Just over two years ago, Bloomberg reported that roughly one-quarter of mortgaged homes in the United States have loan balances that were higher than their actual market value. In this type of financial environment, it is not uncommon to find luxury homeowners feeling the biggest crush on their home investments.
As a result, an increasing number are turning to short sales to deal with this imbalance in money owed vs. market value. The New York Times reported that last April, “short-sale inventory hit a record high.” The process is becoming so streamlined, and is viewed as so beneficial to both parties, that the Times stated that some banks were even “giving owners who owe more on their mortgages than their worth ‘a bonus for selling as a short sale.’”
Adrian Heyman, owner of a real estate agency in Arizona, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying, “You are just starting to see the tip of the iceberg with luxury short sales. A lot of wealthy people are upside down in their mortgages and they just can’t afford the second or third vacation home anymore.”
The short-sale process, when handled with a real-estate broker who specializes in the process, can be remarkably hassle-free. Often, banks will preapprove short sales on properties, and when the bank appraises these properties, they can fetch a solid price. In addition, short sales help to preserve credit and spare owners from having to foreclose.
However, sometimes the short sale process is not an option. In these cases, there is still a way to avoid the ramifications of immediate foreclosing by opting for strategic default. Strategic default is increasingly becoming a popular path for those who simply do not believe it is worth paying for a property that has plummeted in value. There have even been pieces in the Orlando Sentinel debating whether bank repercussions are really fair in these situations.
For those considering strategic default, it is highly advisable to speak with an experienced real estate broker, who will be able to buy you time in which you can save money and prepare for the future. Remember, there are ways to repair your credit in these cases.