Underwater Mortgage Solutions
We provide the ONLY SOLUTION for homeowners with an Underwater Mortgage who wish preserve credit, avoid becoming a landlord, or having to pay cash to sell their home to cover the traditional fees and commissions. If you live in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Norfolk or the Hampton Roads region we can help you just as we have been helping families since 2000. Our team of underwater mortgage specialists are ready to provide the solution you need all without any fees or commissions.
Call today to learn how we can help you with your home burden 757-438-3838.
My House is Underwater. What Options Do I Have?
If you find yourself owing more on your house than it is currently worth, then you are considered to have an underwater mortgage. While it sounds scary, and it truly can be, you aren’t alone. Underwater mortgages actually happen to more people than you may think. According to data acquired at the end of the first quarter of 2019, over 5.2 million homes are considered to be underwater on their mortgages (1). With home prices increasing at a slower pace in 2018, than in previous years, the potential for people to climb out from underwater mortgages or advance into equity-rich territory, tends to be reduced.
You’ve got options though, and we’re here to outline a few of them for you.
What is an Upside Down or Underwater Mortgage?
When you first purchased your house you probably discussed with your bank how much your payments would be each month and over what duration of time you would pay it off. Over the years, the value of your house can increase or decrease depending on the housing market. If the value of your house begins to decrease to a point where you owe more on your mortgage than what your home is worth, your house is underwater or sometimes referred to as upside down.
Let’s say you owe $300,000 on your mortgage. It’s a great house, you’ve done some remodeling, it’s in a great neighborhood, but the housing market seems to be trending down and you find your house is only worth $200,000 a few years after you purchased it.
Now you owe $100,000 more on your mortgage than your house is valued at. You are considered upside down on your mortgage, or underwater.
How do I know if my house is Underwater or Upside Down?
Figuring out whether you are underwater on your mortgage is really quite simple. 1. Find out how much you still owe on your house by looking at your latest mortgage statement. 2. Determine how much your house is worth. This can be done several ways depending on what type of answer you are looking for; more concrete or more of an estimate. If you just want an estimate you can speak to an experienced real estate agent in your area or look at your home’s estimated value on Zillow. If a more concrete answer is what you are looking for your best bet would be to hire an appraiser.
Once you have those two numbers, how much you still owe on your house and the amount your house is worth figuring out. Whether you are underwater on your mortgage is simple; subtract the amount you owe (step 1) from your home’s current value (step 2).
If you need help figuring out if your house is underwater or when you could possibly be above water again, feel free to use this calculator (2).
What Are My Options if My House is Underwater or Upside Down?
1. Stay Put.
If you aren’t looking to get out from under your mortgage because of lack of finances, your best option would be to stay where you are and try to pay down more of the principal. This may be a hard option if your finances are tight. Try making adjustments in your budget by cutting unnecessary expenses such as cable and cell phones. Minimizing eating out can truly pay off in the long run when you are able to stay in your home. The more money you can pull together now to pay down on the principal, the faster you can build equity in your home and you won’t lose money from an underwater house sale.
2. FULL PRICE OFFER
The best option if you are underwater on your house is to work with myhouseisunderwater.com (5) to receive a FULL PRICE OFFER. With this option you don’t have to spend any money making repairs, or waste time finding a buyer or even the tedious process of looking for a real estate agent to sell your upside down house. You won’t incur damage to your credit from foreclosing on your home and it costs you nothing. We are the creative real estate advisory firm in the Hampton Roads area who helps sellers with low equity, no equity or negative equity to get a full price offer.
Regardless of the property’s condition we can help!
Note: If you do have home equity you WILL receive it!
3. Sell your house
If you absolutely have to sell your house and cannot afford to stay put, you may have to think about selling your home and pay off the difference that you still owe out of your own pocket. This scenario will cause you to lose money though and is only possible if you have enough cash in the bank to pay the difference of what is owed. If you don’t have the money to make up the difference, this option isn’t for you.
For instance, you owe $300,000 on your home but it is only worth $250,000. If you have $50,000 to pay the lender plus the fees of selling the house, you can sell your house. Yes, you will lose $50,000 but you will also get out from under your mortgage and out of your house.
4. Refinance your mortgage.
To be completely honest, mortgages on underwater houses are typically difficult to refinance because you don’t have equity. You may have underpaid on your monthly payment which didn’t cover the amount of interest owed, snowballing until you found yourself underwater. You may have lost your job and could not afford your payments, or maybe you’ve paid every payment but the housing market dropped and your house just isn’t worth the amount you purchased it for. Whatever your reason, there are federal programs designed specifically to address the needs of borrowers who are underwater and want to refinance their loans or reduce their financial distress.
Beginning in 2009 the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) launched the Home Affordable Finance Program (HARP) as a way for homeowners who are current on their existing mortgage loan but have little or no equity, to take advantage of low mortgage rates. According to FHFA, HARP-eligible homeowners could save approximately $2,400 per year on their mortgage payments. Some could save much more (3). However, as of December 31, 2018 this program has been discontinued and replaced with “high-LTV Refinances” (Fannie Mae) and the “Freddie Mac Enhanced Relief Refinance” or “FMERR”.
According to theMortgageReports.com(3) here is some information you may want to know if looking into either of these options.
You can refinance with these programs more than once. However, you can’t refinance a HARP mortgage to either of these HARP replacement programs
The cutoff date is different from the original HARP, which only allowed loans originated before June 1, 2009. The replacement loans can refinance only mortgages originated on or after October 1, 2017
Unfortunately, homeowners with a loan that started between June 2009 and September 2017 won’t be eligible and must refinance with a standard program
You must use the Fannie Mae option if your current loan is with Fannie Mae, and the Freddie Mac loan if your existing mortgage is with Freddie Mac
The new loans must close on or after January 1, 2019
If you are not eligible for either of these refinancing programs, you may decide to move on to selling your home based on a few of the following options.
5. Sell your home through a short sale process.
A short sale is simply when the lender accepts a purchase price less than what is owed on the property. Honestly, this is close to one of the last options you should take when you are underwater on your mortgage, but it is an option.
The process still damages your credit, but typically not as badly as a foreclosure. With a short sale on your record, it is clear you were actively participating in trying to solve the problem rather than walking away.
Short sales are great when they work, but you need to find a buyer and get your lender to agree to sell the home for less than you owe which can be extremely difficult. You may be required to pay federal income tax on the difference between what you owed on the home and what it was sold for so it is wise to check with a lawyer or CPA if considering a short sale.
6. Foreclose on your home.
One of the very last options you should look at when you are underwater is foreclosing on your home. Not only do you lose complete control over what happens to your house, but it can also damage your credit for up to seven years. Seven! Meaning no new mortgages for seven years.
You may be thinking, well, I don’t care I don’t want to buy another house for a long time! And while that may be true, bad credit can also affect your ability to rent an apartment, or in some cases, get a job.
In a foreclosure, the lender takes control of your home and will liquidate it as quickly as possible in order to recuperate as much money as they can. If you have not already moved out of the home, you will be evicted and like mentioned before; your credit will be damaged.
Again, we strongly advise against this option until you have exhausted every other option.
If you have questions on a foreclosure or would like a free consultation session (with no obligation), myhouseisunderwater.com is a great resource to turn to.
So what does all of this mean?
It means you have options when your your house is underwater.
It may seem scary. Yes.
You may not want to lose your home. But you do have options.
In an era when 5.2 million homes are considered underwater or upside down on their mortgage , know you have options.
If you don’t know where to begin and would like to speak with an unbiased party that will help lay out all of your options, myhouseisunderwater.com is here to help. Our goal is aiding those stuck in an underwater mortgage that must sell. As the leading real estate advisory firm in the Hampton Roads area, we are equipped with answers and want nothing more than to help sellers with low equity, no equity or negative equity get a full price offer.
Call now to discuss your options with an underwater house specialist. Free consultation 757-438-3838 .
Knowing your options and what steps to take is the first step in getting above water.