Redfin just added a lot more foreclosures to your online house-hunting. They’re now mapping what’s known as the “shadow inventory” of foreclosures–homes that have been reclaimed by banks but not listed for sale. “The change we made yesterday increased our coverage of these pre-listed foreclosed homes from under 10,000 properties to more than 80,000,” says Redfin on their blog. That’s 1,292 foreclosures in the greater Seattle area, currently.
As Seattle Bubble explains, this shadow inventory was available before, you just had to pay for it on other sites. Redfin is showing you street locations for free, along with any other history available, such as any previous failed auctions. To get the view of the shadow homes, start a search like you would normally, and then click on More Options, at the top of the map. There you can choose to view the foreclosures, and if you add any to your Favorites, you’ll be notified when they officially list for sale.
It’s also a barometric view of local (and hyperlocal) markets–distressed homes drag values on the block down, so it helps inform your offer on a home that’s not in foreclosure either.