By Kay Wilson-Bolton
May 22, 2007
There are some who continue to tell the story that things are really not “that bad and this a good time buy.” The market may not be “that bad” for everyone, but it is “that different” for many.
If you bought your home within the last three years and now find that your new loan payment is not affordable, things are not only different, they are bad.
Losing a home to foreclosure is not a pleasant experience and for most, it is traumatic. It is attached to shame and failure. The day you realize what the future really holds is a sobering one. The events that lead to that day are usually filled with household arguments, blame, regret and fear.
The kids hear the discussions and the parents or partners feel the tension. A ringing phone changes the mood in the room because it is likely a creditor and everyone knows it.
Consider a market like Camarillo. You might be surprised to know that as of May 22, there were 522 homes for sale, not including manufactured homes. The week before there were 507; the week before that were 475.
Some are home owners who merely “want to sell if they can”. They will generally price their home at a price higher than recent sales with the idea that they will have room to negotiate with someone.
Then, there are homeowners who “must” sell and position their home very competitively.
It is time to acknowledge that the market has dramatically changed again and that it is not going to improve any time soon.
When prices started to rise about two-three years ago, lenders developed a creative set of loan programs to help marginal buyers purchase a home. Many of those loans put fragile buyers into compromised situations. REALTORS® helped sell those programs and were paid well in the process.
REALTORS® who largely represent sellers saw the offers with those financing programs; but without proof of fraud, there was nothing to do.
Let’s face it. When things around you seem fine, and everyone else is doing it, it is easy to believe that everything will remain fine.
We have learned again that little in life is predictable for very long and one thing we can all count on is change.
Today’s real market is tough. Believe it. If you are not a serious seller, you need to take your property off the market and wait for another time.
If you now owe more on your home than it is worth, do the best you can to get through this. Find an experienced REALTOR® or a knowledgeable attorney who understands what to do and will guide you. There are options.
If you still have equity and can not make the payments, be wise about your decisions. It may be that facing the consequences early is best.
Know that this will pass and you will have another chance. I know.
We all need to learn from this. All of us need to remember it.
Kay Wilson-Bolton is the owner of CENTURY 21 Buena Vista and CENTURY 21 Ability. She brings a regional perspective to local issues. She can be reached at 805.340.5025. Her web address is www.readysetkay.com