Zombie Apocolypse

It is kind of funny that the popularity of zombies has hit the real estate market.

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, based off a study by Reuters, the media has started referring to homes that are vacant, but have yet to be foreclosed on as “zombie” homes. They are deteriorating because they are vacant and nobody is looking after the upkeep.

walkingdead_zombiHomes that have already been foreclosed at least have a maintenance crew that looks after basics..shuts the water off and checks on them periodically. Although I would have to say the maintenance is not very good. But at least it is something.

So what do you do if you have a zombie home in your neighborhood? By all means, keep your children and pets away from it. It will feed on their brains. Other than that, there is not a lot one can do in our area. If you knew the people who owned it, there still is a chance that it could be sold by a short sale. You could have them get in contact with me, and we could sell it and get new owners in there to take care of it.

Otherwise, it might just sit there for a long time. In the article, it says that possibly 50% of the houses in foreclosure in the state of Oregon are “zombies”. And with the current regulations, it could be a long time before the foreclosure process is completed, and that house comes on the market as a REO property. So you and the neighbors might just need to band together and take care of the poor zombie house until new owners can breath life into it again.

And again, if you knew the owners…put them in contact with me. Lets see if we can get a short sale done. Then the zombie would come back to life in only 4-6 months. 🙂


Short Sales in Southern Oregon

Short Sales:The brief definition of a “short sale” is when the owner of a house owes more to the bank(s) than the house can be sold for, and therefor a sale requires the bank to release the lien for less than full value.My House is Worth Less Than I own on it. What can I do?The comforting thing to know if you are a homeowner that owes more on your loan then your house is currently worth is that you are not alone. An estimated 22% of homeowners across the country are underwater. If you can make your payment and want to stay in the house you live in, then it really is something that you might just not think about.But what do you do if you can’t make the payment…or if you need to move for some reason (job change, divorce, etc…?)Well, maybe a short sale is right for you.I have been working with people both buying and selling short sales for a number of years now. And what I can tell you is the process is much easier to get through now than it was 3-4 years ago.

If you, or someone you know could benefit from getting out from under an underwater mortgage…let me know and I will see what I can do to help.


Your contact with me will be kept strictly confidential. The professional consultation is free.

No matter how fun or depressing you may find your real estate situation at this time, it is my goal to not only provide the best advice possible, but to also make you laugh in the process.
Because a key to happiness is to be able to laugh in the bad times as well as the good times. is the home for information on the Ashland Real Estate Market.


Foreclosures Rising

This last week there was an interesting article in the Medford Mail Tribune about a Jacksonville man who won a court case on his foreclosure proceeding, and also a weekend  article in the Oregonian about Foreclosure filings in Oregon being up 236%

Together they make an interesting article, but I wished that it was a more NY Times in depth analysis, rather than just the few facts and slight research that was there. They brought up some questions as a combined article…and I haven’t been able to figure out what the behind the scenes real story is.

So what I want to know is did the banks file the foreclosure notices to try to race what they think might be the backlash of negative rulings by  Oregon Judges, or is this a feeling that there won’t be a many negative effects, and they are just clearing out some backlog of foreclosures that could have been filed in February, March and April?

However it goes…it does look like we still have some time left before the foreclosures clear off the market.
Interestingly, foreclosure (REO) listings in our area at the end of May only accounted for less than 5% of the active listings on the market….however they accounted for almost 44% of all sales in the previous 3 months.

So as the new foreclosures hit the market…there will be some opportunities out there for  home buyers to maybe get into a home that only 4 years ago was out of reach. But one has to be quick if one comes on the market you like, cause they don’t last long.

You can search for properties on my website However, the feature to search REO properties does not work at this time due to some reporting issues with Southern Oregon MLS, but I will be working on fixing that problem to give people better access to doing their own property research.

In the meantime, if you want REO listings sent to you…contact me directly and I will set something up that will alert you when new REO’s hit the market.

Bank sells house to different sellers at same time

Here is a funny story I read online today.

In San Clemente California, a house was sold to two different sellers, at the same time. You can read the whole story here, but I will give a short synapses, with my personal commentary.

Douglas Garhartt and Brandon Lively  bought a 3-bedroom condo on March 11. The seller had been in default on his mortgage and Garhartt and Lively purchased the place as a short sale for $365,000.

But on March 15, OneWest Bank, the bank that was involved in the short sale, sold the same property at auction for $346,896 to a group of real estate investors.

So those appear to be the basic facts. Both buyers are trying to figure out what to do, and who is at fault here. But most likely first buyers who purchased the short sale will get to keep the house, while the investors will be left trying to figure out how to get their money back.

So what happened here? From a Realtor’s perspective, this goes to the heart of what I have been telling clients for a long time. These big banks have different departments that do not effectively communicate with each other.

You have a Loss Mitigation Department that works on trying to modify loans, short sale, etc…to keep the house from being foreclosed on. And then you have the Debt Collection/Foreclosure department that is following their old fashioned method of hounding and harassing the borrower, and foreclosing. Foreclosure is the most expensive option the banks generally have.

One would think that the banks would want to do everything they could to minimize their losses, yet they continue to foreclose, and lose more money. You would think that they could assign one person/department to work with the homeowner, and their representatives (ie…Realtors, Bankruptcy Attorneys, etc) and come up with a solution that worked in the best interest of all parties.

But it is so clearly illustrated by this article what actually happens in these large banks. If the executives at these banks wanted to really make a difference, save their companies money, etc…they would look at this story, talk to the people on the ground, and change the core way they do business.

Since that isn’t going to happen, what can the average person do, and what lessons can be learned.

The big lesson is the risk of buying a house on the courthouse steps. You don’t get title insurance on the courthouse steps, and basically have to pay cash. That is why the short sale buyers will most likely keep the house. They have title insurance. So either they keep the house, or the title company has to pay them back.

The investors on the other hand will most likely need to spend more money to litigate a settlement, either from the bank, or the title company that was involved.

If you are in the Ashland or Medford Oregon area, and want to talk more about this, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Current Foreclosure and Short Sale Stats for Jackson County Oregon

According to the last few months of statistics, the success rate for short sales vs. REOs goes like this:

There are 310 properties currently listed as short sales in Jackson County….in the last 3 months there have been 41 successful closes on short sale properties for a median sales price of $164,900. (An average of 14 properties a month…with an absorption rate of 22 months)

There are 178 properties currently listed as bank owned in Jackson County…in the last 3 months there have been 153 successful closes on bank owned properties for a median sales price of $143,000. (An average of 51 properties a month…with an absorption rate of 3.5 months)

If you would like more information on Ashland Oregon Real Estate, or real estate in Jackson County, Oregon, drop me a line, or visit my website

Latest Foreclosures In Central Point

In the last two days, the latest foreclosures to be listed for sale are in Central Point.

*One located on Ester Way and looks like a good bargain. A little over 25oo square feet on 1.78 acres. The house was built in 2001 and currently appears to be owned by Wells Fargo. The price on this house is $299,900.  This is a rural piece on a well, but also on RVS sewer.

*The other new bank owned property in Central Point is on Bush street. It is under 750 square feet, and looks a little rough. But it is priced just below $100k at $99,900.

I have not been out to see these properties yet because they are so new. If you or someone you know want to take a look at them, I would love to go out and be surprised, or horrified with you. When looking at Foreclosed properties, you never know what you are going to find. Every once in awhile they are in good shape, but more often than not, there is a lot of work that needs to be done.






*Information provided by SOMLS and is deemed to be reliable, but not guaranteed.

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Current Foreclosures in Jackson County

Foreclosure-Notice-300x200A quick search of the Southern Oregon MLS shows that today there are 133 bank owned (REO) forclosed houses currently for sale.

These properties are all kinds…in all price ranges.

On the bottom end is a $55,000 house in Evans Creek on an acre that has fire damage. But more realistically, there is a house in West Medford on Grape street that is listed at $65,000.

Then on the other end of the spectrum, there is a 388 acre Rogue river front property with 3 houses, plus fitness center….etc….that would make an awesome retreat. It is listed for sale at $4,850,000.  Or perhaps a 26 acre horse ranch is Ashland is your idea of a great foreclosure deal, that one listed at $1,200,000.

Here is a breakdown by Area

  • East Medford    32
  • West Medford   17
  • Central Point     16
  • Talent                     1
  • Ashland                  6
  • Jacksonville         1
  • Eagle Point            9
  • Shady Cove         12
  • White City            15
  • Gold Hill               10
  • Other areas          14

Price range for the active forclosed houses are:

  • Under $100k       7
  • $100-140k          31
  • $140-200k          39
  • $200-250k          25
  • $250-350k          17
  • $350-500k           9
  • Over $500k          5

So whether you are looking for a $4 million dollar foreclosure deal, or a $65,000 foreclosure deal, I can help. There are some special requirements when dealing with negotiations with bank owned properties, but I would be happy to assist you with them.

If you would like to be put on a list and have new foreclosure properties (in whatever price range) sent to your email as they become available, contact me and I will set that up for you.

As always, you can conduct your own searches for Ashland Oregon Real Estate at my website

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May Stats Are Here

With every set of statisics I run or receive there is always good news….and there is always some bad news. That is the nature of real estate. What is good for sellers, is not necessarily good for buyers…and vice versa.

That being said…it appears that we are approaching a point in the market where the two may be getting close to meeting…where there is a balance in the market, and neither the seller, nor the buyer has the convincing upper hand. That point is if we hit a point where there is about 6 months of housing supply at the current rate of sales and listings.

We are getting there. It looks right now like there may be about a 8 month supply (down from 14).

  • Sales by volume are up by 30% over this time last year (county wide)
  • Sales by volume in Ashland are up 35%
  • Median prices are down across the region to appoximately 2004 prices
  • Listing volume is down 27% from this time last year
  • Listing volume in Ashland is down 35%
  • REO/Short sales account for 17% of all listings
  • REO/Short sales account for 47.5% of all sales
  • Last month REO/Short sales accounted for 18% of all listings

The whole chart with all areas should be published tomorrow in the Mail Tribune.

By the numbers–short sales and REO’s

In the last 3 months in Jackson County

  • 384 total sold residential properties
  • 125 sold REO properties
  • 35 sold Short Sale properties
  • Median price of REO/short sale properties is 20% lower than non-duress properties

Total 42% of the sold market is REO/Short sale

In the last 3 months in Ashland

  • 39 total sold residential properties
  • 4 sold REO properties
  • 2 sold Short Sale properties

Total 15% of the Ashland real estate sold market is REO/Short sale

In the last 3 months in East Medford

  • 91 total sold residential properties
  • 27 sold REO properties
  • 7 sold Short Sale properties

Total 37% of the East Medford real estate sold market is REO/Short sale

In the last 3 months in West Medford

  • 60 total sold residential properties
  • 19 sold REO properties
  • 4 sold Short Sale properties

Total 38% of the West Medford real estate sold market is REO/Short sale

In the last 3 months in Central Point

  • 65 total sold residential properties
  • 28 sold REO properties
  • 11 sold Short Sale properties

Total 60% of the Central Point real estate sold market is REO/Short sale

In the last 3 months in Eagle Point

  • 34 total sold residential properties
  • 15 sold REO properties
  • 3 sold Short Sale properties

Total 53% of the Eagle Point real estate sold market is REO/Short sale

To search for properties, please visit or

Affect of Short Sales and REO’s on the market

There is no denying that one of the major influences on the current real estate market in Jackson County is the competition between houses being sold under normal circumstances…and those that are being sold under duress.

REO’s (not to be confused with ROUS’s) are the easiest of these properties to gauge value of. Because these properties are already bank owned, when they are listed in the MLS, you know the bank will accept a full price offer…and probably one with 3-5% of the asking price.

However, the market is also being affected by the pricing of houses that are Short Sales. The problem with that is that these houses, even if a full price offer comes in may not be sold for that price…But their pricing has buyers gauging value of all homes based on those prices.

It turns into a bit of a spiral…because if sellers of non-duress properties want to sell and compete..they need to drop their prices…but then the short sale properties in order to be attractive must drop their prices as well.

I will provide a by the numbers report shortly…

P.S. For the definition of ROUS’s…please consult The Princess Bride.