Are you facing Foreclosure? Is a Short Sale really the only answer?
The answer is....no. The biggest mistake people make when faced with the issue of not being able to make their house payment is hiding from their lender. In actuality, lenders want to work things out with you, but if you try and hide or do not respond to them....there is very little they can do. Right now the lenders are so overwhelmed with foreclosure properties that they would rather work out a way for you to keep your home rather than send it through the foreclosure process. It costs a lender around $40,000 on average to foreclose on a home. And when you are living in an area where the value of property is plummeting, their losses increase even more when forced to take a property back. So call your lender when the problem is beginning! Don't wait until the auction date is two weeks away and you have no place to go. When talking with your lender, be honest. Don't create some huge sob story. Trust me, they have heard them all before. Just give them the facts and tell them what kind of payment you feel you could handle. You may be surprised at what happens.
Other solutions may also present themselves. What other sources of income do you have at your disposal? Do you have other rooms in your house that you may not be using or that could be used for another purpose? I know having tenants is not the ideal situation, but it also doesn't have to be forever. Having some rental income may ease the financial burden that is currently plaguing you until you find a way to recover. Do you have the ability to rent out storage in your garage? Renting out space can be a lucrative way to subsidize yourself and with the rental market as strong as it is, you are sure to find tenants.
In a nut shell, don't give up. The Seattle area is one of the most stable real estate markets in the nation right now. Things will recover. In some cases a short sale (selling your property for less than what you owe with the lender's permission) may be your only option. If that is the case, be sure to work with an agent you trust and that can lead you through the process. But if you don't want to give up your home, be sure to explore all of your options.
Cliff - Real Estate Agent and Loan Officer
Accredited Buyers Representative and Residential Real Estate Specialist Serving:
Lynnwood, Bothell, Mill Creek, Seattle, Bellevue, Marysville, Mountlake Terrace, Edmonds, Everett, Snohomish, Kirkland and the surrounding areas!
Call me with any of your real estate questions at 425-773-3149 or email me at Jacquie@jacquiecliff.com anytime!