Chicago area residents buy auctioned homes

November 23, 2008 8:49:31 PM PST
Everyone is always looking for a deal, but in this economy, with mortgage defaults way up, people are finding bargains on foreclosed homes.Banks are unloading these houses at auctions.

One was taking Sunday in suburban Rosemont, where there have been concerns about the crisis and some optimism.

At the auctions, one person's real estate loss is someone's gain.

"I bought a duplex, seven bedrooms, two baths. I got it for $90,000. That's the Bronzeville area. So, easy, it could go $300,000 to $400,000. Still, even in a declining market, it's a good deal," said property buyer Tarryn Rutherford.

Rutherford is one of thousands of people who attended a foreclosed homes real estate auction in Rosemont.

Over the weekend, many prospective buyers bid on hundreds of properties, stretching from the suburbs to Chicago, hoping to take advantage of the bad economy and the slumping housing market.

"I feel bad for the person that loss the property, but the lenders have to get rid of these properties," said Maureen Rzasa, another buyer.

Rzasa and her husband bought a brick bungalow in the south suburbs Sunday. The house was previously valued at close to $200, 000, but it was purchased Sunday for less than half of that amount.

Despite the deals, Rzasa and others here are still worried about the fate of the everyday people who are losing their homes.

"I had a person who was moving, and I wanted to buy it. She didn't want me to, but I ended up getting it at auction," said buyer Janice Morton.

But while some taut the auction as the easiest way to get real estate in the area at the right price, other buyers say the market is still volatile.

"Unless you're buying a home to live in or as an investor to rent, that's the only way you're going to do anything with this market. Just buy it and wait for the market to recover," said real estate investor Jim Singleton.

According to one online real estate source, last month, Illinois had nearly 13,000 homes in some phase of default or foreclosure. That's the reason auction organizers say something positive can come out of the foreclosure process.

"Once you put someone into that home, somebody's going to the appliance story, someone's going to the hardware stores, and that money and stuff just benefits the community as a whole," said Trent Ferris, a foreclosure auction organizer.

The foreclosure auction organizers says home auctions are hot. So far, the company sponsoring Sunday's event has sold close to 17,000 foreclosed homes for over $2.5 billion this year.

As the market continues to struggle, expect to see more auctions.


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