Minnesota Real Estate Investors Association, Inc.

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KISS Your Way to Riches

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Something peeked your interest in Real Estate. Maybe it was the Flip this house, or Flipping Vegas or any other the other 100 reality TV shows that have nothing to do with reality but makes for entertaining TV.  Maybe it was a radio ad from some national guru looking to build their business in your market and they want you to join their team.  Maybe it was an ad on Facebook telling you that it is so simple to make $30k a month without even getting out of bed.  Maybe it was a friend that really did flip properties or a relative that owned several rental properties.

Whatever the reason is that you decided to give Real Estate investing a try, you soon realized that there is a lot to know and the Real Estate business can seem overwhelming when you are first starting out.  I know because I felt that way in the beginning and now I mentor students through the minutia all the time.

In one of my early mentoring sessions with my mentor, he said something to me that I just laughed at, at the time but later realized how profound that statement was that he repeated to me over and over until I finally got it.

He said; if you want to get to where I am, you need to KISS your way to Riches.  Keep It Simple Stupid. Read More...



Multiple Offers Strategies

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When it comes to making offers, most investors only know how to make one offer at a time.  They usually make an all cash offer, also known as the MAO (Maximum Allowable Offer) or they get a loan from a bank, hard money lender or a private investor.  This strategy has worked fine for investors and if you are only making offers on bank REOs on through the MLS, then a cash/MAO offer is really all you will be able to make.

The average number offers to get one accepted with this approach is 20-40 offers to get one accepted in today’s market for most of the country.  Some more experienced investors have been able to reduce that number down to about 5-10 offers to one acceptance by being very selective on what properties to make offers on.  In other words, they know from experience that certain properties from certain banks or listing agents simply will not accept their offers so they don’t even make the offers. 

The secret to success in the Real Estate business is making offers.  The problem is that most investors use the same offer process when dealing with sellers directly and they are missing some huge opportunities if they just knew how to create alternative offers that don’t require cashing out the seller.

Ask yourself these two questions: Read More...


What is Wholesaling?

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There is a lot of confusion out there with newbies and some seasoned investors as to what exactly Wholesaling means.  The easiest way to describe this is to look at the Minnesota State Statue: 82 Real Estate SALES REGULATIONS Sub 55 Definitions. Condensed Version: You cannot sell a property for another for a fee without a Real Estate license.  So the question is, as a wholesaler, what are you selling?  If you have a property under contract, you can sell your rights to the contract, not the property.  This is done via an assignment agreement which allows the assignee to step into your place as the buyer.  That is the basics of wholesaling. 

Some states actively go after Real Estate investors for incorrectly wholesaling.  These investors get themselves into trouble because they can’t explain legally what they are doing and therefore say the wrong things, like I am trying to find a buyer for the seller.  That shows intent, and as the previous FBI Director James Comey famously explained, it comes down to intent.

The problem is that your true intentions may not reflect your stated intentions because you don’t understand the legality of what you are doing.  If you just change what you are saying, to reflect your true intentions, then you will avoid a lot of aggravation and harassment from the state. Read More...


Is there Another Crash Coming?

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The simple answer is yes of course there is.  There have always been buildups, crashes and recoveries.  That is just the way things work.  The real questions are when is the next big crash coming, what you do about it and how do you prepare for it.

I know people are freaking out right now, but staying informed and objective at this point will help keep your sanity. 

As I am writing this, an email thread from my Lifeonaire Titanium group started circling about just this exact same topic.  Some of them are taking advantage of the current market conditions because they have a great marketing machine running that is supplying them with good deals and because of the lack of inventory, they are making higher profits than they would have in a normal market.  Others are starting to panic and preparing for dooms day.

Here is my quick response to them:

Everything we are seeing right now is equivalent to 2003-2005 before the big crash in 2008.  While there are similarities to that time frame, there are also huge differences.  As Steve stated, there are no NINJA loans right now.  But they may be coming back.  Lack of inventory was not the driving force back in 2003-2005.  NINJA loans and other no qualifying loans were the main driving force. 

My short version is this:
If you look at the historical price index from case shiller which is adjusted from inflation, we are not seeing the same price increases as we did the last time.  Below is a screen shot of my local market that I just did for our meeting last week.  As you will see, we are at a 3% appreciation over the last 27 years.  Historically right were we should be.  The big thing to keep an eye on right now is how the lack of inventory affects the markets. Read More...



What’s Holding You Back?

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We live in uncertain times.  After the mortgage meltdown and the almost collapse of the financial industry, the Real Estate market has been going through several ups and downs.  The median sales price in my area went from its peak of $238,000 in June 2006 to a low of $138,500 in February 2012, back up to $210,000 in June of 2013 and we are on our way back down, currently sitting at $179,850 for January 2014.

There have been some wild swings in the past few years and the people that understand that and have kept a close eye on the trends, and have not been afraid of the market have made a lot of money the past few years.  However, I have seen most people sitting on the fence and haven’t done anything.  I can understand the feeling of uncertainty and being afraid to make a mistake, but let’s face it, if you’re afraid to make a mistake, you will never make it big.

You’re probably thinking right now “That’s easy for you to say Mike; you’ve been at this for a long time and have more experience than I do”.  While for many of you, that may be true, however, for your info, I have probably made more mistakes than most of you ever will, and I am still making mistakes.  But that is not holding me back.

That is one of the most common traits I see from those who are successful, even in this wild and uncertain market.  They are not afraid to make a mistake, and often do, but they don’t let that hold them back.

Everyone wants to minimize their risk of making a mistake and losing money or damaging their credit, myself included.  However, I see way to many people with paralysis of analysis and never do anything.  So what’s holding you back?  Read More...


Can You Survive Dodd-Frank?

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Over the past, the most common question I have heard is “what are you going to do about the Dodd-Frank Act”?  And my common responses have been, “not worry about it” or “understand it and work around it”.  So what is your response, and will you survive not that the dastardly bill that is now in full affect?

Many people are worried that this new law that has been in effect since January 10, 2014 will put them out of business.  There are many new regulations pertaining to lending and one segment in particular that affects investors the most, especially in the coming years with our current economic situation and that is seller financing.  People are worried that these new regulations will have a dramatic impact on our business, and I have heard several people predict that parts or all of the Dodd-Frank law will be repealed.

I don’t put a lot of faith in congress repealing anything these days.  Look at Affordable Health Care for instance; does it look like that will be repealed?  No, so why would you expect the Dodd-Frank Act to be any different?  The Dodd-Frank Act was a response to the sub-prime mortgage meltdown crisis to put the blame on a segment of the economy that was politically acceptable and to repeal it now would be an admission to that fact.  In an attempt not to offend certain political ideologies here, I will not get into the cause of the sub-prime mortgage meltdown crisis, or the political reasons for appealing the Dodd-Frank Act, but I will explain what it means to us as investors.

Here is the simple break down, as I understand it. Read More...



How Sensitive is the Market to Interest Rates?

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This spring the market was chugging along just fine.  Then a 30 year fixed rate loan increased to just under 5% and the market came to a crashing halt. During the months of August and September, one of our largest local lenders saw a 72% decline in new and refinance mortgage applications and retail, renovated properties seemed to just sit there if they were priced a little high. 

Interested rates dropped by a mere half percent and houses that were sitting there started selling again and mortgagee applications returned to the same levels as they were in June and July.

I am assuming that the Feds will keep rates low for the foreseeable future because the economy is still too fragile, as evidence by less than a 1% rate increase in the Real Estate market.


Shadow Inventory and the Hedge Funds

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Ok, so it’s been a while since I have been able to post any updates to the blog.  This spring we were busy buying, selling and rehabbing houses.  Plus I spent a lot of time building and improving our website and member management and event registrations system call PROS – Professional REIA Operating System for REIA’s (Real Estate Investors Association).  And now we are spending our time creating new marketing campaigns and chasing down anything that might smell like a lead.

So what’s going on in the markets right now?  There are several issues we are dealing with lately.  Most recently, Interest rates have started to climb and there is a huge lack of inventory.  The lack of inventory can be explained by the rise of hedge funds buying billions of dollars worth of inventory directly off the market and from the banks, pulling most of the Shadow Inventory, out of the shadows. 

That is one of the primary reasons for the lack of inventory, but not the only one.  The banks stopped filing foreclosures, or at least slowed way down last year to deal with other issues, including packaging up shadow inventory for the hedge funds.  The banks are back on track now, but all that inventory that would have been hitting the market right now, is just now going through the foreclosure process and is expected to hit the markets later this year.

I have been hearing from fairly reliable sources, that the amount of expected foreclosures over the next few years is equal to the amount of foreclosures that have already happened over the past few years.  It should be an interesting next few years.


The New 3.8% Tax on Real Estate for Obama Care

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TaxesBeginning on January 1, 2013, a new Real Estate capital gains tax will take effect to pay for Obama Care. When Obama Care was passed back on March 23, 2010, one of the funding measures was to take from Medicare.

“Bet you didn’t know that, did you?”

So how are they going to recover those costs for Medicare that they stole for Obama Care? Simply increase taxes on Real Estate and other interest and dividends. This new 3.8% tax is expected to raise $210 billion over the next 10 years.

The new 3.8% Tax Rate applies to:

  • Individuals with adjusted gross income (AGI) above $200,000
  • Couples filing a joint return with more than $250,000 AGI

Types of Income:

  • • Interest, dividends, rents (less expenses), capital gains (less capital losses)

The new tax applies to the LESSER of:

  • Investment income amount
  • Excess of AGI over the $200,000 or $250,000 amount Read More...

Meet your New Landlord… The Banks

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We knew this was coming, just a couple of weeks ago, BoA (Bank of America) sent out a letter to 1,000 customers who are currently in default offering them the option to rent the property back from BoA at fair market rent if they simply deed the property back to BoA in lieu of a foreclosure. This will only add to the currently unknown number of properties in the Shadow Inventory.

On Thursday April 5, 2012 the Federal Reserve issued a policy statement on the rental of REO’s.

  Quotaion Mark The general policy of the Federal Reserve is that banking organizations should make good-faith efforts to dispose of OREO properties at the earliest practicable date. Consistent with this policy, in light of the extraordinary market conditions that currently prevail, banking organizations may rent residential OREO properties (within statutory and regulatory holding period limits) without having to demonstrate continuous active marketing of the property, provided that suitable policies and procedures are followed. Under these conditions and circumstances, banking organizations would not contravene supervisory expectations that they show “good-faith efforts” to dispose of OREO by renting the property within the applicable holding period. Moreover, to the extent that OREO rental properties meet the definition of community development under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations, they would receive favorable CRA consideration. In all respects, banking organizations that rent OREO properties are expected to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local statutes and regulations.

http://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/bcreg/bcreg20120405a1.pdf Read More...