Avoiding Foreclosure

Values; if you’re tired of seeing tax values on you personal or investment properties drop year after year… you’re not alone. The good news is you haven’t actually lost any money! Money or value is only truly recognizable at time of the conveyance of the property. If you can and are willing to, keep holding on. Values of real estate historically have had a handful of downturns or loss in value, most recently due to the lending/mortgage meltdown. Historically… things always bounce back and believe it or not, real estate will once again go up in value.

If you can’t continue paying towards your property or are not willing to… the good news is there are still options in today’s market.

1.Retail sale 
Believe it or not, homes are still selling. We continue to see glimpses of market recovery but contrary to popular doom and gloom homeowners through 08, 09, 10, and 2011 have continued to be able to move their properties. The rules of selling a house have not changed; make sure the home is clean, and price the home aggressively to move. The challenge with this solution is when a homeowner has little or no equity and can not cover the difference in the form of a check at the closing table.

2. Rent 
For many, this is not the correct solution. For others, this is a great opportunity to “buy” some time while the market recovers. With rent rates on the rise, the chance of covering you personal debt on properties is more realistic then ever. The individual looking at this option needs to make sure they have the time and patience to be a landlord along with the financial resources to cover any “mishaps or miscommunications” that can occur when working with tenants.

3. Investors 
For most people in a “tight” situation, an investor can feel like a godsend. Investors have certain criteria and price points they need to hit in order to pay cash for a property, but many times these same investors buy at an elevated price or take over payments on a mortgage when the balance is higher than favorable simply because they don’t have to jump through the hoops of getting traditional lending to acquire a property. This many times can serve as a win/win for both the homeowner and investor.

4. Short Sale 
A short sale occurs when the mortgage balance on a property is higher than what a property will retail for. In this situation, after careful analysis, a lender may be willing to “short” the mortgage and take a loss in order to get the home sold. The process of a short sale can be complicated and tedious making it necessary to work with a team that is experienced in such transactions. Your team may consist of a Realtor, investor, loss mitigation negotiator, and title officer. If and when a short sale is completed the homeowners debt many times will be settled in full with no other outstanding debt.

5. Deed in Lieu of foreclosure 
This is an option that many real estate professionals will not fully explain simply because they do not understand the process or they are not willing to because there are never commissions or profits in this type of transaction. This type of transaction occurs when a homeowner signs the deed back to the lender without the lender having to go through the lengthy and expensive process of foreclosure. Many lenders have different criteria that must be met in order to complete a deed in lieu but many times this can be a viable option.

These are simply options or alternatives that must be considered when trying to “unload” a house in a difficult market. None of this is to be considered as professional or legal advice.

Zachary Whitston works for Brick Home Partners LLC which specialize in owner financed transactions. More info at http://brickhomepartners.com .

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