In the real estate industry, a homeowner suffering from financial problems which cause an inability to meet monthly mortgage obligations is said to be "in distress" and in possession of a "distressed property." Based on the point in the foreclosure process in which the home resides, it can be considered a pre-foreclosure, foreclosure at auction or bank possessed home.
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The most problematic reality of selling a distressed home is that even after the repairs are made, it's no guarantee of a speedy sale. In the case of major issues such as damage to the roof, foundation or plumbing, the repairs may have to be disclosed as part of the transaction between buyer and seller, and so many prospective deals fall through last minute.
A recent fatality taking place on the premises can also be a factor in a slower than expected home sale. A recent study indicated that this factor was considered significant by 2 out of 5 prospective homebuyers, with these respondents indicating they would pass on a property outright. Many jurisdictions mandate that this information be disclosed, and this can make a property that is otherwise in good condition much more difficult to sell.
Naturally, the real value in property lies not in the building, but the property on which it is built. Real estate of this type is a truly finite resource, meaning it will only gain value with time under most circumstances. As a result, future development in the area of a property is a primary factor in the value of a particular property.
There are also a number of less immediately identifiable elements that contribute to the market value of a home, and in some cases this can mean a longer than expected selling process for a homeowner in possession of an unwanted property. Even something as minor as a street name or nearby residents can have an outsized impact on the value of a home.
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City history unfolds with the Native American, Hudson Bay Company, DuPont and Weyerhaeuser eras, and the impact and changes they made to what we now call DuPont.
Evidence shows that the Sequalitchew Nisqually, a vibrant indigenous people, existed here for over 5,700 years. The close proximity to the Puget Sound, rivers and grasslands provided shelter and ample resources for this thriving culture.
Early 19th century journals kept by the British owned Hudson Bay Company employees recorded the events of daily life at Fort Nisqually and interaction with local tribes. Fort Nisqually was initially a fur trading settlement and later expanded into agriculture and farming.
The first Americans arrived in this area in 1839 to establish the Nisqually Methodist Mission, but were forced to leave within three years because of hardship and illness. It was here that American teacher Chloe Clark married HBC employee William Holden Willson.
Captain Wilkes and the 1841 US Exploring Expedition charted and explored this area for the American government. They built and observatory on a promontory overlooking the mouth of Sequalitchew Creek to map Southern Puget Sound. Many of our local landmarks are still known today by the names designated by this scientific expedition.
By 1906, hundreds of workers and their families called this area home after the E.I. DuPont de Nemours Company built an explosive manufacturing plant and Village, giving their name to DuPont. The explosives produced here were used for some of the world's largest construction projects including the Panama Canal and Grand Coulee Dam, as well as for munitions for both World Wars.
In 1951 DuPont became incorporated. Residents realized that incorporation was necessary after the DuPont Company donated water, sewer and electrical systems as well as several lots for parks to the town. The company also sold the houses to tenant employees.
Weyerhaeuser bought the 3,200-acre former explosives plant site in 1976 from the DuPont Company. Weyerhaeuser originally intended to use the property as the site for a wood products export facility. The market for lumber declined in the early 1980s and Weyerhaeuser changed its focus to land development in DuPont.
In 1989 the City Council approved plans for the construction of Weyerhaeuser's Northwest Landing, a residential, commercial and industrial development. The Village of DuPont grew from 601 inhabitants to today's approximately 9,175 residents. Today DuPont is made up of both the Historic Village and the modern Northwest Landing, creating a vibrant new community.
The one reality about today's housing market is that many people have more questions than answers. The following information is intended to help you or someone you know better understand your situation.
Do I Qualify For A Short Sale?
The qualifications for a short sale include any or all of the following:
Financial Hardship - There is a situation causing you to have trouble affording your mortgage.
Monthly Income Shortfall - You have more month than money. A lender will want to see that you cannot afford, or soon will not be able to afford your mortgage.
Insolvency - The lender will want to see that you do not have significant liquid assets that would allow you to pay down your mortgage.
What Is A Mortgage Modification?
A mortgage modification is a process through which your mortgage lender changes any or all of the following:
Your interest rate
Your principal balance (through a reduction)
Your loan terms (example: from an adjustable to a fixed rate)
This process can allow borrowers to stay in their property when they can no longer afford their current mortgage payments.
Why Would A Lender Modify My Mortgage?
Lenders have realized that in some cases it is better for them to work with current borrowers to lower payments or possibly improve terms in order to keep homeowners in their properties. The average foreclosure can cost a lender from 35-50% of the value of a property, so keeping borrowers in their homes is a good option for everyone.
What Do I Need To Qualify For A Mortgage Modification?
According to the Making Home Affordable Web site (http://MakingHomeAffordable.gov), you will need the following information for your lender to consider a modification:
Information about your first mortgage, such as your monthly mortgage statement
Information about any second mortgage or home equity line of credit on the house
Account balances and minimum monthly payments due on all of your credit cards
Account balances and monthly payments on all your other debts such as student loans and car loans
Your most recent income tax return
Information about your savings and other assets
Information about the monthly gross (before tax) income of your household, including recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other sources
If applicable, it may also be helpful to have a letter describing any circumstances that caused your income reduce or expenses to increase (job loss, divorce, illness, etc.)
How Do I Qualify For A Mortgage Modification?
The first call you make should be to your lender, have the information above ready to discuss with them and call your customer service line to ask them what options you have available. If the person you speak with does not understand what you are asking, you can ask to be referred to one of the following departments (different lenders have different names for these departments):
Prior to contacting your mortgage lender you can quickly complete an eligibility test at http://MakingHomeAffordable.gov. This test will let you know if you are eligible for a modification through the government-sponsored Home Affordability and Stability Program (HASP).
For a list of mortgage lenders and servicers, visit www.HopeNow.com.
What Is A Home Affordable Refinance?
If Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac owns your mortgage, you may be eligible for a Home Affordable Refinance. This will allow you to refinance your home and often lower your payments.
What If I Don't Qualify, Can't Afford My Home, And Owe More Than It's Worth?
You are not alone and foreclosure is not the only option. If your mortgage lender or servicer will not work with you to reduce your payment, you may want to consider a short sale. Agents with the 'Certified Distressed Property Expert' Designation have undergone extensive training in how to process and negotiate short sales.
A short sale allows you to sell your home for less than what you owe and avoid foreclosure. Speak to your market expert to see if you may qualify.
What Are The Qualifications For A Home Affordable Refinance?
According to the resources released by the government, following are a list of qualifications:
You are the owner occupant of a one- to four-unit home
The loan on your property is owned or securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (see Useful Links)
At the time you apply, you are current on your mortgage payments (you haven't been more than 30 days late on your mortgage payment in the last 12 months, or if you have had the loan for less than 12 months, you have never missed a payment)
You believe that the amount you owe on your first mortgage is about the same or slightly less than the current value of your house
You have income sufficient to support the new mortgage payments, and the refinance improves the long-term affordability or stability of your loan.
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