I just read a great article by nationally recognized financial guru Dave Ramsey. In the article, appropriately titled, “Don’t Foreclose on Your Future,” Dave gives three sound reasons why walking away from your mortgage just isn’t a good idea. The three reasons are:

Reality #1 – Your home is an investment, and any investment—even real estate—will go up and down in value. Walking away from your mortgage now is the equivalent of selling your stock portfolio at the bottom of the market. You guarantee yourself a loss if you don’t stick with your investment until values come back up.

Reality #2 – Home values will recover. If our homeowner sticks it out and stays in his home, he’ll be back to even in five years, based on a conservative 5% rate of appreciation. In less than 20 years, his home will have doubled in value. That is wisdom!

Reality #3 – The bank is not letting you off that easily. Lenders are covered up with foreclosures, so while homeowners who walk may not hear from the bank right away, they are by no means off the hook. Some banks will pull credit reports to see who is current on their other payments to determine if a default is “strategic.” Banks will go to court to garnish wages or hijack tax refunds—whatever it takes to get what they’re owed.

You can view the whole article on Dave’s website. Dave Ramsey is a bestselling author and radio host. I have been a huge fan of his Financial Peace University program, and strongly recommend it to everyone.

There are alternatives to foreclosure. A loan modification or short sale could be possible options for you. Your local real estate professional can help you with these options. Don’t be afraid to contact your lender, either. By staying in touch with your lender, you’ll find many more options available to you.

Don’t just walk away, though. As Dave points out in Reality #3, banks can, and eventually will come after the money they lost.

Don't walk away and let your home go into foreclosure

Bank OwnedFirst time home buyer activity is on the rise in Oceana County. A significant reason for this is the number of bank owned properties currently for sale in the Hart, Shelby, New Era, and Pentwater areas. Bank owned properties, often referred to as foreclosures, are often sold well below market value, and create unique opportunities for first time home buyers.

I recently had the pleasure of writing an accepted offer for a young engaged couple from Hart, MI. They are getting married this summer, and wanted to start looking for a home now. They have decent credit, but relatively low income, and the majority of what they could afford consisted of manufactured housing, which they hoped to avoid if at all possible.

I sent them to one of my preferred lenders, and had them prequalified. Prequalification is vital when attempting to purchase a bank owned home. Once the lender had them preapproved and through underwriting, and we had established a monthly payment that was affordable and comfortable for them, I began my search in earnest.

I was looking for a home that would meet their needs, and their budget of about $60,000. I ran searches daily, as I knew that when the right one came up, it wouldn’t last wrong. I searched for about three weeks, in which time we looked at a handful of bank owned properties. The majority of these properties were going to require too much work to make them livable, so I continued to search.

Last week, I found a listing that was just unbelievable. It was a bank owned property in New Era, listed for $60,000. I was familiar with the home, and the location was perfect for what my buyers were looking for. I made a phone call, and told my clients that we needed to act fast, and see the home that night.

My buyers rearranged their schedules, and we went to see the home. The curb appeal was great. The home was less than ten years old, and was in great shape. The yard was just over an acre, and even had privacy fence built along the neighbor’s property line. This was a three bedroom home with a two car attached garage, and 1300 square feet of clean, well kept living space.

Coldwell Banker Sold SignMy buyers were instantly excited, and quite frankly, so was I. This was exactly what we had been praying to find, and we immediately submitted a full price offer. Since I already had them preapproved and through underwriting, our offer was solid and attractive. As it turned out, there was another offer made the same day, so we submitted an addendum offering to bump our price by $1100.

Earlier this week, I found out that that little bump sealed the deal. Our offer was accepted, and this previously bank owned home will soon be owned by two wonderful people. When they return from their honeymoon, they’ll be coming home to a home that they own. They also qualify for $6110 in federal tax credit from the 2009 Federal First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Program. I couldn’t be happier for them.

Technorati Profile

twitter

FaceBook