|Did you hear? Jeannie is homeless!
I was watching “I Dream of Jeannie” last night and it was probably the saddest episode I have ever seen. You see, Major Nelson stopped making payments on Jeannie’s bottle and it was sold on the courthouse steps last week. Very sad.
Poor Major Nelson. He really has fallen on some pretty hard times. I’m not sure if you knew this, but astronauts these days aren’t paid very well. The space shuttles have been retired, the international space station is now being booked as a vacation destination by Virgin Atlantic, and NASA probably couldn’t get a launch on TV anyway at this point since a vast majority of the public have to tune in every week to watch “Kim and Kloe Take New York.” Of course, if you put the Kardashians into a rocket and sent it into the sun, it would make great television. Just a thought.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, Jeannie’s bottle. So why is this so sad? People lose their homes everyday to foreclosure and auctions. What makes this so different? It’s sad because Jeannie could have done a Short Sale. The end result in the long run may be the same, except now Jeannie has a far worse credit score, no money to move, and won’t be able to buy another bottle for years.
If she had done a Short Sale, there is a good chance she could be buying a “bottle” in just three years again. Most lenders will allow an owner to purchase a home with an FHA loan within 36 months of a Short Sale. In some cases, depending on the hardship, it could even be sooner.
Another reason Jeannie should have done some homework on Short Sales is the HAFA credit. The HAFA credit is a federal assistance grant given to sellers doing a Short Sale. They must qualify for it, but if eligible, the sellers are given $3,000 to help with moving expenses. This money could come in pretty handy if the seller needs to put down a security deposit on a rental.
Probably the most important reason is Jeannie’s credit report. Even if she didn’t plan on buying another bottle right away, she may want to buy a new magic carpet at some point. Foreclosures and bankruptcies can devastate your credit, but a Short Sale usually only affects your credit by the missed mortgage payments reported from your lender. In fact, most lenders stop reporting to the credit bureaus after the seller exceeds 120 days late.
Poor Jeannie. She went from a bottle to a Dixie cup. She really should ditch the Major. He gave her some pretty bad advice.
Ken Schrier is a top producing, licensed Realtor, as well as a Certified Distressed Property Expert working locally for RE/Max PROs. He can be reached at 529-4819.