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I’ve always believed in the theory, “different strokes for different folks,” but I’ll be damned to believe that this guy could possibly be happy living in a 78 sq ft apartment. Seriously, is this what its come to? There’s a new trend emerging in “home and garden” media. It seems that we Americans are insanely fascinated with other Americans who live in apartments the size of sardine cans. Oh how we love our extremes. First McMansions for everyone, now let’s trade them in for phonebooths for all!

(said like Johnny Carson) That apartment is so small…

(audience)  HOW SMALL IS IT?

(Johnny C) That apartment is so small he needs to step outside to change his mind.

I dare you not to watch the video below. Seriously….what do you think? I think this guy is so secretly depressed that he could be our next mass-murderer….that is, if he could fit an arsenal of weapons & ammo in his tiny-tiny apartment.

The guys at TWBS (ThinkBigWorkSmall.com) are at it again with another great video. Did you hear about the latest housing news? Its positive again. And, as much as I’d like to say, I know why – I really don’t know precisely why people are buying. Could be the ultra-low rates, could be that buyers now believe that price have hit rock bottom, heck – maybe its just penned up demand finally breaking loose. Whatever the case positive housing news continues in May 2012.

As an aside, one day, (I’m dreaming here) – I want to be like the guys at TWBS. Love their style, love their delivery, love the production. Do you love video production? Are you a master with Final Cut Pro and After Effects? If so, get in touch with me. Maybe we can make some cool vidoes together. Email me asap if you are interested

For March & April of 2012 news homes sales rose 3.3% and in many markets, prices are rising – something I’ve been reposting for several months now.

Check out this video from Frank and Brian

Call me skeptical, call me jaded, just don’t call me late for dinner. I once had a girlfriend whose father must have dropped that tired little ditty a million times during the 6-years we were together. I wanted to puncture my ear drums with knitting needles every time he said it. What’s this have to do with real estate, Craig? Not a damn thing, really.

I just read the following headline on Google News; “Fannie Mae Posts Biggest Profit Since 2007.” Then I paused and waited as the needle on my internal  crap-detector rose to the line that reads 100% stinky bull-shit!

You’ll recall that the US Govmt seized Fannie in 2008. Question; how does something get seized by the government when in fact the government already kind of owns it? Since the housing bubble bursted you, me and a few hundred million other tax-paying US Citizens have poured in $116 BILLION dollars (no wonder my bank account has a few less zeroes) of our hard earned money to keep the quasi-governmental agency afloat. And let’s not forget Fannie’s dysfunctional brother Freddie. If Fannie is a hopeless meth-addict selling herself on the street for her next fix, Freddie is crack-head looking for crack-crumbs in the carpet at Atlanta Housewives Fannie Mae Posts Biggest Profit Since 20074AM. We also contributed an additional to $71.3 billion to Freddie. That’s $200 bill between the two. Someone call Betty Ford, these two need a 12-step program.

And you ‘ll love this, even after posting profits, both agencies came back to the well for more money! Los Angeles Times reporter Jim Puzzanghera writes, “The profit was its first since Fannie Mae reported a $73-million profit in the fourth quarter of 2010. But even then, the company needed $2.6 billion from the federal government to stay afloat and to afford the 10% quarterly dividend it must pay on its bailout.”

How does that work? Each agency posted a profit, but then went back and asked for another $3 billion. And this brings me to the real reason for today’s little rant – don’t believe everything you read or hear! The headline of the story would make you believe that all is good, that we’re turning the corner. You’re a reader of my blog so I know you are smarter. I don’t worry about you.

Tell a Friend To Get Informed

The real reason for this post; my real worry is the other 98% of Americans who get their news from The Daily Show or People Magazine. I worry about people who think that John Stewart is a real news reporter and who’d rather know more about Kim Kardashian’s 6-hour marriage then why we’ve paid $300 billion dollars of our children’s and grand-children’s money to bail-out two agencies that failed through no fault of ours. I’m worried my vote being cancelled out by someone who could regale you with every detail of last night’s episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, but could not tell you one thing about the pitfalls of government run healthcare. I’m worried about an electorate who think its super-cool rather than demeaning for their president; the most powerful man in the world to slow jam the news with Jimmy Falon. The approval rating for Congress has fallen to another all-time low; 13%. I’m worried about the 13% who said, “Yes!” WHO IN THE HELL ARE AMONGST THE 13%? Who are these people, where are they getting their news and will the be voting? Scary.

Get informed, people.

THE REST OF THE FANNIE STORY IS HERE

Is clear that more foreclosures are coming. I think I’ve been beating that drum pretty loudly of late. Here’s some interesting foreclosure news: There is one county in my market of Maryland where 75 REO listings hit the market in one week (week of April 22nd). That’s pretty astounding given the fact that in some recent weeks there have not been more than 75 total bank-owned listings.

U.S. Foreclosures Will Increase

A recent report (see the video) below from Bloomberg.com affirms what we have all believed for a while. Foreclosures will surely increase. Look people, I don’t care what the media is telling you, the economy is NOT getting better. People are still unemployed or under employed, and as such mortgages are simply not getting paid. And now that the robo-signing scandal is largely behind us, and the banks have received their $26-million dollar “how do you do” from Obama and friends, I think the flood gates are about to open!

Are you ready? If not – you better get ready!

More Foreclosures Coming Foreclosure News. Bloomquist Reports More Coming.We’re coming into a hot season, I can feel it. Those of you who know how to scour the internet for great deals are about to ride a pretty sudsy wave. Those of you who are lacking the knowledge on how to capitalize, are gonna be left in the dust. I’m currently rallying all my private money sources and I’m recruiting more. I’m also marketing and putting the word out to wholesalers. What will you do to get up to speed?

Will you know the REO agents in your area? Will you have a good solid proof of funds letter? Will you know your target markets like the back of your hand – meaning – will you know the comps and the ARV’s? How about buyers? If you’re a wholesaler will you have buyers like me already lined up and salivating for you to find them HOT HOT deals?

Now the’s precise time to start planting those seeds of success. The next wave is coming.

Check out the video below. Then, if you’re not ready, click on the banner to the left and get you some solid education from one of the hottest wholesalers in the county. This girl really knows her stuff!

May Not be a Tidal Wave of Foreclosures

I have often said that flipping houses is a roller coaster ride. Its not a job for the faint of heart. Recently I came up with a new analogy. If you want to learn How to Invest in Real Estate, how to, “flip the house,” as I say – you must first understand that flipping is like a shaky, wobbly, 3-legged chair. Its fragile, baby – so be careful how you sit.

Even though it seems every one and there mother is now investing in real estate (let’s face it the barrier to entry is pretty low), there are three critical variables to real estate success. Miss any one of the three and your little wobbly chair will fall over faster than Snookie after a night of partying down at the Jersey Shore.

Real estate investing is a serious business played with serious money. You owe it to yourself to make sure that you stand on solid footing before you venture into a deal. Wanna know how to get it right? Watch this video below.

(Shameless alert: THIS MIGHT BE MY BEST VIDEO EVER!)

Well, here’s another update on this fast moving house before and after; Rolling Thunder. My little version of Flip This House. In this 2.5 minute episode, I talk about what I think I do better than any other rehabber in the country – “sizzle with the steak.” Ever been to Ruth’s Chris steak house? You know when they bring that $40.00 steak to your table and its still sizzling? Ever wonder why they do that?

I’ll tell you why – BECAUSE IT COSTS $40 FRIGGIN’ DOLLARS! The sizzle is like that added bonus that makes you feel like your getting something really special.

Well, that’s how I do my rehabs. Lots of sizzle. And THAT is why my houses sell for more dollars and in less time than most other houses in the neighborhood.

Check out this video below where I show you what I’m doing with the basement.

S0 many stories lately on the next wave of foreclosures. Is the foreclosure dam ready to break? Maybe its wishing thinking, maybe I’m just bored as I twiddle my thumbs through one rehab at a time – but I oh, how I dream of riding that next sudsy wave. Frank and Brian over at ThinkBigWorkSmall.com are all over this story in a wildly entertaining way that only they can report.

What do you think? Is the foreclosure dam ready to break?

How does 1.6 to 8 MILLION foreclosures sound to you? Tasty, huh?

Watch below. These guys are my heroes!

Here’s the 2nd installment in my latest installment of Flip This House, Craig Fuhr style. Watch as I take you on a little before and after trip through Rolling Thunder. In this short video I show you how we made just one little change to make the place feel more open and airy, and modern. Look, if you’re dealing with houses that were built more than 20 years ago, trust old Cousin Craig – those crappy places need a face life more than Robert Redford. And I ain’t talking a little botox to fill in the creases…I’m talking “bust out the blade – we’re going in heavy.”

Framing is almost done. This kitchen and 1st floor is gonna be tighter than a tick!

0312 jessica simpson splash 1 272x300 Use Your IRA Now to Invest in Real EstateWe’re told time and again not to touch our retirement money, to let it grow bigger and bigger like Jessica Simpson (damn, that’s one big-as-a-house pregnant woman!). But what if tapping into your IRA to invest in real estate can make you big bucks now? I say “go for it”.

Lots of Americans are renting, because they’re not one of the few elite chosen by the bank to receive a mortgage. In turn, tangible assets like real estate continue to raise the eyebrows of value investors. So what does this mean to you? You can use your self-directed IRA to purchase and manage a property, and in the end, you’ll actually replenish your retirement money with the rent you collect on that property. Tax FREE!

So what do you have to do and what rules do you need to follow to get the show on the road? Here’s the 30,000 foot view to wet your whistle.

TRUST COMPANIES

  1. Find a house that’s undervalued in a neighborhood that’s attractive to renters or one that you can flip. There’s lots of ways to find bargain house, but consult with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae who are offering programs to sell their foreclosed properties (some already with renters) to investors who want to manage properties. Alternately (and this is even sweeter), you can simply lend to another investor, like me. I find the property, I do all the work, and I pay you a fat interest fee on your money – you quite simply get to sit back and play Mr. Banker with your IRA funds. Ok, so its a little more complicated that that, but my investors love me because they know I have tons of experience, I buy super cheap, and I always have massive cushions built in to my deals so that if something goes wrong, their money is still safe and protected.
  2. Don’t even think about taking a loan on that traditional IRA. How about directing the money yourself in what’s called a Self directed IRA or Self Directed Roth IRA Find a government-designated custodian (broker-dealer, or trust company) to hold your IRA. These are firms like IRA Resources, Equity Trust, Guidant Financial Corp, En trust, Security Trust etc… But be prepared to be raped…just a little bit (it will only hurt for a second), as these comapnies generally charge fairly high fees to set up your account, or to do transactions from your new self-directed IRA account.
  3. Remember rentals have to be just that…rentals. You can’t live in, vacation in it, throw Kid n’ Play house parties in it, and you can’t buy the property from family members (not that you’d want to). And, if you decide to “be the bank,” and lend guys like me money – you have to “be the bank,” only – you can not be a partner in the deal. Oh, sure you’re IRA will hold title to the property, but our friends at the IRA say we can not be partners.
  4. There are as you can imagine a TON of rules (its not really your money until Uncle Sam says its your money). Don’t f— around with how you play the game; hire a rockstar tax lawyer and accountant or get advice from your self-directed custodial company. They generally are pretty lawyered-up (you’d be too if you dealth with the US Gov for a living) and can tell you what you can and can’t do with your the money in your self directed IRA.

At first glance, it may seem that jabbing a fork in your eye or getting a colonoscopy from Dr. Lovealottabutt would be a more pleasant experience, but chin up; there are advantages to using IRA’s to fund real estate. You know you’re a control freak, and now you can put that annoying, relationship-slaying…uh, I mean sparkling, charming quality to good use. Take control of your retirement destiny. All the capital gains and income tax is deferred, which is like giving your investment dollars Viagra (shwing, shwing). Now’s the time to invest your money in real estate; why not use your IRA to get in the game?

Like this article – how about pressing the “like” button below. That’s good Karma.

Well, here it is – the next installment of “home extreme makeover” by Craig Fuhr. And yes, a little ‘ode to AC/DC. Who do you love more, Bon Scott “Highway to Hell, or the other guy who sand on all the rest of AC/DC’s albums?

Truth be told, I’ve been laying low since selling my last two rehabs in December and January. Not gonna lie, sometimes just sitting back and listening as The Lord prepares you fo your next move is a good thing. You can often find great solace and clarity in those times. When you’re running at the speed of light sometimes the world can get you down in a hurry, sometimes you forget all the great and wondrous things about entrepreneurship.

But after the listening and waiting for your next move, after getting all-spiritually centered, you got’s to get back to “makin’ that money.” When my phone rang on this deal, I knew almost instantly that it was a deal I had to have. That was in February. We just closed today… on April 1st. Man – there was some HAIR on this one! The wholesaler got his fee on this deal!

HOUSE BEFORE AND AFTER.

Without further adieu, I give you my latest and soon to be greatest rehab: Rolling Thunder! Stay tuned, its gonna be fun.