Despite fears that they couldn’t buy a house again for seven years after a foreclosure or short sale, some families are back in the market after just three years.
For those residents, it was a matter of living frugally to repair their credit and save for a down payment in a market where houses cost half of what they went for six years ago.
“What seemed impossible for us and what we thought was going to be a seven-year wait was really three years,” said Clovis homeowner Alexsandra Aceves, who lost her Valencia house to foreclosure in 2009.
“It was a blessing that we find ourselves homeowners today,” she said.
Aceves is among the first of what housing experts say will be a steady stream of people re-entering the home-buying market this year after experiencing a foreclosure or short sale through 2009, when foreclosures hit their peak.
While no one appears to collect data on how many people are buying after foreclosure, lenders and real estate agents say they are seeing more such people coming through their doors.
Their desire to become homeowners again is aided by cheap home prices and low mortgage interest rates, experts say.
Homeowners can qualify for a mortgage loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration in as little as three years after a foreclosure, said Lisa Sasaki, sales manager for Academy Mortgage in Fresno.
All a homeowner has to do is pay down their debt and keep up with the payments on credit cards and car loans, she said.
A foreclosure is not,” ‘Oh my gosh, it’s the end of the world,’ ” Sasaki said. “If they maintain their credit, everything will be fine so when that three-year period is up they can buy a home. It’s not impossible.”