Keith's advice was right on: you need to get with an experince agent who knows both the rental and sales markets in Woodbridge and who can hook you up with a good tax accountant if you don't know one.
Many find that renting the home is a better option, but as more and more folks are realizing that, the rental market is starting to get softer- ugh! Anyway, not to be negative, but you just have to chose the best option out of some not-so-good ones. The real estate market WILL recover and those who can hang in will benefit in the long run. A short sale, and worse yet, a foreclosures may severely effect your buying power- for everything-- for years to come.
An interesting idea from a conversation with some collegues: in a couple or few years, if a good majority of the average homeowner and previous homeowner's credit is trashed due to late pays, short sale, foreclosures, etc, might we see a "forgiveness factor" in mortgage lending in order to stimulate home sales? An interesting thing to think about-- but I wouldn't count on it just yet.
Good luck and if you need an agent, I know a couple great ones in your area.
You mentioned you will be moving overseas and it's a government move. If you used Finanicing you may be able to consider the VA Compromise Program. This is a low interest loan program set up for Veterans who must leave the area. I helped sell several homes using this program back in 1990-1995 when the market values were down. ( see VA Compromise Link below)
In order to be considered for a compromise sale, several factors must be considered:
* The property must be sold for fair market value.
* The closing costs must be reasonable and customary.
*The compromise sale must be less costly for the Government than foreclosure.
*There must be a financial hardship on the part of the seller.
*On loans that originated on or before December 31, 1989, the seller must be willing to sign a
*There must be no second liens or other liens (unless the amount is insignificant). In
situations whereby there are second liens or other liens, the seller can request that the
lienholder consider releasing the lien and converting the loan to a personal loan.!*The seller must first obtain a sales contract in order to be considered for the program. To protect the sellerâ€™s interest, the seller should make the sales contract contingent and/or
subject to the approval of a VA compromise sale.
We are US govt. civilian employees and do not qualify for any of the VA programs. We checked with our bank and other banks. Refi not possible under the 125% LTV program because we would need to bring a lot of cash to the table or find a loan that allows a 140% LTV - not going to happen. Modification and short sale not possible because we can "afford" our payments and cannot show a financial hardship (our income has raised since we bought, not lowered). So, we are renting the place out. Rent does not cover the mortgage fully, let alone HOA fees, insurance, taxes, property manangement fees and repairs. So, we are stuck.
How are you doing?
Were you able to get a loan modification?
Because, the banks are now being "incented" to approve more of these loans at this time.
The demand for townhouses in Northern Virgina has picked up considerably.
What did you end up doing? I am interested to know.
Johnny "Culdesac" Yankoviak
I am currently working with a similar situation for one of clients in woodbridge..he had to move out of the USA. we got the short sale approved last week and we are closing in three weeks.
all i can say is , your credit will take a much less hit if you keep paying on time until the house is sold and closed...by the time you are back from overseas , your credit will bounce back...everything is negotiable with the lender. let me know if you need any further information.
Additionally look into loan re-negotiation/re-financing and similar solutions - you need to contact your lender to find out what programs are available through them. This usually means staying on hold for a long time, being re-directed from one person to another, etc. But it is worth doing to save your credit.
Don't give up.
All the best!
List with LAMAR - Matching People to Homes
I was in exactly the same situation. Here is what I found out:
The most important thing you need right is to learn your options, the pros and cons of each, so you can make the right choice. In my situation I got bad advice. It worked out okay in the long run, but it was painful. Let me help you.
First, I would be happy to refer you to one of our top Realtors in your area that can discuss current market condtions. You won't have to guess how much your home is worth, how much you might be able to rent, etc.
Second, our option was to rent it out. Talk with a CPA regarding the impact on your taxes. Retaining the property as a rental might be stressful initially. We had a tough time the first couple years. At the end of seventeen years of ownership the property was worth three times what we paid and was generating positive cash flow. It could be that this will be a great addition to your retirement portfolio - just look at the stock market.
Third, it is possible to consider a short sale. The agent that I refer to you can answer your questions and explain how that might work for your situation. Note that that selling the home at a loss and having the lender absorb that loss is normally for people who are flat broke, so based on your post that does not sound like your situation.
The truth is that many people are in your situation. Most people were not complaining when the market went up, right? But now it's gone down, they want out. Real estate is a long term investment.
Carefully gather information, analyze your options, then act prudently.
Good luck. (The referral does not obligate you nor cost anything).