Creative Mortgage And Owner Financing Ideas

With Halloween right around the corner, fall season is in full swing. And while temperatures throughout the United States are cooling, its collective real estate market continues to warm up and recover fr0m an historic collapse.

Indeed, now is a fine time to wade into real estate if you haven’t already tested the waters.

Many factors need to be plugged into the personal homebuying equation, but none are likely more concerning than money. Even in buyer-friendly times likes these, homes (relatively speaking) still cost quite a bit.

Where are you going to get the money? What if your credit isn’t perfect? What if your down payment is too small?

Believe it or not, there are alternatives to traditional bank financing. Many people are in the same boat as you and they are succeeding in real estate because they aren’t letting the banks stop them. You can likely get the financing you need, even if your credit is bad and the bank isn’t interested.

The October 2012 edition of Foreclosure.com’s free educational newsletter, “Investment Exchange,” is now available, which explores creative financing options for those of you who won’t qualify for -– or would prefer not to use -– a traditional bank mortgage.

Articles include:

Creative home financing is all treats – no tricks.

In other words, don’t be scared to learn more about possible mortgage options that are not the fixed-rate, 30-year variety. There are several safe loan products available today that could be ideal solutions for prospective homebuyers and investors who don’t qualify — or are simply disinterested — in going the traditional route. It’s not for everyone, and in some cases, it’s not even on their short- and-long-term interests.

To read this month’s free educational newsletter from Foreclosure.com CLICK HERE.

Obama-Romney Debate ‘Ignores’ U.S. Housing And Foreclosure Problems

With all the spirited banter last night about tax cuts, 47 percenters, foreign policy, job creation and all-things political, it appears the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney “ignored” perhaps one of the biggest economic issues facing the United States during their second presidential debate at Hofstra University:

Housing!

There are countless pointed reactions and passionate thoughts about “who won” the debate. And depending on which news channel you watch or in which political direction you lean, you’re going to get a mixed bag of reactions and have formulated your own opinions. That’s cool — we’re not here to pick sides, not even close, but shed light on a glaring omission. Housing is a serious issue and it has been since the mortgage meltdown more than a half-decade ago that triggered the national foreclosure crisis.

So why aren’t the 2012 presidential candidates talking more about it?

Zachary Goldfarb of the Washington Post provides a potential explanation that splits party lines rather evenly:

“Both Republicans and Democrats agree that one way to help the economy would be to launch a massive program to allow Americans to refinance their home loans at low rates. Obama has suggested such a proposal, as has a top adviser to Romney. Yet neither Obama nor Romney has an incentive to discuss housing. Housing has been arguably one of Obama’s weakest areas as president; he has acknowledged it was the most stubborn problem he faced. And Romney’s approach has been largely to allow the free market to sort out the woes of the housing market, allowing those who got in over their heads to default. Neither is a popular talking point.”

Perhaps unpopular, but certainly worth debating when the dynamic duo hit Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., next week for their third and final verbal sparring session prior to the election on Nov. 6, 2012. A fine institution of higher learning nestled in the heart of South Florida, one of the hardest-hit foreclosure hot beds in the nation.

To read Obama’s policy on housing click here and to read Romney’s click here.

Photo by VOA [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Foreclosure Settlement: Who Qualifies, Eligibility Details And More

Earlier this year, the five largest mortgage servicers/lenders in the United States struck a $25 billion deal to compensate homeowners who were subject to fraudulent and/or questionable foreclosure proceedings between Jan. 1, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2012.

During that four-year window, it was revealed that the biggest banks — Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo — “routinely signed foreclosure related-documents outside the presence of a notary public and without really knowing whether the facts they contained were correct.” The process was referred to as “robo-signing,” which was — and still is — illegal.

In other words, homeowners throughout the nation were wrongly foreclosed, regardless of whether or not they could afford their mortgages, and as a result, these banks now have to compensate them.

Every state, with the exception of Oklahoma, which actually didn’t agree with the massive fine levied upon the big banks, characterizing it as “excessive,” will receive a share of the $25 billion settlement to distribute to affected homeowners who lost their homes during the four-year timeframe mentioned above. However, these affected homeowners have to complete claim forms and submit them prior to Jan. 18, 2013, to be eligible.

How much each individual receives will depend on the amount allocated to the state in which he/she resides, as well as how many distressed/wronged borrowers in said state participate. However, in Florida — one of the hardest-hit states in terms of foreclosure — each claimant can expect to receive an estimated $2,000 payout.

So how do you determine your eligibility?

Well, first, you should have received a “Notice Letter” recently from your servicer/lender, which includes your personalized “Claimant ID” number. However, if you’ve moved and/or didn’t receive the letter there is a way to follow up and learn more.

Follow this simple process:

  • Call toll-free (866) 430-8358
  • Have your loan information readily available
  • Speak with a “Settlement Administrator”
  • Determine eligibility
  • Sign the “Claim Form”
  • Submit the “Claim Form” prior to Jan. 18, 2012

To learn more about the National Mortgage Settlement, including detailed eligibility requirements, as well as how to make your claim online, click here.

Top 10 Most Searched Foreclosure Cities In The U.S.

Where are all the foreclosures?

Well, in today’s market, foreclosed homes are located in just about every corner of the United States. Long gone are the days when distressed real estate was hard-to-find, valuable treasure. Make no mistake, foreclosures, short sales and other distressed property types are typically still cheaper than their traditional counterparts; however, thanks to the mortgage meltdown a few years back and the current nationwide economic crisis, they are significantly more abundant.

In fact, there are so many foreclosures in some “hot spots” that banks and lenders don’t have the time or resources to repossess them in a timely fashion. That’s the reason some folks can live in their homes mortgage-free for months or even years, as well as the reason for the “shadow” inventory — abandoned/vacant homes not yet “in the system” — that sits idle for so long.

Indeed, foreclosures are essentially everywhere. And until the lenders and banks catch up, or until the economy levels out, or both, foreclosures will continue to remain everywhere well into the near future.

The good news is that foreclosed homes represent discounted real estate purchase opportunities. Banks and lenders are overwhelmed and are often eager to sell their assets as quickly as possible, even if it means slashing prices by as much as 50 percent or more. Always remember: Banks and lenders are in the money business, not the real estate business.

Cash is king.

So, since we’ve established that foreclosures are everywhere and that they still offer buyers and investors tremendous value — especially when you factor in historically low mortgage interest rates — we thought that we’d take a look at the most popular areas for foreclosure searches throughout the nation.

Just because there are more foreclosures on the market and unemployment is high, doesn’t mean that competition among buyers doesn’t exist. On the contrary, competition is stiff in desirable locations nationwide. In fact, it’s common for forward-thinking investors and others to cherry-pick the best deals, renovate and rent/re-sell them for profit.

It’s the primary reason Government-Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs) like Fannie Mae have had to implement programs such as “First Look,” which locks out investors from purchasing properties for a few days so first-time buyers don’t miss out on all the great opportunities.

In any case, here are the Top 10 most-searched cities for foreclosed homes for sale*:

  1. Los Angeles, Calif.
  2. Orlando. Fla.
  3. Fort Lauderdale. Fla.
  4. Miami, Fla.
  5. Houston, Texas
  6. Atlanta, Ga.
  7. West Palm Beach, Fla.
  8. Dallas, Texas
  9. Chicago, Ill.
  10. Las Vegas, Nevada
foreclosures

Florida, with four cities in the list, is clearly a major point of interest for many buyers and investors. That’s not too surprising, considering the climate and reputation for being a retirement and/or vacation home destination. In addition, the “Sunshine State” took a beating when the housing market crashed — it has consistently remained at or near the top of the collective foreclosure list since it tanked.

Even still, homeowners who paid too much at the height of the market are still struggling to get their heads “above water” on mortgages that simply no longer make sense (or cents).

It’s also no surprise that Los Angeles, where the population density is high and the real estate footprint is perhaps just as dense, sits atop the list. Houston, Atlanta, Chicago and Las Vegas are also in demand, indicating that if buyers and investors are interested in investing in these areas that they better be prepared and on top of their games.

Searching and finding foreclosures is clearly a small piece of a very competitive pie in many areas throughout the United States. It’s the first, albeit perhaps most important, step in a process that could mean the difference between making (or saving) tens of — if not hundreds of — thousands of dollars.

The best thing that you can do to improve your chances of success is to do your homework, know your target market inside-out. This way, you can identify a deal the moment you see it and are able to move fast to ensure that no one else beats you to the punch.

Timing is everything even when foreclosures are everywhere.

*Foreclosure data provided by Foreclosure.com

Fannie Mae Foreclosures Sold In Bulk

Pacifica Real Estate Group, a real estate investment and management firm based in San Diego, Calif., recently purchased 699 foreclosures in Florida from Fannie Mae in one very large bulk transaction.

According to PalmBeachPost.com, Pacifica paid $12.3 upfront and will have to provide Fannie Mae with 90 percent of the proceeds from the homes included in the portfolio until the collective sales reach $49.3 million. Once that threshold is satisfied, the companies will split any future profits down the middle.

Fannie Mae stands to collect a projected $78.1 million windfall as a result of the landmark sale.

However, this deal is less about money and more about getting properties in a struggling South Florida housing market, which was among the hardest hit in the mortgage meltdown several years ago, repaired, marketed and sold, as well as rented, as soon as possible.

“The transaction is designed to promote home price stability, improve quality of housing stock and enhance rental inventory of markets by utilizing a rent-and-hold strategy,” according to a summary included in the report.

Fannie Mae typically sells its assets one-by-one via HomePath.com, offering buyers nationwide with special offers and incentives to achieve the goal of homeownership. Competitive interest rates and the “First Look” program that ensures traditional buyers are not beat to the punch by cash-laden investors, are just a few of the many ways the the Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) is doing its part to equitably return the United States housing market back to normal sooner rather than later.

It’s a delicate balance.

To search for Fannie Mae-owned foreclosed homes available for sale in your area today click here.