We all hear commentary everyday concerning the stock market, housing market and job outlook.
Here are some thoughts that you won't hear. Hopefully they make sense so you can make the best decision possible for you and your families future.
- Are you happy where you live?
- Is your job stable?
- Do your children like the school system, do you?
If you really like your neighborhood and school system why not remodel and stay? The consideration is will you overprice the home for the neighborhood? If you are going to overprice the home you must be prepared to stay a long time, since you will not be able to get your money out of your investment. On the other hand if you are one of the lowest priced homes in the neighborhood this could be an easy decision.
If the answer is no, the decision is made for you. You will have to move. So now your consideration is do you move now or wait for the market to change? This is another one of those crossroad decisions. Do you want to be settled before fall? Do you need to have the kids enrolled in another school district? Is the move being forced because of job transfer or worse termination? All these factors enter into your considerations. If you are retiring are you going to stay or move to a warmer climate near grandchildren? Maybe you have lost your spouse and the property is just to much to keep up.
If you are moving for a better school systemcan your children commute for a time while you market your home? Based on current market conditions how aggressively you price your home will impact how long it is on the market. Marketing will also impact the days on market.
If you have lost your job and are selling to save your credit before it is to late....let me congratulate a smart but very gut wrenching decision. Most people wait to long to list or sell when they have lost employment and can not meet bills. Taking action early can save your credit. You can always buy another home with good credit. Once foreclosed you are in higher interest rates and the dance to find a lender is no waltz!
If you are moving to find work again this is a tough spot but necessary for your family. This too will mean selling fast and keeping the family together. Price and marketing will be key issues.
If you are retiring or downsizing this too requires some unique considerations. The first decision is can you afford to move? Your taxes will be at your new purchase price. You may be paying a much lower average monthly costs, this is something to take a keen look at before making any final decision. Most likely you have been in your home awhile and accumulated a mass of personal belongings. Which ones to give up is sometimes a hard decision when they have been passed down through the family or given to you by a loved one. The lifestyle change is also a huge consideration. Are you thinking smaller yard? Are you considering condo? Are you relocating out of state and require movers and packers....what is the time frame? If you do not have a time table you may really not want to leave. When I hear, "oh whenever it happens I'll move", is not a plan. This is a lack of a plan. I have learned that nothing happens when we want it too! So it will happen....at the wrong time. That is "Murphy's Law" alive and well!
If you have lost your job and will not be able to pay the mortgage face the reality earlier than late! Most people ruin their credit because they wait to late to face the gut wrenching realization they are going to lose their home.
You probably didn't cause the loss, you have every good intention but the fact that you can not make the mortgage payment, pay the taxes and keep the lights on, feed your family and run the car, pay car insurance all add up to hurting your credit. Most lenders will work with you if you contact them immediately. There also may be some assistance to help pay some of your bills. This may not be what you want to do but the old saying is "you have to do what you have to do" when you are in a spot. You may never have faced these challenges in your life and think of them as a black mark on your integrity or pride, get over that! You are not alone! 1.2 million American's right now are facing bankruptcy and the number is climbing.
You have to act fast to save your credit, rather than have your home repossessed find out your options from you lender first. Look at refinancing...this is a long shot without a income. Look at paying interest only....this could be a short term option. Find out how long you can go the interest only option, if available, all good things come to an end. Just don't wait until it is to late and call someone like me to help you and expect a miracle. Career Realtors like myself have seen these situations before and can give you positive council to sell your property, but time is necessary to make the sale happen. Remember this is when you are the most vulnerable and you will find all kinds of scams to help you....some will let you live in the house and you can make payments to them and if you sign over the deed they will take care of the bank! Wrong they keep your rent money and make no payments to the bank and you go into foreclosure faster and permanent! The vultures circle when people are in trouble so make sure you are considering your moves carefully and with people you can trust.
I hope this has helped you understand some of the decision processes and given you some options to think about.