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Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category

Would you buy a home for $1,000? Housing still hurting and new home sales are nearing 50 year lows, according to the latest HUD report. No place has been hit as hard as Detroit.

I’ve found 39 properties listed for sale from $500 to $1,000. Obviously, these properties need some work, but they might make a terrific buying opportunity for the right investor or a nightmare for the wrong investor http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-search/Detroit_MI/price-500-1000.

Last month, I wrote about a $7 house for sale. Here’s the link if you missed it https://moneyprovidesfreedom.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/house-for-sale-7/.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Would you turn your house into a billboard to be free of mortgage payments for a year? Startup advertising firm Adzookie will pay your mortgage if you let them turn your house into a billboard.

If you own your home, don’t mind bright colors and stares from your neighbors, you might want to check this out. http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/05/technology/adzookie/index.htm

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Homeownership is a big part of the American Dream. However, nearly one in four homeowners is underwater on his mortgage. A record 2.9 million properties got notices of default, auction, or repossession in 2010 and banks seized more than one million homes.

Loan modification programs were meant to save the housing market, but have not been successful primarily because of the bank’s refusal to work with homeowners. I find this perplexing since there are benefits to lenders in a mortgage loan modification. Foreclosures are costly and time-consuming to the lender. A foreclosed property frequently declines further in value due to neglected maintenance and vandalism.

Finally, there may be some evidence that banks are embracing the idea of helping homeowners in trouble. Read more http://www.smartmoney.com/personal-finance/real-estate/new-options-for-underwater-homeowners-1301075928064/ (Article from Smart Money, AnnaMaria Andriotis).

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Facing foreclosure, homeowner’s often assume they have two options: pay up or move out. The truth is multiple options are available:

  • Forbearance: Delays collection activities so homeowners have time to explore their options or obtain gainful employment. Forbearance may include a period of no required payments or be accompanied by an installment plan for catching up on missed or late payments. Forbearance is only practical for those who have recovered from a financial setback.
  • Bankruptcy: Possible for homeowners drowning in unsecured debt like credit card debt.
  • Loan modification: Makes monthly payments more affordable by changing one or more terms of the loan.
  • Reinstatement: Allows homeowners to bring their payments current. This option is only for homeowners who have recovered from a temporary setback like a job loss.
  • Government loan programs: Numerous are available based on your situation. Read more http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/Pages/default.aspx
  • Selling your home: Allows homeowners to get out from under an unaffordable home and cash out any equity.
  • Short sale: Selling your home for less than the unpaid balance without owing the lender anything after the sale.
  • Redemption: Involves buying back the home after foreclosure. To redeem the property, you pay the bank the full amount paid for the property at auction, plus any qualifying expense. This option is not available in all states.
  • Deed in lieu of foreclosure: Giving the property back to the bank and walking away without owing anything on it. You sign property rights over to your lender, vacate by the agreed upon date, and your lender cancels your debt. If you choose this option, hire an attorney to check the paperwork before you sign anything. You want a deal that lets you walk away and prohibits the lender from pursuing a deficiency judgment.
  • Abandoning the home: Use only if you have exhausted all other options and your lender won’t deal with you.
  • Doing nothing: Worst option. Unfortunately, this is the option some people choose. Remember, the sooner you take action, the more options you have.

 Remember, you are not alone. Millions of Americans have lost or are at risk of losing their home to foreclosure. The key is to stay informed. To search other or new programs that come out, try:

  • Visiting the HUD Website, www.hud.gov to find announcements about government sponsored programs.
  • Visiting the Fannie Mae Website, www.fanniemae.com to see if Fannie Mae is offering any new homeowner relief programs.
  • Visiting the Making Homes Affordable Website, www.makinghomeaffordable.gov

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Home prices are hitting new depths in most major U.S. cities. In a majority of metro areas tracked by Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller, prices have fallen to their lowest points since the housing bubble burst.

High unemployment, stricter lending rules and fears that prices will continue to fall are among the reasons why few people are buying homes. A rising number of foreclosures are also weighing down prices. And as more people get stuck in depreciating homes, housing could slow the economy.

Amid all this doom and gloom are some wonderful buying opportunities. If you have the means, now may be a good time to buy provided you want to keep the house for at least 7 to 10 years. Believe it or not, there is a 3 bedroom, 1 bath home for sale in Detroit, Michigan. Asking price is $7. You may be too late on this one as it is listed as sale pending. Check out the article on CBS Money Watch. http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/blog/home-equity/foreclosure-for-sale-7-i-am-not-making-this-up/3961/

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There may finally be some good news about the nation’s housing market. After all, it can’t get any worse, can it? To find out, check out this article from the Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703796504576168822497423738.html?mod=WSJ_PersonalFinance_PF2

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According to RealtyTrac Inc, the number of US homes receiving foreclosure filings will climb 20 percent in 2011, reaching a peak for the housing crisis as unemployment remains high and banks resume seizures after a slowdown.

A record 2.9 million properties got notices of default, auction, or repossession in 2010 and banks seized more than 1 million homes. There are many options available to help you avoid foreclosure and to make your payments more affordable. Your first step is to see if Making Homes Affordable Program is for you. http://www.freddiemac.com/avoidforeclosure/plan.html

If Making Homes Affordable Program is not an option, other alternative solutions include: refinance, forbearance, repayment plan, loan modification, short sale, and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. I will go into more detail for each of these options in a later article.

If none of these solutions work for you and foreclosure seems likely, I’ve included some do’s and don’ts to help make the situation less scary and prevent things from getting even worse.

#1. Call your lender immediately if you missed a payment or will miss one in the near future.

#2. Seek legal or professional representation. He/she will help you protect your financial interests.

#3. Stay in your home for as long as possible. Save up your money to rent when the time comes. The foreclosure process is slow and you may be able to stay in your home rent free for some time.

#4. Know your financial responsibilities. You may be responsible for taxes when the lender sales your home.

#5. Beware of scams. Do your homework and make sure you are dealing with a legitimate person or company.

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