Archive for March, 2015

The Profit March 2015 Edition

Posted on March 9, 2015 by
The Profit Newsletter for Tampa REIA Mar 2015
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The Profit - March 2015 - High Quality PDFThe March 2015 edition of The Profit Newsletter is now available for download as a High Quality PDF (print quality) or Low Res PDF for mobile devices. The Profit Newsletter is the official newsletter of the Tampa Real Estate Investors Alliance and is a digital, interactive newsletter for serious real estate investors delivered as an Adobe PDF file to read on your computer, tablet, or smart phone with a PDF reader. Many of the articles and ads in The Profit contain hyperlinks you can click to get more information online. The high res version of The Profit is “print ready”while the low res version may load faster on your mobile device. Also, be sure to Subscribe to The Profit so you don’t miss a single monthly issue.

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Eddie SpeedMost real estate investors have heard of the “Note Business” but many misunderstand it while others think that it is completely separate from the real estate business. The fact is, most real estate investors are in the note business, and they just don’t know it. The note business is the financing side of the real estate business.

Note Business in the Simplest Terms

The note business is based upon the purchase, sale and assigning of two documents: the promissory note and the mortgage agreement. These two documents represent a promise to pay and a solution for non-payment.

Note = Promissory Note = IOU (I Owe You)

Mortgage = Collateral Agreement = Foreclosure Agreement

When someone borrows money to purchase real estate, they have to sign an agreement to promise to pay it back. This agreement also outlines the terms of the payback. This written promise is not enough to get a loan. This promise must be backed by collateral of value, which is typically the real estate itself. The collateral agreement pre-authorizes the foreclosure of the property if the debt is not paid according to the promissory note. Read More→

Where Do I Get The Money?

Posted on March 9, 2015 by

Probably the most asked question we get, but before I answer it this question must be answered…

Money For What?

Everyone is so concerned about where to get the money when the reality is most of the best deals in real estate don’t require any or very little.

You don’t need a dime to do ACTS deals or sandwich lease options. No down payment, closing costs or even earnest money.

Subject to deals usually only require closing costs, sometimes a little to the seller.

Wholesale flips require only an earnest money deposit and so do options. So raising capital is really only applicable if you intend to pay cash for houses.

Truthfully, you can spend your entire real estate career and make a good six figure income and never pay cash for a house. Many do.

Spend a little to get properly trained and it will become abundantly clear you don’t need money to make money, especially not in real estate. In fact, the minute you do raise capital you’re now at a risk. Read More→

It’s hard to think of real estate as Vogue like trend-following asset, but buyers’ tastes in bricks and mortar change almost as frequently as their taste in clothes.

As investors we have to be mindful of those changes in taste. Knowing the true value of real estate is critical, trying do a deal without it and see. The guidance and data within has consistently shown investors how to determine both solid acquisition value and after repair value which will get your property moved.

Back to the Five Things which add value, while classic styling will always be in, sellers of “Retail Flips”or those looking to fill “Rentals”should think about introducing ideal features to really make their investment property stand out. The following are the top five trending finishes which will add significant value or 2015.

1.) Neutrals, especially color

Bright colors made a minor splash in 2014, but neutrals are now firmly back in place. Think white and gray instead of beige and taupe for a pared down, ultra-modern feel. Limit color to small pops, but you may want to go beyond brightly colored throw pillows. Read More→

You’ve all heard the tenant horror stories from people who have had tenants in properties, but being a landlord doesn’t have to be difficult as long as you learn some strategies for handling your tenants. My husband used to say that handling tenants was like having a group of children that you have to train and discipline. But it doesn’t have to be that difficult.

You do have to make some specific rules for your tenants and stick to them. Every time you change the rules you give your tenants the upper hand. You must also have an iron clad lease that specifically addresses the issues that you may have with tenants such as getting your rent paid on time. This is one area in which I am steadfast with the rules. I don’t care what the tenant’s situation is, their responsibility is to pay me on time or they are stealing services from you without paying for them. My tenants are responsible for having the rent in our post office box on or before the date it is due or they are served with a three-day notice the next morning as required by law where I live in order to begin the eviction process. There are no exceptions. We even have tenants who send their checks to me priority mail to make sure they get to me on time.

You must also take the time to pre-qualify your tenants’ right from the beginning so you can avoid some problems right from the start. Don’t just accept a tenant into your rental property because they have the money to move in. Don’t let greed be your guide. Have your tenants fill out a specific rental application. Then you must run a tenant check with a reputable company. Don’t try to do this yourself just by looking at public records. You will miss credit issues and anything that may have occurred out of state. You need to find out the information you need to know about your tenants right from the start before renting them your unit. For example, if the tenant check shows the applicant was just evicted from another premises, this certainly isn’t going to be a tenant you want in your property. Or if your tenant has had recent felony convictions, this isn’t a tenant you want in your rental unit. If your applicant has multiple animals, this is also not someone you want in your rental unit. I will mention however, that I will allow a tenant with a small dog or cat to rent my units. I find that usually a tenant who has a pet that they have had for some time will make a good tenant who will stay longer in your unit. Read More→

It took a long time, but New York’s federal courts have finally ruled that forged documents don’t cut it when the banks are trying to foreclose on a homeowner! In a blistering, 30-page ruling, a federal bankruptcy judge from New York’s Southern District has slammed Wells Fargo for falsifying documents in order to foreclose on a home in Westchester County. Not only did the judge take Wells Fargo to task for trying to foreclose using falsified documents, he slammed the bank for its willingness to make up evidence after the fact in order to enforce its claims. This is a huge development for homeowners and real estate investors that could have a real impact on their ability to negotiate with banks.

It has been common knowledge that the banks were faking important documents ever since the robo-signing scandal started five years ago. For some reason, it took years before judges would stand up and forcefully reject the made up documents by the bank. The New York case is a textbook example of the fraud I have been writing about for years. Wells Fargo forged signatures and dates on the endorsement and the assignment of the note in order to foreclose. The exceptional feature of this case is that it includes the testimony of a Wells Fargo employee who was a manager of the default documents department at the time of the foreclosure. This employee admitted to signing up to 150 original documents per day as well as creating assignments when necessary. This proved to the judge that Wells Fargo had a general practice of forging documents whenever necessary in order to foreclose. Read More→

How to Work Pre-Foreclosures

Posted on March 9, 2015 by

Since 1995, Kim and I have been buying properties at the foreclosure auction. Over time, we’ve built a unique system that’s very effective. It has allowed us to buy many properties pre-foreclosure, at the auction and from banks after the auction. Today, let’s talk about how to work the pre-foreclosure market.

When it comes to foreclosures, our best deals come from buying pre-foreclosure! At the foreclosure auction, there are always investors willing to work on much thinner margins than what we’re comfortable with, and so we’re often outbid.

On the other hand, when buying pre-foreclosure – that is, before the auction – there’s very little competition. Why? When homeowners are facing foreclosure, because of unfounded fear, few investors will knock on their door.

There’s another BIG benefit to buying pre-foreclosure. Since you’re buying from the owner, there are many more creative deal-structuring tools you can use to construct a win-win deal. If you buy at the foreclosure auction, there’s only one tool – a big dang hammer…CASH! There’s no creativity, beauty or imagination when doing an all-cash-on-the-barrelhead deal – nor is it a win-win deal. Read More→

Got Problems? Network!

Posted on March 9, 2015 by

Is your business exactly where you want it? Are you making all the money you need? If not…Network more! Opportunities lie within the people you have yet to meet. So go meet them!

Networking is one of the most important aspects of your real estate business. Always be networking. You never know when you will meet the person who has the next opportunity for you. That is why I say if you need to be doing more deals you need to be networking more.

When most people talk about networking, raising private money for deals is usually what comes to mind. Although that may be a large part of networking there are lots of things you can get from meeting new people. Good deals can be hard to find. Have you done a mail campaign? Have you called broker or agents? Have you had lunch with an apartment owner this week who may want to sell you your next deal “off market”?

Networking to meet owners of properties is a great way to boost your business and deal flow. With the apartment/real estate market rapidly on the rise and competition heating up, going directly to owners may be the fastest way to get more units. Sending letters is a great idea but owners may or may not respond. If you can get to have a meeting with them it is much more beneficial. If they are not selling today they may sell in the near future. If you know the owner it is much more likely they will sell to you. Read More→

In the past several months, Wells Fargo has taken on a new policy wherein they want a copy of all lien releases for any outstanding liens on the property PRIOR to submitting the file to the negotiator for review. They are now pulling their own title work and reviewing it to make sure that all liens are being reported to them. This may cause a huge battle because often the Second Lender will not approve the lien release until they have the written approval from the First.

I have always said that Wells Fargo is one of the strictest Banks that requires a crazy amount of paperwork for them to move forward. We recently had a file wherein the second mortgage, even though they had a second mortgage on the property, took the Sellers to court on the Note and received a Final Judgment against them. The seller was even garnished. However, in Florida, if you are head of household, you can stop the garnishments if you do not agree with the garnishment, so that ended. We have been fighting with a Negotiator that cannot put the second mortgage payoff and the Final Judgment Payoff together as one.

The Bank Negotiator keeps asking for another payoff from Citi Financial which is both the second mortgage and the Final Judgment Plaintiff. She just can’t get it thru her head! We have gone over her head multiple times to a supervisor and she refuses to submit our file. I requested a copy of her title work so we could see what she is seeing, but she just keeps sending us the recorded page number of the Judgment. We have contacted Citi Financial and they said yes this payoff includes the mortgage and the Final Judgment. We have asked Citi Financial to state that in their letter but they complain that this is a standard letter and it will not be tailored to the request of the First Mortgage Company. Read More→

Recently I was at an event and listened to one of the new real estate Gurus who was selling his software product he said would do everything you need to be successful buying real estate. He referred to his software as “Done for You”. He said it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. He said it would find the good deals, figure what you should pay for the property and what the repair costs will be for every property you look at without ever seeing the property. I was amazed how easy he made it sound. I couldn’t believe how many beginning investors in the audience fell for his pitch and bought his product for $997.00. I know we are in the computer age and I realize that the computer as well as our I-phones can be valuable and time saving tools in our real estate investing businesses. In the quest to simplify and broaden our profit potential tools like these can be helpful to find more opportunities.

I have seen software products presented that give the investor lists of different types of properties, their location, their price and comparables in the area. A system that helps the investor find money to fund their deals from a list of people who lend money. I have seen software that tells you how much you should pay for a property even if you haven’t seen the property. Good luck on that one. I have also seen different products that show you how to calculate repair costs from a data base of items from Home Depot and Lowes. I know for sure that there is no substitute for doing your own due diligence before buying any property and no software can adequately do that for you. Read More→

They say that the only thing that stays the same is change. I’d like to smack whoever said that, but I have to admit that he’s right. When it comes to the things that matter to us, my loyal reader, this is definitely the case. Things like real estate investing, marketing, and the market itself, etc. These are things that are constantly changing.

So if THOSE things change, WE need to change, too… if we want to keep up. For example, when I first went full-time as a real estate investor, short sales were still in their early days. So I did a TON of them & made some serious coin. Since then, laws have been passed, banks have caught on, and I’d rather get poked in the eye by a sharp stick than do a short sale now.

Not only that, but the main market where I live & operate (the Washington, D.C. area) has gone from cold to hot, then back to cold in the crash and is now hot again. Investors come & go like transient people around a campfire.

The older I get, the wiser I get (or so I like to believe). Therefore, it has become apparent that if we want to stay alive in this business, we need to be able to not only read the trends of where things are NOW, but also where they’re going. And be able to keep up by developing & using the right techniques & strategies that are appropriate for what’s going on. Read More→

Does this sound like you?

I just don’t have enough money to…
go to a seminar and increase my real estate education.

I just don’t have enough money to…
put a house under contract.

I just don’t have enough money to…
fix up a house.

If this sounds like you, then we need to work on attitude! Thinking this way is self-defeating and will not lead to success. The reality is, you find a great deal, you can find the money. If the deal is a good deal, then the money will come with some creativity on your part. If the deal is average, no one will give you money unless you know how to market. The last choice is, of course, a bad deal, and no one will give money on these deals unless you are a super sales person and the stars line up properly, and even then, it will happen a only few times in your career.

With these things in mind, I am offering you some great places to get credit and cash so that YOU can find the money that you didn’t think you had. It IS out there. Understand that if your credit is poor to really bad, some of these techniques will not work. If you have assets, finding is much easier, but even with bad credit, you CAN find the financing. You’ll just have to work a bit harder. Read More→

Are We There Yet?

Posted on March 9, 2015 by

If the person at the wheel refuses to ask for directions, it is time for a new driver. ~ Jennifer Granholm

You’ve heard that old stereotype, right? Men never ask for directions. Maybe that’s because it means we’re admitting defeat. I’m not sure it’s true, though. I suspect there are lots of women who won’t ask for directions, either.

If you’re one of those people who won’t ask for directions, you’re wasting time. A lot of time. That’s time you could be finding new properties, or meeting other investors, or reading to your kids. Trust me, your competitors are asking for directions, so you’d better know how to go places!

The fact is, asking for directions isn’t a mark of defeat at all. On the contrary: it’s an opportunity to show everybody how tech-savvy and clever you are.

I’m talking, of course, about online maps and GPS (Global Positioning System). You probably already have GPS on your phone, and chances are, you’ve already put it to good use. But these apps do some pretty neat things you might not know about. Read More→

Buying a fixer-upper at a discount and bringing it up to par to rent or sell is a proven business model, in or out of a Real Estate IRA. Renovation and construction projects are just part of life for the serious Real Estate IRA owner. Even if you don’t particularly think of yourself as a renovator and you’re just relying on rental income with no ‘pop’ in price from your renovations, sooner or later you’re going to have to replace the roof on that property. In which case you’re going to have contractors crawling all over your house, tearing it up.

That’s a dangerous time for any property owner, and Real Estate IRA owners are no exception. Any time you have construction workers working on property you own, in or out of the Real Estate IRA, you expose yourself to risk and potential liability.

Protecting your Real Estate IRA investment

Here are a few principles to keep in mind to protect your IRA:

1.) Working on it yourself? Don’t do it. You are a prohibited individual and you are not allowed to provide services to your IRA. Doing so can result in penalties and even the disqualification of your IRA. Plus a G.C.’s experience, contacts, leverage with subcontractors and general liability insurance can prove invaluable in seeing the project through to successful completion. Read More→