What does it mean when your house is underwater?
A financial contract or asset that is worth less than its theoretical value is referred to as “underwater.” The word is most usually applied to a house or other big asset with an outstanding mortgage or loan that is more than the item’s value.
Nothing is more frustrating than discovering that the home you paid (or perhaps overpaid) for is now only worth a fraction of what it was when you bought it. If you owe more on your mortgage than your home’s market value, you’re one of the 10 million homeowners in the United States who are “underwater.” Being underwater is a terrifying experience for most households. They feel as if they are being sucked into a debt vortex and have no idea how they will get out. To make matters worse, there are several solutions that appear to be lifesavers for those who are drowning.
If you’re having trouble paying off a mortgage that exceeds the current worth of your property, don’t fall into these classic pitfalls. They’ll put you even further in debt. When your house is underwater, there are five things you should avoid:
1. DON’T think a homeowner’s assistance program will magically solve your problems
HAMP, HAFA, and HARP are all programs that claim to lower your monthly mortgage payments. They do not, however, relieve you of the responsibility of repaying the loan’s principle. You must repay all of the money you borrowed whether or not you can still sell your house. Reduced monthly payments may assist you in regaining financial stability. However, it will not change the reality that you are still saddled with a home worth less than what you owe on it.
2. DON’T jump at a short sale
Selling your house for less than the value of the mortgage will not restore your damaged credit; it will not necessarily even let you off the hook for the balance that you owe on your mortgage once your bank has received the proceeds from the sale. In some states, the bank can try to collect the difference for up to six years. Finally, you may go through the wrenching emotional decision to sell your home for less than you owe, and then, the bank, which has the final word on whether or not they will accept the short offer, can take so long that the deal will fall apart. You will have turned your life (and probably your family’s) upside down for no apparent good reason.
3. DON’T trash your home and abandon it to foreclosure
It may be tempting to get “revenge” on the lender by walking away from the property and leaving them with an unpleasant property. This is a significant mistake that many depressed and furious homeowners make. Leaving a home in foreclosure opens the door for real estate speculators to purchase an “as is” home and transform it into a rental property. Devalued properties degrade community quality, lowering the value of surrounding homes.
4. DON’T ignore the rest of your financial picture
There are actual resources available to help you maintain financial stability while working to save your home without ruining your credit. You may wait out the slow-moving bureaucracy to get a loan modification that provides real relief if you have the perseverance and attitude. You can think beyond the box by looking into leasebacks, home-sharing, and other unconventional solutions. Seek professional advice to help you protect your credit, manage your everyday expenditures, and plan for the future. The most important thing is to educate yourself. The truth is that the average homeowner’s future is grim right now. It’s very likely that if someone gives you a deal that seems too good to be true, it is.
5. DON’T panic, but stay realistic
Lastly, you must compel the lender to come to you in all of the possibilities for getting out of an underwater mortgage scenario. You can’t rely on the lender’s parity, equality, or good faith—in fact, you can’t rely on any assurances. The money was accepted on their conditions, and they now have the right to take your money every month. They also have the right to adjust your interest rate, and take or sell your home. If you’re a struggling homeowner, you need to think carefully about your options; it’s the only way to keep your chance of reclaiming your slice of the American Dream.
Avoid these things if your house is underwater and you should be good to go. However, whether you are behind your mortgage payment or you are already facing foreclosure, you still have options. Call TMC Property Solutions at (817) 550-5069 Opt# 4 and we shall assist you in the shortest time possible to sell your house and avoid foreclosure or getting your house underwater in Fort Worth and the surrounding cities. To fast-track, the process, simply fill out our short form to give us more information about you and we’ll be in touch with you and help you find the best solution!
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