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Charleston Real Estate Law Blog

South Carolina foreclosures at pre-recession rates

Foreclosure can be a threat to your home or a welcome relief in releasing debt. What has been shown is that a better economy supports better wages, and that leads to fewer foreclosures. Since the recession has passed, foreclosure rates are dropping.

According to an Oct. 17 news report, South Carolina had fewer foreclosures in September 2016 than it did a year prior. While there were 2,060 properties in foreclosure as of September, a 1.83 percent rise since August, this is still a significant drop from 2015. In September 2015, there were nearly 14 percent more foreclosure filings.

What is a contingency?

Before you purchase a home, there are a number of contingencies to consider. When you're considering a purchase, you can have these contingencies written into your purchase agreement or may find the seller had them included. For instance, one contingency may state a particular amount of time that must pass between you signing the contract and the closing of the deal. With that period, you'll have time to satisfy any other contingencies the seller makes, and the seller has time to satisfy any conditions you've requested. If the contingencies aren't met, the sale can be canceled.

One common contingency is having a buyer's inspection on the home. Or, you may want to have your own appraisal of the property. Other contingencies include things like asking for the sale to go through only once your home sells or the seller finds a new home, which can take more time. It's up to you to decide if you want to accept the seller's contingencies and the same is true for the seller.

Foreclosures down in South Carolina in August

When you're living in an area, you can tell how the local economy is doing by the number of foreclosures taking place. Good news for South Carolina is that the state is improving. That doesn't mean foreclosures don't happen, and those who struggle should consider bankruptcy options or having debt relief discussions with their attorneys.

Foreclosure filings in South Carolina have dropped by 18.6 percent since August 2015, a shocking improvement to an area once riddled with foreclosures. According to The Charleston Regional Business Journal's Sept. 28 report, the 2,023 foreclosures filed in August was a significant drop from the same time last year, showing that the overall economy is still getting better from the recent recession.

Charleston-area real estate booming with high demand

The short supply of real estate in any area can help boost incomes by increasing the value of homes and businesses. For landlords, this means they have better rent coming in because of higher home values. Short supply means more people are looking for rentals, and the few that exist have the ability to be rented for more than they could have in the past.

When you're in this position, you have the opportunity to sell your commercial real estate or to rent it at higher rates with better contracts that work in your favor. If you're living in Charleston or the surrounding area, you're in a good place to do this in 2016.

What do you do to prove you need a short sale?

If you want to sell your home in a short sale, then you will need to prove to the mortgage company that you are no longer able to make payments because of hardship. The hardship you face should be documented; if that means you lost your job, have proof of your termination, and you should also show financial proof of being unable to continue paying. With your attorney, this information is gathered and submitted to the lender.

Once you've been allowed to start a short sale process, you can list your home and wait for bids. A short sale will be allowed only if your lender approves it. That means that if the lender doesn't think you're getting a good offer, you probably won't get an approval to sell the home and will have to look for a sale at a higher amount. Most of the time, you and your attorney can speak to the lender to determine what amount the lender will accept, which helps avoid a lengthy wait for an approval.

Short sales: When it's time to get out of a mortgage under water

Short sales make it possible to get out of the burden of a mortgage that costs more to you than your home is worth. For example, if you purchased a home for $100,000 and have it appraised five years later to find it's only worth $50,000, then you would want to consider a short sale to get out of the mortgage. Why? The home itself is no longer worth what the mortgage payments would cost, so it leaves you paying into a home that you won't ever see a profit from.

Typically, the seller must be in dire financial straits to do this, and a short sale is taken in lieu of a foreclosure. For a bank or lender, the short sale is a better choice because it means money will come in from a sale, and it will likely be more than if the home goes into the foreclosure process.

You deserve support when you're considering foreclosure

If you're considering foreclosure, it's important to know that you do have some other options. If you take action before a foreclosure is imminent, there are steps you can take to get back in control of your debts, so you can stay in your home.

If you allow your home to be foreclosed on, you could end up owing the mortgage company any money that isn't gained through selling the home. You might also find that you can't get a Fannie Mae mortgage for at least seven years, preventing you from buying a new home for quite a while.

The facts about selling a short sale home

There are a few facts about short sales that might help you make a decision about whether or not you want to sell your home in that manner. For instance, you have to be patient with short sales, because they can take 90 days or longer to get approved. On average, short sales complete within six months, but it varies.

Another thing to remember is that marketing still matters. If you sell your home for less than you owe, you may not have to pay the difference through a short sale, but if you sell it for more, you can reap the benefits. Exposure also helps you get your home noticed, so you can sell it faster and get out of debt sooner.

Basic tips for preventing foreclosure

If you receive a foreclosure notice from your lender, it's imperative that you get serious about your situation. The longer you ignore this the worse your situation will become.

Although you may feel that your home is already lost, nothing could be further from the truth. There are some basic tips you can follow to prevent foreclosure.

You can move your home sale along quickly without legal errors

If you think you don't need a lawyer when you're selling your home, you are likely mistaken. This is the largest sale that you're likely to make in your lifetime; it has the potential to make you money if it goes through correctly. There are a number of legal mistakes you could make if you're unfamiliar with real estate law, and they could result in a delayed sale or even the loss of a sale. Here's some important information on who you may want to work with.

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Visit Weeks & Irvine at One of Our Six Locations

North Charleston office 8086-B Rivers Avenue
North Charleston, SC 29406
Phone: 843-553-9800
Toll Free: 800-553-7449
Fax: 843-553-9804
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Mt. Pleasant office
1100 Queensborough Blvd, Suite 102
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
Phone: 843-856-9800
Toll Free: 800-553-7449
Fax: 843-216-0930
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Mt. Pleasant North office
3040 Highway 17-A North, Suite B
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29466
Phone: 843-388-3250
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West Ashley office
873 Orleans Road, Suite 102 1/2
Charleston, SC 29407
Phone: 843-571-2996
Toll Free: 800-553-7449
Fax: 843-571-2998
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Summerville office
106 West 7th North St
Summerville, SC 29483
Phone: 843-875-7111
Toll Free: 800-553-7449
Fax: 843-875-7721
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Goose Creek office
567 Crowfield Blvd.
Goose Creek, SC 29445
Phone: 843-553-9100
Toll Free: 800-553-7449
Fax 843-553-9183
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