10 States Where Foreclosures Still Reign Supreme

Nationwide foreclosure activity reached its lowest level in a decade but remains high in some areas.

Foreclosure filings in April reached the lowest level since November 2005, according to data from ATTOM Data Solutions.

Mortgages originated in the past seven years have performed relatively well, keeping foreclosure activity down, said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM.

“Meanwhile, we are seeing an elevated share of repeat foreclosures on homeowners who often fell in default several years ago but have not been able to avoid foreclosure despite the housing recovery,” he said.

New Jersey continues to have the highest foreclosure rate in the nation, thanks in part to communities like Atlantic City and Trenton, where many housing units had foreclosure filings.

Newer Mortgages Are Performing Well

A shrinking number of U.S. properties started the foreclosure process in April. The 34,085 foreclosure starts for the month are well below the pre-recession average of 77,000.

A foreclosure can devastate a homeowner’s credit. You can see how your mortgage or foreclosure is affecting your credit by reviewing your free credit report summary on Credit.com.

While foreclosures dropped nationwide, many states continue to struggle. Here are the 10 with the highest foreclosure rates.

10. Massachusetts

April 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 1,329 housing units

Change from March 2017: Up 25.78% (was No. 19)

Change from April 2016: Up 2.95% (was No. 14)

9. Ohio

April 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 1,273 housing units

Change from March 2017: Down 9.16% (was No. 8)

Change from April 2016: Down 23.66% (was No. 8)

8. South Carolina

April 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 1,209 housing units

Change from March 2017: Down 14.29% (was No. 6)

Change from April 2016: Down 20.96% (was No. 7)

7. Florida

April 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 1,202 housing units

Change from March 2017: Up 3.63% (was No. 9)

Change from April 2016: Down 38.90% (was No. 4)

6. Nevada

April 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 1,140 housing units

Change from March 2017: Down 24.80% (was No. 3)

Change from April 2016: Down 33.42% (was No. 5)

5. Illinois

April 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 1,083 housing units

Change from March 2017: Down 20.34% (was No. 5)

Change from April 2016: Down 12.98% (was No. 6)

4. Connecticut

April 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 956 housing units

Change from March 2017: Up 20.91% (was No. 7)

Change from April 2016: Up 29.22% (was No. 11)

3. Maryland

April 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 776 housing units

Change from March 2017: Up 5.68% (was No. 2)

Change from April 2016: Down 29.38% (was No. 1)

2. Delaware

April 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 706 housing units

Change from March 2017: Up 21.53% (was No. 4)

Change from April 2016: Down 10.38% (was No. 3)

1. New Jersey

April 2017 Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 562 housing units

Change from March 2017: Down 11.59% (was No. 1)

Change from April 2016: Up 0.63% (was No. 2)

Image: fstop123 

 

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The 20 Most Profitable Housing Markets This Year

If you own a home in one of these markets, there's a good chance you've had a nice return on your investment.

If you’re looking to buy or sell a home this year, you probably know the housing market is booming in virtually every corner of the country. In fact, homeowners who sold in the first quarter of the year realized an average price gain of $44,000 since purchasing their home, a new ATTOM Data Solutions report shows. That equals an average 24% return on purchase price across the country — the highest average price gain for home sellers in nearly 10 years.

“The first quarter of 2017 was the most profitable time to be a home seller in nearly a decade, and yet homeowners are continuing to stay put in their homes longer before selling,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president with ATTOM Data Solutions. The report showed homeowners are staying in their homes just shy of eight years on average. “This counter-intuitive combination is in part the result of the low inventory of move-up homes available for current homeowners, while also perpetuating the scarcity of starter homes available for first-time homebuyers,” Blomquist added.

Of course, there are still some laggards. Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for example, saw average home prices decline by $15,000 from their previous purchase price. The same is true for Huntsville, Alabama, where average home prices declined by $8,100.

Of the 20 metro areas with the highest percent return on the previous purchase price, 10 were located in California and three were in Colorado. Competition among homebuyers, especially in these areas, is fierce, so it’s particularly important to have your finances locked and loaded before you start your search. Regardless of where you’re looking, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is key. You’ll also want to be sure your credit is in good shape so you’ll get the best mortgage terms available. You can check your credit scores for free on Credit.com.

These are the top 20 metro areas where home sellers are making the most money when selling their homes.

20. Port St. Lucie, Florida

Average return on investment: 39%
Average price gain: $53,000

19. Austin-Round Rock, Texas

Average return on investment: 39%
Average price gain: $81,795

18. San Diego-Carlsbad, California

Average return on investment: 41%
Average price gain: $144,000

17. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California

Average return on investment: 41%
Average price gain: $90,000

16. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts-New Hampshire

Average return on investment: 41%
Average price gain: $111,100

15. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California

Average return on investment: 43%
Average price gain: $160,000

14. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, California

Average return on investment: 43%
Average price gain: $99,000

13. Fort Collins, Colorado

Average return on investment: 43%
Average price gain: $97,500

12. Greeley, Colorado

Average return on investment: 44%
Average price gain: $85,050

11. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii

Average return on investment: 46%
Average price gain: $161,110

10. Salem, Oregon

Average return on investment: 46%
Average price gain: $70,800

9. Vallejo-Fairfield, California

Average return on investment: 47%
Average price gain: $115,000

8. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado

Average return on investment: 50%
Average price gain: $110,000

7. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California

Average return on investment: 50%
Average price gain: $187,000

6. Stockton-Lodi, California

Average return on investment: 51%
Average price gain: $101,000

5. Modesto, California

Average return on investment: 51%
Average price gain: $87,500

4. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Oregon-Washington

Average return on investment: 52%
Average price gain: $110,799

3. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington

Average return on investment: 56%
Average price gain: $139,325

2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California

Average return on investment: 65%
Average price gain: $276,750

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California

Average return on investment: 71%
Average price gain: $356,000

Image: Peopleimages

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Top 25 Cities for the Millennial Homebuyer

Borrowers under age 35 are starting to buy homes again. Here are the top 25 cities where they're doing it.

Image: monkeybusinessimages

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The 32 Riskiest Places to Live in America

Have you thought about how environmentally-safe your neighborhood is? You may want to.

Image: gradyreese

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4 Colors You Should Never Paint Your Home

never-paint-your-home

A fresh coat of paint is a fairly inexpensive way to refresh the look of your home; the average exterior paint job costs about $2,600, while interior paint costs $1,660, according to Home Advisor. But choose the wrong shade and you could wind up regretting it later. Paint your home with a weird color either inside or out and buyers might turn up their noses, even though repainting is a relatively easy fix.

Fears of hurting a home’s selling price are likely one reason why many homeowners play it safe when it comes to paint colors, especially for a house’s exterior (restrictive HOA rules, which affect 20% of Americans, might be another). Favorite exterior color combinations include white and gray, beige and taupe, and slate and black, according to the 2013 National Home Color Survey.

Neutrals also win inside the home. Hot interior paint colors for 2016 include grays and shades of white, along with natural-looking greens. The love for neutral or natural shades extends to buyers. When Zillow Digs analyzed photos of 50,000 recently sold homes, they found those with rooms painted in certain colors tended to command higher selling prices than expected. Homes with creamy yellow or wheat-colored kitchens, light green or khaki bedrooms, dove or light gray living rooms, and mauve or lavender dining rooms sold for $1,100 to $1,300 more than properties decorated with less popular colors.

“A fresh coat of paint is an easy and affordable way to improve a home’s appearance before listing,” Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist, said. “However, to get the biggest bang for your buck, stick with colors that have mass appeal so you attract as many potential buyers to your listing as possible. Warm neutrals like yellow or light gray are stylish and clean, signaling that the home is well cared for, or that previous owners had an eye for design that may translate to other areas within the house.”

Light grays and yellows may have been popular with buyers, but they had a much cooler reaction to other colors. Some of the interior paint colors they disliked might surprise you. Before you grab the paintbrush, check out this list of the four worst colors to paint your home.

1. Off-White or Eggshell

Shades of white might seem like a safe bet when you’re at the home improvement store, but they aren’t guaranteed to be a big hit with buyers. Homes with off-white or eggshell kitchens sold for $82 less than Zillow estimated they would. Instead, people loved kitchens with a coat of wheat yellow paint on the walls, which boosted a home’s selling price by $1,360.

You don’t have to give up gallery-white walls entirely, though. Painting a room white isn’t always a bad choice, especially if the space has great natural light, according to designer Emily Henderson. But if a space is small or dark (like some kitchens), white walls can make a room look “dead” and “flat.”

2. Dark Brown

Dark brown walls didn’t resonate with buyers in Zillow’s study. Bedrooms painted dark brown sold for $236 less than expected, while using the same shade in a bathroom lowered the selling price by $469. The color is so disliked by some people that the Australian government considered using it on cigarette packaging to make smoking less appealing, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. (They went with a brownish olive green instead.)

3. Terracotta

It’s not quite as jarring as traffic cone orange, but even a more muted terracotta shade could depress your home’s selling price. Homes with living rooms painted the same shade as an inexpensive flower pot sold for $793 less than Zillow’s estimated price. Light gray was the preferred color in that room.

The negative reaction to orange walls isn’t too surprising, considering surveys have found it’s one of the least-liked colors in the world. (Blue is the most popular color by far, followed by red and green.)

4. Slate Gray

Gray is trendy color right now, but all grays aren’t created equal. While dove or light gray was a hit in living rooms, helping to boost a home’s selling price by $1,104, dark gray was a dud. Paint your home’s dining room a slate color and you could lose $1,112 when it comes time to sell. Instead, buyers favored shades of mauve, eggplant, and lavender in the dining room.

This article originally appeared on The Cheat Sheet.  

Image: kupicoo

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