Lion's Share of North Bay Foreclosures in Sonoma County
"Sebastopol Realtor Gene Sloan said he signed up with RealtyTrac about a year ago to receive notifications about the latest foreclosure filings in Sonoma County, home to the lion's share of North Bay foreclosures."
"Mr. Sloan said he believes foreclosures will be a significant source of home sales activity in the coming months. "Many of the properties on the market are in some stage of foreclosure," Mr. Sloan said, referring to Sonoma County. "I would guess maybe 25 percent."'
"RealtyTrac calculates foreclosure filings by combining the number of notices of default, auction notices and repossessions. "
"From 2005 to 2006, foreclosure filings in the North Bay increased 32 percent to 1,328 new filings. Statewide, foreclosures more than doubled during the same period. The increase in North Bay foreclosure filings from January 2006 to this January was about even with the statewide increase."
"There are a number of risks for buyers and agents in buying a home that is in the foreclosure process, especially if the lender is unaware of the sale and its terms."
"Even a sale during the early stages of foreclosure can get messy if the bank has not agreed to give the homeowner additional time to complete the sale."
'"I've heard horror stories of people who closed escrow while their house was being auctioned because the banks didn't know," said Rick Sharga, vice president of marketing for RealtyTrac."
"Santa Rosa lender Michael Madsen points out, negotiating with lenders can be challenging because many of the mortgages currently under default in the North Bay were set up by mortgage brokers and are owned by lenders outside the area. In many cases, those lenders have sold the mortgages to a third party, which can potentially complicate negotiations."
"The sales volume for the North Bay's 25 largest real estate companies declined 21 percent between 2005 and 2006 as the market slowed, according to the BUSINESS JOURNAL'S annual ranking."
"The total number of North Bay units sold in 2006 was down 25 percent from the year before to 15,093 from 20,138. The dollar volume of sales declined from $14.4 billion to $11.4 billion, according to data collected from the brokerages."