2007 October | Real Estate Investing Blog
The housing market is just getting worse. Home resales tumbled 8% in September to the lowest levels in this decade, prompting the obvious question: When will it all end?
The honest answer is no one knows. Optimists have been saying for more than a year that the worst is behind us, while the pessimists have been saying recovery is still a year, or years, away.
So far, the pessimists have been right about the weakness in the housing market, but their forecast that the collapse in housing would lead to a general economic malaise has, at least so far, failed to pan out. The economy has slowed, but has not fallen into recession, as consumers and investors adjust to a world in which home prices don’t automatically rise 5% or 10% a year. Read more
The lure of making money by investing in foreclosure properties has too many times led to real estate professionals taking advantage of homeowners facing the loss of their homes. Their focus on reaping huge profits from these properties causes them to lose sight of the moral and ethical side of doing business and providing a helpful solution to assist foreclosure victims. In response to these practices, some states have begun regulating how investors and foreclosure help companies do business in certain situations, including profit-capping measures for investors and fuller disclosure requirements in the area of loss mitigation. In addition, courts have ruled that, in some cases, the popular rent-back or leaseback option counts as a loan to the former foreclosure victims, rather than a rental agreement, forcing the investor to foreclose on the property again if the renters fail to pay as agreed.
While these laws provide further regulations that reputable foreclosure experts must now follow, the foreclosure scam companies will continue to do whatever they can to take advantage of homeowners in foreclosure. Many of the worst of these companies do not even bother to research the relevant foreclosure laws and rely on homeowners to fail to gather their own foreclosure information. In essence, they rely on their own ignorance of the law and the foreclosure victims’ ignorance in order to prey upon homeowners. This presents a unique opportunity for legitimate foreclosure investors and companies to fill this void by educating foreclosure victims on what can be done to stop foreclosure legally and effectively. Read more
During the height of Las Vegas’s real-estate boom two years ago, property investor Rob Rozzen bought 16 homes, hoping that skyrocketing prices would pump up his retirement nest egg.
Now, Mr. Rozzen says he is considering filing for bankruptcy protection. As the housing market slowed, the 40-year-old was unable to sell the homes, and his full-time job as a real-estate agent was no longer able to support mortgage payments totaling $45,000 a month. So one by one, over the past 14 months, Mr. Rozzen has stopped making payments on his investment properties, for which he paid between $226,000 and $390,000, and lenders have foreclosed. Read more
This article posted on the Real Estate Journal today talked about how the real estate slump could continue for a while.
The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts the housing recession will last until the end of the third quarter next year. And if confidence isn’t restored in the credit markets, the wait could extend until 2009, the group’s chief economist said.
In the meantime, the slowdown in housing has become a primary cause in the slowing of the national economy, said Doug Duncan, chief economist of the group.
“Tough times,” he said, after sharing the group’s loan production estimates during a briefing with reporters on Tuesday. Tough times indeed.
On Wednesday morning, Duncan is scheduled to deliver the MBA’s economic forecast to its members at the group’s annual convention. The forecast calls for home sales to bottom out in the third quarter of next year and for housing starts to hit their bottom slightly earlier, in the second quarter.
Existing-home sales for 2007 will total 5.72 million units, a 12% decline over 2006 sales, he said. Sales will decline another 10% in 2008, before picking up by 5% in 2009. Read more
If you’re like me, you’re trying to figure out the best way to take advantage of the high inventory real estate foreclosure market but you’re a little cautious. You’ve got some cash sitting in your bank account earning a respectable 5% interest but you’d really like to buy some property. The only problem is you don’t know how much worse this market is going to get or when it’s going to recover. So what do you do?
One alternative is joining an online lending community where people can borrow and lend money essentially bypassing the banks thus getting better rates. You’d be the lender and sites like Prosper.com (aff) and Lendingclub.com would help you build diversified portfolios based on lender preferences. They speak of returns anywhere from 9% to 14% all depending on the amount of risk you decide to take. Here’s an example (aff) of how it works. Lendingclub also has a blog which has some good financial articles.
I think it’s a pretty good idea if you’re looking for a higher return and want a place to park your money until the real estate market settles down. I have signed up for a prosper.com account and started browsing the borrowers but have not yet loaned any money out. If you’ve used either one of these sites before, please let me know how it’s worked out for you.
The front page of Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle brought more bad news on foreclosures. The article titled “Neighborhoods Crumble in Wave of Foreclosures” talked about how Antioch has 23 foreclosures for every 1,000 homes and specifically how Catanzaro Way has had more than 30 percent of their homes foreclosed upon.
The foreclosure rate in Antioch is seven times that of the region as a whole and nearly 1,000 percent higher than it was a year ago. They now have twice the bank repossession rate of greater Stockton, an area often cited as the No. 1 foreclosure spot in California. Read more
A few weeks ago I received an email from a gentleman by the name of John. He seems to be a bright guy around my age and was looking for some advice on how to invest in real estate with $50,000. He wanted to get involved with flipping houses and already had one successful flip with a net gain of $55,000.
I love getting these sort of emails and thought I’d share our conversation with you since he’s not the only one looking to do this. Here’s his email to me: Read more
Anyone can buy real estate with no money down. All you have to do is offer a high enough price and make sure the seller gets some cash at closing (but not yours). Do that and someone will say yes to your offer. The problem, of course, is that just getting real estate without spending your own cash isn’t all you want. You also want a deal that makes sense.
This tends to be glossed over by many who promote zero-down ways to buy real estate. If you are buying a home for yourself, so what if you get in with nothing down. You also want to be sure that it makes more sense than the alternatives (renting, waiting, lease-option, etc.). If you are investing in real estate, you want a property that will have cash flow or can be sold for a profit. With those criteria in mind, here are a few ways to do it without your own money. Read more
Blogging is rapidly developing into a tool whose purpose is to establish an online presence, improve visibility, build a sense of community, maintain an open dialogue for clients and prospects, and offer valuable information — all of which is accomplished in an unfiltered direct way.
Just by those reasons alone, blogging has a huge potential for real estate agents. What strikes me odd is the fact that most real estate agents or real estate websites I’ve visited don’t have a blog and are losing out on such a powerful median. A blog should definitely be added to their real estate marketing mix. Read more
A smart investor’s earning potential is really high, as a Real Estate property only appreciates with the passage of time. With the booming Real Estate markets, the youngsters have actually started looking at Real Estate investments as great options to secure their future. There is nothing wiser than buying a flat at a young age, when your liabilities are low, and then selling it at peak at double its purchase price. To reap benefits, you need to however sow smart. As in, there is a lot of groundwork involved in finalizing a property and investing in it.
You need to study the Real Estate market well before finalizing the property in which you want to invest. The key areas where you should focus are: condition of the house, locality in which the house is located, prevailing rentals in that particular area, infrastructure of the area in terms of availability of recreational, health, and transport facilities in the area. Resale value of a house located in a developed area is huge; hence, prefer buying a flat in a developed locality. Read more
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