Oakland County Zombie Foreclosures Following You
Look around your Oakland County neighborhood. There may be zombies out there.
We’re not talking Night of the Living Dead zombies. We’re talking zombie foreclosures that are in Oakland County. And they can be scarier than anything George Romero ever dreamt up: Zombies aren’t real; zombie foreclosures are. And, they can cause big problems for homeowners.
Zombie foreclosures are homes that have been abandoned by their owners but not yet taken over by banks. The owners have stopped making their monthly mortgage payments. They may be long gone. But the banks, because they are so far behind on their foreclosure work, may not take ownership of the abandoned home for months in Oakland County.
Scary numbers: According to early summer 2014 numbers from RealtyTrac, as many as 141,406 zombie foreclosures lurked in neighborhoods across the country. The good news? That’s down 16% from one year earlier. The bad news? There are still too many of these homes out there.
And while these zombie properties are nuisances to other homeowners—often no one is taking care of these homes—they can be especially dangerous to their former owners. Why? Walking away from a home doesn’t absolve owners of certain responsibilities. Too many homeowners don’t understand this.
Haunted by zombies: What if your home is one of these zombie foreclosures? Was it smart to move out of the home immediately after you received a foreclosure notice? Can you just wash your hands of the Oakland County property once you vacate the premises?
The short answer to these questions? No.
A zombie foreclosure can haunt you for years. A traditional foreclosure does this anyway, remaining on your credit report for up to seven years. Your three-digit FICO credit score can immediately drop by 100 points or more after a foreclosure. This makes applying for future credit—an auto loan, personal loan, credit card or, of course, another home loan—difficult. Most lenders won’t risk lending to you until you’ve rebuilt your credit score.
It gets worse.
Zombies don’t die: In the typical foreclosure process, you’ll receive a foreclosure letter (â€œnotice of defaultâ€) from your lender. The bank is then supposed to take ownership of your home if you can’t pay back the mortgage dollars that you owe. When banks are backlogged, though, this process doesn’t always run smoothly. You might move out quickly after receiving a foreclosure notice. But the bank might not get around to taking over your home for months or, in extreme cases, years.
But after you’ve moved out, you’re still responsible for paying your homeowners insurance and property taxes. If you don’t pay these bills because you think the bank has already taken over ownership of your home, you might be in for a surprise when your county sends you a hefty bill for back taxes.
Protecting yourself: The best move after receiving a foreclosure notice in Oakland County? Stay in your home until the bank takes ownership of the property. Continue to mow your lawn and maintain your property. Pay as many bills as you can afford to, including, if possible, your tax and insurance payments. Don’t move until you are absolutely certain that your bank has taken ownership.
Once this finally happens, you can move on to the next stage of your financial life, and repair your credit following foreclosure.
The good news is you can steadily rebuild your credit score after losing a home to foreclosure. You’ll need to start a new financial history of paying your bills on time and eliminating as much of your credit-card debt as possible. After doing this for several years, your credit score will begin to improve. And then your dream of a second chance at owning in Oakland County a home can become a reality.
* Create terrifying tombstones. Set the stage before trick-or-treaters even hit the front door. Use wood, cardboard or thick Styrofoam to create tombstones that you can put in your front yard. After cutting out the desired shape, use a matte gray spray paint to cover the surface, and then use black paint to write creative epitaphs such as “Dare to Disturb” or “Happy Haunting.”
* Get creative with pumpkins. Everyone enjoys a good jack-o-lantern, but why not choose to think outside the box when decorating with pumpkins this year? Instead of carving, try spray painting or using your favorite Halloween candy to decorate pumpkins in fun, spooky patterns. Plus, this is a project that even the littlest witch can enjoy.
* Download a haunted playlist. Nothing is quite as spooky as the sound of doors creaking or ghosts shrieking. Put together a haunted playlist that you can listen to while guests arrive, or stick speakers near an open window to entice the nearby trick-or-treaters to stop by for some candy.
* Serve spine-chilling treats. Use your free time on Halloween to make these simple but yummy treats designed to look like spiders. Serve them when guests arrive to kick-off the scary festivities.
Reese’s(R) Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spiders
6 Reese’s (R) Peanut Butter Pumpkins
1/4 cup Hershey’s (R) Milk Chocolate Chips
Large pretzel twists (2 -1/2 to 3 inches)
12 yellow Reese’s Pieces (R) Candies
Line tray or cookie sheet with wax paper. Remove wrappers from peanut butter pumpkins and place alongside each other on tray leaving 1 inch of space between each peanut butter pumpkin. For each spider, cut 8 matching curved sections from pretzels which will form the legs. Set aside remaining pretzels pieces.
Place milk chocolate chips in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at medium 30 seconds; stir. If necessary, microwave at medium an additional 10 seconds at a time, stirring after each heating, until chips are melted and smooth when stirred. Transfer to small heavy duty plastic food storage bag. Cut off one corner of bag about 1/4 inch from the tip.
Attach pretzel legs and yellow candy “eyes” to spider with melted chocolate; place dot of melted chocolate on each eye. Allow chocolate to set before moving spiders.
Timings everything when selling a home in Greater Oakland County. Is now a good time to sell? I think so. Today’s affordable interest rates have encouraged lots of buyers into the market — and we know who they are. If you’re ready to sell your home, listing with us will plug you into a broad network of well-connected real estate professionals in Greater Oakland County who can deliver buyers to your door. Give me a call to find out how I can help you sell your home quickly for top dollar. If you’re selling in today’s market, you want to make your house outshine the competition. Buyers in Greater Oakland County are most likely to choose your house if it offers something special. Here are 12 ways to make sure you land a “Sale, Sweet Sale.”No matter how hot or slow the market in Oakland County MI, selling a home can be a complicated and stress-provoking experience. But it doesn’t have to be! Taken one well-informed step at a time, the process can be smooth — even easy. And that’s what our HOME SELLERS COURSE is all about.The course’s 10 lessons will arrive regularly in your e-mail, guiding you through the home-sale process, step by step, from listing through settlement.
Whether your selling in Novi, Northville, West Bloomfield, Farmington Hills, Bloomfield Hills, Plymouth or any other area in the Greater Oakland County area, this information will help you stand out and get your home sold for the best price possible.
12 Incentives to Offer Home Buyers
1. Offer a warranty.
Purchase a buyer’s home warranty to protect against future problems.
2. Help with closing costs.
Cash-poor buyers concerned more with out-of-pocket costs than monthly payments will especially appreciate this one.
3. Consider financing help.
Provide seller financing or buy down the buyer’s mortgage rate for the first year.
4. Help with utilities.
Pay some or all estimated utilities for 6 or 12 months.
5. Help with fees.
Pay a year’s condominium or homeowners association fees.
6. Pre-pay memberships.
Buy a one-year pool or community golf club membership, cable TV subscription, or other recreational activity.
7. Consider a moving allowance.
Pay the buyer’s documented moving expenses, or provide an allowance toward moving costs.
8. Treat them to window treatments.
Offer redecorating cash for new carpet or drapes.
9. Mow down any objections.
Buy a lawn-maintenance service for a year, or offer a riding mower if the lot is large.
10. Give them a dock on the bay.
If you live in a waterfront community, offer to rent a boat slip for a year.
11. Reimburse buyer the cost of points.
This is often a double benefit for buyers, who save both on the points themselves and on their federal taxes. The IRS now allows buyers to deduct the cost of seller-paid points as a Schedule A mortgage expense.
12. Price your home below comparable properties.
Prove your home’s good value in greater Oakland County by having an appraisal done and setting the price below the appraised amount for better results. Ask what buyers are looking for in the Greater Oakland County area. What are they saying about the homes they don’t buy? And what is it about the homes that are selling that makes them so popular? By determining your ideal target buyer, you will better understand how to merchandise your home. My experience in your specific neighborhood can help you answer all these questions and more.
Free Home Buyer-Seller Guides are Free and no obligation, these Free Home Buyer & Home Seller Guides are very valuable for any Home Buyer or Home Seller in the Greater Oakland County Mi area. These Free Home Buyer-Seller Guides are packed with 52+ pages of information to assist Home Buyers and Home Sellers in the real estate market in the Greater Oakland County area. Buying or Selling a Home is one of the biggest investments anyone will ever make, these guides give you insightful information that is FREE and will help you sail along in the Home Buying and Home Selling process. Free Home Buyer-Seller Guides are emailed directly to your email inbox and are a valuable tool regardless if you Buying or Selling a Home in the Greater Oakland County Area.
When it comes to pricing your home to sell in Greater Oakland County, you’ll find lots of “experts.” The neighbors may want you to set a high price, thinking it will make their homes more valuable. Your company may encourage you to set a lower price so the home will sell quickly and you can move to your new assignment. You might be thinking in terms of what you paid for your home, how much you’ve spent on it, or how much profit you want from it.
But who sets the price? When you put your house on the market in Greater Oakland County, you set the asking price. But it is the market that determines the selling price. If the asking price is set correctly, the house is likely to sell fairly quickly. If set too high, the house may languish on the market, unseen by the right buyers.
Pricing It Right
A correct asking price is crucial to a timely sale. That’s where we come in. But how do we know how to advise you on price?
- First, we look at the prices brought by similar homes recently sold in the area, and compare their features to those in your home.
- Then we survey the competition, seeing what homes are currently on the market, how they compare to yours and how long they have been up for sale.
- Next we look at how the number of buyers compares to the supply of homes for sale.
- We take stock of the direction of the market. Are prices rising or falling? Are homes selling quickly for the asking price?
- Finally, we look at the incentives other sellers are offering, such as paying some closing costs, and what conveys with the property, like draperies or washer and dryer.
As you noticed, neither how much you paid for your home nor how much money you wish to profit from the sale affect the market value of your home.
Avoid “Testing The Market”
Many times, sellers are tempted to price their homes a little high in hopes of getting more money from the sale. But often the opposite happens, and they sell – after a long time on the market – at a price below what the home would have sold for if it had been priced correctly at first. This is because most buyers look only at homes they can afford.
- If a home is overpriced, many potential buyers don’t bother to consider it because the asking price is above what they can afford to pay.
- Buyers who do tour the overpriced home see that it doesn’t measure up to others in the same price range.
- By pricing the home close to market value, on the other hand, the sellers make the most of their best opportunity to sell to the home’s true market during the highest traffic period – the first weeks after the new listing comes out. That’s when real estate agents call in the buyers they have been working with to see what’s new on the market.
“The best game plan is to price your home over market to give yourself room for negotiation if offers come in low.”
REALITY: Most homes sell within 5% of what similar neighborhood homes have recently brought. Pricing your home too high will actually scare buyers away. They’ll assume you are unrealistic and likely to be difficult to deal with. In addition, buyers who believe your home is out of their price range won’t even look at it.
The best way to deal with a low offer is by making a counteroffer or rejecting the contract outright. Having an experienced real estate agent in your corner will help you price your home to sell quickly, while netting you the best possible return.
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