Eight is (more than) Enough
Jaime bought his first home in Spanish Springs next to the Lazy Five Park in 2006. He started a small church in his home and his six children played soccer in the park nearby. His wife Sandra surprised him with twins the following year. The small three bedroom home was now home to 10 people. Household expenses for 10 people, soccer expenses for six, and the costs of running a church and mission were ballooning out of control.
Jaime and Sandra prayed long and hard for a solution to their problems. They talked to other families who have survived short sales and found that they seemed happier and less stressed. They ultimately decided that their priority was to keep their family happy and together, and short sold their home.
Four Children in College
Cornelius and Esther are proud parents of four smart children who are all in college at the same time. Two are attending UNR and two are attending colleges out of state. In addition to all those tuition expenses, the proud parents have a large four bedroom home with two adjustable loans that are killing them financially. They live in a beautiful gated community of Wingfield Springs where their monthly HOA dues are over $300 on top of the $1800 monthly mortgage payment. They give new meaning to being house poor and broke every month.
Cornelius and Esther spend every spare penny on their four young scholars. In the middle of the summer, things went from bad to worse when they received notifications from their children’s colleges that tuition and fees were on the rise again. The proud parents decided that while they cannot sell their children or sell out on their educations, they can sell their home.
This might be their first home purchase but it will not be their last. They will buy again and their next home will be much more affordable. They will not be defeated by this one bad situation.
A Single Mom for the Ages
Destiny bought her first home in the Los Altos hills area in 2009, a beautiful stucco home with Spanish-tiled roofing. The floor plan featured enough space for Destiny, her son, her fiancé and her parents.
Life was just perfect until one day when she was crossing McCarran and Pyramid and a teenage driver careened out of control and totaled her car. Destiny was hospitalized for over a month and collected a phone book of medical bills. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, her father died and she was forced to take even more time off work to take care of details for her mother. All in all, Destiny instantly fell behind in house payments, medical payments and household expenses. She ended up calling off her wedding and sustained the further loss of her fiancé’s financial support.
Finally and in the nick of time, Destiny received some good news when her lienholder offered her $4,000 to list her home for short sale. Now Destiny and her family can stay put for a little longer, at least through Christmas. Through all these trials and tribulations, Destiny managed to keep her job and is working with a credit consolidator to repair her credit. She is also looking forward to her first-time buyer incentives in just three years. As a courageous and financially responsible young woman, Destiny sets a great example for single moms everywhere.
The lesson we can all learn from these three homeowners is that being house poor, broke and emotionally distressed every month is no way to live. Set your priorities straight to take care of your family first and you can be financially healthy again in just three short years.
I always welcome reader questions to address in future columns, so please don’t hesitate to Ask Annie about Real Estate.
Annie Christian is a real estate broker and owner of The Annie Christian Real Estate Group. She helps with everything from buying and selling to foreclosure and short sale. To submit a question, call 351-5117. Her website is www.anniechristian.com.