Listing Courtesy of COLDWELL BANKER RESORT REALTY - R
The term "short sale" has been misleading people for decades. Despite the name, it’s a term applied to transactions that often involve a lengthier-than-usual sale process. A Lewes"short sale" is named for the financial aspect of a sale rather than the length of time it requires. It’s anything but a shortcut.
The ‘short’ in ‘short sale’ describes a sale at a price that comes up short—is less than the full amount owed on an Lewes home loan. As you’d guess, whether a bank (or any mortgage holder) accepts such a sale is a decision that is up to the lender.
Why would a bank choose to move ahead with a short sale instead of holding out for the full amount? After all, if a borrower is unable to pay, it’s hardly the bank’s fault. You might think that it is always in the bank’s interest to hold out for full repayment, and to take possession of a mortgaged property whenever that doesn’t happen…but in reality, that’s often not true. In the real world, the bank will lose money on either a short sale or a foreclosure—but the latter is often more expensive, since it requires the bank to do the expensive work of repossessing and selling the property.
To a distressed homeowner, a short sale is an opportunity to close accounts on better terms. Instead of weathering a foreclosure, which would result in a major strike against his or her credit record, if the bank will agree, it becomes a joint resolution between the debtor and bank—and that doesn’t just sound more amicable. But getting the lender’s approval is where the delay issue usually crops up. The steps needed before the mortgagee and the bank agree to sell the home at the lower price vary. They can involve submitting a buyer’s discounted offer, or the borrower convincing the bank that a short sale is warranted—usually after following procedures spelled by the bank. The bank can (and usually will) reject a short sale proposal or offer if it feels more money can be gained by foreclosing. And it can take a while...
It may sound like a happy solution for homeowners with financial problems, but among other drawbacks (for instance, there can be tax issues), the "a while" it takes to close a Lewes short sale can be between five and seven months! Yet for patient (or even better, very patient) buyers and sellers, a successful Lewes short sale can yield the best of a bad situation and an unmatched bargain.
There are endless variations for how any given short sale can proceed, so having an experienced Realtor® in your corner is always a good idea…and calling me is the way to start!
Last week brought an announcement that should get the attention of a large segment of would-be Lewes home buyers—particularly those who have been stymied by the difficulty of trying to build their credit scores by paying all the monthly bills on time while simultaneously saving up a pile of cash for a down payment.
For too many Lewes nine-to-fivers, the two ambitions are achievable—just not at the same time. Although inflation hasn’t been horrendous, even a modest degree of rising prices causes a crunch for those whose incomes are flat. For many Americans, coming up with the down payment has been an immovable stumbling block.
Into the breach came last week’s Bank of America announcement of a new mortgage product. Cutting to the chase, these home loans will be structured to allow qualified homeowners to make down payments of as little as 3%.
If you don’t believe there’s ever any free lunch, you may be wondering why, if this makes sense to a bank, it hasn’t been offered until now. The answer has to do with the way the FHA regulates home loans.
The Federal Housing Administration insures banks against defaults on FHA-backed mortgages (they allow down payments of as little as 3.5%) but sometimes holds the banks responsible when borrowers fail to repay. In fact, the FHA won billions in settlements in recent years when bank paperwork turned out to be inaccurate. The banks were not pleased: they said many of the errors were minor. They also decided to cut back on offering FHA loans. That had the effect of slowing the residential real estate market across the U.S.—and Lewes was no exception.
This new home loan structure is Bank of America’s solution for “families of modest means”—a group everyone agrees has been left out in the cold. It avoids FHA rules by avoiding the FHA altogether, instead relying on the backing of Freddie Mac and a nonprofit fund. Among the guidelines for the new low down payment product are requirements that borrowers have credit scores of at least 660 (FHA allows 580) and incomes that are lower than the area’s median. Because there will be no requirement that borrowers pay for private mortgage insurance, the loans should be less expensive than corresponding FHA mortgages. Great deal!
It remains to be seen how widely available such loans are going to be for Lewes borrowers. Bank of America will at first be capping the number of loans it issues while it tests the market. But it’s a sure thing that other national lenders will be watching what happens…and very likely rolling out their own low down payment products. It should be one answer for folks who have proved they are deserving and responsible—yet have found themselves closed out of the market.
As the spring selling season heats up, many potential opportunities also open up for sharp-eyed prospective buyers. If you are one, I’m standing by to help! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.