Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Homeowners to Get Help from FEMA for Hurricane Sandy

As all of our thoughts go out to the northeast and those cities that have suffered so much devastation with Hurricane Sandy, the government is offering some help with homeowners that used Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae for their mortgages.

Homeowners in communities declared as Disaster Areas by President Obama due to the hurricane and have Freddie Mac mortgages will be eligible for a "payment holiday" for up to a year as well as having late fees and penalties waived by the loan programs or mortgage companies that used them to service the mortgage.

While the options are available, they will be determined on a case-by-case basis and probably closely monitored. Fannie Mae mortgages can be granted forbearance of payments and fees for 90 day increments, with extra time granted, based on the damages and hardship on the borrower.

Locations that were declared as major Disaster Areas with Hurricane Sandy include New York, New Jersey, Connecticutt, New Hampshire, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Washington DC, and Maryland. Information can be found on this FEMA Disaster Page -

This is good news for new and established homeowners that are in for weeks of cleanup and expenses.

This kind of help is also a lifesaver to all those that have homes for sale and must repair the properties to a sellable condition after any kind of major disaster. Home sales tend to slow or stall in these areas, adding to the hardship and monetary loss to the cities and the residents in them. It has been estimated the this hurricane/winter storm may affect as many as 284,000 homes and produce losses to nearly $90 billion dollars.

South Carolina was fortunate to have no damage from the storm, but homes and condos for sale in Myrtle Beach  may indirectly be affected as many of our buyers are retirees and investors from the northeast where the devastation was so paralyzing. These government aid programs will help the entire country to recover a little faster, perhaps.

Photo of Outer Banks in Hurricane Sandy by

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Real Estate - Getting a Second Chance

Myrtle Beach Short Sale Seller to Home Purchaser in less than 18 months

We have seen so many property owners in Myrtle Beach and other areas of the Grand Strand who have found themselves owning a home, condo or land where the mortgage is significantly higher than the property value. Not only has this happened to investors in Myrtle Beach, it has happened in real estate markets all across America.

There are many fears that a homeowner faces when finding themeselves in this situations. Probably the biggest fear I hear is the negative credit reporting issues that one may face if they do a short sale. It is true, there could be some negative impacts on a credit report, yet many sellers are realizing that a temporary blemish on credit for the ability to sell a problem investment out-weighs the benefit and could be a smart decision.

In the Myrtle Beach real estate market, we are starting to see the mortgage lenders start to lend again. With so many owners going though the short sale process, lenders are having to consider loosening their mortgage criteria in order to do so. There are so many good borrowers who found themselves stuck in a bad investment, yet have never missed payments other than that one property they bought at the top of the real estate market. Banks are starting to look at the total borrower - not just their credit report.

Early this year, we had a buyer get qualified for a mortgage even though they had just sold their home 15 months ago via the short sale process. In this case, they were forgiven thousands of dollars via a short sale and were able to buy again. Most owners don't know this is a possibility, therefore stay in underwater homes for fear they will never get a loan again.

Every situation is different and it is important that you discuss your options with a real estate professional before making any decisions. There are more solutions offered from the banks than you may know.

Please contact us if you want to know how to qualify for a loan even if you are in need of short- selling a home or condo in the Myrtle Beach area.
~Greg Harrelson