Our condo in California is being sold at a short sale. We lived in the house for two years, our landlord loves us, but he has another house and it sounds like he's "underwater" on both houses. We've offered to buy the place, but everything I've read here and elsewhere on the interwebs make short sales sound like a tremendous nightmare. We really don't want to move. What are our rights, what should our strategy be? We've never owned a house before - help!
We moved in to the place in May of 2008 with a year's lease. Last year, the landlord extended the lease at the same rent for another year (which he didn't have to do, it could have gone month-to-month, but we think he liked the stability of us as tenants).
So last Sunday he emailed us to say that we'd have to leave in May because the house was going into a short sale. This was the very day after we paid a fair amount (all in cash) for a nice used car. Argh. Such timing.
So my husband emailed our landlord back and said we'd be interested in buying the place (we'd expressed interest in the past). The landlord told us that he though we'd be paying just over half of what he paid for it five years ago.
My husband has excellent credit, and his parents are willing to loan us so money so we can make a downpayment (which could be as much as 15% of the purchase price -- this is not an FHA home).
But then I started doing research on short sales, and it seems that our landlord wouldn't be driving the process -- it would be the bank or whatever entity owns the mortgage would be determining the selling price. It also appears that if we're lucky
and if the owner of the property accepts our bid
, it would take months to close (whcih means we wouldn't get that nice $8k credit as first-time homeowners).
So -- what are our rights as renters? I would think it would make sense to keep us on as renters until the house is sold, but I'm not a big megabank with a heart of stone
in front of my building.
Do we have a shot at buying this place as a short sale? Should the fact it's a short sale affect the price? (It seems crazy to me to pay market rate for a house that has these financial strings attached.) Where can I find a realtor or attorney with expertise in short sales from the buyer's perspective?
As I mentioned, we've never bought a place before, so there's been a steep learning curve. Any first-time homebuying advice would be welcome. I've loooked at previous threads (especially about short sales) but some of them are from a couple of years ago, and I think things have changed since them, and I'd appreciate any fresh (or even not-so-fresh perspectives).
Sorry this is so scattered, but I'm at my wit's end here.
We're in Contra Costa County, in case that makes a difference.