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Life After Foreclosure – Lessons in Real Estate

A strange topic for us to be covering this week: foreclosure. We’d usually talk about the bargains to be scooped-up in the current foreclosure crisis nationwide, but this week we’re going to take a look at those who have survived the crisis the hard way.

It’s possible you know someone who has lost their home to foreclosure. The economy as of late has been tough on everyone and there is little immunity for anyone. We all know someone who has lost their job, gone late on bills for the first time (ever), started spending less and saving more…it touches us all. CNN Money published this article yesterday, highlighting families who have survived foreclosure, so today, we thought we’d just talk about some smart financial planning tips that current and future homeowners can make to potentially avoid the unthinkable.

  • 20% down payment – make it the rule, not the exception. When you’ve got skin in the game, you’re not only a better bet for a lender, but you’ve got breathing room on your home equity if things get tight down the line.
  • Stop thinking of your primary residence as an investment. Start thinking of it as a home. Peace of mind comes in many forms, and for most of our clients, it’s knowing they have a home they love and are comfortable in to come home to at the day’s end. It’s a place for children to grow, relatives and friends to visit and memories to be made. If it appreciates, that’s nothing but upside, but don’t bank on it. Our team takes no greater joy than seeing a happy family take the keys to their brand new front door – we also revel in helping investors find suitable rental properties for their portfolios. But we understand that these two buyer segments are very different and have different goals. Make sure your Realtor isn’t confusing the two.
  • Buy a little less than you can afford. Life comes at us from all directions. If you look to spend a little less than you can truly afford, then you’re thinking about living. Think of your family vacations, a new car, saving for college and retirement…all the things you might miss if your mortgage payment owns you. We enjoy having repeat clients and are thrilled when they’re ready for an upgrade with a new baby or a downsizing when the kids head off to college. We never want to talk our clients into a purchase because it’s a bigger price tag — we see our clients every day around town and are confident they know we helped them make the right decision for their situation.

The Staff at San Juan Realty, Inc.

SJR August 20 2009

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