The rise of ‘boomerang buyers’



It’s a term coined recently by the Wall Street Journal and we’re going to be seeing more of these buyers in the coming months and years — boomerang buyers.

These are buyers who experienced a bankruptcy, short sale or foreclosure, but are approaching the time where qualifying for a mortgage is becoming a possibility again.

Since 2007, nearly 5 million homeowners have lost their home in a short sale or foreclosure.

Qualifying for a conventional loan can take up to seven years after a foreclosure and up to four years after a short sale, less time for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan.

I’m hearing rumblings about loan requirements easing for people who have experienced a short sale, although I can’t get any concrete information from loan officers yet.

But there are other options.

Investors, eyeing an opportunity, move to meet that need.

There are Alt-A loans out there, 30-year fixed loans backed not by the government, but through investments from hedge funds. The interest rates are higher, but for home buyers with cash to put down and verifiable income, purchasing a home one day out of bankruptcy, short sale or foreclosure is possible.

Why would buyers pay higher rates to own? The answers are simple; prices will begin to rise so affordability will be going down.

Alt-A loans have no pre-payment penalty, so refinancing when credit scores go up is an option.

And finally, paying $2,000 or more in rent each month — without the benefit of a mortgage interest deduction — is expensive.

The desire for home ownership remains strong.

Bob Strader is a local realtor with The North Group of Keller Williams Realty. For more, visit or or email him:

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