COVID and Real Estate, Foreclosure Moratorium, Pandemic Response, Real Estate

THE END OF THE FORECLOSURE MORATORIUM IS NEAR

Back in 2020, homeowners whose income was affected by the pandemic were given the opportunity to apply for a forbearance on their mortgage payments. According to a report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, Black Knight reported that 14% of all mortgage holders filed for a forbearance during the pandemic. By March 2021, 68% of them had already exited the program either by resolving the delinquency or paying off their loans. Eight percent were still working some sort of loss mitigation agreement and 4% were still in delinquency in the first quarter of 2021. They also reported that about 22% of mortgage holders still in forbearance by the time the 18 months are up, have 10% or less equity and more likely will not have enough equity to sell with equity. (jchs.harvard.edu)

Recently, it was announced that the foreclosure moratorium would end July 2021. So, what if you are one of those mortgage holders who is in forbearance and at risk of foreclosure?  What is next?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP) has implemented protections for you that will take effect on August 31, 2021.

  • Servicers will need to give you time to process your options and consider your situation. They must meet certain steps before they can initiate a foreclosure.
  • Servicers can offer streamlined loan modifications, which cannot increase your payment.
  • Servicers will be required to increase their outreach to borrowers before they can initiate foreclosure.

What are your options:

  • Resume regular mortgage payment. You can ask to defer your missed payments by moving them to the end of the mortgage.
  • Lower monthly mortgage payment. Ask to modify your loan. This can be changing the interest rate, principal balance or the term of the loan.
  • Sell your home. If you find yourself not being able to make your mortgage payments and have enough equity, you may be able to sell with some profit. If you find you do not have enough equity, you may apply for a short sale. Foreclosure should be the last thing to consider if you do not have enough equity.

A servicer can initiate foreclosure if you:

  • Abandon the property;
  • Were more than 120 days behind in your mortgage before March 1, 2020;
  • Are more than 120 days behind on your mortgage payment and have not responded to specific required outreach for more than 90 days; or
  • Have evaluated all options other than foreclosure and there is no other options available. (consumerfinance.gov)

Feel free to contact me if you are currently in forbearance and need guidance on exiting the program, or believe you will need to sell your home. I am here to help. I’ll be happy to guide you through the process.

Real Estate

WHAT FIRST-TIME BUYERS SHOULD KNOW

During this video, I give you an overall view of some things you need to know to be ready to purchase your first home. I would also like to add that in addition to the down payment mentioned, I would also like to mention that buyer closing costs could be up to 2-2.5%. This might seem like a lot at a glance but there are options available for you. Ask me what are your options.

Also, there are some banks who will still lend under a 640 FICO score and might still have down payment assistance programs right now, but with changes in the industry due to the current pandemic, most banks got stricter on their requirements. However, don’t get discouraged by this. An experienced Realtor in partnership with a good lender can help you through the process.

Remember you can always contact me with questions on purchasing your first home.

Real Estate

Selling Your Home in This Digital Age

 

How many times a day would you say you go to your phone to either search something online or check your social media?  According to a study by Asurion, Americans check their phone 80 times a day about every 12 minutes, on average (NYPOST.COM, Americans Check Their Phones 80 Times a Day: Study. 11/08/17). Yikes!  I was surprised too, but honestly, I am guilty of this as well.  It almost seems like having information at our fingertips is a necessity nowadays.  And, as the years go by, I believe we will rely more and more in technology.

Technology changes so many things, including how fast and for how much you sell your home!  Have you wondered why some homes that compare to each other in features and price will sell in different time frames and even prices? According to the National Association of Realtors’ Real Estate in a Digital Age 2017 Report, in 1981, 22% of home buyers would look at newspapers to search for homes.  By 2016, 44% were looking for homes online as their first step in purchasing a home.

So, why wouldn’t the way your home is marketed change too?  The first impression a home buyer will get of your home will be online –more likely, on their phone … so, would it be fair to say professional or high quality photography, drone and video of your home will make a difference in how soon you sell your home?

In this digital age of social media and internet blogs and vlogs it is key to have the right real estate agent doing all this work for you.  Oh! And, it’s not just about posting your home online, it’s about strategically posting your home online.  So, next time you interview a real estate agent about listing your home for sale, ask about his or her strategic marketing plan.

As always, contact me if you or anyone you know is looking to sell or buy.

909-346-3610

LupeRuizRealty@yahoo.com

http://www.luperuizrealtor.com

CABRE#01513573

Real Estate

10 Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Congratulations, you have gone to your local bank and were pre-approved for a $350,000 home loan! You already know the location and the features you want in your new home, but now what? Where do you start? Do you go calling every listing agent in town? Or, do you just go on-line and see what is on the market? Here are some tips that may be able to help you during your home search.

1. Work with an experienced Realtor who can guide and advise you during the process. It is important you have your own Realtor representing you as the buyer in the transaction. A selling agent, will help you search homes, show them to you, and negotiate the deal for you.

2. Trust your Realtor. Your Realtor is the expert in the industry and can tell you whether or not you should offer asking price; or what terms should or should not be included in the Purchase Agreement.

3. When it comes to viewing homes; take all decision-makers with you (including those who are not buying but have influence in your decision-making). Many times, new homebuyers see a home they love, submit and get an offer accepted, but then get cold feet when their relatives or friends “warn” them about everything they should’ve considered before submitting an offer. Hence, causing the buyer to cancel.

4. Have an open mind. You might not be able find the perfect, dream home so you may need to purchase one that needs some tender loving care. Or, if you do find the home of your dreams; keep in mind it is also someone else’s dream home; so take your Realtors’ advise on the best offer you should submit.

5. Purchase a Home Warranty. A home warranty may save you a lot of money if a large item such as a water heater, air conditioning, plumbing, appliances, etc breaks down.

6. Do not purchase any large items on credit. This may interfere with your loan approval and may prevent you from moving forward with the transaction. This is relevant at all stages of the home search and, even more so, during the escrow process.

7. Communicate and cooperate with your Realtor and loan representative. It is imperative that you maintain constant communication with them as they are working hard to get you qualified and into your new home as soon as possible.

8. Don’t view too many properties. More than three trips and viewing too many properties may create the mentality that the more you see, the better deal you will find. However, instead, this will cause confusion and second thoughts; hence, prolonging the home search and possibly walking away from a good opportunity.

9. Obtain a home inspection. Even if the home appears to be in perfect condition, it is always recommended that a trained professional inspect the property. If the inspection reveals serious defects that the seller did not disclose you are generally able to rescind your offer and get your deposit back.

10. Avoid buyer’s remorse. It is not uncommon that somewhere during escrow, homebuyers may question if they made the right decision. You may avoid this by doing your homework beforehand and matching your expectations and price range. If you’ve done this, your stress level may be reduced and buyer’s remorse may have been avoided.