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Sunday, December 2, 2007

Foreclosure rehabbers hope handiwork sells

December 2 2007

After the unpaid mortgage bills, the creditor warnings and finally the sheriff's sale, it's sometimes left to a handy man to clean up the mess left by the nation's home foreclosure crisis. Most foreclosed homes are bought at auction by the lenders, get fixed by contractors who specialize in the work and return to the real estate market. Rehabbers gamble that the renovations they do — new carpeting, fresh paint, refinished floors, for instance — will enable them to quickly resell or rent a property. A rehabber's stake depends on the market and neighborhood, and that can be as little as $20,000 or $30,000 for a fixer-upper in blue-collar Cleveland, where a rehabbed home might fetch $50,000 or $60,000.

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