Housing foreclosure authorities LoanSafe.org and YouWalkAway.com have created a new website to help people re-enter the housing market after having been through a previous foreclosure. The website is called AfterForeclosure.com and helps those most affected by the housing crisis take charge of their financial future and own their own home again.[IMAGE]
Based on a poll of their combined members, LoanSafe.org and AfterForeclosure.com are confident that these potential buyers will make 2014 the year of the "boomerang" buyer.
Changes in lending guidelines and population shifts make these buyers essential to the recovery of the housing market. Jon Maddux, co-founder of AfterForeclosure.com says: "Alienating this large and growing pool of potential buyers does not bode well for the market in an environment where natural housing advancement has been largely disrupted."
College graduates are laden with student debt and limited employment options, while baby boomers are aging. Maddux continues: "There are literally millions of ex-homeowners who may be qualified to buy a home again, but are unaware of the help that is readily available to them through existing and new loan programs."
According to a poll of LoanSafe.org and AfterForeclosure.com's members:
* 79 percent of those who lost their homes are interested in buying again.
* 41 percent have incomes higher than when they first purchased.
* 63 percent report that their other debt obligations are lower (30 percent said "significantly lower").
* 46 percent report the desire to purchase in a lower price range, and 29 percent report wishing to purchase in the same price range.
"Boomerang" buyers are investing more into the purchase of a new property than in the past by putting down more than the minimum required. Over half stated that they plan to make a down payment of 10 percent or more on their next home purchase. The zero-percent down payment programs of the past made it easier for homeowners to walk away from properties. Higher down payments suggest that "After Foreclosure" buyers are in for the long haul and don't intend to make the same mistakes the second time around.
In the past, rapidly rising prices led many to believe that they'd get "priced out" of the housing market altogether, leading to hasty purchases that may not have happened under less duress. "Boomerang" buyers will likely be more careful on their next purchase.
Considering the importance of "Boomerang" buyers, the Federal Housing Administration recently implemented the "Back to Work" program. This program allows the purchase of a new property as soon as twelve months following a foreclosure or short sale provided that the borrower can prove that their prior default was the result of a financial hardship. "Financial hardship" is strictly defined as an employer-driven loss of at least 20 percent in income for six months or more. Although the program is definitely a step in the right direction, it leaves those who were self-employed out in the cold.
Sadly, word of the FHA program is not getting out. According to a poll of the former foreclosure demographic, 81 percent had never heard of the program.