You say tomato, I say tomahto. You say remortgage, I say refinance. Yup, you guessed it. They both mean the same thing. The only difference is “remortgage” is the term used primarily in England where as “refinance” is used in America. Since the housing crash hit, more and more people are searching out for a new loan once their existing rate starts adjusting. This is typical for those who went with a 3 or 5 year ARM instead of locking in a 30-year fixed.
Has your number been called yet in the UK or are you just looking for a better overall mortgage rate? If so, now is the time to start looking while interest rates are still reasonable. The hardest part is finding the right person or loan broker to work with (at least in my experience) but with the internet at your fingertips, it’s much easier.
As I mentioned in my previous post about researching home insurance policies, using a search engine comparison site is the best way to compare and find deals catered for you. This is also true when it comes to just about anything these days. Before I order things online, I use shopping comparison sites like Froogle. When I’m searching for health insurance I’ve used ehealthinsurance.com. Now, if you’re living in the UK and looking for a remortgage, I would try a site like remortgage.org.
Remortgage.org makes it easy to speak with a mortgage professional for free advice regarding a remortgage in the UK. After completing 3 steps on their site, you’ll get access to one of their professional remortgage brokers. They will then answer your questions regarding advice on a mortgage or remortgage in the UK. I have yet to personally try them out since I don’t live in the UK but their site is pretty clean and useful which presumably means their staff is professional too.
If anyone has used remortgage.org, I would love to hear about your experiences by commenting below. Our goal is to help share knowledge and real estate information that is useful to all.
Step #1 – Look at the Property
Let’s assume you found a property from one of the foreclosure sites I mentioned in my previous post “How to Find Foreclosures – Where Do I Start?” or in a legal notice from your newspaper. You’re excited with the information you read about the property and you’re ready to start doing additional research. At this point it’s a good idea to go look at the property before you spend any of your time processing the legal work. Until you do that, you don’t even know what the neighborhood looks like, the condition the property is in, and if it’s vacant or not. If you don’t know these simple things about the property, you’ll never know how risky of an investment it could or could not be.
What happens if the legal description or foreclosure notice you read doesn’t list the physical address? You have a couple options like contacting the title company and asking them to lookup the street address, calling the attorney that’s managing the foreclosure, or go down to the courthouse and look it up. Once you get the address, you can continue reading below.
Once you arrive at the property you’re only able to in most cases, view the outside of the home. You really need to see the inside if you are to properly make a decision and this is always extremely difficult because it’s not like an open house. There are several options here and it really depends on your judgment and comfort to be able to have a peek inside. Your options are to walk up the steps and knock on the door and see if anybody is home, if the house looks vacant or abandoned maybe take a quick walk around the property and peek through any windows without disturbing the neighbors, or just walk away and look for a different property. Now I’m not suggesting you trespass nor illegally enter a property and that’s why I said use your judgment. If it’s nighttime and you’ve got a flashlight it’s probably not a good idea to wander around the property unless you want the local authorities coming by to meet you.
Let’s say you were able to see the property and got a nice glimpse of the inside. You felt it’s a good prospect to bid on. Your next step is determining what it will appraise for. I’d recommend you hire an appraiser, realtor, or another investor who has more experience to help you pin down an approximate price on what it will appraise for. There’s a good chance depending on if you were able to get a glimpse of the inside in the previous step, that the appraiser will not be able to look at the inside and only give you a rough appraisal based on what he or she can see on the outside. Of course, there are exceptions, and you might not be too disappointed if you trust just the condition of the outside.
Stay tuned for step #2 – Contacting the Trustee
The most important issue in the entire foreclosure process is that of how long it will take from the first payment being missed to the eviction of the homeowners. It is also an issue that most foreclosure victims have no idea about, and spend more time worrying about than any other aspect. Without knowing if or when the process has started, when the sheriff sale will be conducted, and how long they have after the auction until they are removed from the property, homeowners feel they have little control over the situation. Having a firm idea of the time frame of the foreclosure process, though, will allow them to put together reasonable plans to stop it with the time they have available.
The timeline of the foreclosure process will depend almost entirely on the state laws, so homeowners in danger of missing more than one mortgage payment should look those up as soon as possible. Various time lines are determined by the state, including notices that must be posted or mailed, redemption periods after the sale, and the scheduling and confirmation of the sheriff sale. Even procedures for postponing a sheriff sale are determined by the state laws. All of these aspects will be taken into account for the actual time that foreclosure victims have available to save their homes. Continue reading Foreclosure Timeline – How Long Does it Take?
The lure of making money by investing in foreclosure properties has too many times led to real estate professionals taking advantage of homeowners facing the loss of their homes. Their focus on reaping huge profits from these properties causes them to lose sight of the moral and ethical side of doing business and providing a helpful solution to assist foreclosure victims. In response to these practices, some states have begun regulating how investors and foreclosure help companies do business in certain situations, including profit-capping measures for investors and fuller disclosure requirements in the area of loss mitigation. In addition, courts have ruled that, in some cases, the popular rent-back or leaseback option counts as a loan to the former foreclosure victims, rather than a rental agreement, forcing the investor to foreclose on the property again if the renters fail to pay as agreed.
While these laws provide further regulations that reputable foreclosure experts must now follow, the foreclosure scam companies will continue to do whatever they can to take advantage of homeowners in foreclosure. Many of the worst of these companies do not even bother to research the relevant foreclosure laws and rely on homeowners to fail to gather their own foreclosure information. In essence, they rely on their own ignorance of the law and the foreclosure victims’ ignorance in order to prey upon homeowners. This presents a unique opportunity for legitimate foreclosure investors and companies to fill this void by educating foreclosure victims on what can be done to stop foreclosure legally and effectively. Continue reading How Investors Can Create Local Solutions to Foreclosure
The front page of Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle brought more bad news on foreclosures. The article titled “Neighborhoods Crumble in Wave of Foreclosures” talked about how Antioch has 23 foreclosures for every 1,000 homes and specifically how Catanzaro Way has had more than 30 percent of their homes foreclosed upon.
The foreclosure rate in Antioch is seven times that of the region as a whole and nearly 1,000 percent higher than it was a year ago. They now have twice the bank repossession rate of greater Stockton, an area often cited as the No. 1 foreclosure spot in California. Continue reading Bay Area Foreclosures Hits New High
Many homeowners who gorged on debt during the real estate boom a few years ago are now starting to feel the squeeze. They’re struggling to keep up with their ballooning payments or, worse, losing their homes to creditors.
As the number of foreclosed properties continue to rise, new opportunities await for others. These are fast becoming ideal market conditions for a niche group of real estate investors called foreclosure gurus. They can deliver homeowners fast cash in return for their property which is inevitably sold at a nice discount. These type of foreclosure gurus used to post ads in the newspaper or staple ads to telephone poles but now there are several websites that make finding forclosures much easier.
Here are some beginner tips for those of you wondering where to start in the foreclosure market: Continue reading How to Find Foreclosures – Where Do I Start?
Take a look at your local newspaper and thumb through it until you find the real estate section. Now more likely than not, you’ll see advertisements from new builders who are offering amazing interest rates or temporary buydowns if you purchase a new condo or townhome from them.
There’s a relatively new condo development (one of many) in San Francisco called 170 Off Third. I went down to check them out because they’re in a great South Beach location literally across the street from the San Francisco Giants baseball stadium. The units are on the smaller size but I really liked the modern art deco look and feel of the building and common areas. It would definitely be a nice place to live but I’m cringing for those who fall victim to their “last chance” offer. Here’s a portion of the e-mail I recently got from them: Continue reading Why Real Estate Forclosures Will Continue to Increase
As the real estate market continues to slow down foreclosures are already reaching an all-time high. This is only going to get worse in the next couple of years and it’s all because of the real estate boom in the previous three to five years.
Why is this happening?
It’s because home buyers were spending more money on new properties than they can afford and because loan brokers and mortgage companies were allowing them to overextend themselves. These brokers (in my opinion) were taking advantage of home buyers by giving them great deals on 3-5 year ARM loans or interest-only loans which allowed them to buy bigger houses they couldn’t really afford. Brokers of course get paid commissions from lenders they match you up with but that’s a different story. Continue reading The Next Real Estate Boom – Foreclosures
I’ve personally never invested in a foreclosure deal so I’m only writing about this based on a story I heard from someone else. It’s tough enough to find a gem like this but if you do, here’s how to play it out.
So you’ve stumbled on a piece of property and the owners invite you to come over and during the second cup of coffee they make a deal that can’t be beat. The only bad thing is that they are leaving town tomorrow and won’t be back for a closing for three weeks. Being desperate, you reach into your bag, pull out your laptop and printer and do a self-prepared deed and close the deal right in the kitchen. Continue reading Should You Sign Foreclosure Deeds Alone?