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Old 12-31-2009, 11:48 PM
 
12 posts, read 24,464 times
Reputation: 10

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Hey Guys,

I moved out of Maine around March of 2009. I ended up renting my house out to my first tenants ever and they trashed the place and cost me 3000 dollars in damage. Then I rented it out to a wonderful couple until the 31st of this month.. Now im stuck paying the mortgage and paying rent here in Massachusetts. I was looking for 900 a month to rent my home in Stockton Springs and my house has been on the market for almost a year for 149,900. Here is a link to my home:

12 Station St, Stockton Springs, ME, 04981 - MLS #921192 - Single Family Home real estate - REALTOR.com® (http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/12-Station-St_Stockton-Springs_ME_04981_1106472064 - broken link)

My realtor has not had anyone view the home whatsoever... My question is I have a good job here in Massachusetts but I don't want to have to file bankruptcy because of my house in Maine. Should I just move back.. Are there any big IT companies in the Bangor or augusta area? Any suggestions regarding my house or a good realtor to use? Is this area tough to rent/sell houses?

Feedback would be appreciated.
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:22 AM
 
Location: In my own world
878 posts, read 1,395,203 times
Reputation: 1027
Hi there. I don't live in Maine, but I do have a few observations. First, if your home has been on the market for nearly a year, and you have not had one person look at it, it is overpriced, plain and simple. I can say that without even looking at it. Your Realtor is doing you a disservice by not realizing that, or telling you. Next, perhaps you can find another renter at a lower rate, and stem some of the monthly cash burn. Maybe this would allow you to ride it out a little longer, and find a buyer. Lastly, even if you can no longer afford to carry the house payment, that does not mean you have to file for bankruptcy. You can seek a deed in lieu of foreclosure from the bank, or even just stop paying and mail them the keys. This will ding your credit, but won't be as bad as bankruptcy. I hope this helps, and good luck to you.
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:02 AM
 
87 posts, read 190,309 times
Reputation: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadicBear View Post
Hi there. I don't live in Maine, but I do have a few observations. First, if your home has been on the market for nearly a year, and you have not had one person look at it, it is overpriced, plain and simple. I can say that without even looking at it. Your Realtor is doing you a disservice by not realizing that, or telling you. Next, perhaps you can find another renter at a lower rate, and stem some of the monthly cash burn. Maybe this would allow you to ride it out a little longer, and find a buyer. Lastly, even if you can no longer afford to carry the house payment, that does not mean you have to file for bankruptcy. You can seek a deed in lieu of foreclosure from the bank, or even just stop paying and mail them the keys. This will ding your credit, but won't be as bad as bankruptcy. I hope this helps, and good luck to you.
I would have to agree if no one has even looked at the house it must be way over priced. Seems like a nice area and close to the water. What are some of the other houses in the area recently sold for and what houses in the area are being priced at? Of course you need to compare apples to apples.
You could just walk away but the bank may still come after you and you may still have to go bankrupt. JMO
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:58 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,446,103 times
Reputation: 1393
Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadicBear View Post
Hi there. I don't live in Maine, but I do have a few observations. First, if your home has been on the market for nearly a year, and you have not had one person look at it, it is overpriced, plain and simple. I can say that without even looking at it. Your Realtor is doing you a disservice by not realizing that, or telling you. Next, perhaps you can find another renter at a lower rate, and stem some of the monthly cash burn. Maybe this would allow you to ride it out a little longer, and find a buyer. Lastly, even if you can no longer afford to carry the house payment, that does not mean you have to file for bankruptcy. You can seek a deed in lieu of foreclosure from the bank, or even just stop paying and mail them the keys. This will ding your credit, but won't be as bad as bankruptcy. I hope this helps, and good luck to you.
Ah, no. The first part of your second sentence sums it up nicely: you do NOT live in Maine.

There are many, many houses in "better or best" towns in Maine that have been on the market for more than a year and a half that have not sold. The town in which I live, which enjoys the Acadia National Park influence, and is a town of around 1400 people, had ELEVEN houses change hands in the past fourteen months.

We have been "trolling" for buyers with a sign at the head of the road for a year. Our house in directly on the water in what is the most desirable area other than directly on the water on Mt Desert Island. In the past five months we have had ZERO telephone calls.

Most likely, none of these properties are overpriced. There is no way to tell for sure, but merely reducing the price doesn't mean a quick sale. IF there is NO sales activity, which is the case in much of this state right now, NO price will move the house in the short term.

Now there are some opportunities to sell in some areas. There are always bargain hunters who will show up if the price is really cheap. The property next door to us sold this past summer...one of the eleven. The house was an late 1800's semi-seasonal cottage in need of serious work, on one acre with 200 feet of frontage on the bay. The property sold for $330,000. The buyers promptly tore down the old cottage and are building a new, much larger year round home for seasonal use: they bought the property at the price of the land alone because the house was of no value in their eyes. In the end they will have nearly $1 million invested.

The house in Stockton Springs is difficult. Stockton Springs is a town with little to nothing to commend it because it is a commute to just about anything. The good part is that Route One rolls right through it, and Searsport is on one side and Bucksport on another, but it is twenty miles to just about anywhere.

I know this house. It is NOT overpriced, but the house is like many, many others within a fifty mile radius, and will be a long time selling. Dropping the price, unless it was dropped by 40-50% will accomplish nothing. But it is an option IF the seller has that much equity in the house.

The other option is to call an auction house and sell it at auction. Make a deal with the bank and agree with the bank that you will pay the difference. The auction process MIGHT sell the property, and the house might bring the mortgage value.

As has been mentioned before, you can give the deed to the bank in lieu of foreclosure. Some banks will forgive this, and not mark your credit rating, given the circumstances economically, but this is a matter to discuss with each individual lender. Maine banks don't really want the property given back to them, and are apt to try to make a deal, but if the mortgage is held by a big bank or a bank that is based out of state, there may be much less wiggle room.

These are tough times. The real estate business is coming back now slowly, and there are buyers. Have a chat with the real estate broker. The fact that the house has not been shown is an indication that the market at that price level is saturated. Renting it is an option, but it will be short term as the tenant will not necessarily maintain the house well, but will trash the place again.

Renting a single family house is never easy, and if you live three hundred miles away, it is exceedingly difficult. My daughter's home in Morrill is vacant again, and she is contemplating shutting it down through the winter. She has a potential tenant, but the first and last and security deposit are a struggle for the tenant to raise, and she is thinking that it may be better to just carry it until spring. I don't know what she will do, but she can afford to carry it empty, and for a few months until the snow is mostly gone, might be the best way to carry forward.

In the meantime, the bank needs to be a part of the discussion. They bank might be easier to deal with than you expect. And in the end, if you need to walk away from it, it isn't the end of the earth: no house is worth a stroke, heart attack, or car wreck while you drive from Massachusetts to Maine in a snowstorm because you think the house may be left open after a tenant has left in the middle of the night.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
1,922 posts, read 3,668,672 times
Reputation: 1287
First of all, are you advertising yourself, like on Craigslist? I finally sold my property in bedford County PA to a family that that has one of those mistaken views that they can get back to the woods. They live outside of Philly and have to drive nearly four hours to get there. I say more power to them; they may be successful. But even with 40 acres they are going to find that its harder in many ways than they think. The nearest hospital is nearly 25 minutes away on a good day. But while I was selling for a good price and the broker claimed to have shown the property to many people, I eventually sold it through someone who found it on craigslist. You need to reach out yourself.

As to renting..... That is a bear. I live 600+ miles away from my house on MDI. Finding a renter there is not hard since the three largest employers on island(Jackson Lab, MBL, and the hospitals) people who would prefer in the winter months not to have to drive too far to get to work. As a consequence, even living where Acadialion lives would be a bit of a drive to work in the winter for these people who work on island. So finding a good renter isn't too hard either, since most people on island try to rent from September to May and may big money in the summer, which is really a hardship for full time renters who want to not have to move off island in the summer. But you still need someone to watch the house and answer questions for the tenants and find a plumber or electrician if its really necessary, and a bunch of other things, and that will cost you 12-15% of the rent cost to find someone who will do that. And then you have the occasional issues with the person you find if they are actually a real estate broker, trying to sell your tenants another house and not really being your agent. Most likely to happen if you've not hired an agency, and the person is a broker who does rental management on the side. That can happen, and it did happen to us.

Its all a learning experience, and hopefully one you will enjoy.

zarathu
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Midcoast Maine
4,958 posts, read 10,371,321 times
Reputation: 3337
I don't have much to add, but first and foremost I would switch realtors. A fresh set of eyes may be of big help. Best of luck to you!
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:55 AM
 
Location: Cashtown, PA
243 posts, read 332,184 times
Reputation: 211
Have been looking at property in Waldo county. My observation is that it is a small piece of land and not on the water. The house seems nicely kept up and probably reasonably up to date - not needing any repairs. However, I could find property with more acreage and on water for that price or lower in Waldo County for a lower price.

Folks that paid alot for real estate in years past are being hit hard this go around. You have to wiegh whether you just want to break even on this proposition and sell it or whether you want to make money on it.

Switching realtors might be good...advertising on Craigslist. I check Craigslist all the time to see if there is a jewel waiting for me. Tis a buyers market right now. I would check into the advice that others have put up here before doing bankruptcy or moving back.

Renting can be a good expereince or bad. My family has property on Cape Cod that they have been renting for years in the summer. They don't like to rent during the winter. The summer folks treat the properties better for some reason. At least that has been our experience. If your house is near the water, try renting it during the summer only..perhaps on a biweekly or monthly basis. And list it with a realtor that you trust and that deals with vacation rentals. Who knows, maybe one of the renters might end up being a buyer. One of our renters bought one of the houses we were renting when we decided to sell some of the property off.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Bangor Maine
3,442 posts, read 5,436,734 times
Reputation: 3974
Has your realtor advertised your house in Yankee Magazine or Downeast? It might catch the eye of someone outside the immediate area. I concur with the poster that said change realtors.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,446,103 times
Reputation: 1393
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newdaawn View Post
Has your realtor advertised your house in Yankee Magazine or Downeast? It might catch the eye of someone outside the immediate area. I concur with the poster that said change realtors.
Changing realtors may or may not accomplish anything. The vast majority of residential properties in this price range sell through the MLS system, and since most realtors automatically place their listiing in the MLS, the property will be seen by those who are looking.

One thing that could be done by relisting might be if the property is listed at a enough different price so that the MLS system will recognize the listing as being "new" to the market. The realtor should know how to do this, but just moving the listing laterally will yield very little.

As far as the realtor putting this house into Downeast or Yankee Magazine, there are several significant issues. The first is the cost of advertising in either of those two publications. Unless the property will deliver sufficient commission to warrant a couple of thousand dollars for advertising, a realtor isn't going to do it. The subject house is not on the water and is not of sufficiently significant architecture to warrant a high advertising budget.

Secondly, the lead time for advertising in Downeast, fo rinstance, is three to six months. So an ad put in in January, will probably not see publication until at least April or May. It sounds like the property owner wants a resolution to this matter before then at any rate.

At the end of the day, no realtor is better than the availability of buyers. If there are few buyers looking in Stockton Springs it will be very hard to give the house away. The bottom line is the bank's mortgage plus any commissions needed to satisfy the terms of sale.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Limestone, Maine
36 posts, read 66,629 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by r8tedm3 View Post
Hey Guys,

I moved out of Maine around March of 2009. I ended up renting my house out to my first tenants ever and they trashed the place and cost me 3000 dollars in damage. Then I rented it out to a wonderful couple until the 31st of this month.. Now im stuck paying the mortgage and paying rent here in Massachusetts. I was looking for 900 a month to rent my home in Stockton Springs and my house has been on the market for almost a year for 149,900. Here is a link to my home:

12 Station St, Stockton Springs, ME, 04981 - MLS #921192 - Single Family Home real estate - REALTOR.com® (http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/12-Station-St_Stockton-Springs_ME_04981_1106472064 - broken link)

My realtor has not had anyone view the home whatsoever... My question is I have a good job here in Massachusetts but I don't want to have to file bankruptcy because of my house in Maine. Should I just move back.. Are there any big IT companies in the Bangor or augusta area? Any suggestions regarding my house or a good realtor to use? Is this area tough to rent/sell houses?

Feedback would be appreciated.
If you are able to find work near you home in Stockton Springs, I'd move back or drop your price to $125,000. Another idea is: rather than lower the rent try renting the property during the Summer months for a slightly higher monthly rate.
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