Sequestration and Other Short Sale Market Factors

Sequestration has had a profound but graduated  impact on Tidewater, Virginia real estate markets, affecting both civilian and military sectors.   Some civilians have lost future defense contracts but are still finishing existing work and need to be proactive about replacing the work or lowering their personal overhead, perhaps with a home downsizing or a short sale.   Some civil servants are already losing a day or more of paid work per month and are feeling the pinch on the home budget.  Military PCS orders are coming in now and hard decisions are being made throughout the Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and other communities in Virginia as to whether “upside down” existing homes should be rented out or sold.  Military sellers are often overwhelmed by the options, including short sales or a VA Offers in Compromise.   Now more than ever good advice and advanced planning are crucial.

Much of the legal advice that this firm provides is relatively abstract unless we work closely with a knowledgeable realtor who is educated in Veteran’s Administration programs and can simultaneously provide the homeowner a reliable market value on their home with negative equity.   One realtor in the Hampton Roads, Virginia market who has stayed on the cutting edge of the special challenges facing “underwater” military homeowners is Dennis Blackmore.  As a former Military Officer, Dennis has experienced the challenges facing his fellow veterans and gives a good summary of some of the special Veteran’s Administration strategies and benefits available in one of his recent blogs entitled:

Why Military Homeowners PCSing Should Short Sale Their Home

As current annual military and civilian budgets expire and are re-written for the next fiscal year, expect additional actual or shadow inventory to affect real estate markets with heavy military concentrations like the Virginia cities of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Petersburg, and much of Northern Virginia.   Buyers with cash who have lamented lack of inventory may benefit.    Sellers who lament the lack of a buyer pool that actually qualifies for a mortgage under today’s overly restrictive lending standards  need to plan early, price carefully, and be patient to accomplish short sales of their property.

The bottom line for the economy is that while the real estate market has generally improved month to month over the past year, these factors will prevent a decisive and robust real estate recovery:   (1) a limited qualified buyer pool; (2) frustrated pent up demand for affordable homes; (3) price increases from that relatively low inventory; and (4) uncertainty in the military and military dependent civilian family economies.   Some analysts even predict that real estate bubbles will  return regionally throughout the country, focused mainly in the historic “sand states”.

If you are stuck with Real Estate in Virginia that you can’t afford to keep or that is dragging you down, avail yourself of good counsel now!   Free consultations are available with an advocate who is in your corner and knows your rights, benefits and options.

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