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Home Foreclosures Rise In EP, Many Reluctant To Buy

By ABC-7 Reporter Darren Hunt

EL PASO — Home foreclosures are not only on the rise nationwide as a result of the economic crisis, they’re also up in the Sun City.

Tuesday, there was a crowd of people outside the County Courthouse hoping to get a good deal on foreclosed homes sold at auction.

Although there were about 400 homes for them to choose from, many were hesitant to buy.

“I come every month and the average [of foreclosed homes] was only about 200,” said Adrian Chavez. “Right now, it’s 400. It’s just an indication of how the market is reacting to this foreclosure mess.”

Chavez likes to buy houses, fix them up and sell them. “I’m a house flipper,” he said. Still, he is hesitating at the opportunities. “It’s really hard to sell, and for some reason, we are not seeing good deals right now,” he said.

“I’ve been in the real estate business all my life,” said Ruben Schaeffer, 83, whoalso flips houses. “The market is so unpredictable right now, you really don’t know what you’re buying.”

Schaeffer said last month only five out of about 300 foreclosed homes in El Paso sold at auction. He believes a lack of knowledge on the true value of a home is the cause for the reluctance. “It’s not an easy market to understand when builders are going broke and they have inventory they can’t sell.”

He addedmany are scared to buy, even at auction, because they don’t know what they’re buying due to all the economic turmoil. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen it. There are millions of people losing their homes in the U.S.,” he said, “I lived through the depression, when most people did not own their homes.Back then, thereweren’t the number of home loses there are now.”

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