One in every 730 homes in the U.S. is facing foreclosure. Therefore, when a state has a rate of one in every 603 homes in foreclosure, it makes the list of Top Foreclosure States.
This is the situation for South Carolina, number 10 on RealtyTrac’s September 2012 listing. In fact, the Charleston Regional Journal claims that South Carolina saw a 16 percent jump in foreclosure filings during the third quarter of 2012.
Across the country, on the other hand, foreclosure backlogs have been shrinking, and bargain-priced distressed homes are becoming scarce. Luckily, there are still some great buys in South Carolina. If you are looking at investing in a beachfront foreclosure without shelling out big bucks, this may be the best time to buy.
Not only are there some good deals still available, South Carolina beachfront homes are more affordable than homes on the Florida coastline or New Jersey shore. As a bonus, you also get to enjoy a lower cost of living, milder summers than Florida, and more moderate winters than New Jersey.
While it still lags behind the rest of the country in the foreclosure turnaround, South Carolina’s housing market is beginning to show signs of life. Home sales increased over 14.5 percent in September, and the number of homes available decreased over the same time last year. This situation typically heralds an increase in home prices, so if your aim is to purchase a bargain-priced foreclosure on the beach in South Carolina, you’ll need to move quickly.
Brian Piercy, sales manager for Oceanfront Guru Real Estate Sales & Development, agrees. “We have seen the volume of condo listings decrease slowly, and there’s a flip in the market,” Piercy said. “There’s also a small uptick in prices in some of the buildings.”
Last year, in fact, some beachfront condo buildings had a 50 percent turnover in ownership, Piercy claims. “A lot of Canadian investors, emboldened by a strong Canadian dollar, were investing in the market for a summer getaway,” he adds.
Tips for Buying Beachfront Foreclosures in South Carolina
Hire a specialized real estate agent: A lot of people don’t understand the management of oceanfront properties, Piercy said. Hire a local agent who specializes in oceanfront units, who understands the workings of the foreclosure process, and who knows about the laws governing the homeowners association or condo association.
Find out about upkeep and maintenance requirements. If you are investing in the property for income, consider hiring an agent who works for a company that is involved in rental management.
Focus on the property: While the interior of your condo is important, what’s more crucial is the location. You can always change the decor of your new home, but you can’t change its location. With a foreclosed property you don’t have much choice in terms of knowing about the interiors of a unit, so carefully scrutinize the property from the outside. Do you like the view? Is it at the distance you want from the beach? How close are you from the nearest shopping complex?
Talk to neighbors: Find out what it’s like to live in the community. Do your homework on the neighborhood, the homeowners association and the amenities offered.
Hire a local lender: The majority of foreclosed beachfront units sell for cash. If you don’t have the money, start the loan process early. Try getting a loan from a local lender who understands the ramifications of the loan process.
Educate yourself on insurance: Most insurance companies don’t offer everything. Once you know what kind of insurance you require, find a company that can offer you the whole package. For instance, if you need a wind policy, a flood policy and a general hazard policy, you would rather have them all from the same company.
Make sure that foreclosure deed is recorded: Work with your real estate agent to ensure that the foreclosure deed is recorded with the county so there’s no delay at closing.