Category: Budgeting Your Project

How to Make an Offer on a Short Sale Property

With the recession in the housing market, millions of American homeowners are facing the loss of equity in their houses. When a homeowner needs to sell her house and the equity she is built up sums to less than that which she owes her mortgage company, with approval from the company, she’ll participate in what is called a short sale. Unlike a foreclosure, in which the creditor repossesses the house, a short sale borrower stays in the house although it is marketed in the traditional method. If a buyer makes an offer, the creditor selects whether to take the deal. This may be a long, slow process.

Contact a mortgage broker or other creditor to get pre-approved for financing. You will be purchasing the home from a bank and it is necessary that the bank’s representatives understand your offer to buy the residence is backed by a commitment from a lender to loan you the cash for your home.

Determine how much you will offer on the house. Consider recent sales in the area and compare the house that you want to buy to people. The cost should be the same as people close by, or slightly higher or lower, based on location, size, age, status and amenities.

Locate a real estate agent experienced with short sales. It costs you nothing, as a purchaser, to hire a realtor, as all commissions are paid by the seller or, in the case of the short sale, the creditor. Don’t sign a buyer’s brokerage agreement as it may bind you to pay any shortfall in commission the creditor refuses to pay. You might even work together with the listing agent if you feel comfortable doing this.

Ask the broker to structure your deal to buy. Loss mitigators in mortgage companies and banks are drawn to what are called”blank” offers. These are supplies from pre-approved buyers that contain couple contingencies (“I shall buy this house if…”). Since most short sale houses are offered”as-is,” one contingency to add in the contract is a home inspection clause saying your offer to buy is contingent upon an acceptable home review.

Ask your realtor to compile a listing of the similar properties you used to determine the price you are willing to pay and send it together with the deal, if you are providing substantially less than the listing price.

Wait for an answer from the bank. This can take months or weeks, which is stressful for both the purchaser and the vendor.

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How to Buy Foreclosures

Foreclosures need more study, paperwork and legwork than any other real estate purchase. They are not the perfect park for first-time buyers. They are the emerging markets of real estate: potentially lucrative, but complicated and volatile. You will find a buy house for 60 or 70% of its market value, but you can also waste a great deal of money and time and wind up with nothing to show to them. There are three stages in which you are able to purchase a foreclosure: during pre-foreclosure, in an auction house and as a bank-owned property, also called a real estate owned (REO) property. Each phase calls for a different approach.


Look for a foreclosure. Get the owner and address contact details. There are numerous online foreclosure listing sites, such as, and They allow you to filter your search by area, price or even number of bedrooms. You could also find foreclosure listings in county recorders’ or clerks’ offices. They are also promoted in newspapers and public places as part of their legal measures a creditor should take to foreclose on a house.

Speak to the owners. Be tactful and try to build a relationship with them. They are going through a distressing situation and may not even understand their home was showcased in a public foreclosure list. At the pre-foreclosure stage, homeowners have fallen behind on their mortgage payments and received a notice of default from the lending company. From then, they have three months to make up for the default on the mortgage prior to the creditor schedules a foreclosure sale.

Make an offer. If the owners cannot afford their mortgage, they may accept a low offer that insures their mortgage balance, so as to prevent a foreclosure. If your offer is for less than the mortgage balance the sale is regarded as a brief sale. Lenders must approve a brief sale before it could go ahead.

Foreclosure Auctions

Find out how the auction process works in your county. Speak to a experienced real estate agent or a foreclosure lawyer. You can also ask the regional county recorder’s or clerk’s office for information. In California, foreclosure sales are held business days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. You are not permitted to look at the property prior to bidding, everyone can bid, and the foreclosure could be postponed to a different time and place from the trustee handling the sale. Some counties need sealed-envelope bids, others ask that you bring your bid amount in cash or in cashier’s checks. So ensure your finances is arranged ahead.

Attend the auction. The time and place will be on the foreclosure list or on the advertisement from which you found out about the sale.

Make a bid. The highest bidder takes the property. In California there are two varieties of foreclosures: non-judicial and judicial. The non-judicial path is definitely the most used. In non-judicial foreclosures the auction house is final. But with judicial foreclosure the previous owner has up to one year to redeem his house by paying off the foreclosure sale and interest and any additional expenses incurred by the lending company.

Bank-Owned Properties

Look for REO properties. Lenders usually use real estate brokers to market their properties. You are able to find a real estate broker online at REO Network (see Resource section), which represents over 8,000 brokers.

Be Aware of the Cost. REO properties are the simplest and safest foreclosures to purchase, but you stand less chance of finding a bargain. Lenders usually cost REOs in the market price or just below.

Make an offer. Start low. If the creditor has a large inventory of REOs in its portfolio, you may end up on the ideal end of a bargain after all.

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Refinancing 101

Refinancing a house mortgage allows you to alter one or several details of the mortgage, including interest , principal balance and duration. This is a useful financial choice under certain conditions, as mortgages which were paid for many years have enabled the homeowner to assemble equity in the house which can be employed to consolidate debt or make improvements. However, refinancing isn’t for everyone, as the fees can be expensive, and people in the market to get a refinance must consider carefully the business they're dealing with and the conditions they are offered.

Reduced Interest Rate

You may be able to pay a lower interest rate, which will save you quite a bit of money over the life of their loan by lowering the monthly payment of interest. You might also be able to reset the loan so you have a longer period of time to pay off it. This would give you more time to pay off it and also offer a lower monthly payment.

Debt Consolidation

Refinancing a house loan also allows you to roll credit card and other installment debt to the loan. Proceeds from the loan have been utilized to pay off the higher-interest-rate debt, which saves money in interest rates in addition to late fees and overlimit fees which are billed on the other accounts. This debt consolidation is one of the most well-known reasons for refinancing house mortgages.

Property Improvements

Refinancing may allow you to cover repairs or improvement of your house. The best way to utilize the proceeds of the loan are up to you, and creating improvements can increase the value of your house.


Refinancing options include a house equity loan or a line of credit loan, which allows you to tap into your home’s equity if required to meet emergency expenses. There are usually no limitations on the use you set to money freed up by the loan.

ARM to Fixed

Refinancing can also get you from an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), which will improve your monthly payment because the interest inevitably “adjusts” upwards, and right into a fixed-rate mortgage, where the monthly payments stay the same during the life of the loan.

Penalties, Taxes and Fees

Anyone considering refinancing must take into account fees which are charged for origination of their loan, which might wipe out any savings, in addition to penalties which are triggered for early repayment of their original loan. Also keep in mind that in California a refinanced loan might be considered a refuge debt, meaning you would still be responsible for paying taxes to the debt written off by the lending company in case of default.

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What's the Loan-to-Value Percentage?

The loan-to-value percentage is the proportion of the sum the purchaser is borrowing on a mortgage to how much the house is worth. The loan-to-value percentage or ratio will decide the amount of mortgage insurance the purchaser needs, if any, also it directly correlates to the interest rate that the purchaser will pay over the duration of the loan.


There is A current appraisal usually a part of the process of refinancing or buying a house. An appraiser uses tools like the online Multiple Listing Service database to find recent sales of similar homes in the region, then does fieldwork on the appraised property, during which he will evaluate the condition of the house, neighborhood and the conditions of surrounding houses. Appraisals are crucial tools that lenders use to establish the worth of the house and how much they are prepared to lend for a house.

Down Payment

Requirements vary by loan type and the credit rating of the purchaser. The down payment that a purchaser can afford, the better. Larger down payments will lessen the loan-to-value percentage, which benefits both the lender and buyer by increasing the equity in the house.

Calculating the Loan-to-Value Percentage

Loan-to-value ratios are calculated by dividing the mortgage sum by the contracted selling price of their house (the amount the seller and purchaser agree on). For instance, if the contract price of the house is $200,000 and the quantity of the mortgage is $180,000, the loan-to-value is going to probably be 90 percent.

Mortgage Insurance Premium

The reduced the loan-to-value ratio the greater, as far as underwriting procedures go, because using a low loan-to-value ratio the lender stands to lose money should the buyer default. With high loan-to-value proportions, for example 90 percent, the lenders need a mortgage insurance premium, which shields the lender against default. The mortgage insurance premiums are calculated into the home payments. When the loan-to-value falls below 80 percent, either the borrower or lender can cancel the coverage. On a conventional loan, once the loan to value reaches 78 percent, the creditor must cancel the coverage . As of July 2010, the FHA charges a monthly insurance premium of 0.5 percent fee of the loan amount to the loans which it underwrites. Premiums from private lenders may vary, based on the insurer they work with. FHA needs mortgage insurance premiums until the loan-to-value ratio is below 79 percent for loans with terms over 15 years; loans terms 15 years or shorter require a 90 percent loan-to-value ratio to drop the insurance.

Home Equity Line of Credit

Loan-to-value ratios are also utilized to gauge how much a creditor can lend for a house equity line of credit. The owner needs to provide a current appraisal from a certified appraiser and the remainder of his home mortgage. By subtracting the amount of the mortgage owed from the appraisal amount, the creditor can ascertain how much equity the homeowner can borrow against to get a credit line. Lenders do not typically give traces of credit against 100 percent of their equity in a house. The amounts they will loan change with market conditions and their own policies. If the lender wants the owner to have a 25-percent cushion of equity in the house, it will only make 75-percent of their equity in the home available to the debtor.

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What Are Your Rights at a Mortgage Foreclosure?

Even if your mortgage lender has foreclosed in your house, this doesn't mean you no longer have any rights. Foreclosure is a legal procedure: While the creditor has the right to market should you've fallen behind on payments, you still have legal protections which will allow you to recover your premises, or stay in it longer than you might think.

Court Proceedings

If the creditor decides to foreclose, it’s going to have to inform you, in writing, which it plans to file court to take your house. This gives you the time to attempt renegotiating with your creditor before the final purchase, or to make up the missed payments, with any penalties demanded. You have the right to fight the foreclosure in court. The procedures vary from state to state.

Non-Judicial Foreclosure

In some countries, such as California, lenders use a deed of trust to secure your house loan rather than a mortgage. In the event you default, states, deeds of trust can usually be sold without going through a court hearing, but under California law, you still receive 20 days notice of the sale. If you settle your mortgage loans in 15 days of notification, you can stop the foreclosure. California law protects you if a non-judicial foreclosure sale does not wipe out your debtUnlike judicial foreclosures, the creditor can’t take legal action to get you make the gap.

Right of Redemption

California is among the several countries that give you a”right of redemption,” states: Following the creditor sells your house, you have one year to purchase it back, assuming you meet various legal problems. The precise conditions and time limits vary from state to state.


Foreclosure will not evict you in your house, the states. Even after the house has been sold, you have the right to remain inside before the owner goes through the legal actions to get you evicted.


If your loan was endorsed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae–government-sponsored enterprises created to shore up the mortgage market–then you have the right to use to your Home Affordable Modification Program under the national Making Home Affordable principles. Underneath HAMP, lenders receive financial incentives to work out a method of lower monthly mortgage payments. You will have to meet HAMP qualifications, including being unable to afford your existing payments, and having a combined mortgage, taxes and insurance adding up to more than 31% of your earnings.

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The Way to Work to Decrease Your Mortgage

Homeowners that have financial troubles perhaps due to an illness or a job layoff can find it increasingly tough to create their monthly mortgage payments in time. The Federal Trade Commission claims that if you’re behind in your payments, you need to speak with your creditor as soon as possible. While there are numerous various alternatives available to get you through these hard times, you will have fewer choices the more time you wait to ask for help.

Get in touch with your mortgage lender immediately. Lenders are usually inclined to work with homeowners who have trouble making mortgage payments. Since the bank or mortgage company stands to lose a good deal of cash if it must foreclose, it’s also to the creditor ’s benefit to discover a practical solution.

Find out in the event that you have 20 percent of the loan principal paid off nonetheless. Your lender ought to be able to supply you with this info. In the event that you’ve paid down the loan by at least 20 percentage, then you do not need to pay the additional sum in your mortgage payment every month for personal mortgage insurance, even if this has been required on your initial loan. Based on the total amount of the loan, this can save you between $100 and $300 a month.

Let your creditor know that you’re searching for a lower homeowners insurance premium. That is another alternative for lowering your monthly mortgage payment, but one which homeowners don’t frequently think about. Even when you escrow your insurance payments, you are able to change insurance companies to get a better premium rate. The less money going to an escrow account, the lower your monthly payments will be.

Consult your lender to lower the interest rate on your mortgage without refinancing, as this will lower the monthly payment. Some lenders are ready to reduce the interest rate for a predetermined variety of months to some rate the borrower are able to afford. After that period passes, the creditor re-evaluates the situation to determine if the debtor ’s financial situation has improved.

Arrange for a temporary suspension of mortgage payments. According to the LendingTree site, a few lenders are eager to do this when a homeowner’s financial woes are just temporary and aren’t predicted to endure for long. Sometimes homeowners can also negotiate with a creditor to park some of the loan principal, in which case you pay interest on the remaining principal. This can help to lower the monthly payment, although you’re still responsible for repaying the principal in total.

Refinance your mortgage at a cheaper rate. You can even extend the duration of the loan so that you can pay it off more gradually. Both these strategies can lower the amount you need to pay every month. If you extend the duration of the loan, you will end up paying more in interest charges. However, based on your circumstances, you can think it to be a fair tradeoff.

Ask about refinancing having an interest-only mortgage. This particular solution isn’t appropriate for everyone–particularly in the event that you don't expect to end up in a healthier financial situation later on. The low monthly payments increase substantially once the five- or 10-year interest-only interval expires.

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