Whenever an unplanned and unwelcome financial situation develops, a town mortgage-holder can find himself or herself in the onerous position of being unable to keep up with the monthly home loan payments. If the unhappy situation continues long enough, the likely result is a foreclosure or short sale. In addition to losing the property, the impact on personal credit then takes years to undo. That means it takes that much longer for a consumer to acquire a new home and start to build equity again.
Here as elsewhere, there were a raft of such local mortgage defaults following the global financial meltdown. Even those who had no trouble servicing their area mortgages could have suffered when they found that falling property values prevented them from refinancing—even when the purpose was to improve their property. Although those events happened years ago, it’s only now that their aftereffects are finally working their way out of the system.
A recent article in NMP—the national Mortgage Professional’s magazine—delved into the changing status of those who lost homes in the turndown. The details they researched are interesting in themselves—details that are bound to have an impact on area residential sales.
First off is the fact that enough time has elapsed for those who weathered a short sale or foreclosure to begin to return to eligibility. They’re called “Boomerang Buyers”—and nationwide, there are estimated to be 7,300,000 of them! In 2016 alone, more than a million will become eligible to return to the home-buying market. According to NMP, “they’re returning to the market in droves.” The hardest-hit states were Nevada, Florida and Illinois—but there are plenty of Boomerang Buyers scattered across the rest of the nation.
The improving mortgage eligibility landscape extends beyond those who suffered the actual loss of their homes. To the more than 7 million “distressed” homeowners whose properties are still underwater (those who owe more than market value), the government’s HARP 2 program is one possible remedy. Its guidelines encourage lenders to relax the loan-to-value caps that had prevented refinancing for many of those homeowners. Reports are that it has already resulted in an increase in such refinances.
Other program combinations are helping loan originators and Realtors® get more bank-owned homes back into homeowners’ hands. These are properties that make up the ‘shadow inventory’ of unsold homes, many of which have fallen into disrepair. Because of that, they’ve been difficult to finance—and therefore difficult to sell. Through FHA 203K and Fannie Mae’s Homestyle® renovation mortgages, more ambitious prospective owners—including investors—are discovering they now have mortgage options that can put those fixer-uppers within reach.
For those who have previously found it problematic to secure a local mortgage with acceptable terms, it may be worth looking into today’s improved financing alternatives. Especially with mortgage interest rates at the levels we’re seeing this fall, what you find may be a pleasant surprise—one that puts you into the house of your dreams. Call me to discuss first steps!