Columbia, Missouri is the largest metropolitan center in Boone County. Here you will find the University of Missouri, a major research institution in the area, and the area’s largest employer. Columbia boasts the fact that it has a consistent low cost of living. Corporations such as Kraft Foods, State Farm Insurance, Boone Hospital Center and others have their offices here. Columbia offers an ethnically diverse culture and population to its residents and it’s a great place to raise a family. There is a high demand for budget real estate in the area from families to students to seniors, all wanting to call Columbia their home.
So just where are the best places to find cheap homes in Columbia? Pretty much everywhere right now. There are opportunities to pick up foreclosure and pre-foreclosures in most neighborhoods and price ranges. The average price per square foot for a home in Columbia is around $64.00, which was a decrease of 1.5% over November of last year. The median sales price for period September 10 through November 10 was $109,900 and decreased 12.9% over the same time last year. 56 homes are in some state of foreclosure right now, with an average list price of $202,273 as of the week ending December 15, which was a 0.1% decrease compared to the week before. There are lots of opportunities to invest in budget priced real estate in the Columbia and surrounding areas right now. The most popular Columbia zip codes include 65203, 65201, 65010, 65255.
Foreclosure and Short Sale Opportunities
The best opportunities for buying budget homes are with foreclosure and pre-foreclosure short sale properties. The properties are sold as is and way below market value. With a short sale, you have to wait longer for bank approval, and there is no guarantee that the seller’s lender will approve your sale, so if you have time to wait, short sales are good opportunities. However, if you want to go for the sure thing, you should concentrate on purchasing a bank owned REO, which has already gone through the foreclosure process. The bank is anxious to get rid of their inventory because they are overwhelmed with foreclosures and pre-foreclosures. They don’t want to be in the real estate management business. You will need cash to purchase a short sale because once the lender approves it, they want to close within a couple weeks. For an REO, you can secure financing, but cash gives you an edge. Banks like quick closings.
The good thing about purchasing REO’s and short sales is they offer investors less risk than foreclosure auction property. You can inspect the homes, obtain title insurance and you don’t have to worry about paying off liens. The bank takes care of paying the liens off before closing. With auction properties, if you are the bidder who is awarded the property, you are responsible for paying off the liens and evicting the former owners or their tenants.
Now is a great time to purchase bargain properties in the Columbia and surrounding areas. Interest rates are low, housing is affordance and there is a large supply of inventory available to choose from in most neighborhoods and price ranges.