Minnesota Real Estate Investors Association, Inc.


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...


Big Banks Sued for Making Risky Loans

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On Friday September 2, 2011, the federal government sued 17 big banks for selling mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac after those securities turned toxic.  This is just another example of the underling disease infecting this country.

 

In the 90’s, the federal government was pushing banks to make it more affordable to first-time home buyers and lower income families to qualify for a mortgage to promote their American Dream agenda of everyone in America owning a home.  At first the banks pushed back and said this was a bad idea, because a good percentage of the borrowers would never be able to pay the loans back.

 

The federal government, in their infinite wisdom created legislation that would penalize the banks if they did not.  So the banks complied and the markets roared.  Now everyone with a pulse could get a mortgage.  That is what the federal government wanted and the economy exploded. Read More...


FHA extends Anti-Flipping Rule Waiver through the end of 2011

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I wrote about the Anti-Flipping Rule Waiver just over a year ago and at that time I predicted that it would get extended: Flipping-is-Legal-Again.

Three days before the expiration of the original waiver, they extended the Anti-Flipping Rule Waiver till the end of this year, December 31, 2011. This is good news for everyone because the real estate market needs investors right now to help clean up the foreclosure mess.

Wholesalers can do what they do best, find and negotiate good deals on rundown REO properties. Rehabbers can do what they do best, quickly rehab the properties and bring them back up to code. And first time home buyers can get into a home at a good price that is completely rehabbed and ready to move in without having to worry about painting, fixing a leaky faucet, replacing the carpet or any other cosmetic improvements that they can not afford to do or don’t have the time for right now.


How To Get More Offers Accepted

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Have you been making offers on REO’s only to get frustrated that none of your offers are getting accepted? I feel your pain and frustration. This is something that I have also been struggling with.

So why are our all of our offers getting rejected at such a high rate? There are a few reasons that I can think of. First of all, the banks have received so much federal bailout money that they are not hurting as much as one would think; therefore they are not pressured to liquidate their inventory fast. In fact a lot of their inventory never even makes it to the market, but rather quietly slides into the “Shadow Inventory” category.

Secondly, we have been competing with first time home buyers who are looking for a deal and beginning investors who are looking for rentals and plan on doing a light rehab rather than a full blown rehab, which enables them to offer less than most of us do. But don’t feel bad, the dirty truth about a lot of these investors is that their inexperience causes them to get hurt financially in the long run. I get calls from these types of investors all the time asking me how to get out of trouble with these properties. Unfortunately the only thing I can tell them is that they have no choice now but to hold on to the property for the long run and hope that the market value increases to recover their losses. I have even had two recently that came to me for help after they out bid me on the same property. Opps...  Read More...


Repair Estimate Worksheet

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It has been a couple of months since I have been able to post anything on the blog. I have been rather busy lately as we have made a lot of changes around the office, and I was working on a new project that I finished just before the holidays. Hopefully I will be able to post more frequently now that things are starting to settle down a little bit again.

In December at out Monthly MnREIA Meeting, we had a great panel of REO agents. And we had one of our largest attendances in a long time, we usually have between 125-160 people at all our meetings, but December brought in 181 for the REO Panel. If you missed the meeting, the audio archive is available for MnREIA Members at www.MnREIA.com/Events.aspx?ID=REO-Agents-Panel-10-12-7-2010.

The biggest project I have been working on though is a Rehab Estimate Worksheet. The worksheet is designed to allow anyone, regardless of your level of experience to easily and quickly determine the estimated cost of a rehab for a property. First you have to setup some default costs/factors, which will be easy enough to determine the defaults, because it shows you the state/local and national averages, and with one click of a button, you can set your defaults to either the local or national average defaults. You can then come back and adjust each individual item as time goes on and you get a better feel for your own individual costs/factors.  Read More...


Top 5 Reasons Why Real Estate Investors Need Local SEO!

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You’ve heard about SEO, but have you heard about Local SEO?  It’s not your fault if you haven’t, but if you don’t take this moment to begin building your knowledge of Local SEO you will only have yourself to blame.  This is where your attention should be if reason #1 has any meaning to you whatsoever... this is what you need.

#1 - LOCAL SEO IS THE REAL ESTATE INVESTOR'S DIRECT PATH TO THE FRONT PAGE OF GOOGLE!

Over the past year you may have noticed that a peculiar little box providing a map and local results are popping up more and more for real estate related terms.  It is most commonly referred to as “The 10-Box” and as you have probably noticed… this “10-Box” displays local results prominently on the first page of Google’s search results!

Below is an example of the first page of search results where we can identify 3 distinct areas when doing a search for the term “home buyers.” 

Google's Front Page Search Result Guide Read More...


Should there be a Moratorium on Foreclosures?

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The new headlines catch phase is “Robo Signer”. These robo signers have been signing foreclosure documents at a rate of up to 1 document per minute. That’s 5,000 – 10,000 per month. Everyone knows that it is not physically possible for these robo signers to have read every document. That is the reason everyone is calling for a moratorium on foreclosures. Or is it?

If everyone was upset with the fact that these robo signers were not reading all the documents, then why wasn’t everyone upset that congress has passed health care and over a trillion dollars in stimulus programs while all along admitting that no one could possible read all of it before voting on it. So ask yourself, are they really upset that the robo signers didn’t read the documents. If you are honest with yourself, then the answer would have to be no.

So what is the real reason everyone wants a moratorium on foreclosures. Politics… In 3 weeks there is a major midterm election and this could be one of the most historic elections in our country. The politicians on both sides of the isle are looking for something to blame and point fingers at to make themselves look like they care and that all our problems are the banks.  Read More...


A record number of US homeowners lost houses to their banks in August...

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Over the last few years we’ve been predicting records were going to be broken for years to come and that it would be a uniquely incredible environment for real estate investors. Today RealtyTrac issued a press release for the month of August that illustrates the fulfillment of this prediction in no uncertain terms.

Here are the key numbers to note:

  • In August, 1 in 381 housing units received a foreclosure filing.
  • RealtyTrac has seen 1.2 million repossessions so far in 2010.
  • Before the housing bubble burst, in 2005 only 100,000 houses became REO’s.
  • 95,364 property foreclosures in August, a historic record.
  • An increase of 25% since the start of the 2010.
  • In August, 96,469 homeowners receive a notice of default.
  • 1% decline in the number of NOD’s filed in July.
  • A 30% decline since August 2009 after a peak of 142,064 NOD’s issued in April 2009.

For a complete list of notable numbers you’ll find them all just above the comment section. Our initial prediction was that with the drastic turn in the economy. This would create a flood of opportunity for real estate investors based on the sheer volume of properties vulnerable to a declining economy.  Read More...


Land Trusts… The Real Estate Investors Best Friend!

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I know you have heard about Land Trusts and you know that you should be using them. But I know you and you haven’t gotten around to using them yet. You believe that Land Trusts are too complicated and you just haven’t had time to learn and completely understand them, but you will get around to it one of these days.

Trusts have been around for centuries and there are tools that the rich use regularly to protect their assets. Land Trusts are a very special type of Trust that was created to protect your real estate investments, whether you are a landlord who holds real estate for the long term or a wholesaler flipper who only owns the property for 5 minutes.

There are several reasons why people use Land Trusts, but the most important one to me is the Privacy. No one knows what I currently own or what I have owned in the past and that is comforting to me to know that no one will ever be able to find all my assets if they get the bug to sue me for any frivolous reasons.  Read More...


Mortgage Aid for the Unemployed...

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Let me start out by saying that I generally try and stay away from political comments. I prefer to stay on topic and discuss the facts, but this time I have no choice but to comment on politics. This latest round of political games has my blood boiling and I can’t hold back any longer.

Congress just passed another $1 billion dollar emergency homeowners relief fund. You can read all about it on MarketWatch, here is the link: www.marketwatch.com.

Were shall I start?

I guess I will start out with the phrase “emergency homeowners relief”. Emergency, really??? The emergency was almost two years ago when they pasted the TARP funds to help, if you remember, homeowners and bail out the banks and financial institutions, but once the TARP funds were approved by congress, they decided it would be better to just buy stocks in the companies they chose to keep solvent. It didn’t seem to be that much of an emergency to congress in 2008, otherwise they would have spent that money on what they told us was the reason in the first place to pass the TARP funds. I think the only reason it is an emergency right now, is because the midterm elections are in 4 months.

So now that we understand the congressional definition of an “Emergency” we can then start to talk about the facts. They are as follows:   Read More...