A foreclosure used to be a major black mark on your credit record and meant you could not obtain financing to buy another house for seven years. There is hope that if you have suffered through a foreclosure your ability to qualify for another mortgage may not be as compromised as you think.

Today most buyers will only have to wait three years and depending on the reason you lost your house, the wait could be even shorter. Some potential buyers they may qualify for a mortgage as soon as 24 months after the fact if the foreclosure was the result of “extenuating circumstances”. Extenuating circumstances could be a serious illness or the death of a wage earner. Things that are not considered life-changing events are divorce, a business failure or too much debt.

Waiting the required time period after extenuating circumstances won’t automatically qualify you for a new loan you also have to demonstrate that you can handle credit and afford the payments.

The news has been bombarded with negative stories about the real estate market over the past few years, but the tides are turning and inventory is now lower than ever. There are still many opportunities for buyers as prices still remain low. For savvy homebuyers looking to buy in the high-end or luxury marketplace there is tremendous opportunity.

If you’ve always dreamed about buying a luxury property but considered it just out of reach, today’s market may has put downward pressure on the prices of higher-end homes making them more affordable than ever. To buy your dream home you will want to have a strategy.

1. Choose your agent wisely.

Your agent is your advocate. You will need an agent who is experienced and successful in the luxury home market. Agents who deal in luxury property have the right knowledge to help you locate and negotiate an offer on a high-end home.

2. Take the time necessary.

The high-end home search may take more time and patience. The supply of luxury homes may be smaller, you may even need to expand your search or rely or your agent to find homes that may not be currently up for sale. The home will be bigger, have more features and thus there will be more to consider in the purchase decision.

3. Prepare the perfect offer.

Cash is king in today’s market. According to the May 2011 REALTORS® Confidence Index from the National Association of REALTORS®, 30 percent of all purchases between mid-April and mid-May of last year were financed with cash. The number was even higher for luxury properties.

Even though many luxury sellers may also be in a distressed property situation they are typically more particular about who was buying their property as well as the final selling price. Use your agent to carefully craft the perfect offer.

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