Updated 08/17/2010 05:18 PM
North Carolina on pace to set new foreclosure record
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RALEIGH -- North Carolina is on pace to top last year's record for foreclosures. They're popping up in every neighborhood and even some places you would not expect.
1400 Alpine Creek Drive is an 18,000 square foot, six bedroom, 12 bathroom house on 15 acres bordering Falls Lake. It features a wine cellar, a sauna in the master suite, a Caribbean style indoor-outdoor pool, and a movie theater with enough seating for 12. It cost more than $6 million to build in 2000. It's now a foreclosure, priced at about half that.
"If you've got $3.4 millon, you will never have an opportunity to buy a home this large with this amount of detail again," said Fed Adcock, of Realty Executives Triangle, the company that is representing the property.
"It's got detail you wouldn't believe,” said listing agent Peggy Mason. “From the river rock inlays to the massive beams to the beautiful chandeliers. Just something you would not expect to see in any normal home."
It's anything but normal in an anything but normal real estate market.
"Right now, I think our company does about 70 percent bank-owned properties," Adcock said.
Statewide, foreclosures could top 70,000 in 2010. Mecklenburg County leads the state with 6,726 through July. Also near the top are Guilford County with 2,542, Wake County with 3,246 and New Hanover County with 1,126.
"At the beginning of the foreclosure crisis, I was seeing clients who had just really bad adjustable rate loans, balloon payments, a lot of the stuff that we heard about that contributed to the crisis in the first place,” said Rochelle Sparko, an attorney with the North Carolina Justice Center. “Now, we're seeing a lot of people come in who are behind because of the economy. Their loans aren't that bad necessarily, but they can't pay them."
As negative as the foreclosure process is, it's also helping to drive the current real estate market. And even though 1400 Alpine Creek has been on the market less than three weeks, the $3.4 million “deal” is already attracting some very interested buyers.
"I've got at least four buyers that are working on offers at the moment," said Mason.
Experts say most banks have backlogs of foreclosures that haven't even hit the market yet.