'Boomerang buyers' rebounding from foreclosures, short sales impacting San Diego real estate market

Credit repair is not the biggest obstacle

SAN DIEGO - San Diegans who went through a foreclosure or short sale are back and ready to buy again.

Shopping for homes can get tiring, but Jeff Grant isn't complaining.

"I feel unbelievable. It's an incredibly freeing feeling. I feel like I got a get-out-of-jail-free card," said Grant.

His frustration boiled over in 2009, when he went through a short sale on his condo.

When the real estate bubble burst, Grant, a real estate broker, fell behind on his mortgage payments, and was forced into a short sale.

He rebuilt his credit, and now, he said he is ready to buy again.

Some have dubbed buyers like him "boomerang buyers", but he doesn't plan to make the same mistakes again.

"I’m making sure to live within my means," said Grant.

Grant and many boomerang buyers across the country have turned to a local website for help.

"The interest is in the thousands.  As far as pre-approved borrowers, it's in the hundreds," said Chad Ruyle.

Ruyle is co-founder of Afterforeclosure.com, which offers free resources for those looking to buy after foreclosures and short sales. He coined the term boomerang buyers.

"In either case, we're seeing people get their credit to a normal range within a year," said Ruyle.

Credit repair is actually not the biggest obstacle. Right now, banks are requiring those who have been through a foreclosure to wait three years before buying. That number is two years for short sales.

Grant, owner of Sea & Sand Investments, says he has three boomerang clients who bought properties in San Diego this past year. He said there are many others, including himself, who are losing out on homes to all cash buyers.  

Boomerang buyers will add to the large buyer pool, which should help sellers.

Grant says he remains thankful that he's back on the house hunt.

"I feel very lucky.  My wife and I are happy about it," said Grant.

Ruyle says boomerang buyers range in age, but most are looking for more reasonably priced homes, and more conservative loans.

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