Cash for Keys in Vegas, Foreign Buyers in Detroit
A few interesting real estate stories:
1. Wall Street Journal--These days, bankers and mortgage companies often find that by the time they get the keys back from foreclosed homes, embittered homeowners have stripped out appliances, punched holes in walls, dumped paint on carpets and, as a parting gift, locked their pets inside to wreak further havoc. Real-estate agents estimate that about half of foreclosed properties to be sold by mortgage companies nationwide have "substantial" damage.
The most practical way to ensure the houses are returned in decent shape, lenders and their agents say, is to pay homeowners hundreds or even thousands of dollars to put their anger in escrow and leave quietly. In Las Vegas, agents hired by the banks to handle foreclosed properties say the "cash for keys" approach, as it's known in the industry, is a regular part of the job.
2. Detroit Free Press--Investors from as far away as Hong Kong and Hawaii are coming to Detroit to make their fortune buying foreclosed homes in bulk. Some buyers are looking to buy larger numbers of homes, perhaps 100 or more at a time.
In Detroit's distressed housing market, the majority of sales now are to investors, often in bulk deals. Sales were up dramatically in Detroit in February, rising 49% from a year before, and foreclosure properties played a key role in the increase.