Roger Schlesinger

On May 11th of this year, I wrote a column "The Real Estate Market Has...", stating I believed that the bottom had been reached in some areas of the country for residential real estate and suggested that you begin making plans to take advantage of the combination of low prices and low mortgage rates. Many of you did just that, but a much larger group simply lamented their own situation and sighed. Their houses were underwater and heading in the wrong direction and all they could do was dream. Now, perhaps it is time to face reality and also proceed with your dreams. Yes, Virginia, there is a way to do that and I am about to lay it out for you. Your part is to develop the courage to admit a mistake, or bad luck, or both. Then you need to forge the determination to move forward.

If your current residence is costing too much, is too small, is in a declining residential area, or has some other problem that time will probably not fix, then waiting for a turn around isn't going to be the solution you need.

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The ideal solution would be to shop for a new residence without selling your current one. Unfortunately, this isn't practical or possible for most people. The answer is one of a few alternatives that can work specifically for you.

1. Sell the house and take the loss and/or work with the bank for a short pay to help you sell it. It isn't easy working with the bank, if that is what you have to do, but it is possible to get the outcome you are looking for.

2. Rent or lease the place for enough to cover the monthly payments or come close to covering them. If you can't reach that amount, talk with your lender(s) about lowering the payment. Again, not easy, but possible.

3. Find a lease option that meets your needs in a better area, or provides a bigger house or gives you a lower payment. Then enact number 1 or 2 above. If all else fails to get rid of your current residence, provide a deed in lieu to the bank which means you have returned the property to the bank.

If you are able to sell or lease your property, you are free to move on, albeit, a bit lighter in the wallet.

You now have an opportunity to participate in the recovering real estate market, and best of all, you will have the house you want and the opportunity to make a financial comeback. So how does a lease option work?

Roger Schlesinger

Roger Schlesinger's Mortgage Minute is heard on hundreds of radio stations and daily on the Hugh Hewitt radio show and Michael Medved shows. Roger interacts with his hosts and explores the complicated financial markets in order to enlighten his listeners and direct them along their own unique road to financial freedom.