real estate questions

Performance Property Real Estate Question

How Much Time Should I Give A Buyer To Get A Mortgage?

Q: Gerald, I’m under contract to sell my home and it seems like I’ve been waiting forever for the buyer to finalize his mortgage. How much time should I give a buyer to get a mortgage? Claudio, Chicago, IL. A: That’s a great question, Claudio.  As the saying goes, time is money–the longer you have to wait for your buyer, the more mortgage interest you have to pay on your own mortgage and the more you’ll be forced to pay in property taxes and other expenses associated with the property you are selling.  For starters, you should vet any buyer you choose to sell to by making sure they provide a written mortgage pre-approval before you sign a contract. The […]

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What Happens if a Divorcee Gets the House & Stops Paying the Mortgage?

Q: Gerald, I have a client who’s worried about his credit, because his ex-wife who got the house after their divorce stopped paying the mortgage. Jenny, North Bergen, NJ A: Jenny, as part of a divorce settlement, one spouse often gets the marital residence.  In many cases, both spouses signed the original mortgage note (check with your client to see if this occurred in his situation).  Many people don’t realize that transferring title does not remove an ex spouse’s obligation on the note.  Furthermore, if the spouse who got the house stops making mortgage payments, there’s no way for the other spouse to get the property back. One way for a spouse to protect themselves from this calamity is to […]

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What Percentage Will Banks Discount Foreclosed Homes?

Q: What Percentage Will Banks Discount Foreclosed Homes? Jim, Alpharetta, Georgia A: When banks sell foreclosed homes, they are normally trying to minimize their losses by trying to get the highest price they can.  Overtime, however, banks have no choice but to reduce the price of foreclosed property that has not yet sold, so the most patient real estate investors will earn the steepest discounts. In general, it’s wrong to think of target pricing for foreclosed property in terms of a % discount for several reasons including the fact that the bank’s estimated property value of a foreclosed property may be inaccurate.  Banks have lots of foreclosed property that they have to dispose of, and banks are typically playing with […]

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