National Foreclosure Rate Drops From Last Year

National foreclosure rates fell 2 percent between April 2009 and April 2010, according to RealtyTrac, a firm that tracks foreclosures.

Although 2 percent may not appear to be much, and 300,000 foreclosures were reported nationwide last month, it is an indicator that foreclosures may be approaching a plateau.

Other indicators on the RealtyTrac report show some interesting trends.

  • More than half of April’s foreclosures were concentrated in 6 states.
  • Nevada was at the top of the nation’s foreclosures for the 40th straight month.
  • Rates dropped in both California and Arizona, states that had been near the top of the foreclosure crisis through 2009.
  • Cities with high foreclosure rates showed a drop in foreclosure activity annually. Only Reno, Nevada showed an increase.

Many people see foreclosed properties as a bargain. But the bargain is not so great if you are not aware of the pitfalls of buying foreclosed homes.

  • Foreclosed properties are often sold “as-is” and may not qualify for a bank loan due to defects.
  • Don’t be looking for a quick close. You must wait on the bank’s schedule.
  • Not all foreclosed homes can be found online. You usually need to work with a local real estate agent who is knowledgeable in foreclosures.

There can be some great deals in foreclosed homes. Looking in areas with high foreclosure rates is a start, and contacting your local real estate specialist can help close the deal.