How to Buy a Home Once You Have Completed a Short Sale

Short-Sale Wisconsin

Tragedy strikes across the country every year.  People lose jobs, injuries are sustained from accidents and financial hardships cause tough decisions.  Fortunately, most things improve with the passage of time.  Read on to see how you can prepare for your next home purchase once you have sold a home via short sale.

Option 1: Big Down Payment

One constant that has remained in mortgage lending in many years is the power of a large down payment.  Although it is uncommon to see someone with a 30% or more down payment, it does happen.  Especially for people who are recipients of a windfall, such as payment on a judgment or an inheritance.  If you can rationalize the high interest rates, and you have the funds for the large down payment, then you can usually find a private lender to set up a mortgage for you.

If you choose this route, be alert to a few items.  First, the lender may have a stiff penalty for paying off the loan within the first few years.  Secondly, the lender may attempt to set up the mortgage with a balloon payment.  Avoid these two snags at all cost.

Option 2:  Wait a Few Years

If you don’t have the money for a 30% down payment you can simply wait for three years.  The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will ask that a person who sold their home via short sale to wait for three years before applying for a new mortgage.  However, if your circumstances show that the short sale was beyond your control, and you kept your payments up to date right up to the sale date, then you may be able to get the loan sooner.

People who would prefer to use conventional loans offered by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac will have a similar wait.  Fannie Mae only asks that borrowers wait for two years if they are able to pay a 20% down payment.  For circumstances beyond your control Fannie may allow you a 10% down payment after a two year period.

Veterans who wish to use the VA loan will need to wait a full two years after their short sale to apply for a new loan.

Option 3: Lease with Option to Buy

It is not surprising that many home sellers have chosen to offer their homes with a lease and an option to purchase at a certain time and at a designated price.  Due to the economic slump over the past few years, home prices have dropped.  Sellers do not wish to sell their home at such a loss so many are willing to lease out the home in hopes that the market will rebound.  For buyers who are not quite ready to qualify for a traditional mortgage, buying with a lease-option could be the easiest way to get in to a home.

With a little planning and a little patience it is possible to find yourself holding the keys to your next home after you have made it through a short sale. Feel free to contact me at 608-921-8536 if you have further questions. I am certified through the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) as a Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource.

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