"FROM FORECLOSURE TO REAL ESTATE"
By: Anadel Canale
One might wonder why an attorney with twenty years in practice who has spent the last eight years assisting homeowners facing foreclosure, would decide to open a real estate company. The answer is simple: to avert another housing crisis. I have spent the last eight years assisting distressed homeowners keep their homes. For almost a decade the housing crisis has been blamed on Wall Street, banks, mortgage brokers and most often on homeowners for "overextending themselves." The sad truth is that the first “domino” in the chain of events which led to the biggest housing crisis in the United States was real estate professionals.
There was one common factor in the hundreds of foreclosure cases that my office has handled: the homeowner was not fully informed as to what they were getting into when they purchased their home. In many instances they were misinformed. All too often, real estate professionals are only concerned with signing the client and closing the deal. Homeowners are often persuaded to purchase homes out of their financial reach. They ask for a ranch or a small home and they are shown a large center hall colonial. They tell the realtor their budget is $300,000 and they are shown and sold a $500,000 home. They are misinformed as to the use of the properties, and may be told that they can rent portions of their home for extra income, when in fact those portions are not legally rentable. Major factors such as real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance and other expenses that homeowners are responsible for are left out of the conversation.
The unfortunate effect of this pattern of behavior is that people are purchasing homes that are beyond their means. The slightest change in a homeowner's life (whether it be an unexpected expense or a job loss) results in falling behind on their mortgage. This ultimately leads to foreclosures that affects the community at large.
Sellers are not immune to what transpires in these transactions. Foreclosures cause a major decrease in property values within a community resulting in less money for sellers. The lack of screening such as credit checks and buyers ability to afford a home, results in cancelled real estate transactions and missed opportunities.
If we hope to avert another housing crisis we must change how we do business as real estate professionals. Real Estate Agents have a larger impact on communities than they may think. Foreclosures result in causing financial distress to families which can lead to divorce, crimes and can affect the overall quality of life in a community. Real estate agents can be the catalyst of positive change in the overall economic state of our communities and help bring financial stability to all.
I created Canale Realty LLC., to provide a professionally operated real estate company that will assist homeowners in not just getting to the closing but in actually keeping their homes. My company will strive to put homeowners in the homes they want and can afford. We will provide homeowners with the information and material that they need to make an informed decision when making their purchase. We will assist sellers in selling their homes expeditiously by finding well qualified buyers. Our goal as real estate professionals should not only be to assist homeowners in reaching the "American Dream" on the date of the closing but to maintain that dream. “The negative side of the American Dream comes when people pursue success at any cost, which in turn destroys the vision and dream. “ Let’s work together to keep that dream alive.