By Simply Doing These Simple Things I’ve Been Getting So Much Real Estate Business – Local Records Office

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – LOS ANGELES, CA – When I first started in the business I loved doing fix and flips, but wasn’t so keen on selling houses to strangers. I sold enough houses to get by, and focused on the flips since those were much more fun. I always thought it would be smart to buy rental properties, but I was young and not very good at saving money.

 

Then in 2008, I started selling REOs and completing broker price opinions for banks. I loved the REO side of selling houses and I have become very successful at it the last few years. I am a HUD listing broker as well and love HUD, I can’t buy HUD homes myself, but I have a great article on how investors can great deals ion HUD homes here. I think the reason I love REO is because I can communicate through email and I am a natural introvert (another popular forum discussion). With REO came more money, more savings and a desire to grow that money into something more. I did a lot of research on franchises, business, the stock market, bonds and decided rental properties were the best investment out there.

 

When I was doing fix and flips with my father, we bought most of our properties at the public trustee auction and it did not matter if we had our Real Estate license or not. When we sold our homes, we saved 3% on each transaction, because we did not have to pay a listing agent a commission.   When I started buying rental properties for myself in 2010, I bought everything off MLS and saved a commission on each purchase.   We are buying more flips off the MLS now as well, we are now saving a commission on the buy side and the sell side.

By Simply Doing These Simple Things I_ve Been Getting So Much Real Estate Business – Local Records Office 1

Even though we save a ton of money on commissions by being agent that is not the biggest advantage to having a Real Estate license. The biggest advantage is having a huge advantage buying properties over those that do not have a license.

 

Saving Money on Commissions

 

I will take you through an example of how much we save on a typical flip. The savings is similar on a long-term rental purchase, except there won’t be any commission on the sale since we are holding the property. Let’s assume we purchased a flip on an REO property for $100,000, fixed it up and then sold it for $170,000.   The bank offered a 3% commission to the Real Estate agent that represented the buyer on this property. Sometimes banks do not like it when the buyer is also the Real Estate agent and they may have stipulations they won’t pay a commission in these instances.   We use an LLC to purchase our flips and my dad will usually sign for the LLC and I will be the agent on the deal. That way the agent is different than the end purchaser and the bank will pay a commission.

 

On the purchase end we can structure the deal so we get paid $3,000 for our commission or we will waive our commission and pay $3,000 less for the property. The benefit to getting the $3,000 is the extra cash in our pockets for repairs or other investments. The benefit to reducing the price is, we won’t have to count the commission as income and pay taxes on it. It saves money in the long run to reduce the price if that is an option.   However, many brokers will only allow agents to take no commissions on one or two deals a year. We can do it as much as we want, since we are on a 100% split and the monthly fee brokerages may allow you to make as many no commission deals as you want as well.

 

On the sell side we save the 3% as well since we are the listing agents and do not have to pay someone else to sell the property for us. Again, commission are negotiable and you may be charged more or less for an agent to sell your home.   Three percent of $180k is $5,400 that we save by not hiring another agent. We structure this as a no commission deal, since we will not have to pay taxes on the income again.   Total savings is $8,400 on this one deal alone. We flip about ten homes a year, and it is easy to see we save a lot of money by being agents.

 

Finding Deals

 

The biggest reason I would suggest every Real Estate investor get their license is because of the advantage it provides when finding deals. I still buy most of my long-term rentals off of MLS and we buy flips on MLS as well. We purchase short sales, a few REOs and even a few fair market sales off the MLS system. As an agent I have access to MLS and an investor without their license does not. Most properties listed in MLS are listed on other sites like Zillow, Realtor.com and others, but the information is not as accurate or updated as quickly.

 

If I were not an agent, my time frame for making an offer would be much longer. I would have to do more work to find new listings on Zillow or another website. Once I found a great deal, I would have to contact my agent. I would have to wait for them to find time to set up the showing and show me the property. Then I would have to wait for them to write the contract and I would have to come in and sign the contract, before it was submitted. I have to hope they understand they importance of time and getting that offer in ASAP. Even if they are a super fast, great agent, it may take them half a day or an entire day to get all that done. Someone else could have already submitted an offer and had it accepted before my offer was submitted.

Knowledge of the Market

 

As a Real Estate agent MLS also provides me with a wealth of sold information. I can look up sales from 10 years ago if I want to, as long as the sale was completed through MLS. MLS is a great tool for me to determine value quickly, and easily.   I am also constantly around houses as a Realtor, I am constantly determining values for my sellers and buyers and I almost always know the market without having to pull up sold info. Knowing values is the most important thing for a Real Estate investor to know an being a Real Estate agent gives me a huge advantage.

 

Connections in the Business

 

As a Real Estate agent I am constantly talking to lenders, other agents, title companies, buyers and sellers. I found my portfolio lender, because other agents referred me to them. My portfolio lender is awesome and will give me as many loans as I want as long as I qualify. That may change at some point, but without them I would be struggling to finance properties, especially now that I have 10 mortgages.

 

Other agents have referred me to sellers looking to get out of their homes, because they know we buy flips. I know the best title companies, the best lenders and the best Realtors. I also know which companies and Realtors to steer clear of, because they may kill a deal with their incompetence.

 

Disadvantages to Being an Agent

 

There are some disadvantages to having a Real Estate license and being an investor.

 

The biggest one for me, is I am limited to what houses I can purchase, but this won’t apply to 99% of agents. Since I am a HUD broker I cannot buy any HUD homes no matter who has them listed. None of my immediate family or any agents and their immediate family can buy a HUD home either. Bank of America will not allow me to buy any of their listings or even short sales because I list REO for them. There are a few other companies I work with that have the same policies and I can never buy an REO that I have listed. It is a clear conflict of interest for me to purchase I home I listed that I determined value on for the banks.

 

  • I have to disclose I am Realtor when I market to sellers. I don’t think this is a big disadvantage, but some people on the forums think they get a better response if they are not an agent.

 

  • Some people feel a code of ethics is too restricting for Real Estate investing, I do not feel this way. If you are a Real Estate agent, it is easier for buyers or sellers to file a complaint against you with Real Estate commission or whatever body governs Real Estate in your area.

 

  • The biggest reason most do not get their license is the cost and time it takes. Getting a license is not easy in most states, it takes hours and hours of classes and tests and the tests are not easy. Once an agent has their license, they have to take continuing education, keep insurance, pay for MLS, pay board dues, pay to hang their license or split their commission.

 

 

Conclusion

 

It can cost thousands of dollars a year to be a licensed Real Estate agent, but one or tow deals a year will easily make up for that money. Not only are you saving commissions, but the biggest advantage is the deal you get, because you were faster than everyone else. To a flipper, one deal can mean $20k, $30k, $40k or more in profits. To an investor buying long-term rentals, one deal can mean thousands of dollars a year in cash flow.

8 Steps That Guarantee You To Be a Real Estate General Contractor

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – I’m closing on a triplex (two 2bed/1bath units and one 1bed/1bath) on Monday that needs renovation and I’ve decided to GC this project on my own. I sat down and started getting my thoughts together about a calendar and timeline and I realized that this process would make a great article for anyone doing their first renovation or anyone who wanted to get more organized. My golden rule for renovations is to make a realistic budget and timeline and stick to them.

Here are the 8 steps I follow when renovating a property:

Step 1: Demo

Maybe the most critical step because having a clean working environment will actually save time and money. Have your demo crew take down walls and get everything out of your way before making any improvements. Also have them remove any trees or bushes that are in the way of progress. Then have the demo crew remove all of the trash and debris.

(Note: A beginner mistake is to perform these steps room by room or unit by unit but that actually ends up costing more time and money when contractors have to return so whenever possible have the contractors perform their task for the entire project before moving to the next step.)

Step 2: Waterproof Building Envelope

Another critical step because nothing would be worse than renovating a property only to have some or all of the renovations ruined after the first rainy day. In this step I focus on making the property is completely protected against the elements. This includes fixing or replacing the roof, the gutters, the windows, the window capping, masonry work, gradation issues, sidewalks, basement, parging, and foundation work. Make sure that by the end of this step the building is 100% waterproof.

Step 3: Preliminary Framing

Now that the property is a blank pallet and watertight you can be begin any structural or light framing you are doing on the project. Not every project requires this step but if you are moving or installing walls now is the time to build them. Also use this opportunity to repair or replace joists and sub-flooring if necessary.

Step 4: HVAC, Plumbing and Electrical

In the next phase the heating, cooling, electrical, gas and plumbing systems are put in place. Here are some common tasks that occur during this phase of the renovation:

The HVAC contractor will run the ductwork so it can properly distribute to each

  • Floor

 

  • Plumbing lines are installed

 

  • Water lines for kitchens and baths are installed

 

  • Main electric panel is replaced or cleaned up

 

  • Electrical wiring is repaired/replaced

 

  • Switches and outlets are changed/upgraded

 

After all of the ducts and lines are installed your framing contractor will return for some secondary framing. All this entails is dry-walling and boxing in the ducts/lines that were just installed.

Step 5: Insulation and Drywall

The next step requires the installation of insulation and drywall. Make sure that the drywall contractor hangs, tapes, spackles and sands the drywall and leaves it ready for the painter to begin painting. Painters can sand and prep the walls but they are usually more expensive than dry-wallers so try to have the dry-wallers do most of the wall prep.

Step 6: Paint, Lighting, HVAC, Plumbing, Kitchens, Baths

This phase of the renovation covers interior paint, lighting installation, HVAC, and finalizing the plumbing. This is the home stretch and a great deal of work is done in this step. Common tasks include:

  • Prime and paint interior walls

 

  • Install kitchen cabinets

 

  • Order/install counters

 

  • Install new interior doors

 

  • Order/install flooring

 

  • Install trim/molding

 

  • Install light fixtures, switches cover plates and outlet cover plates

 

  • Make sure HVAC system is installed and fully functional

 

  • Install sinks, vanities, toilets and kitchen/bath fixtures

Step 7: Interior Punchlist

If you’ve made this far take a deep breath because you are almost done! The interior punchlist phase is the time when you go around and put the finishing touches on your renovation project. Common puchlist tasks include installing HVAC trim covers, outlet light switch covers, doorknobs, cabinet handles, touching up paint and all of the small items that really make the project look great. Make a list and go down item-by-item and cross them off as they are complete.

Step 8: Exterior

The final step is exterior renovation. This step includes exterior landscaping, exterior paint touch up, mailbox installation, property address number installation, flower boxes, window shutters, door hardware and any other item dealing with exterior curb appeal.

Congratulations you’re done! As you can tell overseeing your own renovation project really isn’t that scary if you are super organized and stick to a timeline. Follow these steps and over time you will streamline your process and become more efficient. Best of luck and make sure to let me know how it goes.

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What is Bankable and How is it Used in Real Estate? Local Records Office

LOS ANGELES – Webster dictionary defines the word Bankable as – bank·a·ble: 1. Acceptable to or at a bank; 2. Guaranteed to bring profit

 

As investors, we hear and see all of the opportunities related to owning rental property: rents are up; prices, vacancies and rates are down. We are being told that there has never been a better time to buy real estate, with lending guidelines changing drastically from just a few short years ago.

 

That being said, it is now incredibly important to stay “Bankable”. When I first heard this term it made perfect sense to me. As investors, we often need to borrow money meaning that, in our everyday lives we needs to keep control of debt to income ratios, claiming enough income on tax returns to qualify for loan programs and keeping a safe amount of reserves available. I have said it before and still truly believe that the most important piece of the investing puzzle understands the financing. Once you understand how to leverage your money, acquiring properties becomes much easier.

 

Most of the topics I will touch on are more stringent in the long-term financing world and not always true for hard money. We have been able to close deals while facing over 200% DTI, unemployed or 550 credit score; because other qualifying factors in each case allowed us to get comfortable with the borrower.

 

When we think we have seen it all we take an application from a client that surprises us. One of my best client’s tax returns show year-over-year losses in excess of $100,000 and this particular client hoped to acquire some buy-and-hold properties. When I told them it wasn’t going to work and why, they explained they worked their entire life to not have to pay taxes/show income and now I am telling them that they need to show income in order to buy rental properties.

 

I have seen applicants that hope to buy and hold rentals as an investment when they are in foreclosure on their own home and taken phone calls from individuals that want to get a loan but all of their cash is in the sock drawer because they do not believe in banks. Some pretty extreme examples, but the point is that staying bankable is important in a lending environment where it takes more than a pulse to obtain a loan. Here are some tips to staying Bankable:

 

Income is Important When Being Bankable

 

Income: For some, income is much easier to verify than others. Namely, W2 income vs. self-employed. A borrower with decent W2 income that does not take a lot of deductions is typically the easiest borrower to approve for long-term financing. Because the income can be verified so easily, with one piece of paper, these borrowers can find out “how much they can borrow” with little hassle. For those who are self-employed however, a trip to the dentist might be more enjoyable than proving income. Keeping good books and not writing off everything under the sun will make documenting your income much easier. The easier your income, not losses, can be seen, the less trouble you will have obtaining financing.

 

Debt to Income is Crucial

 

DTI: Debt-to-Income is the most important part of obtaining long-term financing because it includes two parts of the equation that you have some amount of control over. Conventional financing requires a DTI ratio of 45% or less and, in some instances, up to 50%.

 

Every mortgage, loan, credit card, student loan, and time-share on your credit report stacks up against your income to create this ratio. If you want to acquire rental properties or financing, think twice before opening that Best Buy card for your new 100” flat screen TV and understand where your DTI stands. The good news is some debt, like mortgage on a rental property, can reduce your DTI because it creates income past the monthly amount owed. For example, let’s say that you purchase a property and the monthly PITI is $500 per month and you have it rented for $1,000 per month.

 

Conventional financing is going to count 75% of gross rent towards your income, so after debt service your monthly income increases by $250 per month. It is very important to understand your DTI ratio and where it needs to be to achieve your real estate goals.

 

If You Are Self-Employed You Have to Read This

 

Self-employment: Most investors and real estate professionals are self-employed, which creates challenges in lending if not done correctly. Trust me, I do not enjoy paying taxes any more than the next person, but it is a necessary evil in qualifying for long-term financing. Investors cannot expect to write off all of their income and obtain a mortgage. In fact, I have seen a married couple where one has W2 income and the other is self-employed but the self-employed spouse writes off so much that they show a loss large enough to eliminate the W2 income.

 

Typically, when self-employed, the lender takes a 2-year average so unless this couple amends taxes and belly’s up to the tax payment, they might be 2 years away from obtaining financing. I do not want to discourage any self-employed borrowers because there is financing out there, as evidence by the two rental properties that I just refinanced out of hard money. Just note that there are additional hoops to jump through and it’s up to you to decide how difficult it will be.

 

Dealing With Liquid Reserves

 

Liquid Reserves: Reserves is the number one most important qualifier for our hard money loans, also important in conventional financing and should be a priority for all borrowers. In this business, we all know some properties can be challenging, and as a hard moneylender, we want to know you have reserves available in case your project costs run over or it takes longer to sell or refinance than expected. In the conventional world, the underwriters assume that at some point all of your properties are going to be vacant for the same 6-month period, and they require reserves to handle such a phase. Once an investor has four or more mortgages, the requirement is 6 months of payment reserves for every property.

If you have 6 properties, all with a $1,000 per month mortgage, you need to have $36,000 in reserves. Check with your mortgage professional to see what they can qualify as reserves, 401k, HELOC, personal line of credit, etc., and how long the funds need to be seasoned. As an investor, everyone should find the value in having funds readily available as we never know when the buyer’s inspector will find that the sewer needs replaced or an appraisal comes in low requiring you to bring a chunk of money to closing. Although some deals are no money down, it doesn’t mean you qualify with no money in the bank.

 

Keep Your Paper Work Organized

 

Be Organized: I am often surprised at how unorganized investors can be. At the end of the day, we are running a business, or at least hoping to, so having the right documents in order makes life easier for everyone. Let’s remember we are obtaining loans for hundreds of thousands of dollars sometimes with no money down, so having your taxes in a place they can be easily accessible is probably a good idea.

 

I joke about this, but ask any loan officer which loan is on the top of their priority list and it will be the one in which they have what they need to complete the file. Most of the documents required for a loan can be stored electronically and very easily emailed. If you are actively doing deals or looking for financing, build a package and update it monthly to give your lender what they need when requested. This will keep your loan moving through the process and the lender won’t bother you for missing pages.

 

Banks Around Your Area

 

Local Banks: Occasionally, investors can find funding through local banks, either through lines of credit for operating capital or financing non-owner-occupied properties. Freddie and Fannie, the largest buyer of conventional loans, will only allow a borrower to obtain 10 mortgages but your local bank does not have a limit other than their own risk tolerance.

 

The terms are different from 30-year-fixed so you should expect to pay a slightly higher rate and with shorter terms such as 5, 7 and 10-year balloons. Depending on the bank, they may be more interested in the property than the borrower, but most cases will also require a banking relationship (deposit accounts).

 

I hope you find this information valuable and can better plan ahead for your real estate investment goals. If you have any questions about the article please feel free to contact us at our office.

 

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Easiest Way to Burn Money in Real Estate – Local Records Office

LOS ANGELES – One of the large mentorship programs – and star of a reality TV house flipping show – preaches debt stacking your real estate deals to reduce or eliminate your out of pocket requirements. Potential real estate flippers are sold on this because they hear that they will get infinite returns with little or no risk. On paper this sounds great but there are several fundamental problems with this, especially in the markets in which Pine Financial does business.

 

Paying for Bad Information That Doesn’t Help or It’s Outdated for 2016 Standards

 

The sad thing about this is that people pay $44,000 or more to learn this information. What’s worse is that people buy in to this so much that they try to teach people how to do it or brag about how they do it on social networking sites like Facebook and at offline networking meetings. The purpose of this article is simply to share my experience with this way of operating and to try to protect you from falling into this trap.

 

We are in the middle of a foreclosure with one of our clients in Los Angeles, CA. We are probably about half way through the process but our client has the house under contract to sell. The problem is that there is not going to be enough money to pay us back and pay back all her “gap” funders. I would define a gap funder as a private lender willing to lend on a piece of real estate in a junior position to cover the gap between what the primary lender is willing to lend and what the borrower wants or needs to get the deal done. The numbers on this deal look like this:

 

  • Purchase – $115,000

 

  • Repairs – $73,000

 

  • Our appraised value – $280,000

 

  • Our Loan – $196,000 (notice this is enough to buy and fix the house)

 

  • Gap funder Loans – $80,000 (3 different individuals)

 

  • Contract price – $225,000 (they will need to subtract costs to sell to get a net figure of available cash for all the lenders)

 

We were off on our value because the client made some fatal mistakes: she originally listed in the mid-$300s and it was not complete (that was way too high to list this house); there were very few price adjustments; the work that was done did not properly adjust the floor plan; and it just recently received an appliance package. How can you expect to get top dollar when the house is not staged and it does not have appliances? It was on the market for over a year. The biggest problem was the floor plan but the fact that it sat on the market so long really hurt its true market value. Properties get a stigma if they have too much MLS exposure. Buyers automatically think there is either something wrong with it or think they can get a bargain because the seller should be motivated. Had the house been listed closer to the true value of $270-$280k and listed after it was complete and staged, I am confident it would have sold for much closer to our original estimate of its value.

 

Borrowing Much Money for Rates That are Too High

 

The reason she had to borrow $80,000 above our loan was mostly because of holding costs, so a lot of that would have been eliminated had the property sold. I am not sure where the rest of the money went but it makes you wonder.

 

I have had conversations with two of the three gap funders and they all paid $44,000 to learn how to lose $80,000. They all have their sad story and to be honest it breaks my heart. One of the three spent all of their savings on this deal and will likely get none of it back. I am not sure what our client told these people to get them to invest with her but if any of it was misleading, there could be a fraud case here as well.   You might have noticed that the total loan to value based on our original value is 100%, which means that these lenders would likely take a loss even if the house sold for its full value.

 

With as bad as this deal turned out, we are still going to get our money back. This is why hard moneylenders loan at 70% of the value. That leaves room for mistakes. In California and Nevada, there are hard moneylenders that loan up to 70%. If the deal is too much higher than that, the flipper probably should look at doing a different deal or consider cheaper funding source like cash or a bank. The worst things flippers can do are borrowed hard money and then use gap funders, thus increasing costs and risk in the deal. It is my strong opinion that if a flipper needs gap funders they should not be doing the deal.

 

Gap Funding to Fund Portion of Profits

 

I have also heard of real estate investors who use gap funding to fund a portion of the profits up front. (Is this what happened in my example?) I guess this is to help them with their lack of cash flow. Why in the world would they borrow their profit and pay interest and possibly fees on that money unless they really could not wait until they got the deal done? If the client is not liquid enough to wait for their money, my guess is they are not liquid enough to handle a problem with their deal if there is one – unless, of course, they are borrowing more money. That is exactly what happened to our client in the above example.

 

I can go on and on but as sad is my story is, I have heard even worse. We get calls a few times a month from “gap” funders that need to foreclose but do not have the money to buy out the senior debtors. They are asking us for money to either buy out the senior lenders or redeem from their junior position. If you don’t have the funds available to protect your loan you are really making an unsecured loan and could possibly be making the loan to an investor that does not have the ability or wherewithal to pay it back.

 

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Wholesaling Real Estate in its Simplest Form is Just Getting Houses Under Contract

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – A decade ago I got home from a night out with friends, It was after 2am and I was not tired so I turned on the tube. Crazy I know, but I was young and full of energy. Back then we did not have “on demand” so I was at the mercy of plain old cable TV. I was flicking through channels when I saw Robert Kiyosaki. He, of course, is the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, and one of the people I was studying at the time. He was selling his Choose To Be Rich home study course. That was the first and only time I purchased something on late night TV, and I don’t regret it.

 

When the product arrived I was excited to start listening to the CD’s. I can’t say that it was a huge benefit to me, but there was one thing he said in that course that really got me thinking. He said that rich people find ways to create money. It is like pulling money out of thin air just by being creative. One example of that is to negotiate deals, on real estate, that are marketable. In the markets we do business in, we hear people complain that they can’t find good deals.

 

“One of the easiest ways to do this is to make your contract assignable and assign your rights in the contract for a fee”

 

They complain that they want to wholesale deals to generate some income, but no one is accepting their offers. Wholesaling real estate in its simplest form is just getting houses under contract that you can sell for a quick profit. With this strategy you don’t need any money or credit, and you take virtually no risk.

 

This is a very attractive strategy for people starting out, so most of the gurus will tell you they can show you how to do this in hopes of you buying their course or going to their seminar. One of the easiest ways to do this is to make your contract assignable and assign your rights in the contract for a fee. The last time I wholesaled a house I made $15,000. Right now I am working with a client that will make over $125,000 on a wholesale deal. He and I have been part of a deal where the wholesaler made $250,000. Now most of that is not the norm. What is more common is $3,000 to $5,000 per deal.

 

Understand What Wholesale Really Is

 

When you think of a wholesale deal, you are thinking of a steep discount property that you can buy to fix and resell for a profit. Most often, that is the case; but not all wholesale deals need to be big discount properties. I and some people I know would be very interested in buying some deals with great terms. In fact, I could pay full retail price if the terms made me money.

 

Equity is Nice but, Not Necessary

 

A buyer looking for a long-term deal wants to know what it will cost him or her and what the monthly return will be. A simple example could be a house worth $100,000. If you are able to negotiate with the seller a lease option, subject to, or some other type of installment sale, you can create cash flow that is marketable.   Let’s say you are able to take title with no money down and a payment of $800 interest only a month.

 

“Tax benefits and possible loan pay down, depending on how the deal is structured”

 

The term might be 10 years, in which the full $100,000 becomes due. If this house rents well, you might get as much as $1,200 a month.   If you account for vacancy and maintenance, your net income might be 80% of gross without a management company (this is on a single family home). Your income would be $960 a month minus your payment of $800 for a total net cash flow of $160 or $1,920 a year. That agreement is valuable. In fact, if you sell that to another investor for $6,000 that would be a 32% cash on cash return for them. That does not include appreciation; tax benefits and possible loan pay down, depending on how the deal is structured.   For the wholesaler, they have no risk or money into the deal and just made $6,000. (You should actually make more than $6,000 on a deal like this one).

 

Focus on Your Marketing

 

The key is to focus your marketing on sellers that might be motivated and in a position to work with you. From my experience, people with little or no equity that need to sell are pretty easy to negotiate with. They, of course, need to have a good loan in place to make the cash flow attractive.

 

I also want to point out that when you work in the MLS and make offers on REO properties, you most likely will not be able to assign the contract. That is not true when dealing with homeowners. In fact, I have never had a seller not sign an agreement because it was assignable. My guess is you would be one of very few attacking this market, which could really separate you in this business. While everyone else is looking for big equity deals in the MLS, you will be quietly making a fortune.

 

To learn more about real estate and Local Records Office go to http://www.Local-Records-Offices.org

Buying Your Dream House in 2016 Sellers Market –Local Records Office

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – LOS ANGELES, CA – We all want our own dream home one day but it’s easier said than done says, Local Records Office. If you’ve decided to buy a home, good luck to you. Your challenge will be not just finding a home you like, but also beating out all the other home buyers who like it and want to make an offer on it, too.

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – Buying an Existing Home That Won’t End Up Being a Money Sucking Liability 

The number of homes for sale is low nationwide, particularly in the price ranges desired by first-time homebuyers. The latest figures from the National Association of Realtors show that that there was only a 3.5-month supply of homes for sale in March, which is lower than the six-month supply that indicates a balanced market. One-quarter of March’s transactions were all-cash sales, according to the NAR, and investors bought 14 percent of the homes that were sold.

Is 2016 a Sellers Market?

That means that if you want to end up with a nice home, you need to be strategic says, Local Records Office. Expecting to find the home of your dreams by nonchalantly walking into a few open houses or perusing some online listings is not realistic in this seller’s market.

 

READ MORE: 3 Investment Tricks You Need to Know to Succeed in Real Estate – Local Records Office

 

These days, most would-be buyers come to an agent with a list of homes they’d like to see based on their online research. While that often serves as a solid starting point, a quality agent may find additional options. After buyers have seen a few properties, Local Records Office says skilled agents can typically gauge what they’re looking for in a new home and may have other properties lined up. “I advise them to listen to their Realtor,” she adds.

Here are nine tips to help you get the house you want this spring

Get your finances in order first. Several months before you intend to start looking, you should get copies of your credit reports to make sure you’re in a financial position to buy. Shop for mortgage financing before you start looking at houses. “I will not take anybody to see any house unless they have a pre-approval letter or proof of funds, I want proof of funds to show the seller.” Local Records Office says that some lenders are doing the underwriting before the house is under contract, which shortens the closing time and can be more attractive to the seller.

Who REALLY is Local Records Office ? (VIDEO)

A Good Agent Will Go Along Way

Find a good agent. Using a real estate agent costs buyers nothing because the seller pays the real estate commission. Ask friends, family and co-workers for referrals. Look for a full-time agent who works often in the neighborhoods where you’re looking. You may want to interview several agents to find a good fit. If you can only look for homes on weekends, for example, you don’t want an agent who takes weekends off.

Visit neighborhoods you’re considering at different times of day. A neighborhood that’s quiet during the middle of the workday may be noisy and crowded at night and on weekends. Get out and walk the streets, talking to people who live in the neighborhood, visiting shops and restaurants and “trying out” your desired location. Drive to and from work during commuting hours to get an idea of what a typical day might be like.

READ MORE: Local Records Office Urges Homebuyers to Consider Their Lifestyles When Choosing a Community

Separate your needs from your wants. In a competitive market, most buyers find they have to compromise on location, amenities or condition of home. It’s easier to make a choice when you know going in which features you must have and which you’d like to have but can live without.

Move quickly once you find the house you want. That often means rushing out to see new homes within hours of them being listed and writing up an offer immediately if you like the house. “Things are gone in a matter of hours,” Local Records Office says. “You really have to move fast.”

Don’t make snap judgments based on listing photos. A house that doesn’t look appealing in photos could still be a great house. Homes being sold by an estate or homes with tenants inside often yield particularly poor photos. Plus, photos fail to convey the feeling of a home or the floor plan. “Unfortunately, the pictures don’t tell a true story,” Local Records Office says. “You have to be willing to look past some of the pictures.”

Be realistic about the home inspectors and repairs. The more competitive the market, the less likely a seller will be to make repairs, though some sellers may lower the price if the inspection reveals expensive defects. The purpose of the inspection isn’t to get the seller to repair every small problem but to find out for sure that the house is what you thought it was. “They’re not buying a brand-new home,” Local Records Office says. “What we are looking for are major defects we were not initially able to see in the walkthrough.”

Don’t buy a house you don’t love. While most buyers may have to compromise on some of the features they wanted, they shouldn’t settle for a home they don’t like. If you don’t find the right home this year, maybe you should start renting and try again later rather than make a purchase you’ll regret.

Write a personal letter to the sellers. Some sellers are interested only in how much money their home sale will yield, but others love their home want it to go to a new family that will love it just as much. If you really like a house, include a personal letter and a family photo with your offer. “It doesn’t work for everybody, but I have seen it work for many, many people,” Local Records Office says.

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Make a big earnest money deposit. The expected size of the earnest money deposit, and the rules about when you get it back, vary by locality. But sellers often see a larger deposit as a sign that you’re serious about the deal.

Make a backup offer. Many prospective buyers don’t want to make an offer on a house that has a pending contract. But deals fall apart over inspections, financing and other terms. If you found the perfect house, you can make a backup offer that will put you in first place if the initial buyer walks away.

To learn more about Local Records Office and real estate go to http://www.Local-Records-Offices.org

 

Secrets to Buying Your First Home in 2016 – Local Records Office

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – LOS ANGELES, CA- We all want the secrets to success and the easiest way to buy a home says, Local Records Office. For first-time homebuyers, the whole home buying process may look a bit daunting. You’re going into what could be the biggest purchase of your life with no experience to fall back on. The good news is a little preparation can go a long way and help you approach this major decision with confidence.

The Company Local Records Office is Targeting Los Angeles, CA Residents FOR A GOOD REASON

Many things have changed in recent decades about the way Americans buy and sell homes, but one adage still matters, a lot: location, location, location.

While you may be happy living in any of several neighborhoods in your city, you won’t be happy if you choose the wrong location. And that’s where your research should start: deciding exactly where you want to live.

Talk to friends and co-workers, drive around town, visit restaurants and stores and talk to neighbors in areas you’d consider calling home. Go to open houses so you can view some houses. Look at homes on the Internet, evaluating style, size, price and how long they stay on the market.

 

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You can find a real estate agent while you’re still working on this process. However, your choice of agent also depends on where you want to live, because a neighborhood expert often can find you the best house at the best price. “You want people who have worked and have experience directly in the areas you’re looking in,” says Peter Hens, from LA Realtor Firm in Los Angeles, California.

If you’re a buyer, there is no reason not to use a real estate agent. It costs you nothing, and the agent’s job goes far beyond finding the house. In fact, it’s after you’ve found the house that you’ll most need the agent, both to structure and present the offer and then to troubleshoot issues that arise between contract and closing.

Here are 12 tips for buying your first house:

Make sure you’re ready to buy, both emotionally and financially. If you expect to relocate in a few years, this may not be the right time for you to buy. If you don’t have cash for a down payment, closing costs and other expenses, you may be better off waiting. Look at your life, your career, your finances and your future expectations, and determine whether buying a house is the right move at this time.

Find the right team. The difference between deals that close and deals that don’t are the professionals involved. You want to make sure you find a real estate agent who will move quickly when a new listing goes on the market, as well as an agent who will advise you honestly on preparing your offer. You also want a mortgage professional lined up before you start looking. “The lender is the most important person to closing on time,” Hens says.

 

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Get your finances in order first. Some real estate agents won’t even show homes to prospective clients who don’t have a mortgage pre-approval. You definitely should meet with a mortgage broker or banker (better yet, several) at the start of the process to find out how much house you can afford and how much cash you’ll need to close. Do the entire math. Just because a bank says you can borrow $300,000 doesn’t mean you should. If you have credit issues, realize that this part of the process could take several months.

Calculate each and every cost. The purchase price and the mortgage payment are just the beginning. Don’t forget homeowner or condo fees, homeowners insurance and real estate taxes. Plus, you’ll need to budget for utilities, repairs and maintenance.

Don’t spend all your cash. Avoid emptying your bank account for your down payment and closing costs. There will always be unexpected repairs. Plus, it costs money to move, change locks, put down utility deposits and buy things you never needed before, like a lawn mower.

When you look at houses, focus on the right things. Don’t be distracted by the owner’s odd décor, paint colors, dirty carpet or anything that is easy to change. Granite countertops and stainless steel appliances are easy to add later. You can’t easily add another bedroom, a better location or a more functional floor plan.

If you’re buying in a condo or homeowners association, know the rules. How your association is run can make a big difference in how much you enjoy life in a development. You’ll want to know about all rules and restrictions, from pet ownership to who can use the pool. Condo buyers also want to investigate the association’s finances because a poorly run association can mean big assessments later.

 

READ MORE: 3 Investment Tricks You Need to Know to Succeed in Real Estate – Local Records Office

 

Visit your favorite neighborhoods at different times. Most neighborhoods are quiet in the middle of the day. As Glen Craig writes at the personal finance blog Free From Broke: “You need to see what the area is like on a Saturday night. Are there kids and such all out driving with music blasting? What’s it like in rush hour in the morning or in the evening?”

Talk to the neighbors. Ask about the neighborhood and about the houses you’re considering. The neighbors will know if there are foundation problems. They’ll also know about barking dogs, petty crime and the size of utility bills.b

Consider which contingencies you’re willing to waive. In the ideal scenario, a purchase offer is contingent on a satisfactory home inspection, approval of your mortgage and an appraisal that equals the purchase price. In most parts of the country, a buyer is smart to keep all those contingencies in the contract. But in a competitive market, you may be competing against buyers who have agreed to waive contingencies. “You never want to [agree to waive them] unless you’re sure you’re 99% safe to do it,” Hens says.

Be ready to move quickly once you find the home you want. Good homes that are well priced nearly always sell quickly. It’s OK to take some time to think before you make an offer, but you might not want to wait a few weeks. Your agent can provide invaluable advice here.

Know what’s important to you. No house will be perfect, so where are you willing to compromise? If you want a specific school district, are you willing to accept a smaller house? If you want to be near the water, could you be happy with a condo? Are you willing to accept a longer commute to get a larger house?

To learn more about Local Records Office and real estate go to http://www.Local-Records-Office.biz

8 Common Myths That Real Estate Buyers and Sellers Believe – Local Records Office

Local Records Office Explains the Most Common Real Estate Myths

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – LOS ANGELES, CA – We usually hear myths when it comes to old houses that have been abandoned for many years but apparently it is common in real estate too. Buying or selling a house is not something most of us do every day says, Local Records Office. You may do it once a decade, or even once in a lifetime.

Despite the fact that most of us enter the world of real estate only rarely, we all think we know how it works, based on the experiences of friends and family members, stories we have heard and things we have read, but for everything we believe we know about the industry, there are a number of myths that circulate about how real estate actually works. Buying into those can hurt your chances of buying or selling the right home at the right price. The best thing to do is not to believe the folk tales.

What Are the Advantages of Renting vs. Buying a Home – Local Records Office

Technology has changed how we buy and sell homes, and yet some aspects of real estate are the same as they were when our parents bought their last house. Along time has passed by since then. The Internet has made much more information available to consumers, but not all the information is equal, or even accurate.

Lets be honest we’ve all read something online or on social media and believed it was true, says Sean F Carter, principal broker of Carter Real Estate in Los Angeles and a regional director of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents. “Lots of people read and believe every single word they read.” That can’t be good. The risk with believing everything you hear or read is real estate myths can cost you big bucks when it’s time to buy or sell your property. Local Records Office has created 8 of the most common folk tales that can trick people.

List Your House Price Higher Than What You Think it Will Sell For

Many folks selling their home try to sell it as soon as possible and let buyers low-ball them, make sure to set your home price higher than what you expect to get. Listing your home at too high a price may actually net you a lower price. That’s because shoppers and their real estate agents often don’t even look at homes that are priced above market value. It’s true you can always lower the price if the house doesn’t garner any offers in the first few weeks. But that comes with it’s own set of problems. “It’s common for potential buyers to suspect that a house that has sat on the market for more than three weeks to be a dud,” says Hamilton Jefferson, chief economist for the Real Estate Brokers inc. In the Long Beach, CA area where multiple offers are common, sellers will actually price their homes for less than they expect to get, in the hopes of getting multiple offers above asking price.

Remodeling Your Home Before Putting in the Market is a Must

This is FALSE. It is true that the selling price may lower but you save on the renovation process, also, prospective buyers may not share your taste, but they don’t want to redo something that has just been renovated. “You’re better off adjusting your price accordingly,” says Benjamin Franking, president of Franking Real Estate Services in Hollywood CA, and a regional director of the NAEBA. “Most buyers want to put their own spin on things.” It’s ok to have an out dated kitchen sometimes.

Save Your Hard Earned Money by Selling Your Home Yourself

We all like to save money, especially when it comes down to saving a few thousand bucks. There has been many cases where folks sell a house on their own, but they need the skills to get the home listed online, market the home to prospective buyers, negotiate the contract and then deal with any issues that arise during the inspection or loan application phases says, Local Records Office. It’s not impossible to sell a home on your own, but you’ll find that buyers expect a substantial discount when you do, so what you save on a real estate commission may end up meaning a lower price. It’s not impossible to sell your home on your own for the same price you’d get with an agent, but it’s not easy.

Real Estate Market Always Goes Up and It Rarely Goes Down

The real estate market could go up or down any time. In recent years, homebuyers and sellers have experienced a time of increasing home values, then a sharp decline during the economic downturn and now another period of increasing values. “They think that the market only goes up,” Carter says. “They don’t think about when a correction will come.” The recent recession should have reminded everyone that real estate prices could indeed fall, and fall a lot.

Renovating Will Bring in Big Bucks

“This one is true and false” says, Local Records Office. If you fix the heating and air conditioning system or roof, you will sell your house more quickly, but you probably won’t get back what you spent. You’re likely to recoup only 67.8 percent of what you spent on a major kitchen remodel and 70 percent of what you spent on a bathroom remodel on a mid-range home.

What You See Listed Online is What’s Available

Most of the homes that go for sale do get listed online but there are others that won’t. Your agent must choose to let the listings show up online. Most do, but it never hurts to verify that yours will.

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE – Red Flags That Should Raise Concern on Inspection and Avoid Scams

By Not Using an Agent As a Buyer You Will Get an Amazing Deal

You can get a better deal as a buyer if you don’t use a real estate agent. “That’s a completely false premise,” Carter says. If the house is listed with a real estate agent, the total sales commission is built into the price. If the buyers don’t have an agent, the seller’s agent will receive the entire commission.

A Fancy Open House Will Sell Your House

Believe it or not homes rarely sell to buyers who visited them during an open house. Agents like open houses because it enables them to find additional customers who are looking to buy or sell homes. If you or your agent chooses not to have an open house, it probably doesn’t hurt your sale chances – although holding a broker’s open house for other agents may be worthwhile says, Local Records Office.

To learn more about Local Records Office or real estate go to http://www.Local-Records-Office.org

 

 

The Patterns Wealthy Real Estate Agents Make – Local Records Office

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE — Wealthy real estate agents have certain patterns that separate them from other agents in the business, is this the secret to becoming wealthy? It could be. Local Records Office has a few skills of the trade to increase your skills.

Wise Real Estate Agents Know the Neighborhood Very Well

This might sound like a very basic component, but remember that this can make or break a deal. As a real estate agent, potential clients are dependent on the knowledge that you can provide about their neighborhood. The agent must be aware of what is in the market, what the latest transaction in the market was and what the buyer can get for his/her money.

Meeting New people is a Must

This is crucial, because communication is key when you are serving as a medium between two parties. Not only you must keep in touch with sellers, you should also make sure to develop networks with other professionals, as well as individuals who provide complementary series.

 

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They Are Ambitious People

Wait, what? Passion? How can passion be a habit? It can, if you make it one. If real estate is a field that you have always been deeply interested in, then you can make your passion for the field a daily habit. As a medium between a buyer and a seller, a real estate agent must always maintain a friendly, sociable disposition, even while negotiating tough contracts. This can be hard, especially if you are going through some kind of personal crisis, but remind yourself that this is your job, and this is what you love to do.

Smart Phones Are Wealthy Real Estate Agents BFF

Technology can be a very handy tool when it comes to a real estate agent’s job. It can give you an edge over your competitor. You can go paperless using a real estate transaction management system. Filing papers and documents is not just a laborious, but also a time consuming process. Writing eBooks, blogs and articles can help you develop some inbound marketing strategies that will attract clients to you instead of you having to look for clients. Social media can be a very significant instrument. If you release daily content, and engage regularly with your audience, i.e. prospective clients, they begin to notice your substantial amount of knowledge on the real estate market and may look to you when they are in need of an agent.

 

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Apart from this, you must keep in mind the basic manners of using technology. Answering phone calls and emails on time is an absolute must. The client should always feel that you are putting his/her best interests first.

They make sure that the client has no doubts about their authenticity: You do this by making sure that you come across to your client as being motivated and sincere. Even if you have assistants working under you, make sure that you are the one taking responsibility for all the work that is done. This will assure clients of your credibility.

To learn more about real estate and Local Records Office go to www.Local-Records-Office.com

 

 

The Harsh Reality of an Ex-Mortgage Broker and What Goes Behind the Scenes– Local Records Office

 

LOCAL RECORDS OFFICE: The real estate industry could be a misleading business, after many years of working in the elusive mortgage industry; I learned that it could be very challenging and sometimes entertaining work. It pays well, but you have to put up with a lot of upset borrowers on different occasion, and deal with borrowers who are excited, mad, or just plain crazy.

Buying a house is undeniably an emotional and stressing process (even though it shouldn’t be), and as it turns out, some people get very angry when you can’t get them qualified for a mortgage. I realized that for some reason, people always think they are entitled to get a mortgage, even if their credit is less than stellar. This makes it a tough business to be in because not only do you get angry borrowers calling you from time to time, but also angry realtors and sellers as well. Sellers want to sell, buyers want to buy, and realtors want their commission — hey, what could go wrong??

READ MORE: The Dark Side of Being A Real Estate Agent – Local Records Office

After working in the mortgage industry for so long, I’ve witnessed and been a part of everything from mounting frustration when I couldn’t get a viable loan closed to shock when a bad loan actually did get approved. I’ve seen it all — good, bad, ugly, and just plain psycho.

There were many times I pulled a new borrower’s credit only to see dozens of credit cards, pages worth of collection accounts, a couple of car loans, and student loans out the wazoo. Sometimes I even thought, this is a foreclosure waiting to happen, or, you really have no business buying a house, but since I wasn’t an underwriter, I had to do what I could to get these people qualified anyway. It was my job, and it’s the nature of the mortgage-lending world.

When the underwriter didn’t want to approve the loan, guess who got to bear the bad news to the borrower? The broker, of course! Good, bad, and ugly, you’ve got to pass along the news. I definitely had a few panicky breather-sessions in the back room before facing some of my clients!

READ MORE: 5 Things Your Real Estate Broker Will Never Tell You

Sometimes I wanted to shake people or just yell at them. I once pulled credit on someone who had $1,800 worth of car payments and therefore didn’t qualify to buy a home. They were upset, but I had to tell them that they basically had a mortgage payment in their car payments. (And could they possibly live in their cars since they ruined their chances to buy a house??)

Sometimes common decency flies out the window. I had a borrower once who did not qualify to purchase a home, but couldn’t take no for an answer. Instead of moving on or trying to find another broker, she constantly called and texted me, even when I was at the funeral of a friend. Telling her I was at a funeral did not seem to embarrass her at all, and the next thing I knew, she was trying to get me to meet her so she could bring me some baked goods. She clearly thought I was trying my hardest not to give her a loan, and thought she could possibly bribe me with some baked goods after my friend’s funeral.

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In another unfortunate incident, I was perusing a borrower’s bank statements (we had to get them for most borrowers), only to find a charge for some inappropriate charges on his statement. I’m guessing he either forgot it was on there for my eyes to see, or he was just plain creepy.

I’ve had borrowers who can’t remember the address where they lived six months ago and ones that don’t seem to have a clue how much money they earn. How is it even possible not to know your income? And if you don’t know how much you actually earn, clearly you don’t budget, so how do you keep up with your bills and whether or not you can afford them?

First Time Home Buyers Are the Best Clients

It may come as a surprise to find out that first time home buyers are the best clients, but this hasn’t always been the case. The problem with many seasoned home buyers is most of them remember the few years before the housing crash (that dreaded sweet spot, if you will), when you could get a mortgage company to lend you a few hundred grand by merely stating your income and assets, and then signing a few papers.

READ MORE: 6 Things Every Homeowner Should Know to Keep Dream Home From Becoming a Nightmare

There were many loan programs out there called “Stated Income, Stated Assets” where you could just tell the lender what you made, with no real verification. Not surprisingly, that is exactly why the housing market crashed shortly thereafter.

Needless to say, it was always frustrating to me when a seasoned client would come in, after the crash, asking to borrow $200,000, and then whine and complain to me when I asked him for bank statements, pay stubs, W2s, and general proof of the borrower’s financial situation.

So many people would actually tell me they weren’t going to provide me with all of their personal information and, after a few weeks of back of forth about it, they would generally relent and provide me with the documentation I needed to get them a loan approval. First time homebuyers, however, typically made a list of what they needed, provided it quickly, and closed just as quickly. Easy!

BREAKING NEWS: You Won’t Believe What The Company “Local Records Office” Is Planning To Do from Local Records Office