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Estimating Repairs

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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
  • Foundation / Basement
  • Garages
  • Steps / Decks
  • Dumpsters / Cleanout

Estimating Repairs for Rehabs and Wholesaling Read More...


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Foreclosure Actions are back on the rise

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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.


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Tax Day Tea Parties

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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 is just me, but it seems that since we can’t afford to spend the money right now, that maybe we should try and get our financials back in good shape so that we can start spending money ASAP. I also thought that spending money that we don’t have is what got us into this mess in the first place. Read More...


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Are Banks Responsible for the Housing Prices Declining?

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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.

Extra: Banks moving slow on home sales Read More...


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

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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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The Foreclosure Process

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At the February 2009 MnREIA (Minnesota Real Estate Investors Association) Monthly Meeting, I did an explanation of the Foreclosure Process for Minnesota. We got such good feed back about the presentation that I decided to record the explanation and post it on YouTube.

There are 6 short videos totaling about 33 minutes. Here is a link to the play list were you can watch each video play automatically one after another.
The Foreclosure Process - Play all 6 Video's


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The Real Estate Market is Getting Stronger by the Day

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Inventory is declining, pending sales are goin up and interest rates are going down. These are all good things. Lender mitigated sales are increasing as buyers flock to the market to purchase good deals. The housing affordability index is at a whopping 239%. Things couldn’t be better.

Watch a short clip from the Minneapolis Association of Realtors about the current market conditions.


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Stimulus Watch, by State

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Ever wonder were all that money is going from the stimulus bill that congress passed without even ready what was in the bill? I have, and thanks to a colleague of mine who just sent me a link to a very cool website, we can now start tracking were the money is going.

Stimulus Watch

Stimulus Watch is a website setup by many talented programmers that got together to create a website that compiles all the information about projects across the country that’s getting their funding directly from the stimulus bill. Simple got to Stimulus Watch and select your state.


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Real Estate Downfall Parody

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You have to see this YouTube Clip:

The Housing Bubble bursts on a speculator. Parody using a clip with Hitler as the real estate investor. He bought a house to flip, faces foreclosure, and now wants to get bailed out.

Parody Fair Use of clip. See:
www.publaw.com/parody.html

Laughter is the best cure for the blues and I know a lot of us can use a good dose of laughter these days. Hope you enjoyed this one.


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$8,000 Tax Credit for First Time Home Buyers

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If you have a house for sale, or are planning on selling one, then you need to know about the first time home buyers tax credit for 2009. This tax credit will give first time home buyers upto an $8,000 tax credit this year if they purchase a house by December 31, 2009.

IRS - First-Time Homebuyer Credit

This year, qualifying taxpayers who buy a home before Dec. 1, 2009, can claim the credit on either their 2008 or 2009 tax returns. They do not have to repay the credit, provided the home remains their main home for 36 months after the purchase date. They can claim 10 percent of the purchase price up to $8,000, or $4,000 for married individuals filing separately. http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204671,00.html

This credit does not have to be paid back like the $7,500 tax credit/loan issued in 2008 as long as the buyers remain in the property as thier primary residence for at least 36 months (3 years).


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