Creative Real Estate Solutions to Distressed Property Problems

There are alternative real estate solutions for those who want to avoid the pain of losing their house or need to sell their house quickly for any reason. While these solutions invariably involve selling the home or leasing it to a third party for cash or terms, it is important to realize that getting rid of property in this way is much better than waiting for the bank to come and grab it. If you simply sit back and wait for the bank to repossess your home, you will lose not only your home but also your credit ratings, which will make it difficult or even impossible for you to purchase another home in the near future.

Short Sale

A short sale is when the lender agrees for the homeowner to sell their property for less than what is still owed on the property.

It is an alternative to foreclosure for homeowners who can no longer afford their mortgage, or it can also be used if your property is “under water”, meaning it is worth less now than the amount you borrowed from the bank.

In most cases, the lender, as part of the negotiated sale, will release you from paying the deficiency, which is the difference between the short sale price and the original mortgage amount. Meaning that in most cases you walk away owing nothing to the bank and may even receive money for doing the short sale.

Real estate investors will handle the short sale negotiation at no cost to you as the homeowner.

Fast House Sale

Real estate investment companies also purchase homes that are facing foreclosure. Such companies usually have large ads on their site making statement such as, “we buy ugly houses”, “we buy property no matter where it is located”, “we buy short sales” and “we buy homes for cash”. Each of these statements is in fact true; such investment companies are willing to buy most houses in Florida.

The catch to this type of sale is that professional estate buyers will not usually pay as much as a regular individual. If a person owns a valuable property that is in good condition, he or she may turn a higher profit by looking for regular people who buy houses instead of selling it to a corporation. However, it is important to note that there is a lot of paperwork involved in a short sale and this paperwork puts off a lot of regular house buyers. Real estate cash buyers, on the other hand, have experience in working with banks and can work out a short sale with minimal hassle.

Lease Option (aka. Rent to Own)

The lease option involves leasing a home to a real estate investment agency. While the property remains in your name, you will not be able to stay on the premises or have much control over the property. However, the company that is leasing the property will take full responsibility for paying the mortgage.

Look for companies with advertisements such as “we buy and sell homes”, such companies usually also handle lease agreements and/or equity sharing arrangements. You may even want to talk to a number of real estate companies that are in this line of work to ensure that you are getting the best possible deal. However, it should be noted that a company that will buy ugly house will not necessarily arrange a lease for one, as the lease is held by a third party and not the actual real estate company.

Are There Other Alternatives?

If you see that you will not be able to make your monthly mortgage payments, then the first thing you should do is sit down with your lenders and see if you can renegotiate the terms of your loan. While not all lenders are willing to do this, many lenders are willing to consider reducing payments and extending payment time as opposed to initiating foreclosure proceedings.

You may also be able to turn the home over to the bank while continuing to stay in the home as a tenant. A number of banks have initiated this scheme, which spares a person from facing eviction due to foreclosure. While not all homeowners can rent their home back from the bank, there are some who can and it is an option that is well worth looking into. At the same time, it is important to make sure the rental price is fair. One should also read the contract very carefully before agreeing to this arrangement.

What is the Best Option?

While there are a number of options available to those who can no longer afford to make the monthly mortgage payments, it is impossible to say exactly what the best option really is. A lot depends on a homeowner’s financial and personal situation.

A homeowner who feels that he or she may be able to make monthly payments in the future should talk with a bank about renegotiating a mortgage loan. Unfortunately, this is not something that many homeowners can do. If you have lost your job or need to get expensive medical treatment, then chances are you will need to consider letting go of your present home and getting a smaller, more affordable one.

If you have gone over your finances and realize that you will not be able to make your monthly mortgage payments, then you should arrange for either a short sale or fast house sale as soon as possible.

On the other hand, if your property is in a less than desirable location and/or in poor condition, then look for real estate buyers with signs such as “we buy ugly homes.” Such buyers have committed themselves to buying any property that they are offered. Furthermore, they will give you cash in hand right away. All you have to do is contact the company, have them appraise the property at no cost and then give you a price offer.

Whether you consider ugly house buyers, a lease option, a short sale or other real estate solutions, you will want to research your options carefully. All options have their advantages and disadvantages. Besides choosing a good course of action, you will also need to choose an experienced and trustworthy real estate company to work with.

When making a decision, do not discount working with a real estate investor. Such investors can not only help you work out an arrangement that suits both of your needs but also guide you in filing out the accompanying paperwork. Investors, unlike regular buyers, know how to deal with mortgage lenders and will help you not only get free from an underwater property but do so in a way that does not leave a bad mark on your credit report and get you some money out of it.

Read more about specific solutions in the links below: