The Foreclosure Investor’s Cheat Sheet: 100 Useful Web Resources

If you’re looking for a place to get more information on real estate foreclosures, then you should take a look at “The Foreclosure Investor’s Cheat Sheet: 100 Useful Web Resources” over at International Listings. It provides 100 different links to articles, forums, websites, auctions, blogs, tutorials, and more.

It’s not often you get such a nice compiled list of resources all on one page so you might want to bookmark it and refer to it at a later time. Their site also provides international real estate for sale. Thanks to Brian for sending me the link.

7 Basic Steps To Aquire a Foreclosure Once You Find a Property – Step #1

Step #1 – Look at the Property

Foreclosure signLet’s assume you found a property from one of the foreclosure sites I mentioned in my previous post “How to Find Foreclosures – Where Do I Start?” or in a legal notice from your newspaper. You’re excited with the information you read about the property and you’re ready to start doing additional research. At this point it’s a good idea to go look at the property before you spend any of your time processing the legal work. Until you do that, you don’t even know what the neighborhood looks like, the condition the property is in, and if it’s vacant or not. If you don’t know these simple things about the property, you’ll never know how risky of an investment it could or could not be.

What happens if the legal description or foreclosure notice you read doesn’t list the physical address? You have a couple options like contacting the title company and asking them to lookup the street address, calling the attorney that’s managing the foreclosure, or go down to the courthouse and look it up. Once you get the address, you can continue reading below.

Once you arrive at the property you’re only able to in most cases, view the outside of the home. You really need to see the inside if you are to properly make a decision and this is always extremely difficult because it’s not like an open house. There are several options here and it really depends on your judgment and comfort to be able to have a peek inside. Your options are to walk up the steps and knock on the door and see if anybody is home, if the house looks vacant or abandoned maybe take a quick walk around the property and peek through any windows without disturbing the neighbors, or just walk away and look for a different property. Now I’m not suggesting you trespass nor illegally enter a property and that’s why I said use your judgment. If it’s nighttime and you’ve got a flashlight it’s probably not a good idea to wander around the property unless you want the local authorities coming by to meet you.

Let’s say you were able to see the property and got a nice glimpse of the inside. You felt it’s a good prospect to bid on. Your next step is determining what it will appraise for. I’d recommend you hire an appraiser, realtor, or another investor who has more experience to help you pin down an approximate price on what it will appraise for. There’s a good chance depending on if you were able to get a glimpse of the inside in the previous step, that the appraiser will not be able to look at the inside and only give you a rough appraisal based on what he or she can see on the outside. Of course, there are exceptions, and you might not be too disappointed if you trust just the condition of the outside.

Stay tuned for step #2 – Contacting the Trustee

How Investors Can Create Local Solutions to Foreclosure

The lure of making money by investing in foreclosure properties has too many times led to real estate professionals taking advantage of homeowners facing the loss of their homes. Their focus on reaping huge profits from these properties causes them to lose sight of the moral and ethical side of doing business and providing a helpful solution to assist foreclosure victims. In response to these practices, some states have begun regulating how investors and foreclosure help companies do business in certain situations, including profit-capping measures for investors and fuller disclosure requirements in the area of loss mitigation. In addition, courts have ruled that, in some cases, the popular rent-back or leaseback option counts as a loan to the former foreclosure victims, rather than a rental agreement, forcing the investor to foreclose on the property again if the renters fail to pay as agreed.

While these laws provide further regulations that reputable foreclosure experts must now follow, the foreclosure scam companies will continue to do whatever they can to take advantage of homeowners in foreclosure. Many of the worst of these companies do not even bother to research the relevant foreclosure laws and rely on homeowners to fail to gather their own foreclosure information. In essence, they rely on their own ignorance of the law and the foreclosure victims’ ignorance in order to prey upon homeowners. This presents a unique opportunity for legitimate foreclosure investors and companies to fill this void by educating foreclosure victims on what can be done to stop foreclosure legally and effectively. Continue reading How Investors Can Create Local Solutions to Foreclosure

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

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

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?

Why Real Estate Forclosures Will Continue to Increase

170 Off ThirdTake a look at your local newspaper and thumb through it until you find the real estate section. Now more likely than not, you’ll see advertisements from new builders who are offering amazing interest rates or temporary buydowns if you purchase a new condo or townhome from them.

There’s a relatively new condo development (one of many) in San Francisco called 170 Off Third. I went down to check them out because they’re in a great South Beach location literally across the street from the San Francisco Giants baseball stadium. The units are on the smaller size but I really liked the modern art deco look and feel of the building and common areas. It would definitely be a nice place to live but I’m cringing for those who fall victim to their “last chance” offer. Here’s a portion of the e-mail I recently got from them: Continue reading Why Real Estate Forclosures Will Continue to Increase

The Next Real Estate Boom – Foreclosures

Real Estate BoomAs the real estate market continues to slow down foreclosures are already reaching an all-time high. This is only going to get worse in the next couple of years and it’s all because of the real estate boom in the previous three to five years.

Why is this happening?
It’s because home buyers were spending more money on new properties than they can afford and because loan brokers and mortgage companies were allowing them to overextend themselves. These brokers (in my opinion) were taking advantage of home buyers by giving them great deals on 3-5 year ARM loans or interest-only loans which allowed them to buy bigger houses they couldn’t really afford. Brokers of course get paid commissions from lenders they match you up with but that’s a different story. Continue reading The Next Real Estate Boom – Foreclosures