Sometimes, this business hurts...

Real Estate Agent with Ozarks' Independent Realty

      I was at the courthouse steps Monday morning, watching as one of the first homes I ever sold was foreclosed. This was the only one we have sold that has "gone bad," and I didn't really like it. But I guess I had better toughen-up, because I have a feeling a lot more will be coming.

      The family who bought this home had lost another home to foreclosure years ago. They spent some time working on credit and were approved fora decent loan and were referrred to me. The first house I showed them, they fell in-love with, and made an offer. It was a HUD-owned home, so it took a little back-and-forth, but they bought it at a very good price, and for about $20,000 less than they were approved by their lender. It was a good deal for them and their 5 kids. 9 months to the day after closing, baby 6 arrived.

       About a year later, I get a call, asking me to sell their home, because they were going to lose it. They had refinanced to add-on so each child could have their own room, and made some improvements, and were now falling behind. I was at the foreclosure sale that time, which appeared to go through, but they had filed bankruptcy the day before to get it stopped. Apparently they refinanced twice more in the past two years, to the point of being at nearly 12% interest and owing more than the property is worth. Now, they have lost another home, and I feel terrible about it. This will be the third time this house has been foreclosed on, as well...

      I don't feel guilty. I helped them get a good property at a price that they could manage, and should have been able to raise their children in. But they made some really poor decisions and just semed to keep digging the hole deeper, until there was no way to climb out. Don't get me wrong- I would love to be able to afford a home with a separate room for each kid, and we do plan on adding on, but it won't happen if it will put us in danger of losing our home. I guess I just don't see how someone can lose one home, struggle to be able to buy another, then turn around and make the same mistakes again and again until they lose  the new home, too.

     Yeah, this hurts. What hurts the most is knowing that their children will, once again, have to pack their things and move into another home. I am willing to bet the next one won't have 7 bedrooms....


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Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes
This is a story we hear far too much of. Wow thats a lot of kids.
Jan 02, 2008 06:10 AM #1
Krista L. Walker
Coldwell Banker Pro West - Medford, OR
Oregon- Homes & Real Estate for Sale
Yes, it is a sad story, but you are right it was not your fault.
Jan 02, 2008 06:16 AM #2
George Panoff, Your Buyer of Distressed Properties in MD
DBA GR Enterprise - Baltimore, MD
Since homeowners obviously do not financially educate themselves and treat their equity as a credit card, I wonder who should be educating them to prevent his kind of situations?....
Jan 02, 2008 06:56 AM #3
Cait ODonnell Donohue
Red Key Realty Leaders - Frontenac, MO
Wow, that is terrible! But you are right I find it hard to understand how they could have gone through the pain of losing one home and not learned their lesson.  I shared a bedroom with my 3 sisters and grew up just fine.
Jan 02, 2008 08:41 AM #4
Stacy Magid
Century 21 New Millennium - Woodbridge, VA

Some people are so irresponsible when it comes to owning a home.  So very sad for the children but obviously these parents haven't learned how to manage their money.

Jan 02, 2008 11:06 AM #5
Jeffrey Dolfinger
24/7 Realty Inc. - Poughkeepsie, NY
NRBA Member
I feel for them but its life, when they call next time refer them to a reputable financial planner who will advise them not so do anything without consultation.  these are adult children.
Jan 02, 2008 01:10 PM #6
Josette Skilling
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Bethesda, MD
It's a sad story but I have a hard time feeling sorry for the adults that make these decisions.  The kids are heartbreaking on the other hand....
Jan 02, 2008 02:10 PM #7
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team
WOW! That is really difficult to watch...I know. You have the peace of knowing that you helped them. They just made bad decisions. I pray that they will one day have another chance to get it right. Blessings!! 
Jan 02, 2008 04:20 PM #8
DDR Realty
DDR Realty - Newburgh, NY
Orange County NY
In the process of transacting business, we do develop good relationships with some clients, and it is only natural for a situation like this to sadden you. Unfortunately, I think you are right about there will be more to come.  My office has experienced and increase in requests for BPOs over the last quarter.
Jan 03, 2008 12:24 AM #9
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic
This scenario will be happening over and over again. You can't take responsibility for THEIR actions.
Jan 03, 2008 01:23 AM #10
Philip Maltaghati
United Public Adjusters & Appraisers, Inc. - Ozone Park, NY
United Public Adjusters & Appraisers, Inc. - NY

Great post. Some people just live for today and not tomorrow. They don't know worry about the future or retirement. There isn't enough education about these debt issues, especially with credit cards given to young kids in school. If you can't pay your credit card bill at the end of the month than DON'T BUY IT! If you purchase a home with a mortgage of $4000 a month and only have $2500 after utilities and food, DON'T BUY IT! People need to think before they make financial decisions, especially decisions that will affect you for your entire life. LET'S NOT BLAME OTHERS FOR OUR OWN MISTAKES AND PLEASE THINK RESPONSIBLE.

Happy New Year and look forward to servicing your appraisal needs,

Philip Maltaghati

NYS Certified Residential Appraiser

Jan 03, 2008 06:01 AM #11
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

OUCH...foreclosure is heartbreaking....BUT.. the wrong desicions lead to it....

Adding on because the kids wanted their own rooms?
Make sure you can PAY for the improvements...

Some lessons are HARD learned...


Jan 04, 2008 12:32 PM #12
Amber Bourland
Ozarks' Independent Realty - West Plains, MO

Thanks, everyone, for you responses. I think what really disturbs me the most is that some people just don't seem to learn. Period.  These are good, loving people who try their best to raise their kids right. They are active with the schools and their kids are really good kids. They have had some hard times (husband injured at work and disabled, years to get his disability approved and started, a son died in an accident, etc). I know how hard thing have been on them. But to keep digging that hole deeper is what I don't understand, yet it seems like the same thing is happening to many, many people.

I really do understand the bind. we almost lost our first home after my husband was in an accident and out of work for nearly a year. I was making $6.00 an hour at the time, and there was no way we could pay for the house and the car, food, gas, etc. We were fortunate and were able to borrow the money we needed from a relative and got caught up. But I will never forget what it felt like to have to decide every month whether to pay the mortgage or the car payment, whether to pay my husband's physical therapist or the electric bill. In the end, it worked out and I like to think I have learned my lesson about financial decisions. But in this economy, many of us are just one paycheck away from financial disaster, one month away from ruin...

A lot of times it is poor decision-making, but in many other cases, it all falls back on events beyond our control.

Jan 06, 2008 01:33 AM #13
Brian Rodgers
Brian Rodgers Companies, Realty Executives - Hutchinson, KS
Great post Amber.  You did everything you could, I have been through similar situations myself throughout the years.
Jan 06, 2008 01:44 AM #14
Pat Laracy Baker
Realty Executives Boston West - Holliston, MA
Pat Baker Dream Home Maker
I am afraid this is going to be far too common.  It is sad what is going on.  I am going to be as ready as I can.  Best to you in 2008.
Jan 06, 2008 01:52 AM #15
John Kim
Property Services & Short Sale TC - Irvine, CA

Hey Amber,

Like everyone else has said this is just the start of many and a lesson for anyone involved.

Jan 19, 2008 10:18 AM #16
Rick Kellow
Cherry Creek Mortgage - West Bend, WI
FHA & Reverse Mortgage Expert
Wow you are right... somethings in this industry are never easy... it is really hard when someone cares as much as you do... you are a blessing to you business... thank you
Jan 19, 2008 11:48 AM #17
Amber Bourland
Ozarks' Independent Realty - West Plains, MO

Well, The bank assigned this REO to me. So I helped them get into the house 4 years ago, and I was the one who had to show up to offer the CFK to help them get out. I think it was actually harder on me than on them. they said they had been wondering when someone was going to come out. they expected the Shriff and a moving crew. So, all things considered, I think the CFK will be accepted and appreciated. But it was the look on the kids' faces when we were discussing them having to move that I will always remember with sorrow....

I hope the children learn from their parents' mistakes and grow up to make more responsible decisions.

Jan 20, 2008 03:24 PM #18
Terry Rasner-Yacenda
Broker,Owner - Dreams Realty - Reno, NV
"Dreams Realty"
Hi Amber -- wow, I'm facing potentially the same thing with one of my former Christian clients.  We found them a home (they have five children).  All went pretty well for a couple years, but the horizon is looking gloomy for them.  Ironically, I may be the CFK courier and end up with their house as an REO.  Right now, REOs are the bulk of my listings.  It's always tough, isn't it?  Frankly, we cannot be responsible for managing their finances, even when our instinct tells us they need it.  God bless you!
Jan 21, 2008 03:42 AM #19
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