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Foreclosure Radar
August 14, 2007 7:37 AM   Subscribe

Foreclosure Radar. This is the fastest growth market in real estate, and we can help you capitalize on it. We go far beyond simple foreclosure listings: we track every single foreclosure auction in the state, every day.
posted by chunking express (32 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
California only.
posted by exogenous at 7:52 AM on August 14, 2007


Similar, but for the whole U.S.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:53 AM on August 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


The lowest rung on the ladder
posted by caddis at 7:58 AM on August 14, 2007


Heh. If only Casy Serin had started now.
posted by delmoi at 8:01 AM on August 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


And the cycle begins again.
posted by DU at 8:07 AM on August 14, 2007


Would these guys be the blow flies that appear on the corpse first?
posted by Thorzdad at 8:28 AM on August 14, 2007


The Agents started showing up outside her house after she was a few days late on an electricity bill. Dressed sportingly casual, with an alarming number of cameras and cellphones, they looked like a Gap ad gone on a safari in suburbia.

"What are you doing in my fucking driveway?" she inquired on her way to work.

"Just on the sidewalk, ma'am...public sidewalk." as he tipped his hat.

She was late to work that morning after telling them off, and when her boss in turn told her off she took a long lunch to cool down. When she returned, they were talking with her coworkers.

"What the - "

"Just statistics ma'am, nothing personal. It's like insurance. We've noticed you have a higher likelihood of bankruptcy in the next six months than the county average. So it's worth our while to just...keep close."

"So you can be first?"

"That's right ma'am. It's just statistics."

Of course, having them hovering around the office didn't help her get back on track at work. Nor did her morning ritual of trying to lose them in traffic so that she came in later and later, until she crashed her car while craning her neck around to see if they were still behind her in an intersection.

When it all fell apart in a huge self-fulfilling prophecy, the worst part was their smug looks - as though they'd known it would come the whole time. Which they insisted of course that they hadn't - just thought it "more likely. Just statistics ma'am." She wondered which part of scaring off her dates with their staring and photographing was statistics, or of their constant interviewing of her bosses and coworkers was "impartial data collection." But she didn't bother to ask.

What she did ask was a very technical question about their bankruptcy/ forclosure business, and it's relationship to insurance claims and criminal acts. She hummed their answers to herself quietly that night as she poured gasoline and sterno over everything she owned.
posted by freebird at 8:33 AM on August 14, 2007 [19 favorites]


don't go hatin on these people, vultures need love too, and they perform an essential function in the market, just as avian vultures perform an essential function in the wild. when somebody signs a mortgage (the roots of this word mean "pledge unto death") they're putting the property on the line as collateral for their promise to pay off the loan. the existence of the foreclosure remedy is good, not bad, because without it, lenders would either not lend at all on real estate, or they would lend at much more expensive unsecured loan terms, and (rough guess) 90% of homebuyers wouldn't be able to afford to buy, and they'd all be renters instead, losing further ground to the landed aristocracy.

when the borrower defaults on the loan, foreclosureman picks the corpse clean and returns the property to the market, helping to keep real estate affordable as a consequence of supply and demand. going back to avian vultures again: some of you like hiking in the woods, right? would your hiking experience be enhanced or degraded by the presence of rotting animal corpses all around you as you hiked?

have you hugged a vulture today?
posted by bruce at 8:51 AM on August 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


MetaFilter: the roots of this word mean "pledge unto death"
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:02 AM on August 14, 2007


For any of you who are like me, who own property and yet still, cannot tear yourself away from checking out what every single house in your city costs, that nationwide link is better viewed in a separate tab with Google Maps. That way, you can enter the street and zip code and get a vicarious thrill thinking that a lakeside million-dollar house is totally being foreclosed on.

Guilty feelings optional. I personally opt out.
posted by mckenney at 9:04 AM on August 14, 2007


when the borrower defaults on the loan, foreclosureman picks the corpse clean and returns the property to the market, helping to keep real estate affordable as a consequence of supply and demand. going back to avian vultures again: some of you like hiking in the woods, right? would your hiking experience be enhanced or degraded by the presence of rotting animal corpses all around you as you hiked?

Except that's exactly what is happening. All the foreclosures are leaving abandoned houses, which you might be amazed to discover aren't just picked clean and dissolved away like a dead corpse in the forest.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:15 AM on August 14, 2007


XQUZYPHYR writes "Except that's exactly what is happening. All the foreclosures are leaving abandoned houses, which you might be amazed to discover aren't just picked clean and dissolved away like a dead corpse in the forest."

Er...yes, and this site is collecting this info so that other people can buy the houses.

Foreclosure is like death.
Purchasers of foreclosed houses are like vultures.
These sites are maps to corpses for vultures.
posted by Bugbread at 9:29 AM on August 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


I wish I would have looked at this a year or two ago so I could have some comparison to now. It seems like there are an awful lot of foreclosures in some areas.
posted by Mr_Zero at 9:52 AM on August 14, 2007


The 3 day free trial converts to a $50 a month subscription, unless you cancel.
posted by doctor_negative at 9:58 AM on August 14, 2007


XQUZYPHYR's right - and not only are properties sitting empty, but those kicked out of their houses are being forced to rent. And the places that they're leasing? Forfeited by their previous inhabitants by foreclosure.

Ah, the circle of life.
posted by item at 10:22 AM on August 14, 2007


Yeah, the national one that Kirth Gerson posted makes you give them billing information (credit card number, bank account number, etc.) to sign up for the free trial. This is, of course, for your convenience:

Providing a valid credit card or checking account allows us to qualify you for the free trial and provide the service without future interruption upon expiration of the free period.

My experience with these types of companies is that, if they have your billing information, rest assured that they'll use it, and it'll be up to you to (attempt to) get them to stop. Vultures, indeed. Aggressive ones, at that.
posted by Brak at 10:27 AM on August 14, 2007


"And the places that they're leasing? Forfeited by their previous inhabitants by foreclosure."

If that was the case the housing market would be far better. There is still a rental 'glut' which is why the housing sales market is so depressed. With an excess of rentable units rents are low - So low in fact that the average non-shady mortgage + property taxes are higher than the possible rental income. If the rental market was in such good shape that foreclosed-upon homes immediately became leased, realtors wouldn't be shitting themselves so often these days.

On the bright side, it's still a damn good time to be a renter.
posted by datacenter refugee at 10:28 AM on August 14, 2007


(PS my suggestion does not require registration, but you do not get the specific addresses, thus preserving your credit cards)
posted by mckenney at 10:33 AM on August 14, 2007


IMO, anyone who buys a foreclosed place for more than 50% of what the repossessor would like to get for it is making a poor business decision.

Anyone who actually pays what the repossessor would like to get for it is going to wind up being the next foreclosure statistic, most likely.

Housing market's got a long way to fall yet, IMO.
posted by zoogleplex at 10:36 AM on August 14, 2007


The last time I looked at that site I posted, they gave you an aerial view of each property. It wasn't too hard to figure out where the houses were, if you knew the neighborhood. Now they give you a "Sample Member View" of some generic house, so you've got to give them your identity-theft package to make the site useful.

Sorry - I didn't know they'd stopped giving out the candy and were now charging for it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:39 AM on August 14, 2007


> On the bright side, it's still a damn good time to be a renter.

Or a vulture.
posted by jfuller at 10:39 AM on August 14, 2007


Hey, I can see my house from here!

Oh, wait...
posted by LordSludge at 10:41 AM on August 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oops, I should have mentioned that too. The national one does let you browse a basic set of features on their site without signing up for anything.
posted by Brak at 10:45 AM on August 14, 2007


Are those sites useful to the prospective first-time home buyer? Considering that there seems to be no sign that the bubble in Seattle is ending anytime soon, I'd like to see if there's a way to buy something that's actually affordable...
posted by evilangela at 10:52 AM on August 14, 2007


So low in fact that the average non-shady mortgage + property taxes are higher than the possible rental income.

Almost as if part of the issue is that people were buying up too many houses to be used as "rental properties".
posted by inigo2 at 11:19 AM on August 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


On the bright side, it's still a damn good time to be a renter.

I wouldn't say that... in a medium-sized city here in Texas (and I'm not talking about Aus/Hou/Dal/SA), the rentals in marginally-decent upkept neighborhoods start at $900-1000. At that price, one might as well just buy.
posted by hodyoaten at 11:21 AM on August 14, 2007


Housing market's got a long way to fall yet, IMO.

It's interesting (if not terribly useful) to speculate on what sort of upward pressure this puts on rental markets in the short to near-long term.

Anecdotally, I've noticed somewhat of an increase in new tenants at my apartment complex who are moving in and putting a ton of stuff in storage in the detached row of garages opposite my apartment. It's hard to put a finger on it, but I've sensed a lot of low-grade bitter wistfulness at their moving in, as if they're not happy at the prospect, and it's made me wonder if they're in the process of moving in as a consequence of foreclosure.

I have a credit card I don't care a fig about canceling, and I wonder whether it'd be worth it to see if specific houses in a couple of neighborhoods in my old and new home towns are getting foreclosed.
posted by pax digita at 11:47 AM on August 14, 2007


This might be the best time to be in a low interest fixed rate mortgage. The fed is pumping money into the system, which may cause 70s style inflation. If inflation is running at 18% /year, but your loan in only 6% then arn't you clearing a pretty good return at your lender's expense.
posted by humanfont at 12:11 PM on August 14, 2007


Considering that there seems to be no sign that the bubble in Seattle is ending anytime soon, I'd like to see if there's a way to buy something that's actually affordable...

Wait.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:06 PM on August 14, 2007


The fed is pumping money into the system

that was accomplished 2002-2006 when total outstanding debt $5-7 trillion.

what they're doing now is temporary liqudity operations (overnight loans essentially) to try to keep the market turning over.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:42 PM on August 14, 2007


(debt rose $5-7T)
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 3:42 PM on August 14, 2007


Ugh, FUCK, I worked as an admin for an agent who did this exact same thing. We were provided a list of people who had defaulted, and I mailed out letters advising that the agent could be of assistance to them. He loved that part because whenever he was confronted he would piously insist that he was "trying to help people", but of course he almost never got any responses from those letters (who *would* respond? I can't even imagine how weird that must be, you're having financial difficulties and someone is mailing you out of the blue to say they know all about it? Ew.). But he didn't care about that part - he just wanted the owners to be foreclosed upon so that he could swoop in, buy the property for next to nothing, then sell it on the market for like twice what he had bought it for. So basically making a living off of other people's misfortunes, especially because the statistic in my county at the time was that half of people went into foreclosure due to an unforeseen medical expense. Talk about being fucked by the universe: "You have colon cancer and need chemo, also we're taking your house! Have a nice day!" And meanwhile his kids were in private schools, and he and his wife drove BMWs and lived in a big fancy house.

My worst experiences working for him was when he had purchased a condo that had been foreclosed. He allowed the person who had owned it to collect her things (a poor elderly lady who lived alone) and I had to stay with her while she did it to make sure she didn't steal anything or vandalize the property. You know, steal from or vandalize the property that had been hers until the previous week. Also, she had to pay me. By the hour. And I kid you not, it was like three weeks before Christmas. I got a lunch break while she was driving the first load of her stuff to wherever she was staying, and I walked to my parents house which was around the corner, and told them what I had been doing with my afternoon - needless to say, the look of total disgust they leveled at me made me realize just how bad what I was doing was. I've never been so ashamed in my life. I gave the lady the money back, and when the agent fired me a couple weeks afterwards I was so relieved not to have to work for him anymore that I was actually grinning all through my firing.

The only reason I stuck it out as long as I did was because I was a student and needed the money (being "a student and needing the money" of course being classified as a kind of mental illness when it comes to employment choices.)
posted by supercrayon at 6:57 PM on August 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


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