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Boomerang buyers come home

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Posted: 1 pm ET

You can't go home again, so the saying goes. But don't tell that to the people who walked away from their home and mortgage during the worst of the housing crisis and now want to become homeowners again.

A website has surveyed its former clients who sought legal advice about strategic default. According to the site's survey, 80 percent of the strategic defaulters want to buy a home again within the next year.

Gone away and back again

So-called boomerang buyers -- those who buy a home again after a foreclosure or short sale -- are returning to the marketplace. The Federal Housing Administration requires a waiting period of three years after a foreclosure or short sale before buyers can qualify for another mortgage. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can make buyers wait up to seven years. It's been more than seven years since the housing market peaked in 2005, shortly before prices began sliding.

Many of the buyers during the housing bubble were not required to show proof of income or put money down. Job losses and the Great Recession caught them short, and they were either forced to foreclose, or they chose to strategically default on underwater mortgages. Since then, many have worked on repairing their damaged credit and are looking to buy again while prices are still relatively cheap and mortgage rates are low.

Try, try again

The desire to own a home is still an American dream. The survey by YouWalkAway.com that showed 80 percent who want to buy again is not the only proof: A January survey by Fannie Mae found that 65 percent of respondents say they would buy a home, rather than rent, if they were forced to move.

Keep up with your wealth and mortgages, and follow me on Twitter @JudyMartel.

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