Hi… we’re Cema and Jeff, and we know what it is to have the of a house foreclosure… it happened to us!
Scroll down to see “Our Foreclosure Story” video for more details
We were married for about 7 years, with our 3 year old son Brandon, and we purchased a 3-bedroom, 2-bath house in Houston, Texas. This was a $140,000 house and we put $35,000 cash down payment that was part equity from our first house that we sold and money that we had saved over many years.
After being in the house for about 2 years, the economy in Houston took a downturn due to a collapse of the oil industry. Jeff lost his job and we had to make some major decisions in our life. There were no good job openings in Houston. Thankfully Jeff found a job, but it was in Los Angeles, California and we had to move quickly.
About a month after moving to the Los Angeles area, we found a family that would rent our Houston house and things were going well. They made payments each month on time and financially it was a breakeven situation for the rental house.
Well, after 7 months later the renters moved out because they could buy a house and the monthly payments (with taxes and insurance) were cheaper than renting ours.
We couldn’t rent the house again. Oh, and I just had a baby, our second child. As a family with young kids, we just couldn’t afford the payments on that house and the one we were renting in California.
Nobody was buying houses due to the economic downturn. We weren’t making any of the monthly payments. Another 9 months later, the bank foreclosed on our house. We lost $35,000 from our cash down payment.
It was tough and I wish that we could of sold that house fast and saved our equity. Back then, there was just no way to find buyers for a situation that we had. We learned a lot from this and won’t make these mistakes again.
If you scroll down, Jeff will provide some additional information and you can learn from our mistakes.
Our best wishes for you – Cema
What we learned from this experience…
Hey, Jeff here. I wanted to provide a little insight about our foreclosure experience and the mistakes I made. Hopefully, from what we went through, you’ll get some ideas that can to help you.
– The house was about 12 years old at the time and to sell it we needed to do some repairs. I could have invested about $10,000 into some cosmetic repairs, but we didn’t have the cash. Even so it was doubtful that we would get that repair money back when selling. So we didn’t do any repairs and decided to rent the house.
– Before we moved out of the state, we could have placed the house for sale with a Realtor at a price about $15,000 lower than the market values and probably sold it. However we wanted to “ride out the economic storm”. The problem is that we didn’t know that the market values would continue to decline.
– We knew that we couldn’t sell our house for the value that we paid. We made a mistake renting out the house with the economy still heading downward. We should have sold it.
– I didn’t look for a real estate investor to quickly buy the house at a $20,000 – $25,000 discount. If I had done this, we would have walked away with about $10,000 cash. Then problem was that back then it was nearly impossible to find real estate investors.
– The bank took our house, we lost $35,000 and the foreclosure was on our credit reports for 10 years. Because of bad credit scores, we had to rent houses for another 7 years!
Hopefully you can avoid some of our mistakes – Jeff
Fast Forward To 2021…
With the Coronavirus Pandemic over the past year, we know that many people are facing similar challenges regarding their house and possibly facing foreclosure. According to Realtor.com, “Florida has the most counties at risk of a rise in foreclosures due to economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.” Soon the Florida market will be flooded with foreclosed houses and it very likely will drive down market prices in some Florida counties.
So How Can We Help You?
We learned a lot through our foreclosure experience and we can help you avoid foreclosure! With our real estate experience and our team of professionals, we specialize helping Florida homeowners with house challenges and our assistance is free. If you’re facing any challenges like foreclosure or your house can’t sell, we can help you. Go to our Sell Your House page or see How It Works page or go back to the Home page.