Washington Mutual was one of the largest banking institutions lending to the residential real estate market before its collapse. Its precarious financial situation forced the company to be acquired by JP Morgan Chase.
Washington Mutual REO properties are no longer listed separately on wamuproperties.com as they are now listed as a part of the Chase REO listings.
Washington Mutual used to be an active and leading originator of Alt-A and Option ARMs. The sudden collapse in real estate values motivated borrowers to either default on their mortgage payments or walk out on their mortgages. Lenders that hold the first mortgage lien on the property initiate foreclosure proceedings which ultimately results in the property auctioned off. If the property fails to secure any satisfactory bid, the bank ends up owning the property in its REO portfolio.
The best opportunities in real estate for investment growth and profits currently exist in bank REO properties. REO properties are bank repossessed residential homes after a foreclosure auction. These foreclosed properties are often priced well below their market value. Moreover, the complexities and issues associated with buying a home at a foreclosure auction do not apply for bank owned reo homes.
Washington Mutual REO department is no longer active since its merger with Chase. Now all Washington Mutual REO listings can be purchased through the Chase REO department. A savvy and diligent investor will be able to locate great residential property deals among these listings.
Bank’s REO departments are eager to dispose off the properties that they repossessed due to the costs related to ongoing maintenance expenses. The REO bank must also pay local property taxes as long as the property is under their possession.
California, Florida, Arizona, Illinois, Nevada are some of the states in which the bank was heavily concentrated. After the crisis, these states make up the majority of Washington REO listings. All the REO homes that are now offered for sale can be found on the new Chase bank website and not on the old Washington Mutual REO site.