Several Lake Forest II neighborhoods have had recent real estate activity, but, like the rest of Lake Forest, most of the sales have involved “distressed” properties – either short sales or foreclosed homes.
Even though the national election is behind us, real estate activity is still being slowed by questions of what the economy will do, as well as concerns about the lending environment. In California, the foreclosures have slowed noticeably, but it’s not clear whether that is because lenders are waiting to see what the $700 billion bailout will offer them, or because of California’s new law that requires lenders to document their attempts to work with borrowers before foreclosing.
It is still extremely frustrating for both buyers and sellers to complete short sales, and many times, the buyers give up and buy another property before getting a final answer. Also, the lenders are taking so long to reach decisions regarding short sales, that the values are declining below the “approved” price, and the properties no longer appraise for value needed for the buyer’s loan!
There are currently foreclosed homes in almost every neighborhood in Lake Forest II, and the banks are pricing them to attract multiple offers. Last month, out of 81 homes sold in Lake Forest, 40 of them were foreclosures, and 30 of those sold for over list price, and were on the market an average of only 15 days. In reality, the 15-day average was inflated by the lender refusing to respond to any offers for the first 7 days, then giving all of those potential buyers another 5 days to re-write their offers with their “highest and best” terms. I have represented several buyers in this type of “blind auction” bidding. Since you don’t know how many, or how qualified the other buyers really are, the only way to respond is to think about what value would make you feel satisfied that you “won” without feeling that you were tricked into it. It’s very difficult!
There are 12 foreclosed homes on the market in Lake Forest II neighborhoods today. If you have a good imagination and don’t mind spending time, energy and money to update or repair a home to your own taste, one of them may be a good investment for you! Contact me if you would like further information!
Here are the year-to-date activity reports for several Lake Forest II neighborhoods. I will be adding the rest of them in the next few days.