Foreclosure in Your Neighborhood?

So everything is going swimmingly in your world – job is working out, bills are paid on time and the mortgage is manageable. The whole Foreclosure vs. Short Sale debate is nothing for you to be concerned about, so why bother yourself with the details of this issue, right?

WRONG.

Whether or not this issue is happening to you, almost everyone knows someone – a friend, family member or neighbor, who is struggling to make ends meet and considering their options. In the Real Estate industry, this type of situation is known as a Distressed Property – a homeowner under water on the mortgage and considering listing their home as a Short Sale or letting the property go altogether as a Foreclosure. The bottom line – a Foreclosure does not have to be happening under your roof to affect the value of your home, the perceived value of your neighborhood or the mix of neighbors you share it with.

Knowledge is power,

and it pays to understand how Distressed Property sales can affect the value of your biggest investment, your home.

  1. Appraisers can and do consider the sales of Distressed Properties in the valuation of your home for refinance (for yourself) or a new mortgage (for the buyer of your home if you sell.) 
  2. Numerous Foreclosures within the same property (such as condos or town homes) or within the same neighborhood can weaken the Home Owner’s Association; Struggling homeowners are unlikely to keep up with HOA fees, and not all associations are able to afford the steps necessary to collect on unpaid fees.
  3. Foreclosures – particularly multiple Foreclosures within the same neighborhood – can weaken home prices. This downturn in prices can be due to changing appraisal values as Distressed Properties sell for lower values, but the situation can be due even more to buyer perceptions in a neighborhood with Foreclosures. Un-mowed lawns, weeds, peeling paint – none of these characteristics boost a home’s curb appeal, and multiple homes in a state of disrepair can drag other homes in the neighborhood down as well.

You can’t control whether your neighbors choose to head down the road to Foreclosure, but you can arm yourself with good advice to share if your friends & acquaintances mention mortgage struggles. A Short Sale is always a better long term strategy for a struggling home owner than Foreclosure: better for the family, better for the neighborhood and better for personal credit ratings in the long run. Encourage anyone in this situation to consult a licensed Realtor. A good professional will listen without judgement and offer sound recommendations based on the market and their unique situation.

Happy to be at your service,

Jack Meyers

jackestate@aol.com

303.263.3050

Twitter: @jackestate

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Fire Safety – Protect Your Home, Protect Your Family

Given the recent wildfires experienced across the state of Colorado, I wanted to take a moment to cover the topic of home fire safety. Whether you rent or own, your home and possessions are an investment worth protecting from fire and other disasters. Much more important than the “stuff” you lay claim to is the health and safety of your family. Fire is the third most common cause of accidental death in the home; Don’t wait until October {National Fire Safety Month} to brush up on the basics of fire prevention and safety.

  • Your home should have a smoke detector located on every floor at minimum. Some sources recommend installing alarms in bedrooms as well, especially if you smoke or have a television, air conditioner, or other large electrical appliance in the room capable of starting fire.
  • 3 steps to Smoke Detector success: Test batteries monthly; Replace batteries in the fall when you change clocks for Daylight Savings; Smoke Detectors have a useful life of about 10 years. If you are unsure how old your smoke detector(s) are, replace them to ensure they will work when it counts.
  • Click here for help planning semi-annual fire drills and an escape route for your family:  http://bit.ly/Ngavda
  •  Cooking fires, particularly on the stove top, are the leading cause of home fires. If the phone rings, your show is “getting good” or the kids/pets/house plants need your attention- consider turning off the burner. Pick up a reusable kitchen-sized fire extinguisher at the hardware store and be prepared to smother a stove top fire the right way. Water is not your ally in smother a grease fire- pour on flour or baking soda to smother this type of blaze, and definitely don’t panic and wave the kitchen towel at a fiery pan.
  • Be aware of risk factors for home fires. Smoking {take it outside if you can}, Electrical {avoid overloading circuits, replace worn or frayed cords} and Candles {Consider switching to battery operated flameless candles, snuff out candles if you won’t be in the room, avoid candles in high-kid-traffic areas}

Natural disasters are outside of our control, but the vast majority of home fires are preventable. Take action on the home front and talk to your family about fire safety this week. Another quick tip: check your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. If something disastrous happens to your property, you don’t want to be surprised by the coverage {or lack thereof} on your property.

Cheers to the health and well being of you and yours,

Jack Meyers

jackestate@aol.com

303.263.3050

Twitter: @jackestate