Cheapest Homes in Ohio

When it comes to finding the cheapest homes in Ohio, other people's misery can be beneficial to anyone looking to buy a new home. Many homeowners have found themselves upside down on their mortgages - they owe more on their mortgage than the current market value of their house. Additionally, many have also been unfortunate enough to have taken out adjustable rate mortgages, which have now adjusted to much higher interest rates. The resulting monthly payments are sometimes double what they originally were and people simple can not keep up with the huge increase.

What is the Current Real Estate Market Like?

Faced with the prospect of trying to stay current on a mortgage that is a financial nightmare, more and more homeowners are being forced to default on their mortgage. Eventually, banks and other lending institutions are faced with some tough decisions. They can choose to allow a short sale and accept less than the full amount owed on the mortgage (as full payment by the homeowner). If that is not feasible, the bank can choose to initiate foreclosure proceedings.

Banks are not in business to be real estate owners. They lend money, but don't necessarily want to actual take possession of the physical property. When they build up a large inventory of foreclosed homes, they are anxious to get them off their books. Usually, these homes will be sold at a generous discount to normal market prices. If you are in the market for a new home, it can be well worth your while to investigate homes in foreclosure, or, about to go into foreclosure.

Foreclosure Statistics in the Ohio Real Estate Market

According to Realtytrac.com, a well known website that tracks trends in real estate, purchasing a foreclosure in Ohio can save you up to 43% compared to a comparable home not in foreclosure. The average sale price versus the average foreclosure sale price is only higher in the District of Columbia (45%) and Michigan (44%).

According to the latest statistics published for July, 2010 by Realtytrac.com, 1 in every 376 housing units in Ohio was foreclosed on. This is better than some states like Florida, where the figure is 1 in every 171 housing units, or California, which has a rate of 1 in 200 units. On the other hand, there are quite a few states that have much lower foreclosure rates. If you lived in Alaska, you would be part of a state that has been largely unaffected by foreclosures. Only 1 in 1656 housing units were foreclosed on in July of 2010. Alaska may be different than the lower 48, so the statistics may not be representative of the nation as a whole. Many other states have lower foreclosure rates. Texas has done very well in this area with just 1 in 819 housing units undergoing foreclosure proceedings. Hawaii, a state with a lot of high priced homes, still managed a respectable foreclosure rate of 1 in 551 housing units for the month of July, 2010.

A Closer Look at Foreclosures in Some Ohio Cities

Cheapest Homes in OhioFocusing back on a few cities in Ohio, the realtytrac.com statistics tell a story about the real estate market in the heart of America. In Cleveland, for the month of July, 2010, 10,143 homes were in foreclosure, representing a foreclosure rate of 1 in 265. The average sale price for a Cleveland foreclosure was $34,748.

In Sandusky, Ohio, a city built on manufacturing and other blue collar jobs, the foreclosure rate is one of the highest in the state. The 804 homes that were foreclosed on in July, represented a foreclosure rate of 1 in 154 homes. Average salesprice for those homes was listed at $95,584. Finally, as a third example, Springfield Ohio suffered 917 foreclosures and had a foreclosure rate of 1 in 483. Average selling price on foreclosed homes was $29,917.

What Does This Mean for the Potential Home Buyer?

Okay, so what does all this mean for someone looking to buy a cheap (inexpensive) home in the state of Ohio? First, there is a huge supply of homes that need to be sold, even if they have to be sold at distressed price levels. The basic laws of economics apply. The greater the supply, the lower the price. Ohio real estate is definitely a buyer's market. Second, you can have better success looking for a cheap home in certain areas of the state where the foreclosure rates are the highest.

Be prepared to find foreclosed homes in less than perfect condition. Some homes have been so neglected and vandalized, that they are not even worth looking at unless you are willing to undertake a major project. Some people think they'll buy up a bunch of foreclosure properties, fix them up a little and then turn around and sell them for a big profit. This works sometimes, but for the majority of the time, you probably won't even recoup your investment, let alone make a profit. There is a reason these houses are selling so cheap.

Other, usually more recent foreclosures, may be in very good shape as property owners actually took pride in the appearance of their home. These are the types of foreclosures to look for if you want a cheap home in Ohio. You may wind up paying a little more than you might pay for a distressed property, but, in the long run, you'll have far less problems with the house's maintenance and upkeep.

How Do You Go About Looking for a Foreclosure?

Searching for foreclosed homes is very easy. You can engage the services of a real estate agent who will show you foreclosed homes in the area. They probably will also want to show you other homes for sale that are not in foreclosure, but are within your price range. That's fine, but you probably won't be able to negotiate as good a deal on an unencumbered home (or one with a current mortgage) as you will on a foreclosed home listed on the bank's books.

You can choose to do some research and look for foreclosed homes on your own. Foreclosures are a matter of public record and can be found posted down at your local courthouse. You can also find a number of companies online, who, for a fee, will send you a list of all the foreclosures in the area. With a little effort, you can gather foreclosure listings on various sites for free. It may be a little tedious, but you may also find a bargain of a lifetime.

Following is a List of Some Recent Foreclosures in Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio
19317 Longbrook Road ---- 3Bedroom/1Bath ----- 1458 Square Feet ----- $12,360
9009 Rosewood Avenue --- 4Bedroom/1Bath ----- 1742 Square Feet ----- $19,900
12101 Willard Avenue ------ 2Bedroom/1Bath -----1248 Square Feet ----- $30,450
3913 E. 42nd Street -------- 4Bedroom.2Bath ----- 1800 Square Feet ----- $37,900

Columbus, Ohio
481 Oakwood Avenue ----- 4Bedroom/2Bath ----- 2436 Square Feet ----- $22,900
234 Miami Avenue --------- 6Bedroom/2Bath ----- 2666 Square Feet ----- $48,900
5411 Aspen Road ---------- 3Bedroom/1Bath ----- 1166 Square Feet ----- $91,900

Franklin, Ohio
121 Chestnut Street ------- 4Bedroom/1Bath ----- 1767 Square Feet ----- $89,900
3867 Pennyroyal Road ---- 3Bedroom/1Bath ----- 1537 Square Feet ----- $97,850
6918 S. Dixie Highway ---- 5Bedroom/2Bath ----- 3912 Square Feet ----- $99,000

Fremont, Ohio
3635 County Road 182 ---- 4Bedroom/2Bath ----- 2642 Square Feet ----- $69,900
2176 County Road 41 ----- 2Bedroom/2Bath ----- 2760 Square Feet ----- $190,000

Sandusky, Ohio
928 W. Madison Street ---- 4Bedroom/1Bath ----- 1892 Square Feet ----- $14,900
1317 Shelby Street -------- 5Bedroom/2Bath ----- 1660 Square Feet ----- $26,500
617 Reese Street ---------- 3Bedroom/1Bath ----- 1404 Square Feet ----- $35,000

Be Sure Before You Buy

It is very important when shopping for a cheap home to do a careful inspection of the property. Many properties, be they foreclosures, short sales or any other type that is being sold at below market prices, have some serious defects that may or may not be visible to the untrained eye. Hiring a professional inspector is essential. Don't try to save a few hundred dollars by just "looking around" yourself, because, you will have no recourse if you move in and discover the entire plumbing has to be replaced.

There are a number of companies in business to spruce up foreclosures and other distressed property in order to make it more saleable. A house may have been left vacant for a year or more and neglected to the point that it developed major problems. A crew from one of these companies will do a good job of cleaning, mowing the lawn and addressing other cosmetic appearances. However, unless the owner is forthright with you, you may never know if the roof leaks, the electrical system is overburdened and needs to be updated or there is a big problem with insect infestation. It is truely up to you, the potential buyer, to do your due diligence before committing to any sales agreement.

Final Thoughts on the Ohio Real Estate Market

Ohio is a great midwestern state with a population of people that believe in traditional values. They are hard working people who have unfortunately been hit very hard by the collapse in the housing market. A high unemployment number, created by the loss of manufacturing jobs and a generally difficult economy, has caused a shift in housing values. Houses that only a few years ago were valued at $300,000 may now only have a market value of $150,000. A 50% reduction in market value is not uncommon in many parts of the state. It is truly heartbreaking that so many good citizens have fallen victim to the glorified Ponzi scheme that was the real estate market just a few years back.

Hopefully, the housing market will recover in the next several years. As a buyer of a cheap house in Ohio, you are doing a small part to help stabilize the housing market. The more houses that get out of the hands of banks and into the hands of people who can afford to be homeowners, the sooner the housing market and the economy will recover. Getting a good deal on a house is the dream of every American. The people of Ohio deserve to have that dream come true.