RISMEDIA, May 8, 2008-Trulia.com released the results of a study conducted by Harris Interactive® showing that while more than half of all U.S. adults would consider purchasing a foreclosed home, over two-thirds also feel that there are several negative aspects of such purchases. The findings, part of a comprehensive survey of consumer attitudes about foreclosure, have been released in tandem with guidance from foreclosure experts from Trulia’s online community, who offer tips for avoiding potential pitfalls and successfully completing such purchases.
Trulia’s internal market intelligence further confirms that interest in purchasing a foreclosed home is rising rapidly among U.S. consumers. According to the company, searches for foreclosures on Trulia.com, more than tripled in the first quarter of 2008, rising by 214%. Trulia offers market data as well as listings of foreclosed properties, to help prospective buyers with their research.
Conducted over a three-day period in late April, the survey found that, while 69% of U.S. adults feel that there are negative aspects to purchasing a foreclosed home, more than half would be at least somewhat likely to still consider purchasing a foreclosed home. Of survey respondents mentioning negative aspects of purchasing a foreclosed home, 69% cited hidden costs; 35% considered the prospect risky; and 33% mentioned the possibility of the home losing value.
“What’s striking about these findings is that while U.S. consumers recognize the purchasing opportunity presented by foreclosed homes, there are definitely some reservations about the process,” said Pete Flint, co-founder and CEO of Trulia. “By providing guidance from foreclosure experts combined with comprehensive information on foreclosed homes across the country, Trulia can help potential homeowners take full advantage of this market while avoiding the kind of risks that might otherwise make them hesitate.”
To put foreclosure fears at rest, Trulia’s team of foreclosure experts has provided tips for anyone considering purchasing a foreclosed home. These include:
1. Prioritize your needs: Make a list of “must-haves” for your new home. The foreclosed house you choose should have some overall appeal as well as most of the items on your list.
2. Talk to experts: Make an appointment with an experienced foreclosure agent. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions.
3. Be current: Look at neighborhood data with emphasis on real time sales. Compare current and last year’s home values to determine which way the market is moving.
4. Aim high: Find out the overall value of the neighborhood in which you are buying. A foreclosure may allow you entry into a better neighborhood.
5. Make inspection mandatory: Minimize hidden costs by planning a professional inspection. Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion.
6. Avoid pre-stage: The pre-foreclosure/short sales stage is typically not the most profitable. You could wait weeks or even months for an answer from the lender.
7. Buy at the right time: The foreclosure stage can be profitable when it goes to public auction. The best REO deals are often situations where the home has been on the market for 60 days or more.
Some Groups More Inclined to Consider Purchase
The results of the Harris Interactive® survey provide nuanced insight into the types of consumers more likely to consider the purchase of a foreclosed home. In particular:
• Single/never married adults (60%) are more likely to be at least somewhat likely to consider purchasing a foreclosure versus married (50%) or divorced/separated/widowed adults (50%).
• Male respondents are more likely to be at least somewhat likely to consider purchasing a foreclosed home compared with female respondents (57% versus 51%).
• Younger adults (18-34) are more than twice as likely to be at least somewhat likely to consider purchasing a foreclosed home than U.S. adults ages (55+) (69% versus 32%).
• Respondents with children in the household are more likely to be at least somewhat likely to consider purchasing a foreclosed home versus those who have no children in their household (66% versus 50%).
• About three out of every four U.S. adults aged 18-34 feel that there are negative aspects of purchasing a foreclosed home (74%) versus two-thirds (66%) of U.S. adults aged 35 and older.
• 20% of U.S. adults said that having a personal connection with someone who lost their home to foreclosure is a negative aspect of purchasing a foreclosed home.
Foreclosure tips provided by experts from the Trulia Voices online community: Bill Boone, Fabiola Fleuranvil, John Goad Jr., Tom J. Hall, Travis Houston, Patrick Mahoney, Melissa Morgan and Elizabeth Weintraub.
For more information, visit http://www.trulia.com.