A person we know and her husband-to-be had decided to try to buy a repossessed (and thus, they thought, affordable) house in Madera. But they soon found their dream would remain just that.
Repos apparently no longer are bargains to be snapped up, but rather are the objectives of bidding wars. The result is that repos are selling for more in Madera than they did just a year ago.
If you are someone looking for a bargain house, that isn’t good news. But it does mean the local real estate market is recovering to the extent that when the inventory of repossessed dwellings is finally bought up, people who want to “move up” will be able to put their houses on the market in the knowledge they aren’t going to have to compete with so many bargain-basement repos for buyers.
It will be quite a while before house prices reach the levels of 2007, but for sellers, the movement is in the right direction.
It also is likely to mean that at some point, appraisals also will readjust upward, and property taxes will increase, too.
The result will be that local government agencies won’t have to struggle as hard to keep their doors open, as they have been having to do over the past few years. The good news for those agencies, though, is they have learned to be leaner operations, in most cases able to do more with less.
The houses of most homeowners are their biggest assets, and seeing the values of those assets will lead many to sigh with relief. That’s because those assets also were the homeowners’ biggest sources of debt.
As prices rise, some investors will be kicking themselves for not getting into the market earlier. And some homeowners will be glad they hung on when they were upside down.