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New vocabulary word: Short sale
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How has the housing market affected you?

Here in the Life department, three different staffers have three very different issues.

Have some experiences you'd like to share? Call editor Kristen Morales at 770-718-3427 or e-mail

For those of you who haven't heard my sob story, I'll fill you in: I moved up here from South Florida, right after the third hurricane hit us and right before the housing bubble burst.

Not a good time to try and sell a home.

When we first put the house on the market, in the fall of 2005, we had it priced right where it should be, at least we thought. The comps our Realtor put together made sense, and although there were 5,000 other homes in our ZIP code that were for sale, we felt confident we would sell it in about six months.

Well, three years later and after a price drop of $205,000, we finally have an excited buyer. Only problem is, the offer is for about $60,000 less than what we actually owe on the house.

So, allow me to introduce you to the short sale.

It's not pretty, nor is it fun. We've had the offer since November, and it took about two months for our mortgage holder to even acknowledge us. We had to get the second mortgage lender to sign on to the deal, all while trying to keep our debt from completely swallowing us.

After dozens of phone calls and about 10 trees' worth of paper killed by filling out and faxing multiple financial disclosure documents, we're in the home stretch. Both mortgage holders and their insurance companies have signed off on the deal, and we're waiting for a closing date.

I hope I never hear the term short sale again.

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