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Charleston Real Estate Law Blog

Foreclosures drop in Charleston in latest report

If you're living in Charleston, there's some good news heading your way. The area has seen a drop in the number of people struggling to make their mortgage payments, showing that the economy continues to improve. According to a Dec. 12 report, the mortgage delinquency rate was 4.9 percent in the Charleston area in September 2017, which is a drop of 5.2 percent since September of the previous year.

The analytics also show that the number of people in serious delinquency, which is when a mortgage is 90 days or more past due, has also dropped. In September 2017, the mortgages seriously past due were totaled at 1.8 percent.

Shoppes at Whiskey to be sold to highest bidder

If you love to shop, you may be familiar with the Shoppes at Whiskey. This shopping center is home to several popular stores. Unfortunately, the property itself isn't doing well, and it has gone into foreclosure. For the tenants there, that could be risky.

So far, the tenants at Sugar & Spice reported that they haven't had any major issues or seen any changes, and they hope it stays that way. Other tenants include Firehouse Subs, Foot Locker, Ferrando's Italian Pizzeria, Dollar Tree and Marble Slab Creamery.

A Federal Housing Administration loan works for short sales

As a first-time homeowner, you may be interested in purchasing a short sale. You know that buying a short sale means you could get a good deal, and you have time to wait to make that happen. One thing you might want to do is to get a prequalification letter from the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

The FHA loan saves you money on the down payment. If you prequalify for the purchase through an FHA-approved lender, it makes you look good to the seller. It means you're serious about the purchase, which helps negotiations along. Getting a prequalification also means you know how much you have to spend. Since short-sale brokers need to know that you have the funds to make a purchase, having the FHA preapproval letter helps them decide if they want to move forward with any offer you make.

Why would someone buy a short sale?

If you're looking to sell your home through a short sale, you might find that you have a few buyers interested right away. Why? It's a good deal for buyers.

While foreclosures are risky for buyers, short sales are more beneficial. You tend to live in your home up until the point of sale, and the home is sold at an appropriate market value. You get the chance to walk away without debt, and a buyer has a chance to purchase the home at a realistic discount.

Real estate continues to increase in value in Charleston

Living in Charleston, it's a good idea to understand the housing market. You want the market to be weak when you buy and strong when you sell. That way, you make the most off your investment.

For those who own homes, the current state of the market is great. People are beginning to purchase homes in the area once again, and the homes are selling for more than they did last year at the same time.

Can you short sale a commercial property?

Commercial real estate can be sold through a short sale, just like any other type of real estate. Similarly to a home, there is a process to sell real estate through a short sale. You'll need to contact the lender, for instance, before you can agree to sell the real estate for less than it's worth. If you don't, you'll end up owing the lender the difference in the sale price versus what you owe.

When a property is underwater, you owe more than it's worth. At that point, you may wish to sell the property to prevent yourself from paying into a property that won't ever be worth what you end up paying in total. Even if you can afford to make payments, it may not make sense to continue doing so. If you want to sell the property, a short sale is likely the best solution.

This is why lenders prefer a short sale

If you are struggling to make ends meet, you might have fallen behind on your mortgage. You know that if you fall too far behind, you'll face a foreclosure, but you don't want that to happen. You would sell your home to get out of debt, but you owe more than it's worth. What can you do?

One of the things you should consider before you get to the point of a foreclosure is seeking a short sale. A short sale offers you a chance to sell your home, make as much as possible from the sale and have the rest of the loan forgiven. In the eyes of a lender, a short sale is a better alternative than allowing the home to go to auction.

What are some ways to stop the foreclosure process?

There are actually several ways to stop the foreclosure process. They include a short sale, bankruptcy, foreclosure workout and lease-option. Each of these is important, because they provide you with different ways to get out of a foreclosure regardless of your circumstances.

For those who are in dire straits, a bankruptcy may be a good option. Bankruptcies stop foreclosures immediately. There's a chance that if you work with the courts and your attorney, you could free up enough money to assume the mortgage and begin making payments again while working to pay off other debts. Bankruptcy, overall, buys you more time to get the money you need to catch up on your payments.

National drop in short sales a good sign for the economy

Short sales are a wonderful way for people to get out from under the debt of a mortgage without having to worry about the depreciating value of their homes. Short sales give them the ability to sell the home for less than it's worth and to avoid paying the difference.

What's better news is that the number of short sales in the country are dropping. Why is that good? It could mean the economy has recovered enough to boost property values or that fewer people are having to turn to short sales thanks to finding jobs and other supports.

When should you consider a short sale?

You've been struggling to pay for your mortgage each month, and you're tired of living paycheck to paycheck. Your home isn't worth what you owe, and you don't want to keep paying. You're at a loss for how to get out of this fruitless situation.

A short sale is one possibility if you can't afford your home any longer but can't sell it for what you owe on your mortgage. A short sale is usually only an alternative if you can't refinance or modify your mortgage. You can also consider a short sale if you owe more on your home than it is worth.

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