Sue Fox, @Properties. Direct 773.816.1788

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Chicago foreclosure filings jump sharply

filed under: Buyers, Foreclosures, Lakeview, Market conditions posted on September 20th, 2011

A RARE GEM:

A RARE GEM: This luxury penthouse, in a brand-new building on Buckingham Place in Lakeview, slid into foreclosure after several years on the market at prices above $525,ooo. It finally sold in April for $450,000. Most Chicago foreclosures, however, aren't so grand.

Another wave of Chicago-area foreclosures may be ahead, according to recent data gathered by RealtyTrac. The number of homes that received notices of mortgage default in the metro area spiked 30% in August over the previous month.

Some 6,239 delinquent homeowners received notices — the first step in the foreclosure process — in Cook County and the surrounding areas (DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties). The vast majority of the troubled properties, however, were in Cook, the nation’s second-largest county. Foreclosure filings jumped 24% in Cook County.

I see plenty of foreclosures, and most of them need at least a little work (and some of them require a total rehab). Missing or broken kitchen appliances are routine, as are floors that need refinishing and walls that need repainting. Because many foreclosures have been vacant for months, there are frequently leaks that have damaged the floors or drywall (I have seen more than one foreclosed condo where the refrigerator had leaked onto the hardwood floor.)

But for homebuyers seeking a bargain — especially if they have a little cash to put into repairing the property — foreclosures can be a good opportunity. There are a lot of good deals out there right now, and mortgage interest rates are super low.

Chicago’s foreclosure crisis has been uneven, devastating some communities while barely touching others. Even in the more affluent neighborhoods like Lakeview, they tend to be clustered in certain buildings like 655 W Irving Park Road or 3660 N Lake Shore Drive. And in the poorer areas, such as South Shore, you’ll find some blocks — even blocks right by the lake — where it seems that every other house is a boarded-up foreclosure.

What’s harder to find is a single foreclosed property in the middle of an otherwise stable, desirable neighborhood. Those homes tend to sell quickly, especially if they are priced below market value, and they often attract multiple offers.

Written by Sue Fox //

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