Home Selling in Portland>Question Details

Luke, Home Buyer in Oregon

I am disabled and underestimated the difficulty of home maintenance, care and upkeep when I bought my first house. Needing guidance.

Asked by Luke, Oregon Mon Jun 6, 2011

Hi. I'm legally blind. I purchased my first house about 14 months ago. It's a townhome in a duplex. No HOA. Since purchasing it, I've quickly come to realize that I underestimated the amount of maintenance, care and upkeep required, and these things are extremely difficult due to my disability. Because my mortgage payment consumes so much of my monthly income, I do not have the money to pay others to carry out the yard work and various maintenance tasks needed. My vision condition is progressive, so I'll continue to lose vision and I am concerned I bought too much house, given my limitations. If I could do it all over, I'd have purchased a small condo or simply remained a renter. I'm so stressed an overwhelmed I have even considered appealing to the bank for a short sale, but, other than being underwater on the mortgage and having a very large mortgage payment relative to my income, I'm not in a "hardship" as it's defined for the purposes of a short sale. What can I do?

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Hi, Luke!

There are a lot of great suggestions here! I would definitely start by doing Gina's suggestion and contact the Oregon Commission for the Blind. There could be help there that you wouldn't have known about unless you call and specifically ask. Also, sit down and be honest with yourself and determine what your parameters are - are you willing to sell and possibly take a loss, and if so how much? Would you be willing to get a roommate and collect rent and 'stick it out' another year and re-evaluate the market at that time? I think that you have several options, but need to figure out what you are comfortable gaining/losing and it will help you to make more solid decisions for yourself to get you to where you want to be. You could get a roommate and work a deal with them on yard upkeep for discounted rent, or perhaps use some of the rent income toward paying someone for maintenance. If you are looking for professional yard and lawn maintenance, try a gentleman named Gerardo at 503.453.6244. He does my grandmother's yard and a couple others that I know and he is reasonable and reliable.

I wish you luck with your situation, and please feel free to contact me if you should need any more assistance or would like some recommendations on any other contractors that you may need in the future.

Best of Luck,
Katy Gavic
Keller Williams Realty Professionals
503.840.4399
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 7, 2011
You don't necessarily need to be a "monetary hardship" to get a short sale approved by your mortgage company. You have some options, and as already said, you need to sit down with someone and discuss those options and then decide what's best for you. The fact that you've reached out here tells me you don't have a Realtor so I would recommend that you read the responses and the profile of the agents here, and find a couple to contact. Once you feel you've found the person you're comfortable with, they can help you move forward to get you into the right environment that's fits for you.
Temara also gave you a good option, so a roommate could be a solution.
I'm sure it seemed like a great idea at the time, but we've all made decisions that have come back to haunt us! One step at a time, and before you know it you'll be in the right environment for you!
best to you
Marge
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 6, 2011
This is a question that really can't be answered on a computer. Bottom line is you need to sit down and discuss your options with someone whether it is a real estate professional, lawyer, family member, someone at the bank or a friend. I could write a really long story on what you could do but the best way to come up with a plan is to sit down and discuss this. Feel free to contact me and we can set up a time to do this or contact someone you already know, a family member or friend, and have them sit down with you and me. You can then discuss your options after I leave and make an informed, not pressured, decision.

Take care,

Rian Muleback
Encore Realty
rian@encorehouses.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 6, 2011
Wow. Thanks everyone for the tremendous support and thoughtful suggestions. I've gotten some great tips and resources here that definitely give me some things to consider. I appreciate all your help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 7, 2011
I also wonder about how you qualified for the mortgage when you purchased---has your income situation changed? Though a regular real estate broker, my main time is spent doing opinions of value ( mini appraisals) for banks that are foreclosing, considering mortgage modification, etc. I do HUNDREDS of them. I could go all day long 7 days a week there are so many. After almost 2,000 and paying great attention to all the news I find regarding the subject, I can tell you that mortgage modification is a scam of huge proportions and if the public knew everything about it we would have anarchy. Very few of the programs helped people stay in their homes. The entire process has helped lenders to steal houses. The lenders accept billions from our government (our tax money and newly printed, baseless money from the Fed) so that they will not fold up while promising the government that they will help owners to keep their homes. After stringing owners out for months or even several years, they turn the owners down and demand the huge back due. The owners dont have it so they foreclose. They cant take a loss at the sale, as our dear government takes care of them. Ive spoken to hundreds of people and the story is always the same. Most were told by their lenders to stop making the payments. In trying to modify MY OWN adjustable, I was told to let my payments go late or they couldnt 'help' me. Some people have received modification so one cant lose hope but it shouldnt be counted on. It depends on the lender and loan type. Call your title company and ask if MERS is involved. They will know what MERS is. Do a web search on MERS. If your loan was assigned to any other lender/servicer by the original lender, MERS may be a part of it and you can sue to stop any foreclosure process if nothing can be worked out.

SHort sale---you may have better luck with that, but there are some BIG mines in that field. You have to get the lender not to come back on you for any losses they take at sale, etc etc. I could write a book on all this.

May I ask why you purchased the property? What were your goals? Were you told 14 months ago that it was a good time to buy? Why a townhome? Condos/townhomes/row homes are always the first to drop value and the last to go back up. You have been much better of as a renter---I dont know your tax benefits to this ownership but it doesnt sound like you need a lot of write off anyway. Do you really know what the property is worth? I love Trulia but you cant always count on its data for a value.

Is your loan an adjustable? If so what type and will the payments be going up on a regular schedule? There are SO many questions you need to answer before anyone here (or anywhere) can offer accurate advice. How is your credit and will keeping good credit be important to you in the future? Some of your options run a risk of damage to the credit score.

Whatever you do, DONT fall for any of the loan modification scammers who say they can help for up front fees.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 7, 2011
It sounds as if you have many great answers here - the first step is that you realized there is a problem and then reached out to get answers and help. If you can handle having someone move in with you and pay some rent - they would also be able to do some of the upkeep or maintenance. You may have to rely on a rental company or some close family or friends to help you find that type of person. You dont want someone to move in that would cause you more hardships. As I see it, you do have a hardship situation since you physically can not handle the home you wanted to enjoy. So, you have a couple of other options also. Maybe you can rent your home for a while and move into a cheaper rental so that the rent makes your payment and the renter can take care of the home until you can sell it instead of having a short sale or foreclosure on your credit scores. Either will take a hard hit on your credit score. Please make sure you speak to your lender. They may also have suggestions on help. I hope you will talk to people that are concerned for you so that you can make a good informed decision on what to do next.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 7, 2011
Dear Luke, it is time to put you social skills to work. Do you go to church or belong to a club, if so see if you can get some cheap but good help from these venues! Tell you friends you have a lot less to offer because you are a financial limb and have little to work with. They will understand, but offer some wage if you can, 8 dollars an hour or 10 or 7 and a pizza, you know something, better that 40 dollars an hour for semi professionals
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 7, 2011
You seem to have a genuine case of financial hardship. Mortgage payment and all your expenses need to be considered for establishing your financial situation. I would highly recommend you to read my blog on short sales on what a homeowner should do:

http://www.trulia.com/blog/manisharealtor/2011/06/short_sale…

One person buys a home for one's happiness. If your home is not meeting your needs, I'd advocate that you look at alternatives such as:
* Sell the house at loss
* Sell the house using foreclosure
* Definitely move into another place (rent or buy) which is convenient to you.
* Rent out your current home and proceeds could pay for your other residence

I am sure you'd be able to find excellent support on trulia. In addition, please don't hesitate to contact me directly for any questions. I'd be very happy to do more research & consult for you for free and without any obligation.

Best of luck,
Manisha Jain
http://manishajain.weebly.com/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 7, 2011
You could contact Oregon Commission for the Blind, their main office phone is (971) 673-1588 Website: http://www.oregon.gov/Blind/index.shtml
They will be able to direct you to the resources available to you appropriate for your situation. Stay in positive thinking, help is out there for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 6, 2011
You may want to check http://www.hownw.com/ for special programs for people with disabilities. I'm a little surprised that your debt to income ratio was satisfactory to your mortgage lender, but as previously said, you need a face to face with a trusted peson, or several.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 6, 2011
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