I’M BACK!!! I know you missed me; I mean my column but here I am providing you with updated information in Real Estate once again.  It’s been a while and changes have been overwhelming but don’t worry, I’m here by your side.  Let’s start with homeowners whom under unfortunate circumstances sold their homes through short sales.  Are you or any of your friends and families one of those?

It’s time to rise and shine!!  I’m sure now you moved on by renting for a while.  Well, it’s time to buy again.  This has been a part of my plan when my clients did short sales.  I told them before; short sale is something that is not under your control, maintain a good credit history and report; in three years, we will meet again on a brighter side of your life.  After two years of short sales, you may want to start filing your documents together and start planning.  Look at your credit scores and history making sure nothing derogatory on your records for the last two years.  If there is, resolve it as soon as possible, this will be on your best interest in the long run.  You cannot actually buy a house after two years of short sales but you can start preparing.  On the dot of three years, you can apply for a loan immediately.  That’s what I have been doing with my clients for quite sometime now and they are happier than ever.  Real Estate market has changed for the last two years; values are up and homes are more reasonably priced as equities don’t jump up incredibly.  Stability is the key so we will not experience the real estate market trauma again.  Lenders have been very careful making sure borrowers are qualified based on proven documents.  Loan officers now are licensed and gone are the ones who made our life miserable.  Truth in lending has been revised; buyers and sellers are more informed literally and figuratively.  No more number guessing games.    How I wish it was like that from the start.  As I always say, lessons learned after mistakes have been done.  Don’t cry over spilled milk, done and over with; it’s time for you to get up and start a new life.

We cannot avoid being cynical not to buy another home after what happened.  That is fully understandable.  The benefits of owning a home have not changed:  

Build equity – we heard about the word “equity” a lot but not everybody fully understand how it benefits them. When you own a home you are making an investment.  For example, you owe $100,000 on your mortgage; as you pay monthly mortgage; your balance decreases and at the same time through the years, the value of the house increases.  Any amount over what you owe based on the current value of the house is your equity.

Provide tax benefits - Owning a home provides tax benefits.  The interest you are paying every month with your monthly mortgage is tax deductible.  Based on type of your filing, these payments may or maybe returned to you in full or partial. During tax season, lenders will provide you 1098 form with the total interest you paid for that year.  Consult a professional tax preparer for more detailed information.

Protection against inflation - Especially with fixed rate loans, your mortgage payment increases more slowly in the future compared to yearly increase in rent. Plus today’s low rates make the initial payment very affordable as well.

Security and freedom of choice - When you own, you’re the boss. That “THIS IS MINE” feeling.  There maybe certain rules as to Homeowners Association policies but those are helping you to gain more equity by keeping the neighborhood appealing to buyers.

On my next issue, I will talk about buying and selling your home wisely in this recent type of market and trends.  Stay tuned.

Note:  Jocelyn Porteria is a Realtor® licensed in VA. Top Producer of Fairfax Realty and earning Five-Star Reviews from her clients. She earned a designation of ASP, Accredited Staging Professional; ABR, Accredited Buyer’s Specialist; CDPE Certified Distressed Property and Short Sale Expert, (SFR) Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource. For more info, visit her website at and on Facebook  Call her at 571-432-8335 or email at  for free confidential consultations. 


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