Washington or as it was referred to in the past "The State of Washington" represents to many the beauty and splendor of the American North West. The majestic Puget Sound and Mount Rainier standing vigil over Tacoma are national treasures to be sure. Yet no corner of the beautiful state of Washington is free from the ravages of an economic global collapse and the mortgage meltdown that preceded it.
From Seattle to Spokane, Tacoma to Vancouver, Bellevue, Kent and Everett all have seen the effects of the homes that have gone to foreclosure and what it can do to a neighborhood. Although Washington has an unemployment figure that is slightly lower than the national average and the economy of Washington is more diverse than most states, the global financial meltdown has affected Washingtonians through the very homes they live in. Signs of the downside of sub-prime mortgages started showing up as a spike in foreclosures in 2006 and had become a full fledged epidemic by 2008 in the normally tranquil state more known for its scenery than its financial problems.
Today, no city or suburb of Washington is free of the affliction of foreclosures. So what do you do if your house is not going to foreclosure? You should be buying foreclosure homes that are on the market (after doing the proper research to be sure that you will make a profit).
Foreclosures are in no short supply in Washington even though the economy of the state appears to one of the most solid in the nation regarding diversification, GDP and other indicators of financial stability. Washington ranks #1 in the export of Apples and simultaneously Microsoft generates over $60 billion in software and related products, and Boeing reports revenues similar to Microsoft. The single dark spot on this landscape of financial well being is the real estate market. With a foreclosure ranking at #24 of the 50 states Washington is not without its troubles in the housing market as 1 home goes to foreclosure for every 874 homes. This is an increase of foreclosures of 13.4% from just a couple of years ago.
When buying a foreclosure it is important to consider the employment situation in the particular area. For example buying a foreclosure in Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Kent or Everett or the suburbs of these cities are more likely to produce a buyer or renter faster than a less populated city or town. Quaint is fine if the investor wants to live there but if not the population required to fill a vacant house can prove daunting.
Washington has hundreds of towns that can offer foreclosure buying opportunities, it is the resale of the foreclosure home that must be taken into consideration as 60% of all Washington residents live in the Seattle metro area while the state has the 25th highest population density in the nation. This indicates that the population is not evenly spread and that veering away from major population hubs could prove to be fatal to an investor.
With the enormous size of Washington, ranking 18th largest state in the nation it is little wonder that the state also has the 10th highest household income of all US states at $58,000. This spells opportunity as well as the potential buying pool is much more capable of qualifying for a mortgage especially under the current restrictions being placed on qualifications as a result and possible over reaction to the mortgage crisis.
Unemployment figures are average, income is high, foreclosures occur less than the national average. All these data points spell great news for today's Real Estate buyers as the numbers of unemployed indicate that jobs are not the primary reason for the number of mortgages in default. These numbers indicate that the foreclosures in Washington are driven by the sub-prime mortgage meltdown and have less to do with the local economy.
So buying a foreclosure in Washington will not leave the owner with a unsalable property but should instead leave the new owner with several different options to make money from a wise investment. Either reselling the home to someone that could not afford their previous mortgage (after it adjusted upwards) or rent the home to create positive cash flow immediately.
Regardless of the end result Washington offers smart Real Estate investors the opportunity of a life time as the number of potential buyers has not diminished and there is an abundance of Real Estate at reduced prices that can be taken advantage of.
As the thirteenth most populated state in the country and an area that ranks 18th in the nation, the population density is 25th overall and this means that there are a high number of potential buyers for any home that could be purchased as a foreclosure and then resold to that same highly dense population.
Population data is very important when it comes to making a purchase of a home, be it a foreclosure or not. You must have someone that wants to either buy it from you or rent it from you in the future. With a Real Estate investor the word future can mean later the same day as with an owner occupant "future" could mean 3 to 5 years. Either way, if you are buying a foreclosure in Washington, anywhere in Washington the population of the area must be taken into consideration. High population means a better chance for a quick and profitable sale. The more rural the home the lesser the chances of getting that quick sale that can mean all the difference, especially in a troubled economy.