When Can You Buy Again?


Ah, the bad old days-when home buyers who picked strawberries for a living could buy a McMansion through a crooked lender. How many people lost their homes? Maybe you were one of the unlucky ones who lost their house or condo and had to short sell or go through foreclosure. Now many like you are looking to own again after painstakingly rebuilding credit over the last few years. But can you buy again and get a lender to give you a loan? According to RealtyTrac, “There were nearly three times as many short sales as there were sales of foreclosed homes in 2012.” Several sources reported that foreclosures were down a bit last year, but that “short sales rose 5% and accounted for 32% of all home deals” (CNN Money). RealtyTrac also reported that the ‘average discount on a foreclosure was a whopping 39%, while the average short sale sold for 23% below market” in 2012.

Yes Virginia, you can get a mortgage if you’ve been diligent to keep your life in good order and your credit has improved. The new required waiting periods for borrowers who have experienced short sales or handed in their deeds back to the bank in lieu of foreclosure are simple:

1) 2 years out of the darkness if you have 20% down
2) 4 years out of the woods if you have 10% down
3) 7 years past hell if you have 3-3.5% down.

I’m not a lender. Each bank, credit union, or loan broker will have their own set of particulars when handing out loans to consumers. My preference is to use a loan broker, because they shop all the loans for you from all the resources for loans on the market. The biggest challenge after you live through a short sale, foreclosure and/or bankruptcy is changing your behavior to make sure you pay all your bills on time forever and ever. Better yet-reduce your bills and save some money! If you want to purchase again, go into a good lender NOW and let them help you review your credit and make suggestions how to repair your credit and pay off the RIGHT bills. You might think that disputing all your bad credit will help you but that may a bad plan because your credit report can then be frozen while claims against it are checked. If claims are thrown out then your credit goes up. If they are proven true then your credit goes down. You have to know what’s best to dispute. Also, thinking you should pay off and close out all of your credit accounts isn’t a great plan. It may be better on a revolving account to just pay it off and keep it open because closing it will erase the history that you paid it off. Kapish?

Other important items to know about your credit in general: 1) late payments stay on your credit for 7 years; 2) if a creditor sued you and won a judgment, that little factoid will also haunt you for 7 years. What if you had a bankruptcy? That can stick to your credit ratings for up to 10 years from the date you filed.
Nowadays with low housing inventory and multiple offers on homes, it’s standard to present the seller with a pre-approval letter that you’ve been to a bank and had your credit checked, that you look worthy to purchase the home if the negotiations pan out for you. Thus, don’t start window shopping for houses yet-get thee to a good lender and get the hard part over with!

Field of Dreams


Did you hear that really loud Latin cheer from the Northwest quadrant of the City two weeks ago, the one that sounded like the soccer announcer saying: “GOAL!!! ???” You might have missed the noise because you’re so engrossed in the outcome of REAL Salt Lake’s (RSL’s) standing in the league. This is bigger than a REAL game-for reals. Almost ten years ago us folks that actually vote at the polls approved a bond for a huge soccer complex with a championship field (seating for 2000+ people). The original idea was for 25 fields all in the same location but over time it’s been whittled down to 15 fields, with half of them to be lit for night time play. The whole dang ball game was tied to a deal with RSL to share in funding it so that they could build the Rio Tinto Stadium at the south part of the Valley.  This past Saturday I was headed to Craft Salt Lake on TRAX when a few bazillion RSL fans boarded to head to the game against Houston. I confess, I did not grow up with soccer. We didn’t play it, have teams for it or even hear about it until I was in college and traveled abroad. I have tried to watch it and cannot wrap my mind around the game in any way, shape or form. I love my Yankees, my Packers and to lose all credibility, I play golf. But soccer is beyond me. However, it is a game so popular in the world now that even this dinosaur cannot ignore this phenomenon. When I heard Doug Wright on KSL radio stutter and stammer about how the league would like Salt Lake fans to stop screaming the ‘YSL’ chant (without him being able to explain what it stood for) I had to pull over and text a friend. I am still laughing to find out that here in Utah, out in sleepy ol’ Sandy, there are tens of thousands of fans screaming at opposing teams during RSL games, ‘YOU SUCK A–HOLE!’.  

These new soccer fields just a bit north and west of Rose Park will see 50,000 + kids play the game in all different leagues when the fields open in 2015. More than most of them will be kids that don’t have blond hair and blue eyes because soccer is a sport brought here by immigrants and now played by all. I remember years ago at the Salt Lake airport when I came back from a trip, took the escalator down to baggage, and realized I was the only person in that area who had dark hair. I stuck out like a sore thumb among the blond and blue eyed natives. I served on the Board of the Utah Hispanic Festival for a few years when Ramon (now passed) from the Red Iguana was producing music shows there at Dirks Field. We had to almost bus people in from the suburbs to fill up the shows then. The other night I checked out Erykah Badu at the Twilight Concert and realized I was just Whitey McWhite in a crowd of wonderful colors. I grinned when I looked around me and I felt like I was back home in New York. Imagine the businesses and potential housing that will spring up in this forgotten area of the Valley when these fields get rolling with balls. UTA will be stepping up to get mass transportation out there to what now seems the middle of nowhere at 2200 North. Environmentalists aren’t too happy that the complex could harm the Jordan River Flood Plain. I sat in many, many meetings about this as a Planning and Zoning Commissioner here and voted in favor of the project. Who knows? The fields may end up being a landing zone in the winter for migrating birds in this flyway. I’d say this is one of the biggest goals in this Valley since we scored the Olympics and now it’s finally back on track. Score!