Question Details

Melissa, Home Seller in Queen Creek, AZ

Specific question: do we walk away?

Asked by Melissa, Queen Creek, AZ Wed Aug 20, 2008

We put nothing down on a 2886 sq ft house in Castlegate (85240), moved in 9/05. Re-fi'd to a 30-year fixed at 7.25 in 7/06. We own 289K and may be in the path of a proposed freeway corridor. Our neighborhood is a ghost town... brand new homes nearly all foreclosed or never occupied. Homes our size for sale for 165K, homes 600 sq ft larger asking $200K ...nothing sells. By my estimation we are about 133K upside-down. My credit is fabulous; hubby's stinks. Do we walk away? How can a realtor help us (to rent now, buy in a couple of years...?)?

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Answers

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A local realtor can give you all of the facts for your particular neighborhood.
They can also give you their professional opinion on whether or not you could sell your property at any price. (I realize that some homes will not sell no matter what at this time)

Other considerations:
Do you like the home you live in?
Are you able to pay the mortgage on time every month?
If you like where you are and can afford it, why damage your credit by walking away?
So you're upside down; so what?
If you're comfortable in your house and are paying the mortgage, who cares?
Your interest rate is fixed.
You can't come out ahead by selling now.
You may very well come out ahead by staying.
If the freeway goes through and the government exercises it's right of eminent domain, they will have to pay you fair market value to get your property.
The government is notorious for moving slowly so it could be awhile.
If they do come through with the highway and want your property, see what they offer.
If they don't offer enough to cover the balance on your mortgage, you can always appeal, negotiate, fight.

Also, it may be beneficial to start attending any meetings that are open to the public.
Remember to make friends when you go; people always want to help friends; rarely want to help negative people.
If there is a neighborhood association, become an active member; if there is not, start one and stay active.

By all means, enlist the aid of a local realtor. Consult with an attorney if you think you need to.
But don't just throw all of the money you've put into this home out the window.
And don't walk away from your home in fear over something that has not yet happened.

Good luck and please let me know what happens.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
Melissa,
I think most realtors would agree given you set of circumstances, that your best option today would be to stay where you are and ride out this real estate and ecomomic cycle.

You purchased the property at the height of a price inflated market and to make matters worse you financed 100% at a higher than market rate.

It may take 5 years to regain your homes initial value, but that would be preferable to ruining your future credit abilities.

I think finding a renter in a "ghost town" who would pay anywhere near the needed rental amount to carry your mortgage is at best a dream that could become even more of a nightmare if the renter (if one could be found) bails out and leaves you with 2 housing payments.

My advice, hold tight and pray the freeway will go straight through the middle of your home.

Good Luck and God Bless,
Buz
Solid Source Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
Melissa, the responses provided by Maria and Joel contain sound advise. Both provide options for you to consider. Speaking with a local Realtor is always a good starting place, as most will know what is going on in a particular neighborhood, and they can help guide you to appropriate local government officials for clarification. I certainly can understand being nervous about being upside down however, as indicated, that too may not be as terrible as it may seem. Another option may be to speak with your lender, especially if it's a local bank.

However you decide to proceed, I wish you the very best. I too would like to hear what decisions you make, and how you resolve your situation.

Best wishes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
Where are you exactly in Queen Creek, are you still part of Maricopa County? I thought GoDaddy.com brought a lot of families with them when they moved in your town?

Anyway, if it was me and I can afford to do so, I will rent this house out and buy another one and live in it. This way I'm buying the new one low (with still good interest rates) and then when prices go up, I'll sell the other one.

Consult with your accountant for tax consequences. Also talk to a local Realtor, a lot of real estate brokerage also offer property management services. If you need me to refer you to one, let me know.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 20, 2008
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