Minnesota Real Estate Investors Association, Inc.

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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.


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Get Off Your Butt and go Buy a House.

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Laxy Butt“Get Off Your Butt and go Buy a House.”  This is a statement I had heard years ago from an old friend when I was complaining about being a broke struggling want to be investor, so I listened to her and did it. That was back in the late 90’s and it was a good ride for many years.  But the last few years have been tough on a lot of real estate investors, me included.  Many of us had to hunker down, retrench and then recover from our battle wounds.  The length of recover was/is directly proportional to the magnitude of your original symptoms.  Some people unfortunately didn’t have the financial or emotional strength to weather the storm which I completely understand as I was almost one of them.  But now it is time to look forward and plan for the future rather than having to deal with repercussions from the past. 

I understand that there will still be a few things we all need to deal with from the past few years as we move forward, but move forward we must, and this is the year to do it.  Even though last year was a relatively good year for real estate investing, it was still a tough year for many investors because of all the competition and the lack of inventory on the market.  I personally struggled finding rehabs as well.  Between my partner and me, we looked at over 400 properties, make close to 200 offers and only got one MLS offer accepted.  Looking back, off all the properties that we made offers on that sold, they were all in multiple offer situations.  Even though we had plenty of cash to buy and always offered quick closings without contingencies, we were always out bid with very similar offers.  Many of those other properties that didn’t sell are still on the market and still overpriced.  Read More...


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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...


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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...


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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...


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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...


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What is the Real Estate “Shadow Inventory”?

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You may have heard this term thrown around lately, but what the heck is it? Shadow Inventory is basically inventory that hasn’t made it to the market yet. There are several components to Shadow Inventory.

First of all, the banks are short staffed, so they can’t file NOD (Notice of Defaults) and complete the foreclosure process as fast as new borrowers are falling into default. The average borrower in foreclosure has been delinquent for 438 days before actually being evicted, up from 251 days in January 2008, according to LPS Applied Analytics. That is the first part to “Shadow Inventory”.

Secondly, a lot of lenders that are taking properties back through the foreclosure process are supposedly holding on to them through holding companies and not releasing them to the market. Their reasoning is actually a valid one. They are afraid that if they release too much inventory to soon, housing values could plummet. And I agree with that assumption, but I am one who prefers to rip the band aid off quickly. Read More...


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