When Will the Housing Market Finally Hit the Bottom?

The housing market is just getting worse. Home resales tumbled 8% in September to the lowest levels in this decade, prompting the obvious question: When will it all end?

The honest answer is no one knows. Optimists have been saying for more than a year that the worst is behind us, while the pessimists have been saying recovery is still a year, or years, away.

So far, the pessimists have been right about the weakness in the housing market, but their forecast that the collapse in housing would lead to a general economic malaise has, at least so far, failed to pan out. The economy has slowed, but has not fallen into recession, as consumers and investors adjust to a world in which home prices don’t automatically rise 5% or 10% a year. Continue reading When Will the Housing Market Finally Hit the Bottom?

Las Vegas Real Estate Investor Loses 16 Homes

las vegas real estateDuring the height of Las Vegas’s real-estate boom two years ago, property investor Rob Rozzen bought 16 homes, hoping that skyrocketing prices would pump up his retirement nest egg.

Now, Mr. Rozzen says he is considering filing for bankruptcy protection. As the housing market slowed, the 40-year-old was unable to sell the homes, and his full-time job as a real-estate agent was no longer able to support mortgage payments totaling $45,000 a month. So one by one, over the past 14 months, Mr. Rozzen has stopped making payments on his investment properties, for which he paid between $226,000 and $390,000, and lenders have foreclosed. Continue reading Las Vegas Real Estate Investor Loses 16 Homes

Housing Slump May Persist For at Least Another Year

This article posted on the Real Estate Journal today talked about how the real estate slump could continue for a while.

The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts the housing recession will last until the end of the third quarter next year. And if confidence isn’t restored in the credit markets, the wait could extend until 2009, the group’s chief economist said.

In the meantime, the slowdown in housing has become a primary cause in the slowing of the national economy, said Doug Duncan, chief economist of the group.

“Tough times,” he said, after sharing the group’s loan production estimates during a briefing with reporters on Tuesday. Tough times indeed.

On Wednesday morning, Duncan is scheduled to deliver the MBA’s economic forecast to its members at the group’s annual convention. The forecast calls for home sales to bottom out in the third quarter of next year and for housing starts to hit their bottom slightly earlier, in the second quarter.

Existing-home sales for 2007 will total 5.72 million units, a 12% decline over 2006 sales, he said. Sales will decline another 10% in 2008, before picking up by 5% in 2009. Continue reading Housing Slump May Persist For at Least Another Year

A Real Estate Investment Alternative

Prosper LendersIf you’re like me, you’re trying to figure out the best way to take advantage of the high inventory real estate foreclosure market but you’re a little cautious. You’ve got some cash sitting in your bank account earning a respectable 5% interest but you’d really like to buy some property. The only problem is you don’t know how much worse this market is going to get or when it’s going to recover. So what do you do?

One alternative is joining an online lending community where people can borrow and lend money essentially bypassing the banks thus getting better rates. You’d be the lender and sites like Prosper.com (aff) and Lendingclub.com would help you build diversified portfolios based on lender preferences. They speak of returns anywhere from 9% to 14% all depending on the amount of risk you decide to take. Here’s an example (aff) of how it works. Lendingclub also has a blog which has some good financial articles.

I think it’s a pretty good idea if you’re looking for a higher return and want a place to park your money until the real estate market settles down. I have signed up for a prosper.com account and started browsing the borrowers but have not yet loaned any money out. If you’ve used either one of these sites before, please let me know how it’s worked out for you.

Bay Area Foreclosures Hits New High

bay area foreclosuresThe front page of Sunday’s San Francisco Chronicle brought more bad news on foreclosures. The article titled “Neighborhoods Crumble in Wave of Foreclosures” talked about how Antioch has 23 foreclosures for every 1,000 homes and specifically how Catanzaro Way has had more than 30 percent of their homes foreclosed upon.

The foreclosure rate in Antioch is seven times that of the region as a whole and nearly 1,000 percent higher than it was a year ago. They now have twice the bank repossession rate of greater Stockton, an area often cited as the No. 1 foreclosure spot in California. Continue reading Bay Area Foreclosures Hits New High

Can You Get Started In Real Estate With $50,000?

Flip Real EstateA few weeks ago I received an email from a gentleman by the name of John. He seems to be a bright guy around my age and was looking for some advice on how to invest in real estate with $50,000. He wanted to get involved with flipping houses and already had one successful flip with a net gain of $55,000.

I love getting these sort of emails and thought I’d share our conversation with you since he’s not the only one looking to do this. Here’s his email to me: Continue reading Can You Get Started In Real Estate With $50,000?

5 Key Reasons Real Estate Agents Should Blog

Real Estate AgentsBlogging is rapidly developing into a tool whose purpose is to establish an online presence, improve visibility, build a sense of community, maintain an open dialogue for clients and prospects, and offer valuable information — all of which is accomplished in an unfiltered direct way.

Just by those reasons alone, blogging has a huge potential for real estate agents. What strikes me odd is the fact that most real estate agents or real estate websites I’ve visited don’t have a blog and are losing out on such a powerful median. A blog should definitely be added to their real estate marketing mix. Continue reading 5 Key Reasons Real Estate Agents Should Blog

How To Protect Yourself From Real Estate Liability

Living TrustWhen dealing with real estate investment properties you want to make sure you’re always protected. I don’t just mean having a proper landlord insurance policy, I’m more referring to what’s called a living trust structure.

The most successful real estate investors out there today all have some sort of trust set up for each and every one of their real estate properties. This could be just their primary residence, or it could be dozens of apartment buildings they own. Since real estate deeds are a publicly accessible document, it means anybody can find out whose name is on title for a specific address. This type of trust structure which is better known as a Living Trust or Master Protection Trust is very useful for your real estate investments. It has many benefits one of which is especially important to celebrities and wealthy individuals. Do you think that Donald Trump or Bill Gates is names are listed as the owner of any property title document? I don’t think so. Continue reading How To Protect Yourself From Real Estate Liability

How to Find Foreclosures – Where Do I Start?

House ForeclosuresMany homeowners who gorged on debt during the real estate boom a few years ago are now starting to feel the squeeze. They’re struggling to keep up with their ballooning payments or, worse, losing their homes to creditors.

As the number of foreclosed properties continue to rise, new opportunities await for others. These are fast becoming ideal market conditions for a niche group of real estate investors called foreclosure gurus. They can deliver homeowners fast cash in return for their property which is inevitably sold at a nice discount. These type of foreclosure gurus used to post ads in the newspaper or staple ads to telephone poles but now there are several websites that make finding forclosures much easier.

Here are some beginner tips for those of you wondering where to start in the foreclosure market: Continue reading How to Find Foreclosures – Where Do I Start?

Real Estate Blog Has Moved Servers

Web HostingFor those of you who tried to access the Real Estate Blog over the past several weeks, you may have noticed some problems. I thought these problems would go away but they continued so last week I moved the Real Estate Blog to a new web hosting provider. My previous web hosting provider Host Monster (aff) kept having outages and hindered my site so I had to do something. I was with Host Monster for almost a year and rarely had down time up until recently. Besides the recent outages I’d like believe part of it has to do with the continued success and upward trending web traffic the blog has been receiving. 🙂 I moved to a new hosting provider by the name of Web Hosting Buzz and have been quite happy with them even though it’s only been a week. Hopefully this up-time will continue and my readers won’t get frustrated when trying to access the site!