Saturday, July 16, 2011

Don't buy this house

I wish I could publish an address or more details about the home I'm about to tell you about, but... It's a short sale in Sherman Oaks.  It is underpriced in the high $500's.  I know the history of this house, and the sellers, very well.  The sellers need to move on to other things in their lives, and want to sell it.  Here's the problem: the sellers have a ton of cash assets that they want to protect. And they are people of means. They actually could pay off the mortgage with very little problem. Will the lien holding bank allow them to walk away from the house without touching those assets? My favorite short sale negotiator says probably not.  Which would make for a long, difficult short sale transaction that probably wouldn't close.  Wish I could tell you more, but...

As we go forward in our distressed-sale market, I think you'll see a lot more of these types of short sale transactions happening, or trying to happen.  The keys to look for -- and avoid -- are this: homes in affluent or more expensive neighborhoods, no true hardship (job loss, serious illness, etc.).  The questions to ask are: how much is still owed on the loan? What is the sellers' motivation and what is their situation?  Stay tuned for yet more permutations in the wacky world of local real estate.

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