Get Back in the Game

The real estate market has not been very welcoming to many home owners who are struggling these days.  With so many bank owned properties being dumped onto the market, the prices of once over valued properties, have plummeted. Many of these “underwater” homeowners become frustrated and wonder how they can continue to pay their mortgage.  They often do not and simply walk away from their homes, succumbing to foreclosure, if the bank will not renegotiate their amount owed on their mortgage.  This is really not a good choice as this will always result in the worst kind of credit problems.

For the past several years, the Sonoma & Marin County real estate markets have been in decline.  To be sure, there have been some months that have showed gains, but overall a decidedly downward direction.  We’ve all heard the reasons; jobs, tightening credit, lack of buyers…However, a looming solution may just be on the horizon!  Some 6 million folks went through a short sale or foreclosure in 2008 & 2009 and have been patiently waiting for the minimum 3 year waiting period to be up.  These former homeowners, specifically those folks who lost their home in 2008 and 2009, who wish to purchase a new home, have to consider different options.  There are some very good financing options available to these recovering homeowners that should be explored, even some 100% financing options.  To be sure, a short sale survivor needs to be informed and take action in advance of re-entering the housing market.

If a home owner has a documented hardship as the cause for their problems and continued making the payments on their home to and through the sale date, they might be able to re-enter the housing market in less than the 3 year wait period.  Another item to consider for those who are less than three years from the date of their short sale real estate transaction, the sooner they get prepared the better.  By consulting with their bank or mortgage lender who can offer some solutions and guidance, those folks who want to get back in the game will have a much better chance of re-entry.  It is critical to have a plan and especially to get their credit reviewed by a lending professional.

If you are a homeowner who went through foreclosure or a short sale, don’t write yourself off!  Very rarely in our country’s history has there been an opportunity in housing as exists right now!   As the various housing indexes reveal, the average cost of a home compared to the average household income has not been this favorably aligned on the new home buyers side since the early 70’s.


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