Dec

17

Dealing with Foreclosure

Posted by lindawestergaard under For Sellers, General Information

I was showing homes this weekend to a buyer. His financing is all approved and he is ready to buy as soon as he finds the right property. We are looking in the $60-$70K price range, and, as I expected, quite a few of the homes on the market in that price range are “REO” or Real Estate Owned. That means the home has been foreclosed and is now owned by the bank. When I pulled up one of the properties on the list, I was surprised to discover that I sold the home to a very nice buyer about 2 years ago. I was shocked to learn that the home has gone into foreclosure.

Although I try to keep in touch with past clients via email, letters, calendars, etc., I had not spoken with this client for quite some time. Although I don’t know her situation, I just wish she would have called me when she knew her house was going into foreclosure. While I certainly don’t claim to have any magic solutions for homeowners facing foreclosure, there might have been something I could have done to help. I just wonder if a short sale might have been possible or if the homeowner could have re-negotiated their loan.

If anyone is facing foreclosure, or if anyone thinks they may face foreclosure in the near future, I hope they will contact a qualified Realtor ®. Although it is not true in every situation, there are times when alternatives are available. You have nothing to lose by trying, and a Realtor ® might be able to point you in the right direction.

I discovered an IRS website this week that also deals with foreclosure issues. Click here to learn more.

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We love bargains. The malls and stores are crowded on Black Friday with shoppers searching for the best bargains. We’ll drive from one store to the next searching for the best price. Car dealers bombard   us with ads for bargain priced cars, often with low or no interest financing or no cost options. We love eBay and Craigslist because we love to search for bargains.

Does the same hold true for housing? Interest rates are now  approaching record lows and the inventory of houses for sale has reached the highest level in 20 years. Many experts believe that the main force holding back the real estate market in late 2007 is consumer confidence. Concern about rising gas prices, increased home heating costs, and daily fluctuation in the stock market and other financial markets.

In spite of these factors, many consumers are noticing that the real estate market is full of bargains. This week’s Mortgage Banker’s Association Survey revealed that loan applications continue to show a steady increase. Although the increase in real estate and mortgage activity doesn’t get  as much  publicity  as  crazed shoppers fighting over the latest hot item on Black Friday, the trend speaks for itself.

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I love Des Moines. I have lived here all my life and raised my children here. I feel truly connected not only to the greater Des Moines area but to my neighborhood. I have always felt that Des Moines is the perfect size, big enough to have everything I need and want, but small enough that I don’t feel like I get lost in the shuffle. We have great restaurants, varied entertainment choices, and most of all, friendly (for the most part) people.

It’s fun to read a complimentary story about Des Moines in The New York Times. I’ve never understood why people who are not from this area have such pre-conceived – and negative –  views of Iowa and Des Moines, but it’s good to  see when  ”an outsider”  recognizes and appreciates the fine attributes of our community.  

One thing that was not mentioned in the New York Times article is the strength and vitality of the Des Moines real estate market. Yes, things are slower than they were a year ago, yes, there is more inventory on the market and yes, buyers are more cautious than they have been in the past. But people are still buying and selling homes and for the most part, real estate values are steady or rising. Interest rates remain very attractive, we have strong employment in the area, and the overall economy in Des Moines and central Iowa is healthy. It makes me glad that I live in Des Moines, and it makes me especially glad that I sell real estate in Des Moines.

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Welcome to Linda Westergaard’s Blog! This blog will provide you with valuable information, tips, and general insight into the real estate market in Pleasant Hill.

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