True Client Stories
To Grandmother’s House We Go
The True Story of fixing the unfixable
When bad things happen to good people. Anita was a working grandmother who had taken in her grandchildren to raise. At the same time, her hours were cut at work and because she had borrowed against the house, her mortgage payments increased by more than $200.
Anita had started remodeling the house to finish the bare basement for her grandkids, but ran into plumbing problems and out of money part way through. The house also needed significant repairs both inside and out. Squirrels had invaded the attic and damaged the house gable, allowing water and snow to get inside and causing further damage.
No solution in sight? Anita was no longer able to make the higher payments, nor was she able to make the repairs the house needed. Selling the house in its current condition certainly wasn’t an option either. In addition, the house was over mortgaged - that is, Anita owed more on the mortgage than the house was worth! Anita had contacted real estate companies, but there was really nothing they could for her in her situation. Logically, it seemed there was no way out but foreclosure, ruined credit and homelessness for this grandma and her grandchildren.
When Anita came to us, she was 3 months in arrears on her mortgage and the lender had set a sale date only 21 days in the future. We immediately made contact with the lender and were able to stop the foreclosure sale while we negotiated a discounted payoff.
The very best solution. When we closed on the purchase, it allowed the transaction to show as a sale, instead of a foreclosure, on her credit record. It couldn’t erase her 3 months of late payments, but with a letter from us to her new landlord, it did allow Anita to find a more affordable apartment to rent, with the least amount of additional damage to her credit. The discounted price allowed us to purchase the house and still be able to make the repairs to the house that were required for us to sell it.
Anita is now living in a nice home, rebuilding her credit with monthly payments she can afford, and she’s not burdened with repairs she wasn’t able to make. Her credit and her pride are in muchbetter shape than they would have been if she had been foreclosed on!
Creative Solutions Client
Great credit, great prospects, bad timing
The True Story of learning in the school of life
The best laid plans. Jason and Jessica bought their first house in a developing neighborhood just a couple years ago when the real estate market was booming. They had great credit, had never missed a payment and thought they’d be there for quite a few years, building equity. But plans changed and Jessica got an opportunity to attend grad school 1000 miles away and needed to leave in only 3 months!
They had purchased the house as a “total rehab” from a local contractor but, to their dismay, found a lot of the work hadn’t been done very well. The “new” roof had leaked and damaged all the plaster walls in a good portion of the rear of the house. The tuckpointing on the two story brickwork had deteriorated and was letting in additional water. The aluminum storm windows had rusted and sent unsightly red streaks down the white window frames. As first time homebuyers they didn't realize the house they bought was in a developing neighborhood. They paid no money down to purchase and paid top retail dollar for it.
What to do? Jason and Jessica were bemused by what was gradually happening to their “new” house over the two years they owned it. Homeownership was a bigger investment than they had expected it to be and they didn’t have any extra money left over for repairing the big things much less spiffing the place up with needed items like landscaping or paint. Selling would actually be a relief, they thought, and with the real estate market still going strong, they thought they’d have some money for moving too.
Jason and Jessica were excited to meet with a Realtor friend ... until … their friend gave them the bad news that it would actually cost them quite a bit to sell their house at that point in time. His reasoning: The house hadn’t had time to appreciate at all in only 2 years, especially since it was in an iffy area; they would need to pay 6% of the sales price to the Realtors; there were some fairly costly repairs to be made; and it lacked curb appeal, additional expense to add. Additionally - assuming they could borrow the money required- to get all that work done, and sell it in only three months was just not possible. They couldn’t even rent it out in the condition it was in. And no way could the couple afford a house payment and a second set of household expenses 1000 miles away!
A solution that fit. Jason and Jessica felt like they were well and truly stuck. Jessica was going to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime because of inexperience in their first homebuying venture and bad timing. Talking over their woes with their neighbor Shane was a stroke of luck for the young couple. Shane knew SolutionWorks Homes through our involvement with the local business association and suggested calling us to see if we could find a solution to their problem. We met with them, listened to their needs and were able to craft a solution that made good business sense for our company, put moving money in their pockets and got Jennifer on the road in time for her first class!
Saving Grace in St. Louis
The True Story of a strategic weapon in the war against foreclosure
Grace was a stay-at-home mom with 2 small children. Her husband was in the Army reserve and had been sent to Iraqshortly after she had their second baby. Faced with the new responsibility of managing the family finances PLUS the multiple stresses of postpartum depression, two children, no local support system, her husband in a war zone and the extra expenses associated with him being overseas, she was quickly overwhelmed. After a few months of “robbing Peter to pay Paul”, Grace found herself 3 months behind in her mortgage payments. The lender had scheduled to sell her home at auction the week before her husband was to arrive home from his tour of duty!
Another first from SolutionWorks. Both Grace and her husband came from a traditional South American family structure: Grace was too mortified to tell her husband or her family of the situation and had not asked for help.
When she came to us two weeks before the sale date, Grace was in a state of panic and had not even been able to get through her lender’s voicemail system to speak to them. (When she finally did, she felt they were rude and condescending.)
A new approach to accomplishing real estate miracles. We immediately established communications with her lender and sat down with Grace to evaluate her resources. As we talked with her, we helped her to see what her priorities and options were and conducted a detailed analysis of her finances.
Attention to detail has its benefits. Armed with good data and the lender’s requirements, and having explored her financial resources we negotiated and finalized a new mortgage plan. SolutionWorks was able to stop the house from going to auction and get Grace back on a manageable payment schedule. Everything was resolved and in place just 2 days before her husband arrived back home in the States!