The COVID-19 crisis has turned our lifestyle upside down. In Oregon, Independent, small, and mom and pop landlords are struggling to survive and keep their properties. The landlords with non-federally backed home loans are the victims of the eviction moratorium imposed by the local and federal authorities. The related regulations do not contemplate provisions to help non-federally protected homeowners from lenders.
The rules issued to protect tenants do not include the landlord’s needs. Landlord’s ability to generate income has been slashed from one hit. Also, It all appears that the local and federal governments have left individual landlords at their lender’s mercy.
“The last five months have been awful,” Marissa told us when she contacted us looking for help.
Are You a Rental House Owner?
We are dedicating this post to the rental house owners because many of them have contacted us during the last months. All the rental homeowners’ calls have points in common.
- Rental homeowners depend up to 90% on rental income to pay their investment house monthly mortgage payments.
- Tenants have stopped paying rent due to coronavirus hardship.
- Tenant-occupied rental properties presenting partial or severe damages.
- Forbearance plans.
- Non-federal backed mortgage loans on default.
On Labor day weekend, we received a phone call from Mrs. Rosa Martinez. She contacted us because her rental house and tenants have become a big headache.
Ending April, her tenant notified her he was unable to pay rent because he got laid off, and he was not sure when his company would call him back to work. From May to September Mrs. Martinez collected nothing from her rental property. Meanwhile, Martinez’s tenant had to continue experiencing the same lack-income situation.
Mrs. Martinez contacted Portland’s city hall looking for information and advice on getting the best way to handle her landlord-tenant matter. The city hall wasn’t attending public, so she was directed to Oregon’s and Portland’s websites, where anyone can find the landlord-tenants’ regulations to be applied during COVID-19.
In short, Mrs. Martinez couldn’t do anything to regain control over her property.
In the last week of June, Mrs. Martinez conducted a tenant approved visit to the rental house just to find out the property was inhabited by 12 people. violating the original rental contract clause of 4 occupants in the house. When she confronted his tenant, they explained the other people living in the house were relatives with no place to go, no job, and no money due to the pandemic.
Mrs. Martinez immediately looked for legal assistance. An attorney advised her not to take any legal action against her tenant because, during this coronavirus crisis, the evictions had been suspended, courts are not operating at full capacity, and a legal process will take a long time and a lot of money.
The most effective recommendation the lawyer gave to Martinez was to sell his rental house right away.
“Keeping the property in such tenant conditions would cost you money and stress,” the lawyer said.
The Attorney handed her out the Better Off Home Buyers information, so she contacted us a few days later.
We visited our client’s house the very next day. We got to say her tenants as the rest of the people living in the house were cooperative. They are nice hard-working people who are suffering from the coronavirus hardship, so inspecting Mrs. Martinez’s rental house was a quick and easy job.
That day, we presented her with a cash offer, and 7 days later she received a check for the purchase of her rental house.
The real estate market crisis peak isn’t here yet. The forbearance and the deferred repayment plans are regulated by lenders with the government’s green light. That does not help homeowners and individual landlords that are struggling to survive with a reduced or none income due to the coronavirus effects.
In a long run, forbearance could be a trap, contact us at (503) 212-9146.
I Need Your Help!
Marissa 36, is a single mom of a very active boy. She is a working home self-employed who makes her living as a website content writer. Also, she owns her condo and another one in the same complex that she rents it to a young family.
In early May, Her tenants notified her they were unable to pay the rent because they had lost their jobs. “They are nice people suffering from the coronavirus crisis,” Marissa said. They are sorry and insist that the actual situation is something they do not want to happen, but right now they have no choice but to just hope everything changes to normal soon.
Marissa still works as a freelancer website writer, but her income has been reduced drastically. She was using her savings to pay both condos’ mortgage loans until August.
Then, she contacted her lenders looking for information about the forbearance programs. One of the mortgage loans is backed up by Fannie Mae, the other one is a conventional loan held by a private lender.
She got six months’ relief to her federal backed loan, but her other lender notified her loan doesn’t qualify for forbearance. No further explanation was given to her.
Currently, Better Off Home Buyers is working with Marissa, she wants to sell the condo with tenants as soon as possible.
To the question, “Marissa, Why do you want to sell the condo if at this time it’s loan is current?”
She answered, “I strongly believe that it’s going to take a lot of time to come back to normal. I don’t feel secure keeping the condo. I’m experiencing a shortage of income, and it is better safe than sorry!”
What To Do if Your Tenants Can’t Pay Rent?
In Oregon, House Bills 4204 and 4213 went into effect on June 30, 2020, during the Oregon Legislature’s First Special Session of 2020. Allowing homeowners to deferral mortgage payments until September 31, 2020. Governor Brown extended the eviction moratorium up to the end of 2021
If you can cover your rental-house expenses during the epidemic, you are in a better position than hundreds of individual landlords in Portland.
Many landlords in Portland and across the USA are riding on a wave of uncertainty. We have been in communication with some of them here in Oregon and California. Their concerns are, first, Income: Many are running out their savings. Others have lost their job or business, so their income flow has been substantially reduced.
Second: Tenant’s lack of income or no income at all.
During the pandemic, tenants can defer paying rent between April 1, and September 30, 2020. Under the newest extension up to December 31. In Multnomah County, tenants must start rent payments after January 8, 2021. Oregon’s Covid-19 eviction moratorium law says that landlords cannot evict tenants for non-payment during a health emergency time.
The repayment grace period starts after the moratorium is lifted. Tenants will have six months to pay back rent from the moratorium period. During the repayment grace period, They will be required to pay their current rent as it comes due, in addition to any back rent you may owe.
Third: On September 4, the CDC temporarily halted residential evictions to prevent further spread of COVID 19.
Individual landlords feared that after the moratorium period their tenants would not be able or be unwilling to refund deferred rent amounts. Which would make them start an eviction process that would last a few months, adding more fuel to the fire!
Now, that fear is even greater because the eviction moratorium has been extended until December 31, 2020.
So, If your tenants can’t pay rent on time or eventually they would be unable to do the deferred rent payments, you have no other choice than assume all your rental house obligations yourself. Period.
Selling Your House From your Home?
Selling a house, not always is a pleasant experience.
People get emotionally attached to a material structure that provides shelter, which we call home. However, unexpected circumstances in our life may make us landing on displeasing ground, like:
- Job loss
- A Divorce
- Natural disasters
- Unpredictables events like the Novel COVID-19 we are facing today.
Among many of the ones above, one day you may wake up needing and desiring to sell your home. If this is happening to you, you are not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors statistics, in September 2020, home sales were over 6.5 million nationwide, 12% more than the previous month.
Experts believe home sales in Portland will decline over 3.5% from the actual numbers by the third quarter of 2020, and in Oregon, close to 6%. The forecast for the 4th quarter of the year overpass 5% decline in home sales in Portland, and over 8% in Oregon.
By the fourth quarter of 2020, existing-home sales are expected to decline by only 3%, with sales ramping up to 5.6 million. New listing homes for sale are projected to rise by 4.5%.
The reality is, although unemployment is reaching historic numbers, the pandemic is out of control. Protesters, and wildfires, the Portland market is hot.
At Better Off Home Buyers, we think in the next two months, the Portland real estate market would switch its course of having a low number of homes for sale. The house available for sale numbers will be changing gradually after the forbearance program ends in December 2020.
More properties will be for sale as the imminent foreclosure wave kick-off across the USA. The real estate market will be saturated with empty houses and not motivated buyers.
The actual COVID-19 crisis is causing significant Psychologic and economic difficulties. Many households are going through different issues; most of them have been created for isolation, the new lifestyle, job loss, and considerable income decreased.
It seems like in 8 months, we had to get adapted to a lifestyle we never imagined.
For homeowners who are suffering from a shortage of income, the pandemic psychological and economical repercussions, it is more than they can hold. So, having all these factors into account is when a homeowner declares:
“My House Has Become An Unwanted Asset.”
Over an early August phone conversation, Mr. Ryan Mcgee from Portland metro manifested to us his frustration for the experience he and his family are living due to the pandemic.
Long history short:
Mr. Mcgee owned a mom and pop Iris restaurant in downtown Portland until September 2019. Three months before his commercial lease expired, Mr. Mcgee received the paperwork to renew his lease agreement with a 40% rent increase. He was trying to negotiate the amount increased, but the lessor did not accept other terms.
“I was breaking even, so it was unrealistic to continue working under the new rental agreement,” Ryan said.
He was looking around downtown for a place to relocate his business, but he couldn’t find a nice and affordable spot. In December 2019, a week before Christmas, a friend of his, offered him a job as a chef in a fine Italian restaurant, meanwhile, the Macgee family of four were using their savings to cover expenses.
From December to February, the restaurant business went just ok. Mcgee was able to work full time. In March, when the pandemic broke out, the restaurant got slow. In April, it was temporarily closed. Later that month, to comply with the State and health authorities’ regulations, all the employees were sent home.
Ryan immediately contacted his mortgage lender to get information about forbearance plans. Still, he finds out his loan is not backed up by any of the federal mortgage agencies. With no income, out of savings, he got behind in his mortgage payments.
The restaurant where he was a chef, partially reopened for take-out only, but he wasn’t called back to work. With two little kids and a wife to feed, he is getting desperate because due to the mandatory quarantine he could not go out to look for another job or to earn the money needed to cover his family expenses.
In conversations with his lender, Mr. Mcgee was able to get three monthly deferral payments, (May, June, and July). Currently, at the time of this publication, he hasn’t the money to resume mortgage payments.
Mr. Ryan Mcgee has permitted us to use his name in this post. After we knew his history, we offered to buy his house, and sign a lease agreement for a year starting with rent payments two months after closing. So, he and his family can stay in the house and have the chance to get back on his feet.
The last time we were talking on facetime, he told us he needs time to discuss the matter with his wife, their relationship is getting broken, they argue frequently and blame each other for the money situation. We told him that the Better Off Home Buyers policy is no hassle, no pressure, that he is free to take all the time he needs, and that we will be ready to help him at any moment.
“I bet there are many people in the same situation out there.” He said before hanging up the phone.
Yes, indeed, there are thousands of families and homeowners going through the same psychological and financial situation. Many people have difficulties in getting adapted to the new lifestyle. Many are working from home, taking care of the kids at the same time. Others have lost their jobs and have not skills to incur into a new profession.
The lack of money and the frustration to be enclosed has triggered domestic violence cases. In Portland, the police bureau recorded an increase of more than 28% in arrests related to domestic violence, after the coronavirus break-out.
“A decline in economic activity that lasts more than a few months.” It is the standard definition of a recession.
It is official, we are in a recession. The National Bureau of Economic Research in making the announcement pointed. “The unprecedented magnitude of the decline in employment and production, and its broad reach across the entire economy.”
It is sad, but Ryan Mcgee’s statement, “My house has become an unwanted asset,” will be heard all over the USA.
Small landlords are facing a critical situation. Unemployed tenants have unchained hundreds of new forbearance applications. Some banks are willing to work with the landlords, but others just want to receive the mortgage payments on time.
Without a date when we can be sure of getting back to normal, stress and uncertainty increase as the number of potential people will face foreclosure in a few months.
The tolerance plans are about to end. Many landlords fear that their struggling tenants will not be able to pay back lost months of rent. If that’s the case, homeowners wouldn’t be able to count on their rental income to pay for their forbearance mortgage plans. Many of them will be close to losing their rental properties.
Until this post, many distressed homeowners have contacted us to sell their rental homes. Better off home buyers have been able to help them by buying their properties.
A Better Off Home Buyers Home Purchasing transaction is transparent, fast, and a win-win.
We can pay cash for your house in a short time. The average time to close a buying house transaction is 7 days. Contact us by filling the form on this page, or dial directly (503) 212-9641.