Like many homeowners in JoCo, we have seen real estate prices increase in recent years which bring with it, a slew of “special” real estate, “investment company”, “offers” in our mailboxes. These “offers” often include purchase price amounts which are many tens of thousands of dollars, far below market value. These “legal-looking” documents also encourage homeowners to “sign on the dotted line” and return the stated price offer during a certain, limited-time period. Folks especially targeted are elderly homeowners, and local, native-born, residents who have lived in the area for quite some time, and may have purchased their homes at lower prices than what we currently see in newly-built residential developments. Be aware that most of these real estate “offers” are usually “bait and switch” types of scams, whose purpose is to take advantage of, or entrap, unsuspecting homeowners who may be unfamiliar with current market values, and the fact that these current values are expected to rise. These “investors” may also be taking advantage of homeowners whose jobs have been adversely affected by the pandemic as well, and may be behind in their mortgage payments. Just be aware that real estate market values in JoCo have already increased considerably for existing homes, with an annual expected increase of 12% forecasted for 2021. As real estate prices continue to rise in the area, we will notice many of these kinds of sophisticated, yet dubious “offers”, in our mailboxes in the coming years. Just a reminder to be vigilant for these scams and stay safe.