Welcome to the short sale "dream"! The answer is not definitive because it depends on who the loan is backed by (Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae), and how well staffed they are as well as where you are in the short sale process. HAFA has new streamline short sale rules:http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/19/real_estate/short-sales/index.htm Effective Nov. 1, these servicers are required to provide an response to offers within 30 days and an answer in 60 days. In any case, if all of the short sale requirements for the Seller have been approved such as the hardship, BPO, financial worksheets and other documents, you should be entering into the final stages. This includes any remaining paperwork for you to sign and presentation of the entire file to the investor for approval. This usually takes between 3-14 days, but again it depends. They can always ask for more items, and just because you have agreed to a counter offer, does not mean they will issue an approval since it must be reviewed and approved by the investor. However, a counter offer is a pretty good sign. If it takes an extraordinary amount of time, there are some legal tricks I've used to light a fire under the lender's arss.Good luck!
Good for you to start working on this in advance and to endeavor to be a homeowner! DO start by contacting a reputable and expereinced agent and loan Broker that have your best interest at heart and who are not in a hurry or too busy to give you the time and education necessary for your needs. It takes a long time and many transactions in this industry to be well versed and it is best for you to not cram an education in by yourself or have trial and error experience.A loan Broker is necessary right away in order to determine your qualifications, capability, timing and your target price range.Interviews are great, and referrals from good sources are excellent too. A good agent will have experience, elaborate knowledge of negotiations and contracts, local market awareness, persistence, and willingness to guide you along the way. I have a proven secret that always provides my friends, family & clients the best referral agent for them nationwide. Here is a link to questions you can ask agents in an interview:http://www.austinrealtyteam.com/Blog/Buyer-Agent-Interview-QuestionsI would add:How will you "go to bat" for me in negotiations or a multiple offer situation?Do you have a good relationship with other agents in your area?Do you use a mortgage broker with strong statistics in closing loans?How many Buyers/Sellers at a time do you work with?Do you have a team or will I be able to contact you directly when I have questions?How do you respond to challenges or problems that may arise?Happy House Haunting......(I mean hunting)!
Typically, A Seller is not required to do repairs or improvements that the Buyer requests and this could be a point of sale issue, but depending on your agreement and state law, the Buyer is usually required to share any written reports that were issued. Refer to your Purchase Agreement about this matter first. Also check your local and State Laws regarding and mandatory retrofits or compliances regarding this just in case. It may be a local concern in your area, and other buyers may ask for the same, but I would ask your agent or another local real estate professional what (if any) common requests have been made or agreed to in the area recently. This may help you decide if you wish to agree to the Buyer's request, or simply say no and move forward or move on. As a point of sale, you need to decide if it's worth doing this improvement to keep the current Buyer. This depends on your market and personal goals.
If it is not specified in your lease, refer to your state tenant/landlord laws:http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/publications/tenantlandlord.pdf The management company should be the primary contact in resolving this, and your landlord may not be responding because she has hired this company for the pupose of handling the property for her. Document all of your communications with the Landlord and the management company about this issue in writing. You could pay for a service that has been an ongoing complaint with no remedy from a Landlord, and then a)deduct from the rent or b)submit the bill to the manager. a) is not really adviseable and depends on the tenant laws in your state, and it could cause the Landlord to give you notice to terminate your rental agreement if it makes her angry. However, I think it would be more of an inconvenience for the Landlord to lose a good, long term tenant than to have an exterminator deal with this recurring problem. Depending on your situation, you may wish to suggest that you will not consider renewing the lease if she will not agree to take care of this problem. The other option is to do it yourself with a pesticide from your local hardware store spraying around the exterior peremeter of the home.
I find that my best BPO's are done as closely to the Appraisal Institute guidelines, but different investors such as Fannie Mae, have their own set of guidelines. Use sold lisitngs within 1/4- 1/2 mile radius and not past 90 days if possible. Also, if there are enough comps to select from, try to only use the most similar in square footage. If you cannot come up with enough comps in using these guidelines, start to go outside the radius no more than 1 mile and choose listings that are older (taking the date of effective agreement and until the settlement date into consideration) but no more than 1 year old. Use local adjustment values for location, size, condition and conditions of sale according to your local marke and appraisal guidelines and provide explanations for any excessive adjustments. Also, check out the link below for new release regarding distress properties and how to deal with them in appraisals:http://www.dsnews.com/articles/appraisal-institute-offers-guidance-on-distressed-comparables-2012-01-31
Short term furnishings can be either leased or purchased. Personally, I'm a huge Craigslist fan as well as Ikea, thrift stores and estate sales (don't forget Freecycle)! I stage a lot of my listings, and I find amazing deals on gently used furnishings and resell later when I do not need them. Your budget can certainly provide furnishings for a 2 bedroom apartment if you take the time to shop second hand. Leasing can be an option but may be a little expensive depending on your time frame you need to rent, but it may be worth checking into for the electronics like TV's etc. Here is a link to CORT Furniture, providing rentals in your area:http://losangeles.cort.com/storefront/residential-furniture/c02-c021-c0201-p1.html?previewFlag=true
Any time a real estate agent acts as a principal (buying for themself), there are areas of the law that apply (state specific) and should be approached with caution. Also, a contract typically has specific language regarding the right to cancel. Usually, it cannot be cancelled without the Seller's agreement and not unless the Buyer has failed to perform their contractual obligations. This should definitely be discussed with a real estate attorney in your state.
Yes, you may be eligible to buy after a short sale. FHA will lend immediately IF you were current on your mortgage payments when you sold. It also helps if you have a documentable hardship showing you were forced into the short sale (such as a job transfer or natural disaster). Otherwise, yes, you may have to wait 2 years with your 20% down payment or 3 with less than 20%. However, there are some lenders who will consider lending after a short sale with higher interest rates.
Great question! Some claim that election years bring either higher or lower values after the election. However, it's one of those issues that nobody can predict. If I could predict the future market trends, I'd be really rich! One topic that I've heard "buzz" about recently is that a shadow inventory (bank REO properties that have been withheld from the makret) will be released after elections and will flood the market, bringing our inventory up and possibly causing prices to drop. Of course, we have no way to prove this. However, if you wait until March, you could potentially enter the spring selling season with more properties to chose from and with more standard sales from "regular" homeowners who plan to market during this time. Another aspect to consider is whether or not you need the tax benefit of purchasing a home due to possible income increase and this should be discussed with your CPA and/or financial advisor.
This Buyer may have a case, but basically because there is nothing preventing anyone from filing a lawsuit. The real question, is will she win? As always, the purchase contract and disclosures (and laws) will be your guide to your defense. I'm not sure what state you are located in, but your contract should have an Inspection Advisory or Addendum that informs the Buyer of their responsibility to investigate the property and their right to perform an inspection. Hopefully, you or your agent had the Buyer sign this in addition to an inspection waiver (always recommended when a Buyer does not perform an inspection). As a seller that has never occupied the home, you may have limited knowledge and duty to disclose items that you are aware of that could materially affect the home. If you were not aware of the plumbing issue, and your Buyer was properly advised about perfrming an inspection, and of course depending upon your State's laws, you may be able to fend off her claim without issue. She will have the burden of proof to show that you knew about the defect and did not disclose. A good real estate attorney can ease your mind by providing an initial consultation after reviewing your contract and disclosures. Unfortunately, if she persists in court or arbitration, you may spend time and money to defend yourself.