6 Tips for Buying a Home in a Short Sale

buysell-short-sale-purchase-getty_89103d95d88280df06d1d540360f6926_3x2_jpg_300x200_q85When sellers need to sell their home for less than they owe on their mortgage, they’re shooting for a short sale. Short sale homes can sometimes be bargains, but only if you do your homework, stay patient, and remain unemotional during the sometimes lengthy and difficult short sale process. Continue reading

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Strategic Default: Feds Pursue Deficiency Judgments

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to track down debtors even after foreclosure.  Strategic defaulters may not be happy to hear this.  Strategic defaulters are folks who allow their homes to go into foreclosure even though they are able to make their mortgage payments.

There are many states, including our very own Florida, where banks are legally able to pursue deficiency judgments after foreclosure.  A deficiency judgment can be issued if a foreclosure auction does not bring in enough money to pay the mortgage plus incurred legal fees and penalties.  But banks have not been very aggressive about doing so.  Some folks counted on this to stop paying their mortgages and live “free” in the property until the sale date, when title would transfer to the bank and the homeowner would be forced to leave.  They figured that was the end of that, and they could then start elsewhere on a clean slate, so to speak.

In a sense, they were right, because the banks were not availing themselves of their right to pursue a deficiency judgment.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are both stating they intend to be more vigilant about pursuing deficiency judgments in the future.  Read more about it here.

You have options other than “just letting it go.”  Contact us for a free consultation today.

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Feds Working to Curtail Short Sale Fraud

Home buyers tired of making offers on “bogus” short sales will be happy to hear that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac regulators are putting requirements in place aimed at helping reduce short sale fraud.

Starting August 1st, Fannie Mae short sales will need to be listed as “Active” in the MLS for a minimum of 5 days before the status can be changed to “Pending.” Freddie Mac also announced similar guidelines.

How does this prevent short sale fraud, you ask? By itself it doesn’t. But it makes it a little harder for those unethical agents participating in short sale fraud, to continue doing so. You see, many times a short sale listing is entered into the Multiple Listing Service, and before I can even coordinate a showing of the property to my buyer, the listing status is changed to “Pending.” Obviously because the listing agent also had the buyer for the property.

Representing both seller and buyer in a transaction is not illegal in Florida. So that is not what constitutes short sale fraud. The fraud happens because the property isn’t really available to all possible buyers on the market. The property is only in the MLS because it is a requirement of the lender holding the mortgage. So the banks are being lied to by both the sellers and the agents. The banks think that a large pool of buyers will get them the best possible offer on the property. And it would, if it were available to be seen by all the buyers wanting to get in there. But the listing agent changes the status of the listing to Pending and buyers stop making requests to see the property. In reality, maybe not even one buyer ever sees the home because the seller already had a “straw buyer” in mind to “buy” his property. His intent all along was to keep the property, under someone else’s name, at a lower price than he paid or owes to the bank presently.

This is a pet peeve of mine. I contact countless agents trying to show homes to my buyers. A good portion of the time, on short sales, the agents NEVER get back to me. Red flag. Danger, danger, Will Robinson, short sale fraud alert!

I am delighted to hear of these new requirements. It is unfortunate that they are needed, but they may help to stop this embarrassing wave of short sale fraud being committed in today’s real estate market.

Read about the new short sale regulations by clicking on the link.

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Bank of America Accused of Lying to Homeowners

If you’ve been trying to modify a loan with Bank of America and couldn’t get anywhere, perhaps this explains why. Former Bank of America employees allege that they were forced to lie to homeowners repeatedly. Shame on you Bank of America if this turns out to be true.


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Miami Short Sales Now in Reach of Homeowners with Perfect Payment History

As of November 1st of this year, new guidelines from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will allow Miami homeowners experiencing financial hardship to qualify for short sales even if they have never missed a mortgage payment. Previously an unblemished payment history would have disqualified homeowners from the possibility of obtaining a short sale. The need to prove substantial hardship is still required but this change will allow many Miami homeowners to qualify for a short sale that would not have been possible before the new rules took effect.

In addition to this much needed change officials of the FHFA (Federal Housing Finance Agency) report that they are currently “in discussions with the credit industry” to find ways to preserve the credit rating of those homeowners whom undergo a short sale but also have never missed a mortgage payment in the past.


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5 Easy Steps to Buying a Miami Short Sale Home

If you are serious about finding a good deal on a new Miami home than you already know that short sales are a great option. Whether you are seeking a primary residence or investment property short sales often sell for less than comparable homes in the same area. Here are a few suggestions when buying a short sale home that will make the process a little easier and help you to avoid some of the more common mistakes. Continue reading

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14-Year-Old Girl Buys Short Sale Home!

Willow Tufano is a very industrious little lady. First she raised $6,000 of her own money by antiquing and selling various items on Craigslist, but that was just the beginning of her investment strategy. Next she asked her mom for permission to invest in 50% of a Florida short sale home! The home was selling for $12,000 but was valued at $100,000 when the real estate market was peaking.

Sharron Moore, Tufano’s mother is a broker and was herself considering buying the short sale home when her daughter asked if she could purchase half now and the other half later. Mom agreed and now Tufano is saving her half of the rental income on the property as a way to pay for the remaining $6,000 and obtain full ownership of the home. Continue reading

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3 Simple Things to Remember Before Buying a Miami Short Sale Home

This is probably the most important information that you need to be aware of before you buy that great deal.

When you make an offer to purchase a short sale in Miami you will definitely need the help of a qualified real estate professional. The seller will have an agent that will do the negotiating with their bank in order to obtain approval for the amount of the offer. You will need someone that knows what documents are required and more importantly, how to complete them properly. Banks are very precise in these matters and missing, incomplete or incorrect paperwork will definitely be a problem. Continue reading

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Miami Short Sales – The Right Time for a Good Investment

As we all know when the economy is bad many prospective home buyers tend to continue renting until they feel that the economy is improving and are more confident about buying that dream house. At the same time, properties tend to sell for less as a result of the economy and this is when some great values can be found by investors, especially through short sales.

The return on rentals is considerably better than the 1% (or less) interest rate offered by most Miami banks or credit unions and the stock market is unpredictable and always risky. Buying investment properties in Miami provides a much more stable investment opportunity, especially when the property can be purchased at bargain prices, such as a short sale during a down economy. Not only do these properties offer a monthly return but their value is likely to increase when the economy improves and an investor can see a dramatic gain in the worth of their investment. Rental properties may offer significant tax advantages as well.

As with all investments there is always a risk but with proper planning now could be the perfect time to start investing in a Miami short sale as a key to your financial future.


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