By Michele Lerner August 21
Chris Noblejas, a former real estate agent, got hit by a double whammy during the housing crisis. His income declined drastically, and so did the value of the Gaithersburg, Md., townhouse he bought for $480,000 in 2006. He ended up selling the townhouse in a “short sale” in 2010 for $320,000. A short sale occurs when a lender agrees to accept a sales price for a home that is less than the amount owed on the property.
But Noblejas was able to buy a single-family house in Silver Spring this year. He is part of a wave of “boomerang buyers” — people who are reentering the housing market after a foreclosure or short sale.
“I wanted to buy a house again, but I was still nervous because I made such a bad mistake before,” Noblejas says. “Even renting was hard when I first lost my house. I didn’t even know if I could buy again, but I talked to a loan officer and was able to qualify for an FHA [Federal Housing Administration] loan. I plan to refinance that loan into a conventional loan as soon as I can to get rid of the mortgage insurance payments.”