Monday, February 04, 2008

Denver Foreclosures? An opportunity?

Back in the day when I started in this business (1985) there were loads of foreclosures around. As a matter of fact I made a pretty good living chasing the folks in my neighborhood who were facing that spectre. I also learned allot about banks and mortgage companies. Mostly, they knew what they were doing better than I did. They had specialists who handle REO properties, who negotiated short sales (workouts) and who figured out market value. Same thing today, yet they have more ammo than before due to the internet, digital cameras, and appraisers and real estate brokers who know how to use them. Banks & mortgage companies are better armed to negotiate with you than in the old days.

What I saw then I see a bit now...the deer in the headlight stare. Some folks believe that they can make a GREAT deal with a foreclosure. Some folks can and have. I believe you can take more advantage of the atmosphere of fear that sellers may be facing than negotiate with a bank.

Why? A seller is flesh and blood, with heart palpitations like yours, often afraid they may "loose this deal and have to stay here forever". The banker is listening for your eyes blinking to see where they can take you. They know the conversation. They already had it and have trained on it. That is their job. And they approach it with a very cool state of mind.

I have done this in the past, and can do it now, but the better deal may not be where you think it is. After you have seen the foreclosure and added the "if we fixed this" costs as well as the time and effort to do it, you might want to consider other homes you could buy for the same total price. You might do better with one of those sellers than a bank.

Denver is a mixed bag as to the location of foreclosed properties. Most properties in the south end of town have not made it all the way to the bank. They get bought on the open market as we have experienced appreciation (see DENVER MARKET ACTIVITY interactive map of MLS data just below the 2 pictures at This map has the ability to demonstrate the north area market and compare it with the south. Is a home more liquid with 2 homes on the market or 10? Is it easier to rent with lots of houses for sale/or rent or fewer houses? When supply is large and demand is low prices go down. When supply is lower and demand is static prices stay flat.... Basic market data like that points to investing in the south of the metro Denver area, like Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Castle Rock, Centennial, and Parker.

After all, we like to help nice folks buy and sell homes in Denver. Who do you know that this
could be valuable for? Let my 22 years of experience to work for you, learning about your new home town! Whether it is Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Littleton, Castle Rock, Centennial, Englewood, Parker, Elizabeth, Larkspur, Franktown, Kiowa, or anywhere in metro Denver Colorado, we offer real estate advice, properties for sale, multiple listing service, property listings, mls, all available at Drop me a note to

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