Take what you can get for ‘upside down’ house, get on with your lifeHOUSE CALLS

Q: My grandmother fell ill and my husband and I had to get a house that had a floor plan that could accommodate her. Unfortunately, our other house wouldn’t sell. We found a couple who was interested in doing a lease-purchase. They fell through on the deal and moved out last month. What I was wondering is, since we are upside-down on our mortgage now, what would our best option be? I have heard of “short sales” but is this really the best option? We are having trouble renting it out. I really would just like it gone, especially because we never intended on having a rental property in the first place. Any advice would be great! Thanks. — K.

A: I’m getting many letters these days from people who owe more than the asking price of their house. As for short sales, lenders will usually agree to one only if you’re practically penniless.

Also, you say your house wouldn’t sell, but if it had been bargain-priced, it would have sold. Think of it now as if you’d lost money in the stock market. Bite the bullet, sell for whatever it takes to attract offers, take the loss, make up the difference from your other assets and just get on with your lives.

Edith Lank will respond personally to any questions sent to her at 240 Hemingway Drive, Rochester, NY 14620 (please include a stamped return envelope), or readers may e-mail her at ehlank@aol.com.

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