My Thoughts on the Current Real Estate Market: Mortgage Reform, Refinance, Really?
With interest rates at the lowest rate in history, and foreclosures bursting through the ceiling still at this writing, I ask myself, why is this still happening? How does the 1-in-4 upside-down homeowner out there, staring at their bank and scratching their head, get help to avoid walking away?
The empty promises, or the so-called “helping hand” being offered by the banks and the government, is still a joke to say the least. For the people who sold their home in recent years, they are in a position to buy or have already bought another home and recovered from that stress of “What do I do?” while taking advantage of the low interest rates and prices.
It still is not too late to make that leap and start over–because the faster you do, the faster you will recover. Property values are not expected to go anywhere for at least two more years, and the laws for selling short sales that protect homeowners will expire at the end of this year. Laws allow a purchase after two years of selling a short sale. With a consultation with me and strategy, you could pay off most of your unsecured debt, while not paying your mortgage. This can only be done with someone who has had experience with this. I have done this with clients that have recouped while living in their home for over 3 years without paying a mortgage.
The latest reform laws are offering a glimmer of hope; however, when and how these guidelines are implemented by the banks and government is clear to not happen for awhile. The state governments will have to also be on board. At this time, California is weighing the settlement being offered for unlawful foreclosure practices from five of the larger banks that have agreed to pay a settlement.
My opinion is that any settlement should accompany a mandate that the banks must reduce every upside-down property out there to fair market values, to allow the homeowner an opportunity to keep their home; granted that the home is not dilapidated to the point that the owner does not have the funds to repair the home or care for it after the refinance. This exclusion is warranted to the extent that a home that is in bad shape is only dropping or keeping the values low in the neighborhood and should be taken care of. In a perfect world, the banks would allow the homeowner funds after the refinance to repair the home–heck, let’s go for it all!
As always, my gratitude to you for reading my blog. Please share your opinions or questions–I look forward to any questions I can answer or help I can give!
John A. Silva, Realtor
(619) 890-3648 | www.JohnASilva.com