we’ll see some effects as well.
In the last two years I’ve seen more and more houses in my area been put up for sale or boarded up. But, people can prevent a foreclosure by getting educated about the process and facing the problem head -on. Multiple offers poured in, and the house sold for $117,000 last month a€” $37,500 more than the asking price. New foreclosure filings are at their lowest levels in years in Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough counties and are expected to drop even further.
While higher than the national rate, that marked a decrease of almost 3 percentage points from a year ago and the lowest percentage since January 2014. Banks filed 21,884 foreclosure suits in Hillsborough in calendar year 2009 and 15,164 in Pinellas in the 2008-09 fiscal year a€” both all-time records. And at the current pace, fewer than 3,000 foreclosure suits will be filed in each county this year. Lenders like Wells Fargo are letting some properties go for much less than the amount owed because they don't want the hassle of taking title and trying to resell the home.
Petersburg and Hillsborough County tend to reduce fines once a property is brought into compliance, "there are some municipalities like Dunedin that want that $30,000,'' Wilensky said. Although on a lighter note if you really don’t like Halloween you could just go down to your local DIY shop buy some hard board and board up all your windows for the festivities.
Lenders send out a notice of default after homeowners have missed several mortgage payments.
High prices and tougher mortgage requirements are factors, said DataQuick President John Walsh, but the biggest thing holding sales down is a simple lack of homes on the market. Statewide, notices of default sent out in January numbered 24,162, a 0.3 percent decline from a year ago, after 13 straight months of double-digit declines, said Blomquist.
With prices as high as they are, he predicted, that has to change soon.a€?Ita€™s going to be fascinating to watch how things play out between now and June,a€? he said in a statement. Over the past year, Blomquist said, "we knew there were pretty high delinquency rates in California. It will be easier for banks to move homes that have been in the process of foreclosure to the notice-of-trustee sale stage. That middle stage allows a home to be sold at an auction to a third party or taken back by the bank.Still, Kieffer said he expects that some banks will be more willing to work out a short sale with a homeowner as an alternative to foreclosure than they have in previous years.




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