3 on Your Side: Debt can lead to high-end foreclosures - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

3 on Your Side: Debt can lead to high-end foreclosures

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By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - On Rutherford Drive in Northwest Jackson a 7,000-square-foot,        four-car-garage home sits vacant Thursday.

The home was initially worth more than a million dollars before the owners couldn't pay.  Now the home is in foreclosure.

Realtor Jimmie Sandifer said the unfinished house was initially built as a home to entertain.  He estimated, at the low level, it would be around 35-thousand dollars to finish all the flooring and to add home appliances to the vacant house.

Sandifer said high-end foreclosure homes have become a common theme in Hinds, Rankin, and Madison counties.

"At present, I have about 10 homes." Sandifer said.  "In fact, I just added a foreclosure, much like this one, to my list this (Thursday) morning."

Chris Burford from Consumer Credit Counseling Services in Jackson said this has become a more common trend for their services lately.

Burford recommended that people never exceed their means, have a "spending plan," and not be afraid to ask for help from debt-management services if those means become exceeded.

"Put the numbers on paper.  Do I need it this bad?  What's the cost of this interest?"

Even with these high-end foreclosures spreading in Mississippi, other consumers aren't slowing their spending habits with big ticket items.

For instance, Bass Pro Shop in Pearl said the boating department sold 100 boats in April and have exceeded their sales more in the past few months than in the past few years.

Ken Blair in the sales department said the trend now is people are spending with cash rather than running up the charge.

"Financing is a little tougher now than it was because of the economy, but if people want boats their bringing them out of their pockets," said Blair.

Burford advised that if people have the cash and want to spend it, paying for it out right might be the better option.  This way, he said consumers will be less likely to fall trap to paying for high-interest rates.

He also recommended for spenders to be up-to-date with credit scores, especially if choosing the financing route.

As for homes like 916 Rutherford, Sandifer said it changed the image of what buyers used to think of foreclosures.

"It used to be just basic low to moderate income people, poor folks losing their homes.  But now you know it doesn't discriminate," said Sandifer.

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