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Repo Homes Ravaging Florida

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Two months after President Barack Obama announced his foreclosure prevention plan, the increasing number of repo homes in Florida still remained unabated.

Some areas in the state, such as Florida City and Homestead are experiencing about 25 percent increase in the number of repo homes. And added to that, numerous houses built by developers are languishing in the market, with no buyers showing any interest.

The widespread foreclosures has left many distressed homeowners wonder if they could ever save their properties from turning into repo homes. Adding to their concerns is the projected 100 percent increase in Florida foreclosures in 2009.

Data from the Florida Association of Realtors showed that there were 78,676 homeowners of condominiums and single-family homes who filed for foreclosures between January to October 2008. In Miami-Dade County, 22,314 repo homes filings were reported.

The current foreclosure crisis has left some homeowners with owning mortgage more than the market value of their properties. Most of these distressed homeowners have tried negotiating with their banks for affordable payment scheme but were turned down.

Real estate professional Cathee Cotton noted that many repo homes have been left vacant for a long time now that they became victims of theft and vandals.

She believed that foreclosures will get worse and will leave a devastation worst than the one created by Hurricane Andrew 17 years ago.

The exodus of homeowners who defaulted on their mortgages and left their properties to deteriorate has also affected many local businesses. Many noticed a decline in sales, while some closed their shops for lack of customers.

In Homestead, about 2,257 foreclosed homes were reported since October last year.

Mayor Lynda Bell explained that she noticed the beginnings of the foreclosure crisis years ago when developers asked members of the city council to approve several projects.

She said that after the Hurricane Andrew, the city experienced financial drought and when things slowly made a turnaround, many were unwilling to turn down real estate projects for fear of hindering the tax base.

She explained that she opposed many multifamily townhome projects because she believed that families belonging in the lower income level could not afford them.

She blamed speculators for the foreclosure crisis and pushing the housing market to the edge of deterioration. And nobody knows what it would take to end the current crisis.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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