Minnesota Real Estate Investors Association, Inc.

Minnesota Real Estate Investors Association, Inc.

Are we entering the 7th Inning of Home Price Declines?


I ran across this interview on Mortgage Daily News from Bloomberg with Whitney Tilson Author of "More Mortgage Meltdown" and I think he has hit the nail on the head with regards to the housing market and his predictions on the coming wave of foreclosures.

The interview is about 15 minutes long and it might take a while for the video to download, but it is worth a watch.

The Scoop on the $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit


As part of President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act the $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit gives first time buyers incentive to buy in an effort to increase demand and get a handle on the falling home prices. This provides investors with another means of getting buyers to buy, which is something we all should take advantage of. The details and requirements are fairly straight forward:

  • The buyer must not have owned a home in the past three years
  • The new house must become the buyer’s primary residence for 3 years, if not, then you must pay back the $8,000
  • This credit will only apply if the buyer buys between January 1, 2009 and November 30, 2009.

The 2009 Credit is a true, money in the pocket deal. Those that bought a home under the 2008 version, which was basically an interest free loan to be paid back over the course of 15 years) cannot claim the 2009 credit.

The income qualifications hinge on the Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI)

Adjusted Gross Income is your total annual gross income less your standard deductions or if you itemize, then the deduction would be your total itemized deductions. Example, if you make $50,000 a year and you have $10,000 in itemized deduction then your AGI would be $40,000.

For single tax payers the breakdown is as followed in terms of MAGI:

  • Full Credit - x < $75,000
  • Partial Credit - $75,000 < x < $95,000 – Partial Credit<

Foreclosures: A $10M lifeline from the McKnight Foundation


According to the Star Tribune the Twin Cities area and rural Minnesota will be capitalized with twin $5 million loans from the McKnight Foundation for Foreclosure areas.

See the Star Tribune article here

These are the type of stimulus incentives that the economy needs to recover and it couldn’t have come at a better time. All indications in the Twin Cities are that we are seeing the bottom of the market in many area’s for. We have been making many offers on bank REO’s at full price in multiple offer situations and we have not been winning. The cost of poker is going up…

FREE Bandit / Street Signs


It’s that time of year again, when we get the itch to put out Bandit/Street Signs. Why do we get the itch, because of the rush we get from a higher that usually volume of calls from motivated sellers. For many investors, including myself, Bandit/Street signs are the best source of leads and one of the primary forms of marketing that we use to get motivated sellers to call us.

Many beginning investors either don’t believe this or think that Bandit Signs are too expensive. Finally I can help take that fear away. I just found a new source for Bandit Signs with some of the best prices I have seen and right now they are giving away FREE Bandit Signs to new customers so you can give them a try. The only thing they are charging is the shipping. Give them a try at:  www.FreeBanditSigns.com/111

Elimination of Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID)


Just when things are looking like they are settling down, the great DFL of Minnesota is at it again. Today, the MN House of Rep. Tax Committee released a "delete all amendment" to HF2323.

Items of note:

  1. Eliminate Mortgage Interest Deduction
    • Replaced with a maximum $420 credit
  2. Eliminate Property Tax Deduction

Here is a short video with Christopher Galler from the Minnesota Association of REALTORS explaining this.

Contact your Representative (if you live in Minnesota) and urge them to Vote NO on HF2323.

Estimating Repairs


Most newbie investors are scared of making offers because they are not sure of the repair costs. This is completely understandable if you did not come from a construction background. I would venture to say that if most newbie investors were comfortable with repair estimates, then they would be way more comfortable making offers.

There is a way to quickly estimate repairs if you break the repair cost down into major components vs. miscellaneous items. Here is a list of what I consider Major Components:

  • Roof
  • Windows & Doors
  • Paint Exterior
  • Paint Interior
  • Carpet / Flooring
  • Kitchen
  • Baths
  • Electrical
  • Central Heat / AC
  • Plumbing

  •

Foreclosure Actions are back on the rise


This winter and spring saw a major decline on the number of foreclosure actions due to moratoriums on foreclosures and the fact that many lenders wanted to wait and see what the Obama Housing plan would do. February had the lowest level of NOD (Notice of Default) filings since 2007, but March saw a huge increase of NOD filings.

Here is a short clip from CNBC provided by Mortgage News Daily about the record number of NOD’s in California.

Foreclosures by major banks are surging once again even as the Obama mortgage rescue plan kicks into gear, reports CNBC's Diana Olick.

Tax Day Tea Parties


Tax Day Tea Party Tomorrow is the BIG DAY. There will be Tax Day Tea Parties all around the country. Will you be there? If you are like me and agree that government spending has gone completely out of control with no oversight and you don’t like the thought of your children’s grand children paying for this governments spending, then you will be there.

April 15th is the one time a year when most people actually look at what they pay in taxes annually. While I am not against taxes in general, I am against taxation without representation, just like our fore fathers were. It has been over 200 years since the original Boston Tea Party in 1773.

President Obama even said that it was the government’s job to spend money because we the people are not and can’t afford to spend money. Then the question begs to be asked. “If we can’t afford to spend the money, then how are we going to be able to spend the money”?

Tax Day Tea Party Maybe it i

Are Banks Responsible for the Housing Prices Declining?


Some might blame the banks for the prices of houses declining, and I would agree to a point. While the banks are not the only problem, or even the major problem, they are a contributing factor in today’s market. The entire problem is too complicated to explain in a single article or blog post, but I will do my best to spell out the banks part in this mess.

Last week I was contacted by Rick Kupchella from Kare 11 News about the relationship between Short Sales and foreclosures and how this is affecting the market. Here is the video that aired on Kare 11 Extra on 3/29/2009.

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Why are Banks so Slow to Respond to Short Sale Offers?


This is a question that has crossed many people’s minds lately. There is no question about the fact that the banks are taking forever to respond to short sale offers. In fact, many times, the property goes to foreclosure and/or the buyers walk from their offer before the lenders respond to the original short sale offer. This has caused a lot of good properties to go through the entire foreclosure process and make it back on the market as a Bank Owned REO. These properties now sell for as much as half of what the original short sale offer that was submitted months before could have generated for the bank.

This has caused a lot of people to ask why? And Rick Kupchella from Kare 11 news was the next person on a long list of people who are asking why. Rick Kupchella contacted me last week to see if I had an answer and all I could give him was explanations as to what is going on with the lenders, but even I cannot answer the ultimate question of why the banks would rather take a property back rather than accept a short sale.

Watch the TV segment that aired 2 weeks ago from Rick Kupchella
Extra: Banks slow to respond to homeowners in trouble

On Friday, I spent half the day with Rick Kupchella from KARE 11 News talking about foreclosures and short sales. The segment is slated to air Sunday night March 29, 2009 on the 10pm news.

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