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Real Estate Investors: Tips for Spotting Investment Scams

Posted on June 16, 2010 by IC N in Residential

Most real estate investors are professional women and men who spend their days buying and selling properties. With the influx of foreclosure homes, many scam artists have emerged offering to help homeowners avoid foreclosure by obtaining loan modifications or short sale approval.

Unethical real estate investors can be compared to vultures seeking out their prey. They roost at courthouses and lurk for bankruptcy and foreclosure notices. Public records provide plenty of personal information which these scavengers use as a way to enter your domain. They appear to be harbingers offering relief to those desperate to escape their financial train wreck.

Some investors prey on naïve individuals who want to learn the trade. They promise to share their investment strategies and teach you how to buy a house with no-money down. They entice you

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Confusion Among Investors! Is The Phoenix Market UP or Down?

Posted on June 29, 2009 by IC N in Residential

Up or Down Housing Market




If you’ve been following the real estate news as reported in the Arizona Republic, you are likely very confused by now. For example:

  • June 12 – “The Investors are Back” and “More foreclosures likely in county”
  • June 21 – “More signs housing market is gaining”
  • June 23 – “A building storm: 45,000-plus properties remain in the foreclosure pipeline”

I’ll offer a few insights of my own based on news reports, experts like Alan Langston (head of the Arizona Real Estate Investors Association, AZREIA ), statistical sources such as the Cromford Reports (see links below) and property management firms. I filter this data against what I observe daily in my central Phoenix area-of-expertise and against what I learn from networking with investors and Realtors active in the Valley.

Key highlights:

  • The low end of the market has definitely hit the bottom. For a while, viable rental properties for under $80k were plentiful and the best were easy to pick up. Banks are still offering properties in this price range, but the best ones are being bid up by multiple buyers. In one case, the bank was picking from offers TWICE the list price!
  • REO inventory has dropped dramatically. In most areas of the Valley, REO sales account for 60% to 90% of the transactions. What is shocking is that the number of real estate transactions closing today is higher than it was during the boom years! These REO properties are being picked up in high volume by first-time home buyers and investors – both looking for bargains.
  • Rents are declining. Valley apartments report record high vacancies and we are starting to see the effects role over to the single-family rental market.
  • The foreclosure pipeline is still bursting with inventory. The banks are not issuing Notices of Default when they could and are slow at moving properties to auction.

So, what do these tidbits of information mean for the investor? Have I missed my investment window of opportunity? Will I be able to find tenants for my investment properties?

Banks aren’t reselling many foreclosed homes

Posted on May 7, 2009 by IC N in Residential

Original Post : Carolyn Said, San Fransisco Chronicle Staff Writer

A vast “shadow inventory” of foreclosed homes that banks are holding off the market could wreak havoc with the already battered real estate sector, industry observers say.

Lenders nationwide are sitting on hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes that they have not resold or listed for sale, according to numerous data sources. And foreclosures, which banks unload at fire-sale prices, are a major factor driving home values down.

“We believe there are in the neighborhood of 600,000 properties nationwide that banks have repossessed but not put on the market,” said Rick Sharga, vice president of RealtyTrac, which compiles nationwide statistics on foreclosures. “California probably represents 80,000 of those homes. It could be disastrous if the banks suddenly flooded the market with those distressed properties. You’d have further depreciation and carnage.”

In a recent study, RealtyTrac compared its database of bank-repossessed homes to MLS listings of for-sale homes in four states, including California. It found a significant disparity – only 30 percent of the foreclosures were listed for sale in the Multiple Listing Service. The remainder is known in the industry as “shadow inventory.”

“There is a real danger that there is much more (foreclosure) inventory than we are measuring,” said Celia Chen, director of housing economics at Moody’s Economy.com in Pennsylvania. “Eventually those homes will have to be dealt with. If they’re all put on the market, that will add more inventory to an already bloated market and drive down home prices even more.”

More than one-third locally

In the Bay Area, a Chronicle analysis of data from San Diego’s MDA DataQuick shows that more than one-third of foreclosures are in shadow territory – that is, they are not registering in county records as having been resold.

For the 26 months from January 2007 through February 2009, banks repossessed 51,602 homes and condos in the nine-county Bay Area, according to DataQuick. Yet in the same period, only 30,823 foreclosures were resold, leaving about 20,000 bank repos unaccounted for.

Turnaround usually quick

Realtors say foreclosures generally go on the market a month or two after the bank takes title and then sell fairly quickly, often getting an accepted offer within a week or two of being listed and then closing escrow within 30 days. That means that foreclosures should register as being resold within three months.

But taking the foreclosures in any given month or selection of months and looking at what happened three months later also reveals a big gap between what banks took back and what they resold.

Tom Kelly, a spokesman for banking giant Chase in Chicago, said the bank sells foreclosed homes in a timely fashion.

“We try not to be in the business of owning homes,” he said. “Our goal is to get them back on the market as quickly as possible. We want to maximize what we sell them for and yet do it quickly.”

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House OKs Rescue for Homeowners, Freddie, Fannie

Posted on March 27, 2009 by IC N in Residential
Associate PressPlusHouse OKs Rescue for Homeowners, Freddie, FannieHouse
OKs Rescue for Homeowners, Freddie, FannieThe Associated
PressRescue legislation sailed through the House Wednesday
aimed at helping 400,000 strapped homeowners avoid foreclosure and
to prevent troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from collapsing.
(July 23)Video: pix of foreclosed home Track: The bill throws a lifeline
to hundreds of thousands of homeowners caught in the credit crunch:
B/C THE PAYMENT RIGHT NOW IS TOO HIGH. ” Video: pix of Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac Track: It also provides a financial safety net to mortgage
giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in hopes of restoring confidence in them:
SOT: Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif. 12:19 p.m. This bill is about
stabilizing this economy and we cannot afford to have the largest two semi-government
agencies unprotected.(:11) Video: more pix of foreclosed homes Track:
Helping the mortgage giants trumped the president’s opposition to almost
four billion dollars so communities can buy and fix up foreclosed properties.