It seems that lately the buzz words in the real estate industry are"foreclosure" and "short sale". Everyone thinks that the best deals out there are the foreclosure homes. But are they really? What does foreclosure do to the value of a home and how does it affect it's marketability?

A recent MIT-Harvard study showed that Foreclosure drops a houses value by 27%. They found that when a house is sold after the death of an owner, the price drops 5% to 7% on average. When an owner declares bankruptcy, the value sinks 3%, according to the report.

So how does this affect you if you are buying or selling? If you are buying it could mean a great deal for you. Beware though of deferred maintenance on many of these homes and also the condition of them. Often when the previous owners leave they take quite a bit of the personal and real property with them, including appliances, light fixtures, wood stoves, etc. If you are trying to sell your home in a subdivision with a foreclosure in it the non-distressed homes often take a price hit as well. The study found that the value of a home drops by 1% on average if it is within 250 feet of a foreclosed home.

You can read the entire research paper if you want here: http://econ-www.mit.edu/files/3914