As we enter 2012 the local real estate market has still not shown any real positive signs of the start of a recovery. Real estate prices remain low as the result of continued foreclosures and short sales. Mortgage rates remain at all time lows yet it remains very difficult for individuals and families to qualify for these low rates as a result of negative credit ratings and the requirement of substantial cash down payments.
Cash buyers stand to make a killing in this real estate market as banks and mortgage companies continue to unload foreclosures and approve substantial discounts for short sales.
Sellers should be aware of investor groups seeking short sale purchases with the intent of assigning and/or "flipping" short sale approvals. As a short sale seller make sure you are being relieved of any deficiency and are not subject to a 1099 and subsequent IRS income tax assessment. In such cases you may be going from the "frying pan into the fire".
Perspective Tenants should beware of rental fraud schemes were purported Landlords are not the legal owners of the property being rented. Always check the County property tax records in order to verify ownership. For sale signs in the front yard and lock boxes on the front door are often clear signs that something is amiss.
Once you do move into a rental property and start paying rent always make sure that the Owner/Landlord is paying the HOA or Condo dues. HOA's and Condo associations are very aggressive in collecting delinquent assessments through foreclosure proceedings.