Five Ways You Can Survive in a BAD Real Estate Market

By
Mortgage and Lending with Gateway Funding

Unless you live under a rock, you have undoubtedly seen and felt the effects of what some experts are calling the worst housing market since The Great Depression.  Homes are sitting on the market for months, values are dropping and the "subprime meltdown" seems to be making it more difficult for anyone to get a mortgage.  People are constantly asking me when it will end or when will things get better.  Friends, family, neighbors and clients alike are becoming victims of a housing boom that has gone bust.

 

Having been involved in real estate for most of my adult life, I would like to share a few things I have learned on how to make the most of the current housing market.

 

  1. Do Nothing.  Sounds silly right?  If you are happy in your home, have enough space and can afford to pay your mortgage and taxes, sit tight!  Although your home has probably lost some of its value, you will be fine in the long term.  Values will recover and your home will appreciate over time.  Remember, the housing market is cyclical.
  2. Get a mortgage checkup.  Similar to seeing your doctor for an annual physical, check with a trusted mortgage advisor.  If you have an Adjustable Rate mortgage, even if the rate is low, now may be a good time to lock in a fixed rate.  Interest rates are at historic lows and if you plan to be in your home long term, it could provide financial stability.
  3. It's a great time to buy.  If you are a first time homebuyer or real estate investor, it's a buyers market.  Prices are good and rates are low.  Contrary to the doom and gloom you see in the news everyday, there is mortgage money available even if your credit is not perfect.
  4. Consult a professional.  Like so many homeowners, if you are having trouble paying your mortgage, seek out assistance.  Talk to a local real estate agent about selling the property.  If a property is priced right, it will sell.  I heard from one agent that homes priced below market are receiving multiple bids.  In turn, these properties are selling faster and for more money. 
  5. Talk to your lender.  If selling is not an option, call your lender to discuss payment arrangements or loan modifications.  The worst thing you can do is NOTHING.  Your problems will not disappear, they will multiply.  By confronting the problem, you will at least understand your options and be able to make a proactive decision about your future.

 

Of course these are just some of the things you can do to weather the storm.  The most important thing is to stay informed and remember that things will turn around. 

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