Lake Geneva Foreclosure Update

Lake Geneva Foreclosure Update

The foreclosure scene at Lake Geneva hasn’t changed much over the past several months. No real influx of foreclosure notices, and no real bargains to be had at auction. The foreclosures are also not touching the upper end of our markets, in fact, I believe the most expensive single family foreclosure I’ve seen in the past 6 months was worth around $500k. There was a vacant lot in Geneva West scheduled to be auctioned off this past week, and I was there with check in hand ready for the sale. The lot was worth roughly $100k at the market peak, so let’s say it’s only really liquid right now at $65k. Remember, when markets slow, vacant land is usually the hardest hit in terms of liquidity. The judgement that was forcing the foreclosure was only in the amount of $21k. If I could have bought it for $21k and one penny, I would have, but unfortunately the auction was canceled at the last minute. Such is life.

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<p>There continue to be very few bargains available via the foreclosure sale, and most of the properties tend to be located in the City of Delavan, Elkhorn, Darien, and Genoa City. Not more than two in Williams Bay, a couple in the City of Lake Geneva, and one or two in Linn. Fontana has an Abbey Springs home pending foreclosure auction, and a country home on Brick Church Road. Before you jump on Abbey Springs with an Ah Ha! moment, there are 592 units in Abbey Springs. There is one foreclosure pending.  MSNBC might be able to twist that into a crisis, but it’s not even a blip on the radar.  Other than that, there’s not much happening in the foreclosure realm. Remember, the deals generally present themselves not at auction, but upon the relisting of the property as REO. The banks are impatient and ineffective sellers, and if you can identify an REO property and wait out the bank, chances are you can secure yourself a fantastic bargain. Yes, contrary to public opinion, there are still deals that make sense, even from a sheerly investment viewpoint even in a down market. Real estate is not toxic, but if you’re interested in toxic investments, just keep buying your way out of that Citi stock. </p>
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My own REO investment is moving along swimmingly right now. We’ve completed the demolition stage of the project, and are now working on putting this little pig back together. I’ve been pleased so far that I haven’t found any mold or rot, and continue to be relatively impressed with the construction and mechanicals present in the home. The finishes, ah the finishes, those are a different story. The hardwood floors are going in, as evidenced by this picture, and we have doors and trim arriving next week. The walls in this home are creating a bit of a headache for me, as they have the oh so lovely sanded finish just like your first apartment had in 1981. The solution is paneling.

Master Bathroom

Not grotesque 4×8 sheet paneling, but individual 1×8 tongue and groove pine boards. When we put them up you’ll probably guess I’m going for the Adirondack lodge look, but don’t worry too much, because I’m going to paint them. Some friends of mine can’t follow the logic or visualize the look, but I can. I’m like the anti botox married Midwest Jeff Lewis. Stay tuned for more pictures next week when we should be fully underway in the trimming process. One week into my 6 week timeline I’m pretty much right on schedule, though that’s sure to change. If you’re interested in foreclosure auctions, REO sales, or short sales in the Lake Geneva market, I’m your guy.

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