Thinking of making an offer on a short sale? What you need to know

Are you looking to buy a new home? Are you thinking that now's a great time to find bargains? That's true, but it pays to know a little about the seller's situation before you make an offer.

If a home is being sold for below what the current seller owes on the property—and the seller does not have other funds to make up the difference at closing—the sale is considered a short sale. Many more home owners are finding themselves in this situation due to a number of factors, including job losses, aggressive borrowing against their home in the days of easy credit, and declining home values in a slower real estate market.

short sale
A short sale is different from a foreclosure, which is when the seller's lender has taken title of the home and is selling it directly. Homeowners often try to accomplish a short sale in order to avoid foreclosure. But a short sale holds many potential pitfalls for buyers. Know the risks before you pursue a short-sale purchase.

You're a good candidate for a short-sale purchase if:

  • You're very patient. Even after you come to agreement with the seller to buy a short-sale property, the seller’s lender (or lenders, if there is more than one mortgage) has to approve the sale before you can close. When there is only one mortgage, short-sale experts say lender approval typically takes about two months. If there is more than one mortgage with different lenders, it can take four months or longer for the lenders to approve the sale.

  • Your financing is in order. Lenders like cash offers. But even if you can’t pay all cash for a short-sale property, it’s important to show you are well qualified and your financing is set. If you're pre-approved, have a large down payment, and can close at any time, your offer will be viewed more favorably than that of a buyer whose financing is less secure.

  • Amazing $76,000 price reduction!

    Truly, this is one of the most custom homes you'll find in Tulare County.

    This 3,150-square-foot home features a very open great room with archways that lead to a formal dining room, as well as a music and game room, and kitchen. Wide hallways lead you to the three bedrooms and three baths.

    The foyer has 14-foot ceilings and a great room with crown molding.

    In the library there are cherry wood bookcases and French doors leading to a covered patio.

    This home is listed at $599,000. Call Darlene Loose today for an appointment! (559) 625-9364

    The kitchen is spectacular with a chef's center island offering vegetable sink, wine refrigerator, and a chop block. There are cherry cabinets, a Viking gas range, a Bosch dishwasher, microwave and stainless sink. It also includes a spacious walk-in pantry and a butler's pantry.

    In the owner's suite you will see a walk-in shower, jetted tub, and a walk-in closet. There are more French doors leading to the patio.

    Make use of a spacious bedroom/office with its own access to the yard off of the kitchen and mud room.

    Also a man's dream: a 28'x 40' shop with bathroom & RV shade barn with full hookups.

    This home also features lots of extras, including: a central vacuum system, five Solar Tubes, six exterior walls, a whole house fan, it's plumbed for water softener, surround sound, over-head sprinklers & more.

    Also, a third bedroom and bath could be used as a mother-in-law set up.

    Two great deals get even better

    Call Darlene today to view these two homes. Dial her direct at (559) 625-9364. 

    Reduced to $159,900
    Here's proof that there are good deals on the market today. Here are two homes that not only have much to offer new owners, but that have been reduced in price to boot.

    Parker Court in northeast Visalia

    The home features a vaulted living room and owner's suite. The owner has replaced the gas range, microwave, and dishwasher with stainless look appliances. There is new carpet, paint, and commode. New lighting and ceiling fans were added in 2005.

    The large kitchen has a breakfast bar and corner window. The fireplace has a mantel. There is a spacious laundry area. The owner's suite has a large window overhead, walk-in closet, and dual sinks.

    The garage has a workshop area at the rear, plus a separate shop/storage building in the backyard. Also in the backyard is a sparkling swimming pool.
    Four Creeks in northeast Visalia

    Reduced to $109,000
    Take a look at this updated property that is well maintained and mostly re-built in 1990.

    The bathroom cabinets are original. There are triple closets with new tile and shower in the owner's suite.

    There is a built-in wine refrigerator in the dining room hutch and a barbeque at end of a 32-foot tiled patio and spa off the owner's suite.

    Enjoy nice landscaping all around. This home is a  dream to show. Seller will pay $500 for New Roof Certification. Call today!

    Nine tips for the perfect kitchen remodel

    (ARA) - For many Americans, remodeling their kitchens tops the list of home improvement projects - and for several good reasons. Not only is the kitchen the heart of many homes - the center of family activity and home entertaining - but remodeling your kitchen is typically one of the smartest investments, often generating a payback of 80 to 90 percent on the cost of remodel at the time of resale.

    With thoughtful planning, remodeling your kitchen is within the capability of many homeowners who want to attempt a do-it-yourself project. But, because the kitchen is so central to most homes, is interconnected with other spaces such as the family and dining rooms, and because there is a fair amount of water (sink, dishwasher, garbage disposal) involved, a kitchen remodel project has the potential of going horribly wrong.

    Park-like beauty in northwest Visalia

    Listed at $194,500
    Take a look at this charming cul-de-sac home in northwest Visalia.

    Enjoy shady, mature landscaping with a park-like backyard on a lot that backs up to a creek.

    There's plenty of room for entertaining in this 1,774-square-foot home that includes a living room, dining room, and a vaulted family room with wall of windows overlooking the lush backyard.

    The home features laminate wood flooring.

    The kitchen includes a chef's island, along with a newer dishwasher, microwave, and pantry.

    The owner's suite has a sliding glass door to the patio and features a walk-in closet. The second and third bedrooms have mirrored closet doors.

    The home has a three-car garage. Call Darlene today to view this beautiful home. Dial her direct at (559) 625-9364.  

    Owning a home beats renting 5 ways

    Don't let the housing market fool you. Talk of foreclosures, short sales, and previously slumping home values shouldn't discourage you from moving out of your rental into a home of your own.

    Home owning beats renting in a myriad of ways, especially if you are financially ready. Home prices have come down to more affordable levels. Mortgage interest rates are at historically low levels. And a number of new federal laws and regulations will help ensure you step into your new home on sure footing.

    Plus consider these timeless benefits:
    • No landlord, just you. Having a home of your own means doing things your own way. It gives you a sense of stability, and your own space.
    • Paying your mortgage is like putting money in the bank. Yes, every payment includes interest that goes to the bank, but the principal portion of the payment is another piece of your home that is yours to keep. On top of that, your home is likely to grow in value, so that ownership of your home is a real investment. 
    • No surprises. With a fixed-rate mortgage you know what you will be paying for the life of the loan. As a renter, you never know when your rent may rise.
    • Closer to good schools.
    • Closer to family-friendly amenities. In a home, you are likely to be closer to parks and other community features that will appeal to you. 
    Now is a perfect time to look for a home if you are wanting to get out of the rent-as-you-go lifestyle. It's time to own something that's truly yours.