We write a lot about dealing with outstanding debt and finding more space in your budget – but what can you do if the problem isn’t your budget, but rather your expenses?
It happens sometimes that the cost of living for a person or family may simply be too high. Particularly the mortgage payments.
If you’re “house poor” — meaning your mortgage is taking up the majority of your income — you might be thinking about selling your house and downsizing.
This is a completely valid option and there are lots of reasons for doing so. However, in the current real estate market you could be running into a problem: your house isn’t selling.
Due to the mortgage stress test, higher interest rates, and issues with housing affordability, many first-time homebuyers are struggling to get into the market. At the same time, there are still many houses being listed for sale, particularly in areas where the property value has increased in the past five-to-ten years. Essentially fewer buyers plus more houses on the market equals you could be in for a hard sell.
But – and this is a big but – you do have options. If your house isn’t selling as quickly as you would like and you’re strapped for cash in the meantime, here are some choices to consider:
1. Drop your list price.
Pro: You can move from a house that is financially pinching you.
Con: You could lose some money.
While you might not make as much money on the sale of your house with this method, you also get rid of your biggest financial burden. This is a good option to consider if your mortgage payments and other bills are simply too much to manage and you need to get out fast.
Weigh the cost of continuing to pay your bills vs. losing a little on the sale – you may find lowering the price actually saves you money in the long run.
2. Refinance your mortgage.
Pro: If you have equity available, this can give you some extra cash to play with and more time to sell. Depending on the options it might even eliminate the need for moving in the first place.
Cons: Might not be possible depending on your equity and financial situation. Could just be a band-aid solution depending on your other bills and long-term expenses.
By refinancing your mortgage, you can consolidate other high debt payments to reduce monthly payments. This can be achieved through a first or second mortgage even with bad credit.
3. Fast sale cash house buyer.
Pro: You call sell the home fast and with a firm offer.
Con: You will lose money on the value. You will likely be offered much less for the home.
This isn’t always the ideal option for many but depending on your needs it could sell your house quickly. Fast sale cash buyers typically pay well below market value — in some cases only enough to cover your remaining mortgage payment.
However, you likely won’t have to wait for the buyer to be approved for financing, nor will you typically have to pay for repairs before closing. As well, in many fast sale cash cases, home inspections and appraisals are taken off the table.
If you go this route, it’s important to make sure the buyers you are working with are legitimate.
4. If you don’t have equity available…
If you don’t have any home equity available and don’t want to drop the price or go for a fast sale cash buyer, there are other options. These depend on your whole financial situation.
If you have other debts that are eating up your budget beyond your mortgage, you might consider filing for a consumer proposal or bankruptcy to deal with the outstanding unsecured debts. A good financial advisor can help ensure that you can keep your home through the process.
You can get then get a loan to rebuild credit from there.
Whatever route you decide to go, remember that you do have options. While it may seem like you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, help is available.
At Prudent Financial, we offer mortgage refinancing, first mortgages, second mortgage, home equity lines of credit, and more. We also offer secured loans for rebuilding credit starting while in a consumer proposal or bankruptcy.
Contact us today to see what your financial options are while selling your house and beyond! Call 1-888-852-7647 or visit www.prudentfinancial.net.