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

Selling Your Home to Purchase a Replacement Home

Have you considered purchasing a new home but have wondered how to buy and sell your current home at the same time? Did you know you can sell your home contingent upon purchasing a replacement home and the time frame and other terms can be negotiated with the buyer?

Schedule your online session to ask me how you can purchase and sell at the same time.

Real Estate

Selling Your Home Safely During COVID-19

It is understandable for this time of uncertainty to cause homeowners to consider holding back on selling. However, if you are looking to sell, this should not be what holds you back. In fact, according to a survey from the National Association of Realtors, 77% of homeowners are preparing to sell their homes at the end of the stay-at-home orders.

Don’t stay behind and click below to schedule your 15-minute online session on your home’s value and how to safely sell your home during COVID-19.

Real Estate

Has COVID-19 Affected California Real Estate?

Many are wondering how the real estate market will be impacted with all this uncertainty. In March, the unemployment rate in California rose to 5.3, which was a 1.4 jump from the previous month — this means a lot of people are either completely unemployed or their hours were reduced. So, it’s understandable that the real estate market will be impacted somehow. The question is how much and for how long.

The California Association of Realtors has been following the trends and recently released the following sales and price report:

This chart means the home sales decreased in March and, as of the date of this report, they were expected to be even lower in April. However, according to their research, median home prices increased. This could be as a result of less inventory. If less homeowners put their homes on the market, the demand becomes higher. Since interest rates are still at their lowest, serious homebuyers are searching for homes. Therefore, there is demand and prices increase.

So what does this mean for you? If you are a seller who has been on the fence about selling, this is the perfect time to sell because you have less competition and there is still demand. If you are a buyer, it is also a great time to buy because interest rates are at their lowest –the lower the interest rate, the lower your mortgage payment and the higher your buying power.

I believe the length of time these trends will continue will depend on how much longer the pandemic affects unemployment. This is a public health crisis, but unfortunately, it is impacting the economic stability of our nation. As of right right now, if you are in a position where you can sell or buy, I would recommend you do it. This pandemic is changing everything every day if not every hour, so waiting too long to see what happens, could be a costly decision in the future.

Real Estate

Tips for Home Staging Your Home for Sale

So what is the difference between a home that sells quickly and one that takes three times as much to sell when they have the same characteristics and are in the same neighborhood?  You guessed it–home staging.

Did you know that staged homes sell 80% faster and up to 20% more than non-staged homes?  The thought that home staging can be expensive might overwhelm home sellers.  However, remember your home is now a “product” that you are selling and, in the long run, it will cost less to invest in home staging because the home will be less time on the market and will sell for more. 

If you are planning on selling and simply cannot afford to home stage your home, here are some things you can do yourself to prepare your home for sale:

De-clutter – Go room by room with a box or large basket and throw in anything that doesn’t belong.  Organize your closets and drawers (buyers do look in there).

De-personalize – Walk around the home and remove ANY item that is the size of a football or smaller.  Remove all family pictures.

Paint – Paint a neutral color and repair any damaged wood, doors, or walls.

Space – Buyers want to see a spacious home.  Remove any bulky furniture as well as furniture that blocks walkways or features of the home.

Natural Light – Make changes to allow for natural light in the home.

Pets – Remove any pets, pets’ beds or toys, and pet odors when people are touring the home.

Clean – Do a deep cleaning of the home.  A clean house is always inviting and more appealing.