Sounds good to me...You are of course right on track...buyers looking to buy in the winter are serious buyers. You will find a motivation in them coming out to look. Making the home warm and inviting is just what needs to be done. Make it feel and smell like home. A win...win everytime!!
In Virginia we are seeing large groups as well as "deep pocket" individuals who have the right connections that are purchasing these homes. It's very hard for a first time buyer or even certain cash buyers to get the homes before someone else gets them. I think it's the case of not what you know but who you know here. They are selling and it's making a difference on values by the work being done to these detressed homes. It's helping the resale market in the values. Buyers do see the value in a home that's been totally redone and they will pay more for it than another where the condition is not there.
In our area a home that has those updates will go for a little higher price point than a home that has little or no updates. We are seeing here that homes that have been updated and in good condition, are in fact selling for more than those homes that haven't been well maintained. That being said, a home that's 1500sqft that has been updated verus a home that's 2500sqft that has not been updated will still sell for more even though the updates aren't there. Appraisers when doing the appraisals look at everything but the sqft figure is a big one. If you aren't sure you can always get an appraisal. Also, look at the tax assessment figure. That's usually not for off from value unless you are in a detressed region. I hope that helps.
The market is moving in Virginia. Our sellers are slow to get the homes on the market but we should see more activity on that front soon. The buyers are meeting with Realtors and starting to look for homes. We are getting off to a good start. It should be a good year!!
If you can change it by 1% it would certainly be worth it. If you plan to stay there for many years, it would pay off. These rates are not going to last forever. I know of some lenders doing it for free. Really! Ask your lender. There may be some incentives there for you.
Try contacting the local real estate board there to see if they know of any problems. Also, try white pages to find the realtor or the company. It might get you in the direction to find them. This seems most unusual. I would do some investigating.
We are certainly at the mercy of the lenders these days. They are all taking forever to get anything done outside of the resale market. Meaning refiances go to the back burner when the resales loans are coming in. Then of course we have the short sales and foreclosures. Yes these departments are mostly separate but keep in mind, there's only so much you can push through any given business on any given day. When you do get your refiance, it will be a victory for sure!! These are some super great rates!! It will be worth it in the long run for sure.
No...I would not send another one. I also see that it was cashed. Wait to see who cashed it. That will certainly tell you who in fact got the money order. If you have any other concerns in the future, send it certified with a return receipt to his home. That way you can prove it was delivered to him.
I think the most important thing that buyers are looking for is condition. There are many things you can't change like where a home sits or maybe the terms you offer to sell, but almost always a home in great condition will sell for more than one that hasn't been well maintained. To increase your net as you live in the home, invest in it's condition. You will always come out ahead in the long run and enjoying your home while you live there.
You may want to contact an attorney. These are difficult situations. You can certainly review the deed of trust to see what is written there. I do believe a cosigner is simply there in case you do not perform to the terms of the loan. A cosigner is there because you couldn't afford/qualify on your own. That being said, they can't control how you live in the home and what you need to do to secure your future. I would talk to an attorney to see what the law states and how it will assist you in getting through this most difficult situation. Good Luck!