According to legal notices published in the Marietta Daily Journal today, 393 properties are scheduled to be up for auction in January, an increase of less than 2 percent from the 387 properties that were listed for December.
The amount of foreclosed properties scheduled for January is a 56 percent drop from the 898 homes that were on the action block a year ago in January 2013.
Finishing the year, 6,045 properties have been advertised for auction in 2013. That is down 45 percent from the 11,065 properties that were advertised during 2012.
Year-to-date figures are calculated using the number of listings for foreclosure sales from February to January.
A foreclosure is the legal process by which an owner’s right to a property is terminated, usually because of default.
In Cobb, the foreclosure process begins when a mortgage company issues a notice of default. After a notice of sale is advertised, the property is auctioned off to the highest bidder on the court house steps for cash on the first Tuesday of each month.
“If no one bids on the property then it goes back to the lender to be processed as Real Estate Owned,” according to the website run by BuyHawkeye.com LLC, a Marietta real estate agency that specializes in buyers wanting to purchase homes in the foreclosure process and short sales.
Home purchases rise
Four years ago, Jeremy Ball began working for The Family Mortgage Team of LeaderOne, a firm located off Powers Ferry Road in Marietta that creates a mortgage for a client’s specific needs.
The biggest challenge when it comes to purchasing a foreclosed home that is up for auction is not being able to finance the purchase.
“How many people do you know that have that kind of cash?” Ball said.
The Cobb County foreclosure rate had been increasing for the past several years, with September 2011 being the worst in recent history.
Ball said four years ago the industry was “tightening down” on underwriting guidelines and the mortgage banking business focused mostly on refinancing.
“Here recently there has been a huge swing to purchasing,” Ball said.
The upswing in home purchases will improve the economy, Ball said, because real estate agents, bankers and attorneys “are getting paid.”
Ball added that former renters in Cobb are purchasing homes, where they can build equity and often have lower monthly payments.
“Overall it is good for the community,” Ball said.
Ball said sellers are now able to unload homes that they could not sell for years, unless they were willing to take a loss.
“Houses are flying off the shelf,” Ball said.
When homes are selling it also helps people find jobs because they are able to expand their search to a wider area knowing that if a relocation is needed, they can sell their home.