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Real estate debacle and living with CFS/ME

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by PNR2008, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

    OH USA
    :D:D:DI'm new to this site but I'm wondering if anyone else with CFS has gotten caught in the economy nightmare concerning real estate? After living in a home for 30 yrs and slowly and painfully paying it off, I knew my health was deteriorating and needed a one floor, quiet place that is close to conveniences but has nature views out the bedroom window. After years of looking I found a nice place at a good price and made the excruciating move. It's a 55 + and I was told I was too young to be here but I fit in, actually much older people do much more than I can ever hope to do. I drive a "96 car with 41,000 miles on it, so you get the picture of being homebound and bed ridden and being seen only when I can move. The problem is I can't sell my old home in an area hit especially hard by dwindling house values and haven't for at least 2 yrs even though I'm giving it away at a short sale. (I took an equity loan on the old house as down payment at an incredible interest rate but the appraisal value has dropped $40,000). I did everything right, researched and plotted for years and still I'm in trouble financially. This of course has hurt my health and what little self-esteem I've had and I'm in pain constantly. I've done what my lawyer has advised, had 4 different realtors, lowered the price $20,000 below the loan amount, showed it over 60 times and still three prospective buyers walked. How bad can the house be if I lived there 30yrs and my occupation before becoming ill was an interior designer? I feel like going to a meeting, saying "Hi, I'm Nancy and I can't sell my house"----"Hello Nancy" The bank is taking it's time to start foreclosure proceedings because I'm still paying the utilities, to save my meager investment (no frozen pipes) and still showing the house as late as 2 days ago. I've been disabled with CFS since 89, had a high FICA score and everything is in a downward spiral. My psychiatrist (I needed one after all this) says don't worry let the bank take it. I'm trying to carry on but this is dragging on and dragging me down. Has anyone experienced this? What is your coping secret? Help!
  2. Martlet

    Martlet Senior Member

    Near St Louis, MO
    Hi Nancy, I'm Martlet and I'm trying to sell my house. ;)

    Seriously, I do understand where you are at. We have had our own home for sale for almost a year. We are giving it until April, then if it hasn't sold, we will rent it out. Would that be a possibility for you? It at least might allow you time to catch your breath.

    Coping secret? I have just mentally disengaged from the house, seeing it as nothing more than a piece of property (albeit an expensive one) rather than my home but I think that in your situation there might be another tactic needed ... which is to realise that in this market, in a recession that was none of our fault, it is no shame to tell the bank to take the house and shove it. I know that many lawyers are advising their clients to do precisely that, and it seems as if your psychiatrist thinks that would be your best option. But whatever you decide to do, stay here and get some moral support. We all need some of that.
  3. anciendaze

    anciendaze Senior Member

    I've been lucky enough to avoid the mortgage nightmare myself, but I'm trying to help a friend caught it the middle. We know it isn't easy. Stay in touch.
  4. olliec


    London, UK
    I'm sorry to hear you're in difficulties with your property. I've spent a few years working in real estate here in the UK, and have worked with a lot of people in very difficult personal situations, where they were having problems getting rid of a property. i have me/cfs and have had periods when i was bedbound, and in financial trouble, so i can relate to your situation a little.

    Some thoughts, I suspect many may not help, but I'll mention them anyway in case maybe something is useful to you. i expect you have thought about most of this already, but here goes...
    - Are there any debt-support non-profits/charities you can go to for independent advice? don't do it alone if you can avoid it. in the UK there are gov funded organisations that help people in trouble, and i'm sure there must be something similar in the US.
    - Lawyers always primarily act for themselves, and in my experience often do not understand the practical realities of selling property quickly. their advice is important, but remember they follow you, not the other way around.
    - There are many companies that offer fast-property-sale services. Unfortunately this industry is full of sharks, so tread very carefully. But some of them are decent people who want to make a fair profit but also genuinely want to help people in need. If you feel able, you could contact some of these companies and have them come see you, but not necessarily with the intention of selling to them, but to get ideas about your options. they all have different criteria, but does your property meet any of their criteria...
    - Don't take the non-sale of the property personally. I know it's hard, but don't hurt yourself that way. Property is worth not what the realtor or the lawyer says, it's what the BUYER says it's worth. If it's not selling, it's not because it's a bad house, it's because the demand is lower. The truth is that all houses sell, it's a matter of price. If you need it to sell faster, the price has to go down. When you reach an impassable limit on price drops, then you need to look at other options, e.g. sell to someone and you retain some of the debt, or you lease it, or stay in it and rent a room, or....
    - You could try posting on an internet forum where property investors hang out. yes, many are sharks, and always remember that, but some are not, and on the net you can get ideas from them of your options. if they say that no investor will buy from you because of xyz then although that closes a path to you, it clarifies your remaining options
    - Always keep pressing the bank to help, physically meet them if poss (maybe through a friend/family) and find out what their criteria are for foreclosure, what is the minimum you can do and stay? what do they recommend you do? how are they willing to help? are there any organisations locally that fight banks to stop foreclosure?
    - I've seen too many people take on high-interest debt to clear unpaid mortgage payments. it's a temporary solution. i'm glad to hear you've been looking closely at loan rates.
    - Remember that you didn't do anything wrong, the economic collapse has hurt so many people, it's not your fault.
    - if anyone comes offering contracts & a deal, don't sign anything without taking lots of advice (professional, and friends/family). but of course the decision is ultimately yours for what you do. never let the lawyer decide ;-)
    - If there are any opportunities to lease a room/garden/parking or whatever, anything to use the property to generate income. no-one wants a stranger renting a room, especially when we're ill, but sometimes it may be the pragmatic answer. it may not be possible, it would be very hard I know
    - Remember that no matter how hard it is, sticking with it until the economy recover may increase the value fairly quickly to recover your loss. I understand you may not be able to avoid selling, but if you can hold on, that may be better in the longer-term.

    I think the best thing you can do is fine someone who is very experienced in real estate deals and financing in your state, who is sympathetic, and who can help you understand your options.
  5. markmc20001

    markmc20001 Guest

    HI PNR2008. Sorry to hear about the your troubles with selling your house. I can honesty say I know exactly what you are going through. I've had two foreclosures and a short sale since getting sicker and unable to work. Short sale can be better because you can wipe out any liability for a second mortage. Or a deed and lieu may be possible too, but less likely with a second loan. Doing a short sale is in your best interest, but if they foreclose you will be ok too.

    It is a stressful situation no doubt. Sounds like you have a house you can live now and have a roof over your head. That's important! And you found a great location with a view to boot! In the end, you will still have your place now and the other house will be gone. As far as credit goes, credit is only for people who want to borrow money. So if you need to borrow money within three years of foreclosure, you might pay an higher interest rate. Other than that, pay of your credit card each month and you should be fine.

    I can say alot of different things on this topic. But let me try and get one important point across. Houses sell, it is just a matter of what price they sell for. You stated your doing a short sale already, so who cares if the banksters get $50000 or $500? Not your problem. I suggest keep dropping the price 5% every two or three weeks until the place sells. You will have it sold in the next 6 months guaranteed, unless the bank takes it first. Sounds like the bank is foot dragging if you had three deals fall apart already. If your bank is messing around, I would just stop paying insurance and turn off the electricity and water and just keep trying to sell the place. You can always turn back on the water and electricity if needed for inspection..

    You may want to go to loansafe.org for any specific questions or moral support. Their are millions going through the same stuff right now and you are not alone.

    Like everything else, this too shall pass. And tomorrow will be a better day.

  6. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

    OH USA
    Thanks to all of your suggestions and expressions of compassion. I desperately needed them. Most of the suggestions I already explored, some didn't apply and others helped a great deal. I am grateful. The saga continues.... we have a prospective buyer but the amount is so low (30,000 below the loan amount) and the bank is making demands that I can't live with. They hold the final say on a short sale. Anyway I spoke to so many people yesterday on the phone that my brain feels like it on another planet. My life is miserable because of such a small amount of money but as most of us know after cfs/me we can live on very little, if you call this living. Not complaining just stating a fact. Can't wait for this to be over so I can focus on more positive endeavors in my little life. Thanks again.
  7. paclabman


    Seattle area
    Hi Nancy, I'm Rich and we're trying to sell our house.

    The market here is soft. There is a lot of stress now not knowing how soon the house will sell and how the ERISA part of disability will go. My wife has a lot of emotional attachment to the house and is taking it all personally. Last nite she had a meltdown from it all. Fortunately a Valentine's dinner out got her perked up again.

    We're not at a panic stage yet ... but yeah ... I'd sure like for this part to be over so we can move on with other things.

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