Vail Valley real estate misinformation on the Web |

Vail Valley real estate misinformation on the Web

As we all know, there isn’t much that one can’t find out on the Internet. The problem is discerning what is and what isn’t true. Some elaborate hoaxes have been pulled on the public, and misinformation has been passed off as the gospel truth.

Members of the Vail Board of Realtors recently received an e-mail about an Internet link to a story about foreclosure activity in Eagle County. The Web site purports to tell the truth about all things in Eagle County and is run by some anonymous editorialist who rallies against the mainstream media and purports to be a haven for the suffering conservatives in this day of runaway liberalism.

For some reason, the lead story this week was about the alleged foreclosure crisis in Eagle County. It proclaimed that there were 567 foreclosures in Eagle County, including 42 in the past week. But it also noted there were 28 in the past month.

Now, 28 foreclosures in a month does not equal 42 in a week. No further explanation of that mathematical finding was offered. The Web site provided a link to the Eagle County Trustee Web site and said to click the “show all” to get the “official count.”

What this site neglected to point out was that clicking the “show all” search button on the public trustee Web site brought up all the foreclosures since 2005 (which did total 567), which the authors of the site deemed “the current list”. Never mind that 81 percent of the foreclosures on the list are old news that have been settled, in most cases, for years.

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The official count per the public trustee office is that there are 108 active foreclosures. These include timeshares, which traditionally have accounted for between 40 and 60 percent of all foreclosures. This would indicate that there are about 60-70 whole ownership properties currently in foreclosure.

By some counts there about 28,000 whole ownership properties in the county. Thus, about one in every 400 properties (one-quarter of 1 percent) of the whole ownership properties is involved in a foreclosure at the moment.

This number is up from past years, but given the overall economy, it really is quite low in comparison to most of the country, and should be having little real impact on prices and values. Many hard-hit areas of the nation are seeing a rate of 10 times that. To blame the state of the market on the foreclosure problem locally simply does not hold water.

Why the creators of this site chose to sensationalize and distort the numbers the way they did is a mystery known only to them and rather sad, actually. Surely there is more than enough true bad news to fill their Web site with. In this day and age, who needs to make up more bad news? The local real estate market is certainly somewhat stressed. But to sensationalize negative and inaccurate information is highly irresponsible.

So if you have dreams of stealing a place in the Vail Valley through finding a property in foreclosure, you might think twice. There aren’t that many of them out there and the majority of them are redeemed, cured or sold privately prior to the sale.

Also, buying a foreclosure at a public trustee auction is challenging. One must pay cash, and one does not have the opportunity to inspect the interior of the property prior to purchasing it. Many times the sale is cured, redeemed or postponed the day before the auction, which means suiting up for every game but seldom getting to play.

The Internet is a fabulous source of information, but let’s remember not to believe everything out there.

Chris Neuswanger is a loan originator at Macro Financial Group in Avon and welcomes mortgage-related inquiries from readers. He can be reached at 970-748-0342.

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