Monday, April 13, 2009

Understanding foreclosure

Posted on by Lauren Baier Kim:

Once a relatively small fraction of the U.S. housing market, foreclosures now make up a large part of the market -- there were some 5.4 million homes in or approaching foreclosure at the end of 2008.

Of course, some areas are worse-hit than others. If you take a look at our foreclosure map in Cyberhomes' new "Facing Foreclosure" special report, you'll see that California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida have far more homes facing foreclosure than places like Montana, Wisconsin and Vermont.

Although widespread, the foreclosure process can be quite a confusing one. To help you digest it, Cyberhomes has assembled a guide to the six steps of foreclosure, plus tips on how to buy a distressed property. We also offer a more personal look at foreclosure with stories on how foreclosure has affected a family and how another family was lucky enough to narrowly avert foreclosure. For a visual look, view a slideshow of photos by Taylor Dunfee that depicts the epicenter of the foreclosure crisis, Las Vegas.

And of course, you can also get a sense of the foreclosure market in your town by typing in your ZIP code in the search box on the Cyberhomes home page, choosing "Homes for Sale" and then clicking "Foreclosures only." Doing so for my New Jersey ZIP code brought up 73 listings in an area with a population of about 33,000.

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