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I did a Webinar with my good buddy Capt Pete Gauthier about 2 weeks ago (thanks to all 135 people on the call!!), and we’ve uploaded it for your viewing delight. The 55 minute webinar answers the #1 question I get from new and old investors alike; “Is Real Estate Investing Dead or Can You Still Make Money in This Market.” This 55 minutes is CHOCK FULL of valuable information on the state of the Maryalnd real estate market.

Also – Pete and I are hosting a Huge Announcement / INFO JAM event on July 29th and 30th, 2011. [CLICK THE PICTURE TO SIGN UP NOW] If you want to learn how to find all the deals you can handle, how make deliciosuly simple and mouth-watering offers that REO agents love, how to find the hidden deals that make big bucks, and yes – HOW TO GET RID OF THE BANKS, then you have to attend this event. And by the way, leave your checkbook at home. There will be NOTHING to buy at the event.

Just click the picture to above to sign-up then watch this webinar. If you’re thinking about making massive paydays as a RE rehabber like me, you must be at this event – because we will show you precisely how you can get in the game and how you can be on TV flipping with me.

Your cost: $39 measily bucks. Plus you can find out how to be on TV with me.

Watch and enjoy as I lay down some serious RE Investing law here – THEN TAKE ACTION and come out to see us on July 29th & 30th.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there may not be a hotter market in the country right now for real estate investing than the DC Metro and Baltimore markets. Folks, if you’re living in the DMV, you are truly in the cat-bird seat for making money by investing in real estate.

But, the June 2011 figures below from RBI (Real Estate Business Intelligence) show that the Baltimore Metro market, while promising – is still a bit of a mixed bag.

That’s why you have to be super-careful if you’re investing. I have a tried-and-true never-fail formula for success, and I follow it as if my life depends on it. I recently did a, “now famous” Webinar called, “The State of the Market” in the Maryland metro area. You can view a free replay of the 60-minute webinar, RIGHT HERE

June 2011 RBI Pending Home Sales Index
OVERVIEW: New pending sales activity slipped 5.3% to 2,585 from May to June 2011, consistent with the 3.4% decline averaged over the same period in the prior decade. However, the June 2011 total represented the most signed contracts for June in 4 years. The 30.8% jump from the June 2010 pending sales total of 1,977 reflected the sharp decline in contract activity immediately following the April 2010 expiration of the federal homebuyer tax credit and not a recent surge in contract activity. Median sales price seasonally increased for the third consecutive month, reaching $235,500 in June but remained 5.8% below $250,000 in the same month last year.

Read the rest of the report [HERE]

 


How do you read this? Maybe I’m just an eternal optimist, but damn this sounds like “blood in the water,” baiting the feeding frenzy. And guess who’s a hungry shark?

Lil ole’ me!

Check it out people. Think the banks don’t have a mess of inventory that they’re sitting on? Think again. If you’re not in the game, you better get in the game – because there may never be a better time to profit from real estate.


Foreclosure activity slowed in first half of 2011

By ALEX VEIGA, AP Real Estate Writer – Thu Jul 14, 12:07 am ET
LOS ANGELES – The number of homes taken back by lenders in the first half of this year fell 30 percent compared with the same 2010 period, the result of delays in foreclosure processing that threaten to stall a U.S. housing recovery.

Banks seized 421,212 homes in the first six months of the year, down from 529,633 between January and June last year, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

The decline reflects lenders taking longer to move against homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments. The banks are working through foreclosure [read the rest of the story here]

 


Looking for the very best mortgage rates today? This is not exactly real estate investing related, but the topic directly touches so many of us, I just had to share! If you, a family member, a close friend, hell – even an enemy are looking to re-finance a mortgage, you need to check out yet another great product from the masterminds at Google.

Its called Google Compare Mortgages and its right HERE <—– and I friggin’ love it!

My wife and I are looking to re-fi our 30 year mortgage with a 5/1 ARM because we’re pretty sure we can have our existing mortgage paid off in less than 24 months. We’re currently in a 30 year fixed at 6% with a payment of about $1280.00 per month (principal & interest). Refinancing to a 5/1 with NO points and ZERO dollars in bank closing fees, our new payment will be somewhere close to $680.00 (principal & interest).

The rate by the way is an astoundingly low; 3.5% (fixed for 5 years) How did I track down the best deal? Google Compare Mortgages. What a great free tool.

Now, I would not be doing you a good service if I did not tell you to be very careful when refinancing a mortgage. You must be VERY careful not to pay too much for the loan. So, how do you really know how much your new loan is costing you?

Let’s say you owe $200,000 on your existing mortgage. When you re-fi your mortgage, generally speaking all the costs of doing the loan (except for the appraisal) are rolled directly into your new mortgage balance. Those costs might be points, bank fees, title fees, city state and local fees, etc. So, that $200,000 balance can easily become $205,000, 210 – perhaps even $220,000 or even higher. This is where re-fi’ing can cost you way more than its worth, and where unscrupulous loan officers can really gouge you. But it doesn’t have to be this way. First, know exactly how much you owe on your current loan before speaking with a potential lender. Once you’re armed with your payoff balance, go to Google Compare Mortgages. Pick the best looking loan, and when you speak to the loan officer, tell the new lender directly that you refuse to pay any points and bank fees. Period!

Banks are not in the business of working for free – so you’ll pay a little extra for no points and no closing costs; usually a bump in your interest rate. But the bump should not be heavy. The “par rate” (see definition) for my loan was 3.25%, my rate: 3.50%. The difference in my payment was about $18 per month, but I’m saving a little over $2000.00 in upfront fees for the slightly higher rate.

Good luck. And let me hear your COMMENTS!


<——  SEXY PEOPLE SHARE! Please CLICK the SHARE button or Tweet Me!

I just got this blockbuster update from my buddy; Scott “Spidey” Smith. Hopefully you saw my recent video blog post where I talked about the extreme difficulty of selling houses. Now hold on…we’re getting buyers, and contrary to what the news reports, those buyers are getting financed, but the lenders and title co’s are making us (the Seller) jump through a Ba-Zillion (that’s a lot) hoops.

<<<< my wife says that the picture for this article (see my homepage) is OVER-the-edge, what do you think?  >>>>

Always on the bleeding edge, I give you the following article from The New York Times by David Streifeld, entitled “Company Stops Insuring Titles in Chase Foreclosures.” And as you read it (you damn site better read this one) ask yourself, how soon until all title co’s stop insuring any foreclosures until these lenders can prove that they followed the letter of the law in all 2 million foreclosures (thus far).

Find out what bank you’re buying your next REO from, and make sure they are not on the “shit list!” And Realtors – you better be careful too.

Here’s the New York Times article

Interesting Flip Tip: There are a ton of title companies out there. Hell, there must be several hundred in my little state of Maryland, alone. But did you know that each title company writes policies for only a VERY small handful of TITLE INSURERS? The title companies are basically insurance brokers who in most cases write exclusively for one title insurer. A list of the top-5 is above. Given the new above – you BETTER know who your title co is writing for.

Here’s another related CNBC article on what the media is referring to as RoboSigning Scandal.

Here’s a bunch of articles on RoboSigning and how its affecting foreclosures

<——  Super Sexy MO-FO’s Share – So HIT that SHARE BUTTON!

From The Washington Post
(Can’t believe they didn’t interview me! I need a better publicist.)

By Ovetta Wiggins
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 11, 2010

The house on 29th Street in Mount Rainier is a shambles. Mold and mildew cover the walls. The carpet reeks of urine. A chandelier in the dining room and dingy white curtains in the windows are the only reminders that the house was once a home.

“They let it sit so long it became a crack house,” said Karl L. Granzow Jr. as he walked through the building, looking out for rodents, roaches or their remains.

Despite the condition of the house, it is just the type of property that Granzow, his business partner, Patrick Ricker, and other investors have been snatching up in Prince George’s County since the housing bubble burst about three years ago. Granzow and Ricker bought the home on 29th Street a few months ago.

The properties are inexpensive. They are inside the Capital Beltway. And they are in communities where redevelopment projects and new construction are underway.

Granzow and Ricker said their company, Property and Industry Coordinators, has bought and renovated eight homes in the past year. Most of them are in Mount Rainier and Hyattsville. Bright Lusk Properties, a family-owned business in Hyattsville, has bought three since 2008. All are in Hyattsville, one of the Prince George’s communities hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis.

Last year, Prince George’s had 13,412 foreclosure filings, more than any other jurisdiction in the state. A filing could mean that the homeowner received a notice threatening foreclosure or that the property was sold at auction or was repossessed. The county, with 13.8 percent of the state’s housing units, had 31 percent of the state’s foreclosure filings.

Under the circumstances, housing and foreclosure experts said, it is no wonder that investors are eyeing places such as Hyattsville, Mount Rainier and Capitol Heights, communities with older housing stock near the District line.

“These are desirable locations,” said state Del. Doyle L. Niemann (D-Prince George’s), who has sponsored a number of bills dealing with foreclosure in recent years and who prosecutes mortgage fraud as an assistant state’s attorney. “Mount Rainier and Hyattsville are strong and attractive communities to folks, even in the current economic recession.”

Maryland does not track what happens to homes after they go into foreclosure or how many of those homes are bought by investors, said Raymond A. Skinner, state secretary of housing and community development.

But Skinner said it seemed likely that people would be looking for bargains and that many investors would focus on older communities, where the prices are lower and the chances of resale are greater.

Rebekah Lusk, a resident of Hyattsville and a founder of Bright Lusk Properties, said she chose to buy a house in the county’s Lewisdale section because her company wants to be part of the redevelopment effort in the city. All of its properties have been renovated and are being rented out.

“Our goal is to be active investors and be involved in the community,” she said. “We don’t flip. That’s not our goal. We’re not looking to put properties back on the market when there are so many already on the market.”

Niemann said the properties would otherwise become increasingly blighted or would be scooped up by speculators with no ties to the community.

Ricker said that he has made a living brokering real estate deals and investing in new developments — his company’s offices were raided by the FBI in 2008 during a probe of a proposed development near the Greenbelt Metro station — but that he had to refocus when the market dried up.

As he drives his black Cadillac Escalade through Mount Rainier and Hyattsville, he searches for signs of neglect in the neighborhoods. Brown lawns. Weeds. Missing curtains. He is looking for any possible indication that a homeowner is in foreclosure.

“When the bubble burst, I said, ‘Why not buy some of these homes?’ ” he recalled.

Instead of going to auctions, Ricker negotiates with lenders to arrive at an acceptable price.

He bought one house in Brentwood for about $100,000. He gutted it, installed marble countertops in the kitchen, new appliances and new bathroom fixtures, and he transformed attic space into a master bedroom. He said the house will sell for about $300,000.

“The positive is that they are not fly-by-night speculators who want to make a quick buck,” Niemann said. “Yes, they are making a return on their money, but there seems to be a strategy to make the community stronger.”

This is off-topic, I know.

The new iPad is here and as much as I’m a fanboy of all-things-Apple (I would have given a kidney to Steve Jobs), I’m just not sure I see the need to buy one, yet. I dig the form factor and I think its very pretty, but its feature-set wouldn’t make me get rid of my kick-ass MacBook Pro.

Have you checked out the iPad? If so, let’s have some fun. Answer my slick (figured it out myself) survey below!

Can someone, anyone, tell me where to find the ACTUAL lending rules for FHA buyers. Is it me or do they seem to change everyday? For the love of God, will the US Government just get the hell out of my way? All I want to do is buy super-crappy houses for pennies on the dollar, throw a chunk of money at them to make ‘em crazy pretty, and sell them for a huge profit. Simple, right?

Based on pure capitalism, my simple little business model seemingly flies directly into the face of the current administration, but its all I know – so I’m gonna keep on keeping on. That said, most if not all, of my buyers are first timer’s who use FHA or VA financing. I mean seriously, does anyone have 20% down anymore?

The FHA almost came to their senses by suspending the 90-day seasoning requirement on flips, and as we were all jumping for joy, we soon realized they didn’t. All the changes they made are now the subject of great debate. This is no lie – I’ve talked with lenders and other real estate investors just in the past few days who all seem to be confused regarding:

  1. What’s the deal with the 90-day rule? Can I sell a friggin’ house within 90 days or not?
  2. How many appraisals are needed and when a 2nd appraisal is ordered?
  3. What the rules are concerning flipping houses when you are an agent?
  4. What’s the deal with credit scores? Is it 580, or 620?
  5. Is there a new rule concerning raising the asking price to cover seller help?

Now, I KNOW, I read that they suspended the 90-day seasoning requirement and investors were jumping for joy thinking this applied to them- but then the FHA came out with more precise language. If you want to wade through it all you can do so by going to THIS LINK on HUD’s site.

The general consensus seems to be that the suspension applies only to buyer’s who are buying foreclosures from banks or clearing houses that sell bank REO’s – NOT – flipper who happen to get there rehabs done and sold under 90-days.

Tell me what you think. Tell me what you know! C’mon and chime in here and regale me with your knowledge on the subject.

More Helpful Links

FHA 90-Day Rule

FHA Considers Down Payment Requirements

FHA Increases Minimum Credit Score Requirement

Don’t cha’ just love new laws? If so, you’ve got to be loving all the new junk coming down the pike lately from our Ultra-liberal Maryland politicians. It’s pretty tough to be a landlord in Baltimore City, what with the stringent lead laws, and now – how about some carbon monoxide for ya?

I just received this very important email from my friend June Piper-Brandon; Kick-ass Realtor in Anne Arundel County. June’s all over AA County, but does a lot of business in Baltimore City as well. If you have rental properties in Baltimore City, you better read about this new law.

Here’ s the reprint from THIS article from the Baltimore CityPaper

By Erin Sullivan | Posted 3/3/2010
Per the Baltimore City Health Department, as of March 1 it’s mandatory that you have a carbon-monoxide detector installed in your home. We haven’t heard much about this ordinance which, according to information posted on the Department of Health’s website, was introduced in Jan. 2008 but only went into effect this year.

The press release announcing the law (dated Feb. 23, but sent out by automated Nixle.com notification service on March 2—a day after it went into effect) indicates that the law “follows the February 13th sickening of six passengers on a cruise ship docked in Baltimore.” Which is somewhat baffling, since the law would not have applied to the cruise ship since it’s not a city dwelling. Plus, the law actually passed 18 months ago, way before that ship even docked in town.

A basic carbon-monoxide detector will only set you back around $20, but if you’re really strapped for cash, Johns Hopkins Children’s Safety, located inside Children’s Admitting at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, has 250 of them to give away for free to those who qualify. According to Kisha Price, health educator at JH Children’s Safety, they’ve only given away about 50 so far. (If we had to guess, we’d say that’s probably because there hasn’t been much in the way of a public-education campaign about the new law or what it requires.) If you qualify for need-based programs like WIC, temporary cash assistance, and the like, you probably qualify for a free detector. Call (410) 614-5587 to set up an appointment to get one.

Even after the freebies are gone, Kidde says, “our center offers them pretty much for what we pay for them, or less.” The center’s also got reduced-cost fire alarms and other such safety implements.

Well, there doing it again in Baltimore. Thank you; oh ever miopic, ultra-liberal Baltimore politicians. Folks, if you own rental houses in Baltimore, you better read the email I received this morning – and YOU BETTER ACT. C’mon, let’s start our own tea-party. Get active! Attention landlords in Baltimore City – if they pass this lead law in Baltimore County, you can believe it will be coming to the city.

Baltimore is already a terrible city in which to be a landlord, but just when I start to think they can’t get any worse, they’re now looking to make the lead laws in Baltimore even more stringent. Read below:

Our lobbyist Bob Enten has asked our help in defeating Senate Bill 504, scheduled for a hearing on Thursday March 4 at 1:00 p.m. in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

This bill would require owners to perform BOTH the 10-step risk reduction standard AND clearance lead dust tests in order to get a Full Risk Reduction Certificate from MDE. This would cost millions of dollars and would not result in the decrease of incidents of lead poisonings. MDE statistics show that over half the poisonings in 2008 occurred in the dwellings other than pre-1950 rental properties. In addition, the statistical trend – in reducing incidents of lead poisoning – has been steadily downward over the 14 years that the law has required us to perform either the 10-steps or lead dust clearance testing. MDE needs to concentrate efforts on enforcement of the existing law, not on making the law more difficult and costly for those who already comply.

There are two important swing votes in the JPR Committee:

1. Senator James Brochin of Baltimore County District 42 (telephone 410-841-3648; email jim.brochin@senate.state.md.us) – His District includes Towson, east to Harford Road,

and

2. Senator Norman Stone of Baltimore County District 6 (telephone 410-841-3587; email norman.stone@senate.state.md.us) – His District includes Dundalk.

This week, we need to send many emails and phone calls to both Sen. Brochin and Sen. Stone from property owners in their respective districts – asking them to vote against Senate Bill 504.