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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.

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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

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Here’s something you’ll never hear on The Today Show or the evening news.  When is the last time you heard about a house selling in less than 3 days on the market.

It happens folks.  If you just follow my simple formula for selling houses, which is:

Real Estate Investing Tip:

Pick a good homeowner neighborhood
Do a great rehab
List it for less than the other comps

Sometimes I lie awake at night thinking, “Maybe the economy is so horrible I can’t be a rehabber – not in this market,” and “Maybe I should stick to increasing my rental portfolio.”

Then I wake up from that nightmare, and slap some cold water in my face.

Look at this deal.

My student; Leesa McShanes (name changed to protect those phobic of all things public) took my advice and went to a recent auction.  She picked up 846 Mangold Street in PigTown, MD, now called Washington Village by all the Yuppies moving in.

Here are the numbers:

$102,300  Purchase Price
$  11,000   Rehab
$180,500  Under Contract NOW!!!

Profit Potential:  ~ $35,000.  Not bad for less than a month of work.  God, I love this business.

We completed the entire rehab in a weekend which consisted of adding crown molding and trim, new paint throughout, some patch work, some repairs to the roof and rooftop deck, a couple of new vanities – and finally we switched out the main water line that runs from the main meter in the street into the house.  New carpet was added on a Monday and the staging company came in on a Tuesday.

Leesa put the property on the market on a Thursday evening, and by Sunday or Monday she had a cash buyer for the full-asking price less 6%.  We raised the price 3% and gave the six – for a net seller help of 3% – which we always figure in our purchase price before buying.

Leesa has owned this property for less than a month!  She hasn’t even made her first payment to the bank yet!

I wish I could say they are all this easy, but of course we know they are not.  What we do know however, is – the property was priced right at about $15,000 below others in the neighborhood.  This tactic works folks!  Buyers today want VALUE but they also do not want to sacrifice quality.  Follow the success formula above for investing in real estate, and you will win every time.

Check out a little video action:

Love to hear your comments!

Look at the final pictures below: