Cheap, Bargain, Real Estate; Good Deals, Below Market, Low Priced properties are available if you know how to buy them. By Jody Hudson – Realtor since 1972. How to FIND and BUY: Cheap Bargain Real Estate, Good Deals, Below Market, Low Priced and Less Expensive; homes, lots, land, businesses, and condominiums. They are everywhere and easy to find. Here is how to find and buy them from anyone, anywhere. This article lays out the steps: How to find and buy a Bargain, A Good Deal, in real estate; that is; how to get it real cheap! Yes, there are ways! Nearly every call or e-mail that I get is asking me to find the buyer a bargain. We all feel that way when we are buying as well. All of us want a good deal. We all want to get cheap real estate. And we can all do it. There is a bit of a challenge however. Every single buyer that I’ve ever had in my thirty two years of selling real estate has wanted to sell the property they have for more than it is worth. Herein lays our challenge as Realtors — and of course for you as purchasers. To get those HOT deals in real estate there are at least three things you must do: 1. First of all as a buyer you must be able and willing to act faster than any other buyer. 2. Second you must be able to know a bargain when you see one. This takes experience and education in the specific market . Any assumptions made from other markets, about the subject-inteded market, will sentence you to certain failure… 3. Third you must BUY it. That is write a deposit check and write a contract that will win over the other contracts that may be presented at about the same time as yours. This group of three steps, sounds simple, but only about one buyer in each ten year period is willing to do these three things in order to get the cheap property they have asked us to find for them! I have several people, and so do most Realtors, that are the most; ready, willing and able and we call them first! If you want to be one of the ones called you must be MORE ready, willing and able! Recently, August 2002 the waterfront home next to ours was listed for sale for $249,000 and it was worth at the time about $350,000. Kate and I called each of our family members, our wonderful neighbors on the other side (one of whom is a local builder and the other a mortgage broker) and some of our best clients and a best friend of ours, a builder and investor, who had already said he liked the fine home. (Note that property is now worth about $800,000 Sept. 2004). We explained that the home was going on the market in a few hours and that they must act fast. Our neighbors on the other side, the most knowledgeable of the bunch wanted to make an offer of $180,000 saying they thought that was all the property was worth. They knew better or at least should have and they should have bought it. They just “hoped” they could get it for less and that they didn’t have to move fast. The offer they made was ignored and wasted our time. They did however get another property in a few days, for a lot more money, that was worth a lot less, as a result of improved alertness and awareness after losing the one next to us. Our savvy investor friend put in a couple of offers below the asking price with several contingencies. Meanwhile we are telling everyone to write a contract for full price with no contingencies and calling on both our phones as fast as we could call. None of our best friends or family would pay attention. They were ALL too greedy. They knew the property was far under-priced but wanted it for even less… Lesson: when it’s a good deal – ACT instead of getting more greedy and losing the deal totally. Then our lovely new neighbors came and saw the property. They also were knowledgeable about similar properties, and had lost several properties they liked by moving slow, writing unreasonable contracts and not paying attention to real values. This time they did it correctly. In fact they wrote a contract on the spot, with no contingencies, and for MORE than full price so that if anyone did offer full price they would still have the best chance. They paid $5,000 more than the full price on the spot, told the sellers they could have settlement any time they wanted it and before they even heard back from the sellers they arranged for a mortgage of MORE than they needed and asked for the money to be immediately available. They did not ask for a home inspection, a survey, or for the sellers to fix anything. The home is 30 years old and has not had one bit of maintenance. There was a burst hot water tank, a roof that needs replacing and a few HUGE cracks in the foundation. All these problems cost them about $15,000. They have, as I write this, owned the property for several months and worked on it every weekend, before they could take a break and enjoy it. They love it. If they were to fix all of the things that need fixing, paint the trim and freshen up the yard and landscaping; we could get $900,000 to $950,000 for this home for them in a few months on the market. And, city sewer will be here in a few years, at that point the property will instantly go up another $200,000 and all the people we called knew about the pending sewer too. The buyers didn’t find out about the sewer coming to town until after they had contracted to purchase the property. The sewer is still not in — WOW. They are glad they did the One, Two, Three to make it happen! By doing the three things listed above the purchasers of the home next to us have made the wisest purchasing decision thus far in their lives and have one of the best bargains that have been available in the last several years. The sellers are happy too as they just wanted to sell it as fast as they possibly could, due to a sudden and dangerous illness of one of the owners. I’m writing this article to serve you the reader. But you must know it is self serving as well. Much of our time as Real Estate Agents is spent trying to successfully educate our buyers and sellers. If they would take our advice they could be far, far, more successful in selling or buying. The articles I write here [http://www.kate-jody.com/essays/index.html] are those advices that I give my customers and clients – if they ask. Most don’t and when they do, very few take the advice. Just like in every other profession, we the professionals do what we can to help those who come to us but it’s up to them to take the advice. Bargain homes are always available – but hard to sell. They are homes that are in need of some repair or cosmetic improvement or that are in an area of transition. We have several on the market right now and they are hard to sell. Someone with vision will eventually purchase them, fix them up and perhaps sell them at a huge profit – often to someone who says they want a bargain but won’t do what it takes to get a bargain. Funny isn’t it, and this sort of thing happens all the time. It has consistently happened in my 35 years in the real estate business and being a licensed Realtor since 1972. Just know this, if you want a fixer-upper, so does everyone else, but you need to be very, very, educated and able to spend the time and money to renovate the property effectively and affordably. And, you need to do One, Two, Three! If you want a bargain; educate yourself and be ready to DO — One, Two, and Three. We’ll try to help you. By Jody Hudson Copyright 2002-2004 www.Kate-Jody.com Jody Hudson: [email protected]
Los Angeles remains a very attractive market for those who can afford it. The California Association of Realtors reports that home prices in Los Angeles have increased 6.1 percent this year to date and are projected to show a 6.5 percent gain for all of 2015. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles County, prices are reported to have shot up 5.4 percent so far this year. These figures include detached and attached single family homes and duplexes. Century City Real Estate Report says that some L.A. luxury neighborhoods have already passed the 2007 peak. This situation makes a wonderful market for hard money lenders, since many investors are rearing to buy, but they are leashed by miserable credit ratings and credit histories. Shunned borrowers turn to hard money lenders in their area who hand them the funds based on their collateral.
Here is the Los Angeles real estate data for 2015-2016
The California Association of Realtors projects sales figures of 407,500 single family homes by the end of 2015. This will be an increase of 6.3 percent over the homes sold in 2014. Projections for 2016 are also for a 6.3 percent increase to a predicted 433,000 units next year.
In Los Angeles, some data sources, such as the California Association of Realtors, show that the median sales prices for single family homes and condos shot up 8.1 percent to $950,000 for the 2015 third quarter; a record high for the Greater L.A. area. Regions include Westside, Downtown and coastal cities like Malibu, but omit low-priced areas such as South L.A..
One way to understand real estate price cycles is to look at the building permit numbers. If developers are investing in new properties, as has been happening in the general Los Angeles area, it is a good sign that demand, and prices, are rising or keeping steady. Statistics shows a growth of 2.4 percent in building projects.
Observers are concerned that Los Angeles may be approaching another housing bubble, but William Yu, Economist for the UCLA Anderson School of Business strongly negated this prediction in a recent UCLA Anderson Forecast. Prices have shot (he said) in an already expensive L.A market only because of excessive demand and limited supply. This is no housing bubble but a hugely pricey and unaffordable situation where those with money either do, or would like to, invest. In fact, the market is mostly catering to the very wealthy. Typical reports show that builders and investors are looking to the high-end luxury market where potential profits far exceed the profit that an investor can realize from the average priced home. This kind of high-end residential development needs investors who have the right kinds of funds. Some individuals go to the banks for their loans. Other approach alternate traditional lending institutions.
What about those without money? Or with poor credit who are unable to procure a loan?
This is where hard money lenders come in.
Los Angeles hard money lenders
The Los Angeles money lending directory shows 56 hard money lenders and the listing grows all the time. Experts in the field know that there are many more who are listed in other places or remain unlisted. These (and other) brokers lend their personal funds to residential and commercial borrowers. The hard money lenders ignore the credit history and FICO scores of these borrowers focusing instead on the value of their collateral. If the borrower defaults, the lender sells his property as repayment.
Many investors rush to hard money lenders for their speedy turn-around (typically less than a week) and for the simple and easy procedure (merely a few papers and a handshake). They detest the high interest rates (double to those of the banks) and the low ratio-to-value loans (sometimes as low as 60%-50%). Many borrowers tend to get hard money loans for the immediate short-term future and then repay with bank loans or cover the rest with alternate funding. Hard money loans are expensive so most borrowers try to use them for as short a time as possible.
The Los Angeles hard money brokerage is diverse and vast. You will find lenders dabbling in all sorts of deals and lending to a variety of investors. Lenders also offer varying sums and for varying amounts of time. Since lenders work independently – after all, it is their own funds that we are speaking about – they set their own terms and schedules. If you go that route, make sure your lender is certified by the L.A. regulatory real estate Board and by the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). Also look into his credentials and borrowing history. And best of all: have an attorney review all agreements before signing.
The bottom line is this…
The Los Angeles rising prices and tight inventory have driven more investors to the high-end market. Investors have run out of flips but there is a wider market for the higher-paying population or for wealthy foreigners. This type of inventory drives prices higher and is expected to shoot them higher still over the coming years as there is scanty new construction in the pipeline to meet demand.
For those in LA who want to make the most of this luxury market but lack the funds to do so, employing a hard money lending broker may be a feasible solution. This type of broker ignores the credit history and focuses on the asset. Luxury assets seem to have high potential. If the borrower can show the broker his ability of repaying and convince him of the value of his property, the borrower may be able to find an alternate means of landing a spot in LA’s luxury market.
The California Association of Realtors predicts that home prices will likely “grow steadily” in the end of 2015 into 2016. Many investors in Los Angeles are approaching hard money brokers to fund their immediate needs. How does this solutions sound to you? Feasible?
Back in the September 9, 2008 edition of The Wall Street Journal, as knowledge of the global financial crisis was both broadening and deepening, I predicted that of the myriad lawsuits being filed by real estate buyers in hopes of recovering their initial preconstruction deposits, among those with the highest probability of success were scenarios in which the developer failed to deliver the project on time.
While there is no sure way of testing this forecast, my sense is that for the most part, it is proving itself true. Take, for example, a recent opinion from the Eleventh Circuit — the highest federal appellate court with jurisdiction over Florida, and one which has been instrumental in setting the tone for the latest wave of real estate litigation. In Harvey v. Lake Buena Vista Resort, LLC, 2009 WL 19340 (11th Cir. Jan. 5, 2009), the Eleventh Circuit upheld the lower court’s order refunding deposits paid toward the purchase of an Orlando condominium, finding that the developer had breached the purchase contract by failing to deliver the unit in a timely manner. Notably, the Eleventh Circuit left the developer zero room for deviation from the promised two-year construction schedule. While the developer obtained a certificate of occupancy just five days after the two-year deadline, the court held that this was too late as a matter of law, even though the defendant testified that the extra five days were attributable to a matter outside of its control –the unusually slow processing of a necessary road permit.
Tellingly, in reaching its conclusion, the Eleventh Circuit sidestepped another issue on which the purchasers had prevailed in the lower court — that is, whether the developer had violated the disclosure provisions of the federal Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act (ILSA) in failing to both register the condo with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and furnish a federal Property Report to the buyers. As I have written previously, federal courts have been noticeably reluctant to rule for buyers on claims brought under ILSA, violations of which are often viewed as hyper-technical and immaterial in instances where a project is otherwise delivered according to a developer’s stated promises.
In contrast, it is easy to see why courts might have more sympathy for buyers in cases where construction has been unjustifiably delayed. The calculus is simple: the longer a building goes unfinished, the more time a buyer’s deposits will have been tied up in an unlivable and unsaleable project. And every day the real estate market remains mired in a historic slump only serves to exacerbate the downside to the buyer. The recent but unsurprising rash of lender foreclosure actions against developers tell a general tale of builders without funds to pay off loans, contractors, or subcontractors. This means that the many yet-to-be-finished projects around the country will miss the completion deadlines set forth under contract –if they get finished at all, that is.
As a practical matter, those buyers with potential construction delay claims who have decided that they are without the patience of Job are well-advised to assert their legal claims as quickly and decisively as possible. While construction delay may be a pathway to successful rescission of a purchase contract, generally speaking, the longer one waits to take legal action, the greater the chance that the developer will be able to argue that the buyer — by his or her own delay — has waived any legal claims.
If you have been farming an area with traditional methods you have probably been trying to service an area of two to three hundred homes. You probably send direct mail pieces several times a year, offering a free home evaluation or other marketing offer. Maybe you even go door to door a few times of year. Most of the people are either not at home or do not answer the door and you leave your card or notepad on their front steps.
Welcome to the new millennium. Farming can now be done using technology that will enable you to reach thousands of homes more easily and efficiently than you could reach just a few hundred previously. One of the very best ways to do this is by starting a farming blog.
A blog is a website that lets you write, or post, as often as you wish, and deliver your message to anyone who has either subscribed to the blog’s feed or who visits the website. With the click of your mouse your message can be in front of the homeowners in your farm at a time that is convenient for them to read what you have written in your post.
It is relatively simple to start a blog. They are available for free from some places or for a fee of less than five dollars each month from others. The blogs that have a monthly or annual fee will generally offer more choices and features than the free blog services. It is up to you and you should experiment with the ones you are considering.
You will want to give your blog a name that has meaning to the people who live in your farm area. Do not use your name unless everyone in the area knows you. It is better to use a name that is relevant to the neighborhood. My farming blog is called Plum Canyon Neighbors. When people receive an email message with this subject line they know that it is important information from me about happenings in their area.
Give blogging a chance as a way to market to your farm. You will find that it is so easy and effective you will be glad that you started one.
For everyone still reeling from the tough San Antonio real estate (SARE) market in 2010, it’s now time to get up, dust yourself off, and look forward to a more promising 2010.
Don’t expect the market to surge ahead quickly, though, as regrouping from the last year’s national recession is going to take time. However, many real estate professionals are quite optimistic that 2010 will be a better year for anyone involved in the SARE industry.
The San Antonio (SA) Board of Realtors, in fact, has projected not only an increase in the number of home sales, but also price appreciation for SaARE. In other words, for everyone who has managed to survive last year’s hit, it’s going to be a much better year ahead.
There are some sticking points in the SARE market, make no doubt. For example, home builders are still finding it difficult to get financing to complete projects. And on the other side of the loan process, many would-be homeowners are still being turned down by banks for home loans. Short sales and foreclosures have no doubt had a negative impact on the lending industry over the past year, so it only makes sense that lending will continue to remain fairly tight during the upcoming year.
1. However, the SARE market for homes priced under $200,000 are sure to experience the biggest jump, both in sales and real estate appreciation. There is currently a 5.9-month supply of homes priced under $200,000 on the market; a six-month inventory is generally considered to a balanced market.
2. Combine that with low interest rates and the extension of the federal homebuyer tax credit, and there appears to be plenty of interested buyers entering the real estate market in 2010.
Homes priced over $1 million are still struggling, though, and will likely to continue to struggle throughout the upcoming year. In fact, this market is now inundated with a 61 month inventory of homes.
3. Many analysts see the upswing in the San Antonio real estate market to continue, as demand for homes usually coincides with consumer confidence, which has continued to improve over the last few months.
4. SA is also expected to see an increase in its real estate market because job losses continue to decline. As San Antonio starts creating new jobs in the upcoming year, San Antonio real estate demand will certainly follow suit. San Antonio recently announced the addition of thousands of new jobs in the military and private sector, which means that there will be an influx of workers looking for homes.
5. A recent study conducted by Metrostudy found that builders in San Antonio are expected to build about 8,000 homes this year, a nearly 12 percent increase from 2008. The sales incentives and discounts being offered by builders are sure to spur the growth of new homes sales throughout San Antonio, and are sure to help rebuild San Antonio’s bruised housing market.