For Homeowners in San Francisco's East Bay, Foreclosure Means a Dream Come True

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Residents in California’s Hardest Hit Areas Have a Home for the Holidays

“Our goal is simple – we want to keep people in their homes. When that is not possible, our next step is to lease renovated homes to residents and put them on the path to owning that home in the future.” - Doug Brien, partner Wiel-Brien

“Home for the holidays” has a new meaning for many East Bay families who once faced the threat of foreclosure but are now taking advantage of new lease and buy-back programs.

With housing giants leading the way, a national trend is taking hold – opening up more opportunities for people on the brink of foreclosure or those who are looking to buy their first home.

More and more homeowners are realizing they can stay in their homes as renters or – in some cases -- even purchase back their homes over time.

“Feasible options are emerging out of this weak real estate market,” says Doug Brien, managing partner of Wiel Brien, an Oakland-based real estate company. “Our goal is simple – we want to keep people in their homes. When that is not possible, our next step is to lease renovated homes to residents and put them on the path to owning that home in the future.”

Wiel Brien, established by former NFL player Doug Brien and business partner Colin Wiel, is the parent company of Golden Bear Property Management – a firm dedicated to helping Bay Area residents remain homeowners or renters in communities hardest hit by foreclosures. The company currently owns and manages over 100 homes in a number of East Bay cities including Pittsburgh, Antioch, Brentwood and Vallejo.

The company has helped a number of Bay Area families avoid foreclosure by purchasing their home from the bank with a short sale and then leasing it back to them – with a contract in place to buy that home in the future.

Through their “Home Affordable Again” program, Golden Bear Property Management has demonstrated how a “win-win” can come out of the current real estate environment. By offering lease-purchase options and leasebacks, a core component of their business, Golden Bear Property Management builds a financial safety net for prospective homeowners by crediting $200 from each lease payment towards the purchase of the home.

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Cass Caulfield

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