Rand on Real Estate: Why Now Has Never Been a Better Time to become a Landlord

RISMEDIA, Tuesday, June 21, 2011— Greg Rand, CEO of OwnAmerica.com hosts “Rand on Real Estate” on 77WABC Radio in New York, where this week’s discussion comes from a caller from Orange County who does not believe that this is a time to buy real estate. Rand addresses a question about the effects of shadow inventory on the market and gives his recommendation to buy now, noting it has never been a better time to become a landlord. Rand also tackles the issue of high taxes making it difficult to turn profits from investments from a caller in New Jersey.

To see more clips on Rand on Real Estate, click here.

Greg Rand is the CEO of OwnAmerica, a company dedicated to teaching real estate professionals and consumers how to build wealth in American housing. “Rand on Real Estate” is a weekly video series where Rand offers his expert insights into how to grow wealth in the current real estate market. OwnAmerica also offers a web-based certification course for real estate agents who want to capture the residential investor market. Learn more about the course, “OwnAmerica Real Estate Investment Certification Program,” (OICP) by visiting OwnAmerica.com for details.
RISMedia welcomes your questions and comments. Send your e-mail to:realestatemagazinefeedback@rismedia.com.

*Credit RISMedia

From the first time home buyer to the savvy investor – from the seller with equity to the seller underwater and needing options – I am here for you.

 

Advertisements

Think you can’t afford the home of your dreams?

You might be able to get closer than you think!  Obviously, the cat is out of the bag on the whole “astonishingly low home prices” thing.  BUT, many buyers in the market today are still finding that it’s difficult to find a home that is both move-in ready and affordable.  This is an especially difficult hurtle to cross if the buyer needs to utilize FHA financing as FHA has several guidelines in place that limit the maximum amount of repairs a potential property can need in order to be eligible for FHA financing which essentially require the property to be “move-in ready” as-is.

THERE MAY BE A SOLUTION!  203K Financing is an FHA program which allows you to finance repairs and improvements on a property at time of purchase.  For example, if you fall in love with a property that is $15,000 in necessary repairs short of being eligible for FHA financing that is listed for $100,000, you may be able to purchase that home via a 203K financed loan in the amount of $115,000.  The bank will require you to obtain at least two bids for all of the repairs/improvements you want completed and then order an appraisal “subject-to” those repairs.  As long as the projected value of the home after the repairs are completed is equal-to or greater-than the loan amount, and the buyers qualify for the loan, you should be in a pretty good spot.

If you have questions, feel free to call me directly or go online to HUD.gov and research the program on your own.

From the first time home buyer to the savvy investor – from the seller with equity to the seller underwater and needing options – I am here for you.

1st Annual Rancho Laguna Community Garage Sale a Huge Success!


Hello All! You may have noticed that I’ve been posting a little less frequently over the past couple of weeks. That’s because I’ve been focusing quite a bit of my time organizing a community wide garage sale event that took place on Sunday, and it was *awesome*!! If you had the chance to make it out, I hope you got some great deals and I hope you had as much fun as I did! We’re going to be hosting two more this Summer on June 5th in the 95757 area and on June 12th in the 95624 area. Keep an eye out on my twitter @JessSellsHomes for more information. I promise to keep you all posted on the details. Happy Shopping!!

From the first time home buyer to the savvy investor – from the seller with equity to the seller underwater and needing options – I am here for you.


Short Sale Frequently Asked Questions

What is a short sale?
A short sale occurs when a mortgage lender allows a financially distressed homeowner to sell his home for less than what he owes on the mortgage. The short sale process varies by state, so it’s very important that financially distressed homeowners who are considering a short sale contact a qualified real estate agent in their area.

Who qualifies for a short sale?
Typically the homeowner must suffer a financial hardship that has prevented him from making his mortgage payments and lacks the financial means to correct the situation; the homeowner is in or facing foreclosure; and the homeowner has little equity, no equity or negative equity in the property. Investment property owners may also qualify for a short sale as long as an acceptable financial hardship is involved. Ultimately the lender will decide whether a homeowner or investor qualifies for a short sale and each lender has their own method for determining whether a property owner qualifies for this type of sale.

What are the benefits of a short sale?
The homeowner is able avoid foreclosure, which is a stressful process that can have a significant negative effect on one’s credit score. Depending on the terms of the short sale, the home seller may also be able to mitigate his financial obligations if the lender “forgives” the difference between the property sale price and amount owed on the mortgage. This would allow the home seller to walk away from the transaction free of debt related to the mortgage. Lenders also benefit from short sales because often times they are less costly and less work than the foreclosure process. The buyer also may benefit because a short sale is a distress sale and he may be able to purchase a property at a discount.

How much does a short sale cost the home seller?
The closing costs and real estate commissions are typically paid by the lender; however these details are finalized in the short sale contract between the home seller and the lender. In some cases, the lender may require that the home seller pay the difference between the property’s sale price and the amount owed on the mortgage. Usually, if the home seller can afford to pay the difference, the lender will require that they do pay the difference.

What do buyers need to know about purchasing a short sale property?
Buyers interested in a short sale property must be patient. One way to expedite a short sale purchase is to be a cash buyer, but this isn’t always possible. Being well-qualified with a substantial down payment and preapproved are second best. Buyers should also know that banks don’t like to negotiate repairs or other contingencies. It’s important that buyers considering the purchase of a short sale property hire a real estate agent who is very experienced at closing these types of transactions. Experienced agents can help alleviate much of the stress related to the short sale transaction by knowing what to look out for and how to best communicate with the lender.

How long does it take to complete a short sale?
It depends on the complexity of the sale. Short sales can take several months to process – sometimes up to 120 days or longer. Banks aren’t structured to efficiently sell properties. Financial institutions have many regulatory procedures that must be completed before a short sale can be closed. Oftentimes it’s just a matter of cutting through a lot of red tape following the lender’s various short sale policies, which usually include many people reviewing and approving specific aspects of the sale. If more than one lender is involved, the short sale can become more complicated and time consuming.

From the first time home buyer to the savvy investor – from the seller with equity to the seller underwater and needing options – I am here for you.

You Deserve A Fresh Start!

The real estate market has seen better days.  You know that, because there’s a good chance you purchased your home during one of those better days.  And now you’re drastically underwater, stressed, maybe embarrassed, maybe waiting for your mortgage rate to adjust, and probably wishing for a way out of a bad situation.  Unfortunately, wishing upon a star is probably not going to work for you this time around.  Every day good people have their homes foreclosed on because they didn’t ask for help.  Why? Who knows!  Maybe because of all the negative feelings already mentioned.

Let me the first to tell you your feelings are legitimate.  Facing foreclosure is scary, and feeling financially inadequate in comparison to your peers can be embarrassing.  But the truth of the matter is foreclosure is often avoidable, and many of those people who seem like they have it all together are struggling just as much as you are.  The economic climate in which we’re living has created dire straits for thousands of individuals and families across the country.  Unemployment and underemployment are both at an all time high, while prices of basic necessities like groceries and gas are skyrocketing.

If you’re upside down in your home, and your mortgage payments are getting to be too much to handle, you have options.  Don’t let your home end up in foreclosure as a result of your not asking for help.  Below you’ll see a brief comparison of the effects a foreclosure could have on you personally, versus those of a successful short sale.

If this scenario sounds familiar, let me be the one to help you.  Not all agents are created equal.  I have been Short Sale Certified by the Five Star Institute- one of the industry’s leading education organizations.  I am also Lyon Certified Short Sale Specialist.  Additionally, I am a Certified CHS HAFA Specialist by Asset Plan USA and the California Association of Realtors.

Call me today to discuss your unique situation.  Even if we don’t do business together now, you will benefit from my experience.  From the first time home buyer to the savvy investor – from the seller with equity to the seller underwater and needing options – I am here for you.


Community Garage Sale Coming Up!!! 5/22

Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate is proud to announce a series of 1st Annual Community Garage Sale Events throughout Elk Grove – Sponsored by Jessica Hays, Diana Martinez, and Courtney Ellison.  These events will be the largest block sales Elk Grove has ever seen!  We will do all the advertising and organizing, and with the combined efforts of our neighbors, it will be a great opportunity for buyers and sellers alike!

  • Are you ready for some Spring Cleaning?
  • Do you have just a little too much stuff in your garage?
  • Could you use a little extra cash?
  • Looking for great deals?
  • Do you enjoy having fun with your neighbors?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, we need you!  We are looking for people that would like to sell or donate items around their house.  This is not just an invitation for you to shop, but an opportunity to clean up, clear out, and make some cash!  Best of all, the morning after each event all unsold and unwanted items that are left on the curb will be picked up by the Salvation Army at no cost to you!

Jessica Hays will be hosting a Community Garage Sale Event in the Rancho Laguna Community of Elk Grove near Kloss Park on Sunday 5/22/11.  Register Here

Diana Martinez will be hosting a Community Garage Sale Event in the Laguna Creek South community on Bellaterra and the surrounding streets in Elk Grove on Sunday 6/5/11. Register Here

Courtney Ellison will be hosting a Community Garage Sale Event in the Arcadian Village community of Elk Grove on Sunday 6/12/11. Register Here

About Us:

8 Ways to Cool Your Home Naturally

The warm weather is fast approaching, and with energy costs climbing annually, keeping your house cool in summer can be a wallet-emptying exercise. Finding natural ways to keep cool can save you hundreds of dollars in a single season.woman with fan 400x317

  1. Plant deciduous trees on the south and west sides of your house where you receive the most sunlight. Their leaves will provide cooling shade in the summer, and, when they shed in the winter, allow the sun to help warm your home. According to the USDA Forest Service, trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and can save 20 to 50 percent of the energy used for heating.
  2. Use trees or shrubs to shade your air conditioning unit, windows or the sides of the house receiving direct sunlight.
  3. Open your windows at night when it’s coolest and shut them during the day to keep the cool air in and the hot air out.
  4. Place a fan at the open basement door to bring cool basement air onto your main living level. Likewise, ceiling fans set to blow down provide exceptional cooling. Oscillating fans will also mimic tropical breezes, and, combined with some Hawaiian music and a cool fruit drink help remind you of why you waited all winter for summer heat.
  5. Install white (reflective) window shades, blinds, or curtains and keep them closed during the days to keep the heat out.
  6. Check out the latest green “air cooler,” such as mini eco-ice coolers and ice air coolers. They use up to 75 percent less energy than air conditioners and can cool up to 150 square feet.
  7. Realize that up to 60 percent of the heat entering your home comes through the ceiling and walls. If your attic insulation isn’t up to snuff, upgrade it. Moving from three inches of insulation to 12 inches can cut cooling costs by 10 percent.
  8. Finally, check into the feasibility of outdoor awnings over windows, and window tinting such as 3M Scotchtint™ which reflects up to 79 percent of the heat that would come through windows. Strategic investments today can pay for themselves in months and make summer much more enjoyable. Also, any upgrades you make to lower cooling costs will be beneficial when listing your home.

From the first time home buyer to the savvy investor – from the seller with equity to the seller underwater and needing options – I am here for you.

Purchasing Checklist

With so much to think about, working from a checklist can help keep you on track.  Below you’ll find a list to help make you comfortable with the home buying process. After all, this is an exciting time in your life, and I want to help you enjoy it. Read through the checklist, then call a mortgage professional for more information. Of course, purchase transactions can vary, but this “typical” list should help jumpstart your thinking.

  1. Be sure you’re ready to buy a home
  2. Determine how much you can afford
  3. Organize your personal information
  4. Get pre-approved
  5. Find a real estate agent
  6. Search for a home
  7. Research areas and neighborhoods of interest
  8. Visit selected homes
  9. Make an offer on the home you want
  10. Arrange financing
  11. Schedule a home inspection
  12. Prepare for closing

 

Be sure you’re ready to buy a home

  • Consider all costs involved, including taxes, homeowner’s insurance, private mortgage insurance (PMI), and utilities.
  • Consider the responsibilities of home ownership, from mowing the lawn to maintaining the roof.

Determine how much you can afford

  • Consider all costs involved, including upfront costs such as the down payment and closing costs.
  • Estimate the monthly mortgage payment.
  • Include in your estimates of other costs such as taxes and maintenance, as well as insurance and any applicable association fees.
  • Tip: Use a mortgage calculator (you can find one on my website)

Organize your personal information

  • Check your credit report to make sure that there are no errors.
  • Gather documents such as financial statements and tax forms.
  • Make sure to have the following information readily available: the name, address, and Social Security number of all applicants; contact information for your current landlord or mortgage company; recent pay stubs and employer information; the value of your assets; and the source of your down payment and closing costs.
  • Make sure that you have the Social Security numbers of all borrowers involved.

Get pre-approved

  • A pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford, give you the power to negotiate and even make an offer, and show sellers that you’re a qualified buyer.

Find a real estate agent

  • Consider special, personal needs with which a real estate professional may be able to help you. Real estate agents can specialize in a variety of areas, including, employee relocation, military markets, or vacation homes.
  • I would welcome the opportunity to earn your business, or help find you an agent in your local market.  Feel free to call me at 916-208-4347 if you’d like to learn more about how I can assist you.

Search for a home

  • Search for properties online to get an idea of the homes that are available in your price range.
  • Drive through areas that interest you in order to spot “For Sale” signs and to get a feel for different neighborhoods.

Research areas and neighborhoods of interest

  • Try visiting your preferred neighborhoods at different times of the day and at different days of the week to observe patterns of noise and traffic.
  • Use our Look tool to find statistics on neighborhoods, schools, and other demographic information important in your search for a home. Your Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate agent may also have some of the information you need.

Visit selected homes

  • Take your time. Carefully examine both the interior and exterior of each home you consider. You may want to visit more than once if you’re seriously interested.
  • Compare the prices of similar homes in the surrounding area. Your real estate agent will supply you with comparable properties (“comps”).
  • Tip: If the market is competitive, be prepared to act fast. A pre-approval will give you the ability to make an offer on the home you want and shows the seller you’re financially able to buy the home — and that can give you an advantage over other buyers.

 

Make an offer on the home you want

  • Before deciding on the amount of your offer, consider important factors such as the condition of the home, the competitiveness of the local marketplace, inspections, time restrictions and more.
  • Consult with your real estate agent for professional input on determining the amount of your offer.
  • Include in your offer provisions for a home inspection and an outline of the actions to be taken if problems arise.
  • Tip: Always check with your real estate agent before making an offer — it may be legally binding. Working with a licensed Real Estate agent may be beneficial and make the process smoother.

Arrange financing

  • Call your mortgage consultant with the property address.
  • Your mortgage consultant will explain your options for rates, terms, points and other details about loan programs you may qualify for.
  • Sign the necessary documents for application.

Schedule a home inspection

  • Ask your real estate agent to help you find a reputable, professional home inspector, and to help schedule the inspection.
  • Tip: It’s a good idea to be present during the inspection. It’s an ideal opportunity to ask important questions about the property.

Prepare for closing

  • Make sure your closing date is scheduled prior to any rate lock expirations on your mortgage loan.
  • If you’re also selling a home and need the cash from the sale, make sure that the closing on your current property is scheduled prior to the closing on your new home.
  • Arrange for your real estate agent or an attorney to be present. That will help assure that all closing tasks are completed to your satisfaction.
  • Check with your closing agent to find out the amount of certified funds — a cashier’s check or money order — needed for closing.
  • Make arrangements for all people needed to sign closing documents to be present. This may include your spouse or any other co-signer.
  • Make arrangements at work and with childcare to be absent for 3-4 hours. (Closing normally takes an hour but you should be prepared to spend extra time in case issues arise.)
  • Bring along a photo ID — your driver’s license or passport, for example.
  • If you haven’t done so already, make sure utilities will be turned on once you take possession of your new home.

When closing is completed:

  • Don’t leave without your new keys.
  • Congratulations on your new home!

From the first time home buyer to the savvy investor – from the seller with equity to the seller underwater and needing options – I am here for you.

HAFA Short Sale Quick Facts

Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Program

If your mortgage payment is unaffordable and you are interested in transitioning to more affordable housing, you may be eligible for a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure through HAFA. one of the benefits of a HAFA short sale is that it requires your lender accept the short sale as full settlement of your debt- meaning you cannot later be held responsible for the difference between what you owe on your mortgage and the amount that your home sells for. You will also receive $3,000 in relocation assistance upon successful closing of your short sale.  Perhaps the most exciting benefit of a HAFA short sale is that you can apply for a pre-approved short sale before even putting your home on the market- making your property much more appealing to buyers and your transaction much simpler to close in a timely manner.

In a short sale, the servicer allows you to list and sell the mortgaged property with the understanding that the net proceeds from the sale may be less than the total amount due on the first mortgage. With a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, you voluntarily transfer ownership of your property to the servicer— provided the title is free and clear of mortgages, liens, and encumbrances. Generally, if you make a good faith effort to sell your property but are not successful, a servicer may consider a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

Eligibility

You may be eligible to apply if you meet all of the following:

  • You live in the home or have lived there in the last 12 months.
  • You have a documented financial hardship.
  • You have not purchased a new house within the last 12 months.
  • Your first mortgage is less than $729,750.
  • You obtained your mortgage on or before January 1, 2009.
  • You must not have been convicted within the last 10 years of felony larceny, theft, fraud or forgery, money laundering or tax evasion, in connection with a mortgage or real estate transaction.

It’s important to note that while the government has created this program, it cannot mandate that third party financial institutions or investors be forced to accept a short sale under its guidelines.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are participating lenders- meaning they will accept a HAFA short sale.  It is in your best interest for your Realtor to assist you in researching your investors to ensure that your loan’s investors are willing to participate in the HAFA Program before going through the application process.

If you have any questions about whether or not you may be able to benefit from HAFA, feel free to call me and arrange a meeting for us to go over your unique financial situation.  From the first time home buyer to the savvy investor – from the seller with equity to the seller underwater and needing options – I am here for you.