Allstate sat down with mortgage and real estate insider Jillian Batchelor to get her take on the current and future trends in the real estate market.
There are many families today facing foreclosure in need of helpful advice from experts. Batchelor states, “The most important advice I could give any home owner facing foreclosure would be that they have options.” Many may think that foreclosure is the only solution, but in reality Batchelor has found that many homeowners often choose to foreclose because they don’t think they have any other choice.
So what are the options? There are several available instead of foreclosure.
One option is a short sale, whereby the bank agrees to sell the home knowing full well they won’t receive the entire balance of the mortgage once sold. Batchelor points out that it’s important to find a highly trained and certified short sale agent and consult a HUD approved mortgage counselor. Often it can mean the difference between receiving a full deficiency waiver on your loan and not – which will result in a foreclosure.
Benefits: avoids embarrassment some may feel with a foreclosure, may cause less damage to credit rating, and you might not be subject to a deficiency judgment after the property has been relinquished.
Alternatively, homeowners can be given the option of a deed in lieu of foreclosure. This is a voluntary foreclosure or repossession of the home. The homeowner is required to move out of the property and the lender takes back the home.
Benefits: may cause less damage to credit rating, and avoids embarrassment some may feel with a foreclosure.
If the home owner can qualify for a loan modification they may be entitled to a payment reduction, interest rate reduction or even principle reduction. It all depends on the lender who holds the loan for the home in question.
Benefits: may get to keep your home and reduce your payments.
Homeowners are facing foreclosure every day, especially around the Las Vegas area. If you find yourself in this situation you should take steps to examine your options. After having received a notice of foreclosure from your lender, don’t be afraid to contact your lender. It’s not too late! Contrary to popular belief, many lenders actually want to help homeowners.
Batchelor suggests reaching out to your lender directly or contacting a certified professional who has experience in this arena of real estate ownership. On the flipside of the foreclosure coin is the opportunity for homeowners who previously couldn’t afford to purchase their dream home to now find their dream homes at a reasonable cost.
Have you found yourself in the position to buy? Batchelor was adamant in sharing that the home you chose should be the right one – one that you can see yourself living in for a long period of time. Gone are the days of short homeownership.
Batchelor has seen the real estate market in Las Vegas heat up and agrees that right now is a great time to buy, but cautions, “You can never perfectly time the market.”
How can prospective buyers get ready to make the first offer? First, Batchelor suggests obtaining a pre-approval letter from your lender. Next, start looking online just to get a feel for what’s out there. There are scams out there, however, so be aware. Any sites looking to sell you lists of homes or exclusive information about foreclosures should probably be avoided.
After your initial research, try picking up the phone or e-mailing a few realtors. Find a full-time experienced realtor who has dealt with not only foreclosed homes but also short sale properties as well. There are many components with the sale or purchase of a foreclosure, and an experienced agent who has gone through listing one of these properties or helped purchased one will know the ins and outs of the laborious process.
Batchelor provided us with four essential things first time homeowners should know about the process of buying a foreclosed home – it’s lengthy, you might have to put in more than one offer, many homes will need some TLC, and if you find a home you like don’t miss out by making a very low ball offer.
Jillian Batchelor is a 10-year real estate veteran currently working in one of the largest foreclosure markets—Las Vegas. To find out more about Jillian, visit LasVegas1RealEstate.com.