What to Do if You are Upside-Down

Real Estate Agent with Equity Realty

When one refers to being ‘upside down’, this essentially means that one has negative equity in a property. No matter where, negative equity is a reality to many. Yes, in the past there were bad judgment practices to be had in the way of purchasing and way too much pressure put on buyers by shady secondary predatory lenders resulting in poor and too quick decisions in purchasing real estate. All over the board statistics show that the housing market was tremendously affected by bad choices, whether it involved those purchasing as an investor, a first time homebuyer, secondary home buyer, or vacation home buyer. Many owe way more than what their properties are worth, and within that group some have the intent to walk away, giving up and allowing their properties to succumb to foreclosure. But there are alternatives to simply ‘walking away.’ It’s unfortunate that so many become helpless because they are not getting the assistance that they need from their lenders in order to save their homes. They cave and feel that becoming a victim not on their part, but because there is no other role they can play any longer, that they have exhausted all assistance in which they feel was a waste of time, and the only option therefore is to lose their home which becomes a harsh reality.

Unfortunately, those who give up did not know how to get more educated or how to empower themselves with the knowledge in what happens if one walks away. Before walking away from a mortgage commitment and just giving up, it is so very important to understand these vital facts and to ask some pretty honest and tough questions: Do you know all of your options that are available to you due to the crash of the Naples real estate market? Have you ever questioned what happens to your credit if you do walk away? Do you know what the tax ramifications are if you do walk? Have you checked into the many housing assistance programs now offered through the United States government? Have you thought of the emotional impact losing your home will put upon your shoulders as well as your family’s? This is not the first time that the real estate market has experienced a downturn in the industry. It’s rather cyclical and worth the time and effort to do a bit of research on the subject before giving up. Becoming a smart and educated homeowner and to know what your options are can save the real estate investment or the home of your dreams in which you have worked so hard for in preserving. With a bit of understanding and education, you can learn of the several options that are available to you that will arm you with the tools to you need to save your home.

Many of those who own real estate on every sector have suffered from the real estate economic crisis, owing more than what their properties are worth (a.k.a. upside down). A large percentage of this group decides to walk away, cut their losses, because quite simply they are over it. But in doing so, they haven’t exhausted all efforts to get the education to save their properties; they truly need to gather the real hard facts before walking away, as there are many viable options out there that are available in which they don’t know of. Finding out what these options are after you walk is way too late. Do you remember who assisted you in finding your perfect home in which you are so desperately trying to save? Your real estate professional of course. The relationship between the buyer or seller to their real estate agent is not just based on a one time transaction; it is based on a lifetime of service that a truly honest and dedicated real estate professional will provide. The best real estate professional will forever represent you and can offer real estate educational assistance and give you the resources and advice in order for you not to walk away from your mortgage obligation. Your real estate professional will be knowledgeable in the newest programs available whether from various financial institutions or through the federal government. If any questions arise in which your real estate professional cannot answer, they will have the sense to refer you to the proper channels either legally or through various business connections to assist you, their client to make the best possible choice in order for you not to lose the one thing that you have worked so hard for, not only for you but for your family as well.

I know if I was in this situation I would want to know all the facts before walking away and living in coulda, shoulda, woulda land.

Posted by

Tim Ryan is a real estate broker in Naples, FL and owner of the website EquityRealty.com. Tim works as an advocate for buyers to find great deals on Naples real estate. Visit Tim's website to view thousands of Naples condos and Naples homes for sale. 

Comments (2)

Virginia Gardner
Roy Wheeler Realty Co. - Charlottesville, VA
Realtor, Charlottesville, Serving Central Virginia

Good stuff, Tim... very important, I hope your prospects will take the time to read theorouhg your very valuable pointers.

Apr 26, 2011 02:16 PM

Observation.  Why not consider the feasibility of filing a class action lawsuit on behalf of every homeowner who has suffered damages because of the underhanded lending practices foisted on the banking industry by the fed going back several years?  Damages are obvious.  he collapse of the real estate market, historic decline on r/e values, triggering of the horrible depression we now find ourselves in with at least 8 million losing their jobs, depending on how you do the math, damages for triggering the worldwide depression all traceable to fed actions requiring banks to loan to deadbeats so they could have "access" to the nice things the average joe sweated years to acquire.  We all know how that turned out.

Apr 28, 2011 06:19 PM