Are you behind on your mortgage? Has a lender issued you a notice of default? Are you scared of losing your house to Foreclosure?
We understand that life is full of surprises and not always the good kind. There are many possible reasons for why you haven’t been able to keep up with your mortgage. Regardless of how you arrived at this point we are here to help you find a fresh start you can be proud of. Proud Start Real Estate Solutions is a local company dedicated to improving Solano County communities by purchasing troubled houses and giving them new life.
Chris and Denise of Proud Start recently prevented a foreclosure in the Somerset neighborhood of Vallejo. Here is the story:
We were connected with the owner, Karen, through someone familiar with our company. After sitting down with Karen and discussing the situation and her options we offered to purchase the house. Karen no longer lived in the house as she was forced to move out for personal reasons, she was several months behind on her mortgage and a notice of default had been issued by the lender. Had she not gotten in touch with us the house would have shortly completed the foreclosure process and been sold at auction. Karen’s credit would have been destroyed. We were able to purchase the house at a price that paid off her existing mortgage and the thousands of dollars in penalties from the lender.
After the purchase was complete Karen was very happy and grateful to have this burden of her shoulders, she is excited about her recent retirement now and looking forward to spending time with her beautiful family.
The following video was taken with Karen after we closed on the house. As you watch keep in mind that we are here to help you if you are in a similar situation. Proud Start, LLC supports Vallejo and the rest of Solano County. We will make you a fair offer and can close fast!
When selling your house your goal is to get the best deal possible, depending on your situation this could mean different things: maximum sales price, shortest close time, least hassle, best terms, or some combination of these factors. Below are 5 areas to keep in mind when trying to reach your optimal sales transaction. After reading you may decide that all of these items involve too much time and effort, if so give us a call and we will be happy to discuss other alternatives for selling your home fast and for a fair price. Proud Start, LLC buys houses for cash and closes fast; we do not require any repairs.
1 - Season
Few people consider the impact of seasonal effects on real estate when it comes to selling a house however, the real estate market is actually subject to dramatic shifts depending upon the season. Prudent sellers will take advantage of these trends; make sure you do your research to determine the best time of year to sell a home. Remember, all real estate is local and conditions vary depending on your market. Summer tends to be the most desirable time for many people to move or relocate due to the warm, dry weather and the children not being in school. On the flip side winter is the least desirable.
2 - Price your House Fair
It is easy to understand that you want to get the best price possible for your house, however pricing too high can end up costing you in the end. It’s important to properly price your house from the start and have a plan to adjust according to how the market reacts. Over priced houses can sit on the market causing potential buyers to wonder what’s “wrong” with your house. This almost always results in selling the house for less than if you had properly priced it from the beginning, additionally you are paying extra mortgage and utility payments. It is best to survey what current comparable houses are going for and set a price on par or slightly below.
3 - Concessions
Simply put, concessions are a set dollar amount or percentage of the purchase price that you agree to contribute to the buyer, towards the closing costs. More generally speaking a seller concession can be any negotiation where the seller gives something up to the buyer. For example if there is a leak in the roof a seller will offer the buyer a concession of a lower sales price leaving the repair to the buyer to do later and pay for on their own. This would be an alternative to the seller having the repair done before closing and selling the home at full price. During the negotiation phase, offering a concession to the buyer can be just the thing needed to sell your home fast.
4 - Landscape the outside
Getting potential buyers through the front door is the first hurdle in selling your house. If they don't like what they see from the outside, they won’t bother looking inside. Curb appeal can often mean the difference between a house sitting for months and months or selling quickly. Some simple things to increase your curb appeal include: power wash the siding and driveway, apply a fresh coat of paint to the trim, add some flower planters, make sure the yard is green, or trim the hedges. You get the idea, anything you do to freshen up the view from the street will help.
5 - Depersonalize
When potential buyers are walking through your house they are trying to picture themselves living in it, this task can difficult if they see pictures of your family every where they look. By removing these personal items you allow the buyer to experience what it would be like if they did buy your house. The same logic applies if you have made unique decorating choices, it is best to remove any items that will draw focus away from the house and available living space.
Hopefully these tips have been helpful. Please don’t hesitate to call or fill out the form on this page page if you are interested in a free, no obligation, consultation on selling your house.
So you've inherited a house, now what?
To begin with we would like to offer our condolences for your lose. The passing of a loved one is very difficult. Surely, the last thing you want to deal with is figuring out what to do with all of their stuff. But the reality is that this needs to be done, and often the sooner the better. This article will address 4 key things to be aware of when you have inherited a house, hopefully after reading; you will have a better understanding of your obligations in this situation.
When someone passes away their estate is typically administered through probate court, this is the legal process of paying off any debts then distributing the deceased’s property. An executor is selected, typically a close friend or family member, to oversee the process. Depending on the particulars of the estate this process can take months to resolve, becoming very aggravating and stressful for beneficiaries, who are not only in mourning, but also may be struggling financially and need the money to stay afloat.
If the deceased person has a valid will, the court will follow the terms of the will through the probate process, making sure any debts are paid and assets are distributed accordingly. If the deceased person does not have a valid will they are considered to be intestate and assets will be distributed according to state laws, which may be drastically different from what deceased would have wanted.
If the house you inherited still has a mortgage it is possible that the lender will call for the balance of the loan to be paid off. If you do not have the money to pay the loan you will need to take out a new mortgage in your name. Most mortgages in today’s environment have this sort of due-on-transfer or due-on-sale clause written in.
Taxes, Maintenance, and Violations
After you have completed the probate process and actually own the house, you are responsible for its up-keep. This includes property taxes, interior and exterior maintenance, correcting any code violations. Owning a house has many benefits but also requires time and money. Given that you most likely won’t be living in the property, you have actually inherited a new job: landlord. Being a landlord presents a special set of challenges; tenant screening, collecting rent, repairs, etc.
Inheriting a house can definitely be a financial gain for the beneficiaries however, as you have just read, there are several possible issues that may need to be addressed. If you decide that you would rather not deal with any of the burden we are happy to assist. Proud Start, LLC is locally owned and operates throughout the Bay Area. We will buy your house, fast for cash. We buy Bay Area houses and are always sympathetic to your situation. Fill out the form on this page or give us a call today at (925) 240-3096! We will work with you to create a fresh start you can be proud of!
So you have decided to sell your house, whether by choice or circumstance selling a house can quickly become an overwhelming task. Given the magnitude of this transaction there are many regulations and requirements that need to be satisfied before the sale can be completed. While these rules introduce additional burden they also protect both the buyer and seller. The following tips should help reduce the stress associated with selling your house by helping you understand what buyers are looking for and putting it in the best position to attract them.
Most buyers are not looking for a project; they want a house that is “move in ready”. Purchasing a home is one of the largest financial decisions someone will make in their life, they want to feel assured that they are buying a quality home and not a headache. Given this, it would be wise to have an inspection done on the house to see what sort of work is needed, then evaluate the benefits of having these repairs completed before putting it on the market. If having a couple pipes or wires replaced will allow you to sell faster and at a higher price then it is worth the investment.
These are the rooms that people focus on. Let’s be honest bedrooms are pretty standard, four walls and a closet, not much there to get excited about. Kitchens and bathrooms have a lot more variation, having the right layout, size, cabinets, and appliances can make your house stand out among the competition. Most potential buyers are looking for these rooms to be spacious, functional and clean (I know the last one is sounds obvious but you’d be surprised by some of the things you see while viewing a home). Putting a fresh coat of paint in the bathroom or changing the knobs and hinges on your kitchen cabinets are minor things that can really make these rooms pop.
As I mentioned in the previous point, buyers today are looking for space and functionality. One way to make it seem like a house has more space is to remove the walls. Having one large area that incorporates the kitchen, dinning room and living room creates a spacious feel and greatly expands the number of options a buyer has when deciding how to utilize the house. If you have the time and budget to make these modifications before selling your house it may be worth it, however even far less extreme improvements like creating a cut away between rooms can really open things up and create the impression that buyers are looking for.
As the saying goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. When a potential buyer drives up to your house for the first time you want them to be impressed and excited about what they see, eager to come in and discover what else the house has to offer. While having a brown, weed field lawn isn’t going to be a deal breaker it certainly doesn’t help you any. If you are trying to sell your house for top dollar you don’t want the buyer to have any negatives in their mind. So before putting your house on the market take a little time to water and mow your lawn or trim the hedges, this will go a long way in letting the buyer know that you take pride in your house and have kept it up well.
Investing in these four areas will help you sell your house fast and for a fair price. If it seems like doing any of this would require too much time, money or energy we would be happy to discuss your current situation and help you develop a plan to get your Bay Area house sold now.
Please don’t hesitate to give us a call or fill out the form on this page if you are interested in a free, no obligation, consultation on selling your house.
You need to sell your house fast but aren’t sure what the best option is for you and your current situation. This article will explain the 3 primary ways to sell your property and what each means to you.
Option #1: Selling with a Real Estate Agent
Agents are great if you have plenty of time to sell and your house is in excellent condition.
There are thousands of agents in the Bay Area, so the first challenge will be to pick one that has successfully closed some deals and is experienced. Your Agent will likely walk through your property and give you advice on what should be fixed, cleaned up or removed.
Then you’ll sign a 6-12 month listing contract and they’ll put it on the MLS (Multi Listing Service). Most agents will charge 6% or more depending on the situation for there services. They will handle all the calls, lots of paperwork, qualify the potential buyers, and present you with the offers.
Once your property hits the MLS the fun begins! You’ll have people coming into your home, looking around and checking every nook and cranny, 7 days a week, and quite possibly at all different times of the day.
When a buyer is found, which takes 3 months on average, your agent will open escrow and the buyer's “inspection period” will begin. During this period, several inspectors will come to your house and check everything. After these inspections are complete most buyers will give you a list of items that they expect you to fix, or they may ask for a large price reduction. If you don't agree the buyer can walk away and you're back to square one.
After you get past the inspection period, the buyer’s lender will order an appraisal to ensure that the value of the property is acceptable to the lender. The appraisal process, which used to be fairly routine, is now causing many lenders to retract their offer to fund the mortgage. Appraisers are more cautious with their valuations considering the current market, this change in sentiment does not help you sell your house fast.
Once you get past all of these steps you can finally close on the sale, traditionally the buyer and seller split closing fees, which can cost you roughly 2-4% of the sales price, and are taken out of your proceeds.
Agents are great if you have plenty of time, your house is in excellent condition and you don’t mind people coming to your house continuously. They will work to get you the highest gross price for your house (before commissions, repairs, closing costs, time on market) however after all of the additional costs you will incur going this route may not provide you with the most money in your pocket.
Option #2: For Sale by Owner (FSBO)
Selling your home "by Owner" is very similar to Option #1; the difference is you have to do all the work. Market the property, find the buyer, show the house, negotiate the sale, write the contract and disclosures, and so on. Most buyers will need to get financing so there will be a risk of appraisal. There will still be closing costs and fees that need to be paid. This is a great solution again if you have time and are comfortable with handling the sales process. It may take longer to find a buyer as you won’t have thousands of agents seeing and potentially showing your house to buyers. Things can get frustrating as you are responsible for the whole transaction and most likely don’t have prior experience selling a house. FSBO's work fairly well for sellers that have the time and patience to do the work needed.
Option #3: Selling to a Real Estate Investor
The key to selling to a real estate investor is to find someone you like and trust. Someone that is willing to work with you and go the extra mile to get your house sold fast and with no stress on your part. Real estate investors handle all of the paper work; the only thing you need to do is show up on the day of closing and collect your check.
Most investors buy houses in ‘As Is’ condition, meaning you will not need to do any repairs prior to moving, you can even leave unwanted items in the house and they will remove. Investors also focus on closing fast, unlike the options listed above; an investor can close the sale in as little as one week, allowing you to move on with your life.
Another advantage to working with an investor is that they generally make all cash offers; this eliminates the possibility of an appraisal causing the loan to fall through. When an investor makes you an offer you can be confident that the money is there to close the deal.
Working with an investor also means there are no Agent commissions to pay, and in most cases they will cover all closing costs.
Choosing this option to sell your house works well for people who need to sell fast or anyone who simply doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of the selling process. Investors focus on structuring deals that work for all parties involved.
So what option is best for you?
Now that you have a little more knowledge on the 3 options for selling your house you can make an informed decision on which one to pursue given your current situation. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call or fill out the form on this page if you are interested in a free, no obligation, consultation on selling your house.
Real estate investors have developed a slightly negative reputation over the years; some people see them as dispassionate swindlers looking to take advantage of the housing crisis by buying up foreclosures. I’ll be the first to admit that there are some crooks in the industry, just like any other; however that is the very rare exception, not the rule. Most real estate investors are hard working people looking to earn a living and help get the housing market back on its feet. The following are four critical contributions that real estate investors offer the communities they work in (for this article we will focus on investment in residential real estate, specifically single family homes).
Real estate investors purchase all sort of distressed properties, the most well known being foreclosures, or properties where the current owner is behind on their mortgage and the lender has decided to claim the property to satisfy the loan. After the housing market crashed in 2008 large quantities of foreclosures began to come up for sale, further depressing the housing market since foreclosed homes typically sell well below fair market value. Seeing this trend Investors jumped in to help reduce the excessive number of distressed homes then turned them into affordable housing for renters. By keeping the number of distressed properties for sale at a manageable level real estate investors help prop up values for all homes.
We have all seen those houses that have boarded up windows, overgrown grass, and junk all over the yard, they are an eyesore to anyone that passes by. These sorts of distressed houses can be in any neighborhood, regardless of how nice, and one thing they all have in common is that they have a very negative impact on the value of surrounding homes. In the real estate market a property’s value is based on what comparable properties have recently sold for, so a run down house that sells at a steep discount drives down the price for future listings. Now let’s see what would happen if a real estate investor purchased that house and fixed it up then resold it to a family that was looking for a new home. Since the house has been completely updated it is one of the nicest in the neighborhood, so it is understandable that the value of the house is significantly higher than it was when originally purchased. In its rehabbed condition, this house helps increase the value of all the other houses in the area by the same comparable pricing strategy as before.
Most people think of apartments when talking about renting a place to live, however the reality is that a large number of people living in single family homes are renters, and ever since the housing market crash this has been a growing trend. Given the choice, most people would prefer to live in a house rather than an apartment; real estate investors have realized this demand for well maintained rental homes and are working to ensure a healthy supply to choose from.
Real estate investors help many people rebuild their credit score through using lease options. This is where a tenant moves in as a renter initially, however it is agreed that after the initial lease is over they will have the option to purchase the house from the investor for a predetermined price. This sort of arrangement is perfect for people who lost their home to foreclosure, they are used to owning their own home but don’t have the money for a down payment or a healthy credit score. During the lease period the renter can save up the required down payment, rebuild their credit score by making timely payments on credit cards and establish a solid rental history.
After reading about the positive impact that real estate investors have on the communities they invest in, it is our hope that if you are considering selling your house, for any reason, you will give us a call to discuss your situation and see if we can be of assistance to you.
155 Sharene Ln #301
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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