Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Real Estate Agent with Sereno Group Real Estate

Have you ever been in a relationship that you knew had no real future and yet it was so hard to break it off?   You start out by having occasional doubts. Little by little those doubts become all consuming thoughts. You have trouble concentrating at work and may even lose some sleep thinking about.   You know this absolutely will not work out long term, and yet can't imagine giving it up.   Finally, you make the decision to break it off and tell the other person the truth.  What once seemed impossible, now feels like a huge sigh of relief. It won't be easy, but your mind already starts wandering about what your new future holds.  This is what many troubled homeowners feel when they finally make the decision to do a short sale; a huge weight has been lifted off their back.  Although there are challenges and uncertainty that lie ahead, the homeowner can now stop stressing about what has passed and start making plans for a brighter future.

I have witnessed it several times when helping sellers with a short sale on their home.    They usually start out overwhelmed.   We start by putting all the cards on the table and looking at the reality of their particular situation.  We then lay out all of the different options they can take.  For many, attempting a short sale ends up being the best option they have.  Then at some point, something clicks.  You can hear it in their voice and see it their face.  They have made the decision to move forward with the short sale.  Immediately, the conversation turns from the "would haves" and "could haves" to planning for what will happen next.  Doom and gloom seem to be replaced by hope with even a little bit of excitement.  There is the obvious relief from taking a big step toward getting the proverbial "monkey off their back".   There are also a variety of other qualify of life improvements to follow. 

One example is a single mom who was paying over $3000 a month to pay for the mortgage on her 2 bedroom condo in Capitola.   When her regular teacher pay was not enough, she worked the after school program as well as summer school.  This left her all too little time to spend with her son and do many of the things they enjoy to do together.  She loves to travel, and that was out of the question.  She scratched and clawed to stay current on her mortgage and even applied for a loan modification (which was denied).  Finally, when she started using her credit card to pay property taxes she knew that something had to change. This was not sustainable. We went over all of her options and then one day it all clicked.  She made the decision to do a short sale and never looked back.  She starting saving for a deposit on a rental and even planned a well deserved vacation.  When it was all said and done, she moved from her two bedroom condo to a two bedroom apartment.  My guess is that her housing cost dropped about $2000 per month. She is still in the same neighborhood, and even a little closer to the beach. Her son was able to stay in the same school and best of all they now have the time and resources to do a lot more fun stuff together.  I would say her quality of life has improved.  Yes, she did lose the down payment she had put on her condo. Yes, she will probably have a couple of missed payments in her credit report.  In my opinion, these loses were greatly outweighed by the quality of life gained.




Posted by




Mike Bloch, DRE # 01382661


Sereno Group Real Estate


Direct: 831-515-1130


E-Fax: 831-607-5045



Comments (4)

Dan Tabit
Keller Williams Bellevue - Sammamish, WA

Michael, I've seen folks in similar situations forced to make tough choices.  I'm glad your client reviewed her priorities and made a decision in accordance with them, putting her child and quality of life ahead of a house. 

Dec 12, 2009 09:48 AM
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale


I'm glad you were able to lay out a course of action that the client recognized was in her best interests. Sometimes people will not begin to take action until it's too late.

Dec 12, 2009 09:57 AM
Michael Bloch
Sereno Group Real Estate - Santa Cruz, CA

Thanks for your comments Wayn and Dan..

Dan: Although her commitment to make the mortgage was important to her, ultimately her son and quality of life carried more weight in her priorities.  Instead of working summer school she and her son took a nice trip together.

Wayne: You are so right about the timing.  Bt taking action early, she missed only a couple of payments and I believe she is up to date on everything else, so really she should recover quicker on her credit.  The stats show that most homeowners dont ask for help at all!

Dec 13, 2009 07:42 AM
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

People are afraid of the stigmatism of a short sale/foreclosure. They think they can make it but in reality they're siking fast. They don't want to be labeled as a quitter.

Dec 16, 2009 06:15 AM