Property Address: 51 Bayview Avenue, Norwalk
Listing Price: $325,000
Status: CLOSED @ $313,000 on December 29, 2016
Bedrooms: 3 | Bathrooms: 2 | Square Feet: 1,549
Brand New Kitchen | Hardwood Floors | Excellent Condition | Walk-To-Train
Most of the major websites where we (Realtors) market our listings has one major flaw - the inability to hear the true story of a home, before a buyer enters the home. Here is that true story of 51 Bayview Avenue, from my perspective.
There is something special about a home with a combination of move-in ready updates, and a location that makes it ideal for commuting to NYC, all under $350,000 - 51 Bayview Avenue fits the bill.
When you enter the home, you are immediately welcomed into a foyer, with nice updates. The 4-inch real-wood bench lends a level of character to this space that makes it a perfect mud-room. Inside the home, you enter a hallway and go right into the living room, with a gas fireplace and hardwood floors. The newly painted space, updated light fixtures/ceiling fan, and more make this cozy room ideal for lazy-Sundays.
Next you enter into the gourmet and modern kitchen. Updated less than two years ago, the kitchen is oversized, with no lack of space to maneuver. There are stainless steel appliances, a French farmhouse, double sink, that is also deep, and room for a table or additional counter space. The substantial Corian counter-tops and abundant cabinet space make the kitchen perfect for the home chef. You can access the back parking space, off street parking, or plenty of space for a barbecue during the summers.
The first full bath is also contained on this level, through the kitchen. While entertaining, this makes it convenient for guests, and provides privacy for your space. Both bathrooms have also had updates, new vanity, toilet, tub and more. They have those same modern touches that make the home feel immaculate.
Finally, on this level, is a dining room in similar condition to the living room, with new hardwood, and more. It is also a possible fourth bedroom, in case the buyer needs to fit a guest room, or for an elderly parent. With the current dining room as it is situated, this level has a nice, circular flow around the stair case and basement access.
The upper level is newly carpeted with three bedrooms, with large closets, as well as access to a large attic, up another staircase. The full bathroom on this level has a new tub and other updates, giving the perfect amount of space.
The basement is fully-equipped with a sump pump and waterproof basement system, so it can be perfect for storage, but not quite big enough to finish. Laundry is located directly at the bottom of the stairs, making it convenient.
A home in excellent condition must be matched by a location that has value. In this case, this home is less than ten minutes walk from the train, making it ideal for a commuter. Owning a car is unnecessary because everything is in walking distance, including the supermarket, the movie theater, and restaurants and bars galore. The quick access to downtown SONO rounds off this excellent location. Despite this convenience, 51 Bayview is still located in a residential area, near parks and more.
51 Bayview Avenue in Norwalk is a home priced to sell, and a value unseen in Norwalk. A future buyer gets a move-in ready home, with 3 beds, 2 baths, off street parking, and plenty of space for entertaining, storage, and more. Tell your friends and family about this one, before it leaves the market.
There are many resources out there that tell you about what a foreclosure really is, but as I get more experience dealing with these types of situations, it is clear that a concise breakdown of the process and some of the solutions might be welcome. Many of the solutions that follow are unknown to sellers, because banks don’t want you to know about them, and neither do real estate agents (first priority might be getting a sale, instead of actually helping you negotiate with the bank to help you out of a difficult situation). Luckily, I like full disclosure, so this is intended to help first.
A side note: some of these solutions can also be applied to other types of distress, such as estate sales among many siblings, divorce, or other issues that arise. I might also mention that I am no attorney, so nothing here should be taken as legal advice.
Are Foreclosures Common?
It seems that whenever the discussion turns to distressed property owners, the 2007/2008 financial crisis becomes the center of the discussion. When prices tanked and the faulty mortgages that caused the disaster were discovered, many homeowners simultaneously lost their jobs – further inflaming the issues of this time. So, not only do we have millions of homeowners realizing their loans were bogus, but we have large, institutional business going under, and smaller business trying to make ends meet – it was the perfect storm.
Though the amount of foreclosures is steadily declining, we are far from out of this, and this does not include the short sale inventory. According to CoreLogic, there were 2,488 foreclosures completed in the 12 months through June of 2016 in Connecticut, and about 1.6% of the inventory is in foreclosure, down 20.6% from last year. Very few states are seeing an increase in foreclosure inventory. Overall, 1% of all homes with a mortgage are in foreclosure, and 2.8% of all mortgages are in serious delinquency*.
*CoreLogic, Inc; National Foreclosure Report, June 2016
So, what does this all mean?
Seeing downward trends in foreclosure numbers is positive, as it indicates that we are getting out of the mess we were in. With 1%, as compared to 3.4% in 2013, of all mortgages with foreclosures, we have come a long way. However, there are still a huge amount in serious delinquency, which really means that the bank hasn’t had time to take these homes, or does not want to.
I am in foreclosure, what can I do?
There are many options that come before foreclosure. Forgive me for passing through these quickly, but it can get boring quickly if not applicable to you (remember, this is the abridged version); they are in order of most beneficial to the homeowner:
Pay Off the Debt: This option is straightforward, pay what you owe including all the back taxes, back payments, and fees/interest applied to those payments. If you have the money, you should do this, unless your credit is not important to you.
Loan Modification: There is a difference between a modification and a refinance. A refinance simply means that you get a lower interest rate by qualifying for the same loan you still have, with the same bank you are dealing with. A modification is different, it is the act of taking what you owe (including all bank payments and interest), and re-structuring the loan over another 30 years (or some loan term), in order to catch up without a huge payout all at once.
Forbearance Agreement: Another word for this is payment plan. The main difference between this and a loan modification is that you are still in foreclosure for the duration of the payment plan, and you pay in a shorter period of time, on top of your regular mortgage payment. For example, if you owe $10,000 in back payments/interest, and your mortgage payment is $1500 per month, then you might pay $1916.67 for 24 months to pay back interest, and get out of debt. Banks are sometimes willing to negotiate an agreement like this if you can afford the payments. If you owe hundreds of thousands, this might be infeasible.
Subject To: This option is the least useful to a homeowner, though sometimes it is better than the alternatives that follow. A ‘subject to’ [existing mortgage] deal would involve finding an investor with cash, to pay off your outstanding debt, the cost of which is the transfer of the deed in their name. The owner would still hold the mortgage, and the investor would then own the home. The bank is paid off, the seller moves out, and an agreement is made that the investor would refinance in a number of years (say 3-5) in order to get the loan into their name. It’s a great option if you don’t want to take any credit hit and if an investor is willing to do it.
Short Sale: Short sale is typically the most common option by the time the seller goes to an investor/Realtor for help. A short sale is the sale of the home to a buyer where the bank agrees to forgive all the debt, and sell the home at a steep discount. This is a much simpler description than what it actually takes to convince the bank to do it, but the alternatives for the bank justify short sales in most cases. Short sales tend to be a harm to the seller’s credit for 2-7 years, a much better out than foreclosure.
Foreclosure: The last option, and the most desperate option is the foreclosure, or forfeiture/acquisition of your home to/by the bank. In other words, the bank takes the home after a long and drawn out process. At some point, there is no shame in having your home taken by the bank, as it will enable you to move on with life (and hopefully you have been banking all the cash you are not paying into the mortgage). I say this is the last option, because it ruins your credit for 7-10 years. No bank or thorough landlord will want to touch your financial situation for a long period of time afterwards.
How Do I Know Which One to Use?
The answer to this question is not an easy one to answer, so I will not attempt to do it in this blog. Every homeowner is in a different situation, whether they have multiple mortgages, other liens on the property, a home in disrepair, and many other factors effecting your ability to use one or another of these options. Your bank might also be unwilling to work with you.
The best thing you can do is find someone who can help figure it out. An attorney, a Realtor with experience in these matters, an investor who has negotiated with the bank, are all viable options. The point is that you find someone you can trust, and that is familiar with the bank practices in your state.
We (Joe and Chris Balestriere) are Realtors in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Our blog is meant to educate buyers and sellers and equip them with tools to get the most out of their Realtor, whether it is us or someone else. We focus on technology and how it enhances the work we do for our clients--we are not top CT Realtors by accident.