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Millennials Buying Homes: What’s Trending?

by Mary Gilbert


Though there are a number of stereotypes surrounding Millennials, they actually make up a fairly significant part of the economy. More importantly, their economic strength as a group seems to be growing by the day. As of 2019, Millennials make up approximately 37 percent of home buyers… that’s a bigger share than any other generation, including Baby Boomers! So what exactly are these Millennials buying, and what trends are growing along with their increasing representation in the market? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

 

First-Time Buyers

Approximately 52 percent of Millennials who are buying homes are first-time home buyers. This makes sense for younger Millennials, but even older Millennials who were born in the 80s still see a significant number of first-time buyers. Before buying, a large number of these Millennials were renting homes. By buying homes, they can enjoy the benefits of ownership and build equity for similar amounts (or in some cases, less) than they were paying each month in rent previously.
 

Family Homes

The majority of home-buying Millennials are buying single-family homes. This is in part because over 50 percent of them are either married or in long-term relationships; in fact, in 2018 there were more married couples among home-buying Millennials than there were in any other generational group that was in the market for a house. A significant number of Millennials also have children under the age of 18 living at home, further increasing the need for a family-friendly home.
 

Motivation to Buy

The majority of Millennials who have bought homes within the last year did so simply because they wanted to own a home of their own. Some wanted to own a larger home, be closer to friends and family or were moving due to job relocation, but the general desire to own a home was listed as a reason for buying by as many Millennials as ones that gave all other reasons combined. A lot of this came down to the opportunities that were present as well; over 50 percent of Millennials report that it was “just the right time” to buy a home, while the second most common reason (that they didn’t have much choice and had to buy when they did) was only reported by around 10 to 15 percent of Millennials.
 

Back to the Suburbs

One big trend among Millennial home buyers is that they were buying homes in the suburbs. This wasn’t restricted only to Millennials, either; 51 percent of all homes purchased in 2018 were located in suburban areas or subdivisions. The Millennials fell pretty close to this statistic, with small towns being the second most common location. A vast majority of these homes were previously owned; though there have been a number of new subdivisions built around the country in recent years, only a small percentage of Millennials are buying into them.
 

Biggest Factors

There are a number of factors that affected the purchasing decisions of Millennials. The presence of public transit or proximity to work was one major factor, with many Millennials trying to minimize commuting costs. Heating and cooling efficiency also played an important role. In general, Millennials were more willing to compromise on price than on a home’s condition, but only around 20 percent were willing to compromise on the distance of their new home from work.
 

Home Shopping Trends

By far, the majority of Millennials started their home search by looking online to try and find properties for sale. Around 15 percent spent even more time online than that, starting their search by researching the ins and outs of the home buying process before even starting to look at properties. Beyond online sources, Millennials trusted real estate agents and Realtors the most for information about homes for sale. The entire process took about 10 weeks on average before finding the home they wanted to buy, though a real estate agent was involved for the last 7 or so weeks of the search.
 

In the Market?

Are you a Millennial in the market for a new home? You’re in luck, the experts with The Mary Gilbert Group can help you get into the home of your dreams. 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

 

By: Homekeepr, Rob Morelli

Popular House Styles Defined

by Mary Gilbert


When you’re new to house-hunting and begin reading house descriptions, you may not understand the difference in a ranch, Tudor or a Craftsman style.  These eight most common architectural types will help you not feel so overwhelmed while going through your
 to-see list: 

 

  • Popular in the 1930s was the Arts and Crafts, or Craftsman, house.  Known by their low-pitched roof, front porch with tapered columns, the interiors of this type of home features lots of woodwork and built ins. 
     

  • Cape Cod-style homes are rectangular in shape, usually with the front door in the center of the front of the home, shuttered windows on either side of the front door and gable ends.  Traditional structures are one and a half stories, with living, sleeping and dining rooms all divided with walls. 
     
     

  • Colonial houses are the predecessor of the Cape Cod, and they are similar in shape, style, and interior.  The biggest difference between the two is the Colonial’s second story was a full story, versus the Cape Cod’s half-story.
      
     

  • A home that is described as Contemporary should be just that--a house of “now.”  Think of a contemporary home as having Colonial, Ranch or other architectural characteristics, just with an updated look. 
     

  • As times changed during the 1930s-60s, Mid-Century Modern-style houses began to make an impression using sleek straight lines, asymmetrical form and basic materials like glass, concrete, and metal.   
     

  • Ranch-style homes were a popular architectural style in the US during the post-World War II years through the 1970s.  The one-story form was usually low on the ground, with mixed exterior siding and attached garage.  
     

  • Looking like something from a fairy tale, Tudor homes featured curved rooflines and doorways, timbered or half-timbered gables filled with mason work or shingles, decorated windows, and cross-gables on the front exterior.  
     

  • The Victorian era brought romance and frills, and the homes of that period are no different.  A Victorian-style home will normally have a steeped-pitch roof, gabled windows, decorative woodwork, bay windows, and wide front porch.  

 

REALTOR® Magazine offers a guide to many other house styles, complete with images of the basic look of each type and brief description.  Once you’re familiar with these terms and the houses they describe, you’ll feel more confident as you search listings, looking for your new home. 
 

Contact the experts on The Mary Gilbert Group for all your Real Estate needs! 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

Photo credit: popsugar

Home Shopping Red Flags to Watch

by Mary Gilbert


Shopping for a home can be exciting. Unfortunately, sometimes we can get too caught up in the excitement and end up ignoring signs that the house we’re looking at might not be the best option. There are a number of red flags that can pop up when looking at homes, and even more when shopping for a mortgage to pay for the home you choose. To help you avoid having a bad home-buying experience, here are a few of the biggest red flags that you should keep an eye out for.

 

Signs of Foundation Trouble

When looking at a home, be sure to get a look around the outside so you can catch a peek near the foundation. If the home has a basement, ask to see it as well. While a little settling is normal, if you see large cracks, signs of leaks or other indications that there is foundation damage then buying this home is just asking for trouble.
 

Insect Issues

Having insects or other pests in your home is more than just unsanitary: These uninvited intruders can actually damage your home and lead to costly repairs. If you see insects, mice or other pests (or indications that they’ve been in the house recently), it could indicate a pest control problem that the seller has been unable to get under control. Depending on how bad the problem is, this could be a deal-breaker.
 

Inconsistently Fresh Paint

Seeing freshly painted walls in a house is pretty common and usually isn’t anything to worry about. When the paint only covers certain patches of the wall, though, that’s a different story. Be sure to ask about any small sections of paint that you see as they may indicate damage that was hastily covered up with a little bit of paint. It’s possible that there’s a good reason for it, but that little patch of paint may also be hiding an unpleasant surprise in the wall.
 

Smells and Stains

Most sellers go out of their way to make a house appear at its very best before letting potential buyers come in. This is why you should definitely take note of any odd smells or stains that you encounter in the house. Smells could indicate leaks, mildew, mold or other problems hiding somewhere in the house. Stains can also indicate leaks and other problems, especially if they appear on the ceiling or near the tops of the walls. Large stains on the ceiling can even signify a leaky roof!
 

Outlet Issues

When looking through a house, be sure to spare electrical outlets a glance. If they have visible cracks, discolorations or black smudges on them then you may have electrical problems in your future! While you’re thinking about the electricity, you should also ask to see the breaker box to make sure that it’s well organized and that all of the breakers appear to be in working order.
 

Standing Water

If it’s been raining, you may see a little bit of water standing in the yard when you go to visit a house. This isn’t necessarily an issue, but stop to think about how long it’s been since it rained and just how much rain you’ve gotten. If there seems to be a lot of water for the amount of rain or if it’s been a while since the last rainfall, that standing water could indicate drainage issues or even problems with a water line or septic tank.
 

Loan Issues

Even if there’s nothing wrong with the house you want to buy, you may encounter red flags during the loan process. Higher than usual interest rates, requirements for additional insurance or flood insurance, added costs and other quirks could mean that you need to find a new lender… or they could mean that there are issues with the property that you missed. Shop around for a better loan if you think you can find a better deal, though keep an eye out for issues that keep popping up at multiple lenders.
 

The Best Way to Avoid Red Flags

If you’re seeing red flags everywhere you look and aren’t sure where to turn, we can help. Contact The Mary Gilbert Group to help guide you through finding a great home AND a great loan. Reach us at 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

 

By: Homekeepr, Saro Cutri

Home Programs Vets Should Know About

by Mary Gilbert


Veterans sacrifice a lot for this country. To help honor these sacrifices, special programs were put in place to aid vets in getting and keeping a home. Unfortunately, not all veterans know that these programs exist. Even for those who do, they may not realize exactly what options are available for them and may apply for a program that doesn’t really match their situation ideally.

 

To help sort out some of the confusion, here are a few of the most common home programs that vets might be interested in. As requirements and availability can change over time, be sure to find out more before attempting to apply for any specific program.
 

VA Home Loans

One of the most commonly used home programs for vets are VA home loans. These loans are subsidized by the Veterans Administration itself, similar to HUD home loans or rural loans subsidized by the Department of Agriculture. Thanks to the VA subsidy, vets can qualify for better-than-average interest rates and may be able to reduce or eliminate down payments or closing costs as well. Houses must meet the livability requirements of the VA to be purchased with a VA home loan.
 

VA Foreclosure Programs

Another useful home program for vets is the VA foreclosure program. This features homes that have been foreclosed upon that meet livability requirements, allowing vets to buy the homes at a discount from their market value. This lower price can make VA loans even more affordable since there is less to repay from the start.
 

Loan Forbearance

One problem that vets sometimes face is getting behind on mortgage payments and running the risk of losing their home. The VA offers loan forbearance programs that can help with this. While this doesn’t serve as loan forgiveness, the forbearance does temporarily stop repayments to give veterans more time to catch up. There are no penalties accrued during the forbearance period – and pending foreclosures won’t move forward while the loan is in forbearance. Once the forbearance period ends, the vet can begin making payments again at their normal rate.
 

Loan Modifications

VA-backed loan modifications are another option for vets that are struggling with their mortgage payment. These modifications can make changes to the interest rate, interest type or even the repayment period of the loan to reduce the amount of the monthly payment. There are a few different types of loan modifications available for vets ranging from basic loan refinancing to specialized repayment plans designed to keep vets in their homes when times are tough. The specific terms of the modification will depend on the specific program or plan that the veteran uses to modify their loan.
 

In-Home Care Programs

For veterans who were injured in service or who experience other chronic health issues, the VA offers programs to aid in getting in-home care. These programs pay out directly to the care provider and may also cover the cost of specialized care equipment or home modifications that are necessary to help the vets get through their day. These programs may be a good option for injured vets who need minor remodeling for medical reasons but who are unable to get it done on a fixed income.
 

VA Disability Status

It is important to point out that some VA programs require a veteran to have disability status before they can qualify. Disability through the VA can take a while to certify, so vets who have ongoing mobility or health issues should apply early before applying for other programs. Some programs may have options available while a disability decision is still pending, but there are at least a few VA programs that can’t do anything for you unless you’re already certified as disabled by the VA.
 

Finding the Right Program

If you’re struggling to navigate the complexities of some of these programs, there are mortgage and loan experts out there who can help you. They have experience dealing with VA programs and may be able to advise you on which programs are best for your situation. Contact The Mary Gilbert Group for advice and a referral! 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

 

By: Homekeepr, David Weinstein

Tips for Lowering Your Mortgage Insurance Payment

by Mary Gilbert


Mortgage insurance can be a pain, though in many cases it’s a necessary evil. Without mortgage insurance you may not be able to qualify for certain loan programs, including loans serviced through the FHA. Depending on the circumstances of your loan and the insurance you buy, this can be a considerable expense. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce this expense; in some cases, you may even be able to get rid of mortgage insurance altogether!

 

Be sure to keep in mind that like many things loan-related, there are a lot of factors that go into determining your mortgage insurance costs. While these tips may help you to lower that payment, their effectiveness will vary from person to person.
 

Build Your Credit

As with loan interest rates, mortgage insurance costs can be affected by your credit score. Mortgage insurance is designed to provide additional safety for the lender that extends the loan. As such, the better your credit score is, the less risk there is that you’ll default on the loan. If you can improve your credit, you’ll have a much stronger case for negotiating a lower mortgage insurance payment.
 

Pay Down Your Loan

Mortgage insurance is typically required when your down payment is under 20 percent of the value of your home. As such, you can usually renegotiate it or have it removed entirely as you build equity. If you can afford it, make additional payments against your loan to pay it down and build equity faster; this will get you in a position to renegotiate your mortgage insurance sooner than you would otherwise be able to.
 

Refinance Your Mortgage

Provided that you can get a good deal on your new loan, refinancing is a great way to reduce the cost of mortgage insurance. Because you’re taking out a new loan to pay off the previous one, any mortgage insurance that’s required will be based on the new loan amount in comparison to your home’s value. If you refinance with a loan that’s for 80 percent or less than the total value of your home, then you likely won’t have to take out mortgage insurance for the new loan at all. Likewise, if you can refinance with some government-backed loans such as those offered through the Department of Veteran Affairs or the Department of Agriculture, then you should be able to skip the mortgage insurance as well.
 

Increase Your Home’s Value

Another option for reducing or eliminating your mortgage insurance payment is increasing the value of your home. In some cases, this is simply a matter of having the property appraised again; there are a number of external factors that can affect property value, and if your property sees a value increase then you can use this to renegotiate your mortgage insurance rate. If that isn’t an option, consider home improvements or similar actions that will increase the value of your property so that you can get out from under that insurance umbrella.
 

Talk to Your Lender

If you aren’t sure what to do, talk to your lender and see which options are best in your situation. They may look at your mortgage payment history and other factors to help you find a way to reduce that insurance cost. They can also help you calculate your equity and see exactly how much more you’ll need to significantly reduce (or completely eliminate) your mortgage insurance obligations. If you’ve already built over 20 percent equity then you may be able to simply ask for the insurance to be cancelled in your first contact with the lender.
 

Ask the Experts

Since mortgage insurance costs can vary from person to person, it’s always a good idea to find a professional to advise you about your specific loan situation. Contact The Mary Gilbert Group at 541.371.5500 or [email protected] for ALL your Real Estate needs. 

 

By: Homekeepr, Rob Morelli

What’s New in Legislation for Homeowners?

by Mary Gilbert


Owning a home can be expensive, though the benefits of home ownership typically outweigh the cost. Occasionally, changes to the law at either the state or national level can affect how these benefits and costs affect you. This is especially true if you’re still considering whether or not to buy a house, since knowing how the law stands can have a big impact on your final decision.

 

Some legislation affecting homeowners is enacted at the federal level, while other bits of legislation come from the state. Because of the significant differences in the reach of these different types of legislation, it can be hard to cover all of the changes in law that affect homeowners from year to year. To help keep you informed, though, here are some fairly recent legislation trends that may be worth looking into.
 

Tax Break Changes

One big change that’s hitting a lot of homeowners hard is the elimination of some tax breaks that were formerly offered for home ownership. While this doesn’t directly affect the cost of owning a home, it can have a significant impact on your tax return if you were expecting to qualify for one of these expired breaks. Tax law is complex and can change from one year to the next, so it’s possible that these breaks (or others like them) will see a return in future years. However, it’s important to check each year before filing your taxes to make sure that you haven’t gotten mixed up by tax break changes or missed a break that you could have qualified for.
 

Roof Replacement Costs

In some areas, the law allowed homeowners to replace their roof without all of the costs normally associated with such a big job. This was due to contractors being allowed to waive a portion of their fees equal to the deductible on the customer’s homeowner’s insurance. Unfortunately, changes in the law are starting to shut this down. States like Texas are changing the law so that contractors caught waiving the deductible could face fines or even jail time. Homeowners obviously aren’t big fans of such changes, since they result in more out-of-pocket expenses when having to use their homeowner’s insurance.
 

Solar and Alt Energy Incentives

There were a number of solar and alternative energy incentives available to homeowners at both the state and federal level, but some of these have been altered, were negated or simply expired without renewal in the last year or two. In some cases, federal programs have been replaced by state programs that provide similar incentives. In other cases, the incentives have been revamped and renewed later. Not all tax breaks and other incentives have been renewed, though, so it’s important for homeowners to confirm that specific programs still exist before depending upon them to add alternative energy solutions to their homes.
 

Home Loan Changes

It seems like there are significant changes to home loans every few years – and recent years have been no exception. Fortunately for those wanting to buy a new home or refinance an existing loan, some recent bits of legislation have expanded on borrowing limits for certain types of loans without adding new restrictions. Unfortunately, many of these laws affect lending through state-level programs instead of making adjustments to loans at the federal level. Some also only affect certain types of homes or houses that are built for specific uses. If you’re waiting for changes to federal loan programs, you may have to wait a bit longer before those programs see major updates.
 

Consult the Experts

It’s hard to stay on top of the changes in laws from one year to the next. Having a lawyer or real estate expert to help you sort through all of it can be a great way to keep from being caught unprepared by these new laws. Contact The Mary Gilbert Group at 541.371.5500 or [email protected]

 

By: Homekeepr, Rob Morelli 

Making an Offer is a Process

by Mary Gilbert


While you’re on the house hunt, every property you see just might be “the one.”  It’s a good idea to learn the different aspects of buying a house before you get into them.  Many discover that after they’ve made an offer of purchase, the process isn’t exac
tly as they’d envisioned! You’ll feel confident when you get to this step by following this guide: 

 

  • - The offer itself isn’t just a price you’re willing to pay for the property; closing date, closing cost contribution, contingencies, or the earnest money deposit are all things that are normally included when the offer is submitted to the seller. 
     

  • - Talk with your agent before you come to your initial price, because you don’t want to insult the seller with a very low offer, nor do you want to pay too much for the house. 
     

  • - Although you won’t always get a complete answer, knowing why the house is on the market can give you some leverage, so ask anyway. Some sellers are in a time crunch and are eager to sell and may take your first offer. 
     

  • - Keep in mind that there are legal aspects to writing a proposal.  Your Realtor will know all the aspects of this part of the process and will take you through each step. 
     

  • - It is very likely that the seller won’t accept your price if it’s less than what they’re asking.  If they want to sell and have no higher offers, they may choose to send a counteroffer.  The counteroffer step is nothing to worry about, if the negotiations are getting you somewhere.   
     

  • - Some sellers will counteroffer with their original asking price.  If this happens, you may have to walk away, as they have shown they’re not interested in moving away from what they want for the property.

  •  

  • - Don’t forget that you may not be the only buyers interested in the home!  Realtor.com® offers some advice on how sellers might handle multiple offers and some ideas on how to make your offer stand out. 

 

When your offer is accepted, it’s exciting, but there is still work to do!  Hopefully, you have pre-approval for a mortgage, making the buying process a much smoother one.  There are added costs associated with buying a home, so be sure you have your finances in order. 

 

Contact The Mary Gilbert Group at 541.371.5500 or [email protected] for ALL your Real Estate needs! 

Photo credit: newsday

What Is a Non-Occupying Co-Borrower?

by Mary Gilbert


If you’re worried about whether you can get a loan on your own, having a co-borrower can take a lot of the stress off. Because there are two people applying for the loan, the lender has a lot more potential assets to consider and two different credit scores. In most cases, the co-borrower on a mortgage loan will live at the same address as the primary borrower (such as the residence being purchased.) Depending on circumstances, though, it is possible to have a co-borrower who doesn’t live at the same address.

 

Non-Occupying Co-Borrowers

As the name implies, a non-occupying co-borrower (also called a non-occupant co-borrower, or NOCB) is another person who is willing to take responsibility for a mortgage loan but who won’t be living in the purchased house. In most cases this is a family member such as a parent, sibling or spouse, though the exact restrictions will depend on the loan program you use. The co-borrower’s income is added in with the primary borrower’s for the purpose of qualifying for the loan, allowing the primary borrower to get the loan even if they couldn’t qualify on their own.
 

Both the income and the liabilities of the co-borrower are considered along with the income and liabilities of the primary borrower. The total income and total liabilities of both are calculated and then used to determine the overall debt-to-income ratio of the two borrowers; provided that it’s favorable enough, they’ll then qualify for the loan. Because they are co-borrowers on the loan, both the primary borrower and the NOCB are equally responsible for the loan payments.
 

Advantages and Disadvantages

There are a few distinct advantages of using a non-occupying co-borrower for a mortgage:

  • Can qualify you for a loan that you might not get otherwise
  • May earn you a better interest rate or more favorable loan terms
  • Provides you with someone else to help ensure that payments are made on time
  • May be able to refinance without the NOCB later as your credit score improves

Unfortunately, there are a few disadvantages as well:

  • Can strain relationships between you and the NOCB
  • Both borrowers are held liable in case of loan default
  • Not all co-borrowers will help you qualify for a loan
  • Not all co-borrowers will be eligible under the terms of your lender
  • Some lenders don’t allow NOCBs on loans, especially with first-time borrowers

Because non-occupant co-borrower loans are not cut and dried, it can take a bit of research to figure out whether you can even make use of one of these loans.
 

Should You Use a NOCB?

Assuming that you and your non-occupant co-borrower qualify for an NOCB loan through your preferred lender, the question remains of whether you should even try to add a co-borrower to your loan. There isn’t necessarily an easy answer to this question. The answer relies so much on your specific situation that it’s difficult to give a definitive answer, though there are a few things you can consider to try to find the right answer for you.
 

Take a moment and ask yourself the following questions: What are the rules concerning non-occupying co-borrowers from your lender? If they’re allowed, how likely is it that the co-borrower you have in mind will actually help your application? Is the co-borrower someone you can trust with this, or will the experience likely be stressful? Consider how reliable your co-borrower is, how it will affect your loan terms and how much this will actually help your case. The more thought you put into it, the closer you’ll be to finding the right answer for you.
 

Get Some Professional Advice

If you’re still not sure, we can get answers to all of your questions. Contact The Mary Gilbert Group at 541.371.5500 or [email protected] 

 

By: Homekeepr, Rob Morelli

Before You Buy a Foreclosure Home

by Mary Gilbert


While looking through real estate listings, you might be curious when you see a property up for auction or one that is “real estate owned,” and wonder if the price is too good to be true.  There is a process of buying a foreclosure house, and you need to p
repare yourself, so read on for some pointers on what’s involved before you make your decision: 

 

  • - A “Bank-Owned Home” is just that:  the owner stopped making payments, and the lender is in the process of auctioning the home to try and recover the money they loaned.  Houses that are “Real Estate Owned” mean that the bank’s auction didn’t result in a sale and is being sold through a real estate agent. 

  • - Vacant homes can have all sorts of issues: mold, vandalism, pest issues, stolen copper piping, and neglected landscaping are just a few.  Before you make a bid, go and see the home for yourself, and decide if you can afford the sale price plus the cost of repairs. 

  • - Hire an inspector to go to the house with you so you’ll have an idea of exactly what needs to be done.  You don’t want to underestimate renovation costs. 

  • - When considering the asking price, and you have taken steps to get a contractor bid on all the rehab, use this formula to calculate your offer:  80% of the appraised value minus the cost of repairs. 

  • - Investing in a foreclosure as a rental will require less trendy but rugged materials and flipping to resell might be more expensive (and more headache!).  Moving into the home yourself can keep initial costs in check if you’re willing to do what’s necessary before moving in and holding off on upgrades. 

  • - Some foreclosure purchases must be made in cash, and that can put investors at an advantage. In case cash isn’t a requirement for the purchase, have proof of pre-approval from your lender when you make your offer. 
     

Whatever your reason for your interest in buying a foreclosed home, make sure you do your research, and talk to your bank as well as an experienced REALTOR®.  Search for foreclosures by locality and beware of anyone offering to sell “their property” that is in foreclosure.  Con artists are smart enough to find vacant properties to pass off as their own, sell them, and take the money and run. Educating yourself on the foreclosure purchase process will make for a smoother process, less stress, and hopefully an investment that will pay off for you! 

Contact the experts on The Mary Gilbert Group for all your Real Estate needs! 541.371.5500 or[email protected] 

Photo credit: bankforeclosuressale.com

7 Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure

by Mary Gilbert


The loss of a job, divorce, a medical emergency or death of a family member can put homeowners in a financial bind.  You worked hard to buy your house and make it your family’s home.  Don’t let it get to the point of having the bank begin foreclosure proce
edings!  Here are some tips to help you save your home: 

 

  • - First and foremost: call the bank before you begin missing payments!  If you have equity in your home, this is especially important. Once payments are late, or the lender has filed a notice of default, they will be reluctant or unable to work with you.  
     

  • - Several agencies offer free credit counseling and can direct you to someone who can assist you with getting those finances in order.  The HUD website can put you in touch with a local counselor, or find helpful foreclosure information through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling®. 
     

  • - Keeping your mortgage payments current is more important than paying credit card bills!  Sure, late credit card payments will affect your credit score, but a foreclosure will do far more damage to your rating.  Once you get caught up with the house payments, pay off the credit cards as soon as possible. 
     

  • - Do you have any assets you can sell?  Letting go of expensive items that you’re not really taking the time to enjoy--a boat, for instance--can certainly cut monthly expenses, and any proceeds can go to your loan. 
     

  • - In case you’ve already gotten behind, open every piece of mail that comes from your lender.  Many times, they’ll offer options as soon as the first payment is overdue, because they don’t want to foreclose on your loan as much as you don’t want to go into foreclosure. 
     

  • - Resist any “quick-fix” offers you see on the internet, television commercials and junk mail, or even from so-called investors.  These “rescue mortgages” could be a scam and will cost you your home faster than a foreclosure can take place. 
     

  • - If you see that you can simply no longer afford your home, get advice from an attorney whose specialty is foreclosure, as most will do a one-time consult at no cost.  You may also contact Legal Aid for a pro bono lawyer if you can’t afford it.   

 

Don’t be embarrassed about reaching out to your mortgage company and letting them know you’re going through a rough patch.  Being proactive before the installments become overdue will allow more options to be available.  Your house is your most important investment, and its home.  Do what you have to in order to keep it. 

Contact The Mary Gilbert Group for ALL your Real Estate needs! 541.371.5500 or [email protected]

Photo credit: bodowlaw.com

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Mary Gilbert
Keller Williams Realty Umpqua Valley
2365 NW Kline Street, Suite 201
Roseburg OR 97471
541-371-5500
Fax: 541-371-5501

© Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is a real estate franchise company. Each Keller Williams office is independently owned and operated. Keller Williams Realty, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer and supports the Fair Housing Act.