How to Buy Las Vegas HUD Homes

real2

 

Las Vegas, Nevada, commonly known as Sin City, is well known for having many foreclosed properties for sale. HUD buys some of these foreclosures because they were backed by FHA before going into default. This a big financial loss, so HUD needs to resell these homes to members of the public to get back that money. Those trying to scout out cheap homes in Vegas can find Las Vegas HUD home listings online through a government website. These potential buyers can then find what they are looking for and place bids to buy HUD homes in Las Vegas through a Vegas real estate broker approved for HUD bidding.

Step 1:

 

You can easily find these HUD foreclosures in Las Vegas by going to hudhomestore.com/HudHome/Index.aspx, which is a HUD-owned government website that lists HUD’s properties for every state. In this case, select Nevada and then Las Vegas to find the HUD Las Vegas homes in this area.

 

There is a wide range of houses for sale in this area, so you may also choose to narrow your search for Vegas properties by several other factors, including cost of the homes, size by number of rooms and other characteristics. You can choose those options with the search tools at the top of the Las Vegas HUD homes search results.

 

Step 2:

 

Only a Nevada real estate broker will be able to place HUD bids for the properties you seek to purchase. Thus, you need to go back to the same website’s home page and click on “Find a Broker” to get to the broker/agent listings. Select Las Vegas to find a broker in Sin City that can help you bid on HUD homes in Las Vegas.

 

Step 3:

 

Most HUD Las Vegas property buyers do not have the actual cash to buy a home. If you fall into this group, then you need to speak to Las Vegas mortgage brokers to get a home loan.

 

Step 4:

 

Once your finances are in order, ask your Las Vegas broker to go ahead and start sending in bids to HUD Las Vegas. You might be limited to one bid at a time, so have patience when trying to buy Las Vegas HUD properties.

 

Step 5:

 

When the agency approves your bid, it will send work to your broker. You will then have to submit a deposit and start preparations for paying for the home at the closing. This “closing” will be conducted by a Las Vegas closing agent approved by HUD for home closings.

 

Step 6:

 

The last major step in a real estate deal is to complete the proper local deed filing. In all areas (not just Las Vegas), you should obtain a deed from the seller and file it in the county of the property that you bought. In this case, take your deed from HUD and file it in the recording office of Clark County unless you buy a Las Vegas-area HUD home outside of that county.

 

Sources:

 

HUD Home Listings

How to Buy Atlanta HUD Homes

real1

Atlanta is a very popular place for seeking out cheap real estate. This area tends to have many foreclosed properties throughout the year, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) buys many of these houses at the local foreclosure auctions. HUD then sells them to average members of the Georgia public through a HUD bidding process. Buyers can use online resources to search for suitable Atlanta HUD homes. The buyers then hook up with an Atlanta real estate broker approved to submit bids to HUD on Georgia HUD properties.

Step 1:

 

HUD operates a website that lists data and even pictures of the HUD homes in Atlanta. You can access this home-listings government website at hudhomestore.com/HudHome/Index.aspx. Of course, you should look for the map and then select “Georgia” to get all listings for the state. You then pinpoint local homes by selecting “Atlanta” as the city.

 

Now, some HUD home buyers are owner occupants looking for a family home. Others are investors looking to make bucks off of flipping houses. Both buyer types may bid on HUD Atlanta homes, but investors are sometimes excluded from bidding on certain properties. To find the Atlanta properties open to investors, use the “buyer type” search option.

 

Step 2:

 

Atlanta has a slew of real estate brokers and agents. But you need one specifically approved by HUD to place bids on your behalf for HUD Atlanta properties. Select “Find a Broker” on HUD’s site (from the main page). Then, select Georgia or just Atlanta as the city to find local HUD brokers or agents.

 

Step 3:

 

If you need financing for a HUD Atlanta property, you will then need to speak to Atlanta banks or mortgage lenders about getting a loan. This is an important component of your HUD bid.

 

Step 4:

 

Get your Atlanta broker to go ahead and submit bids on the properties that you want. You might be limited to one bid at a time, so it could take a while to purchase an Atlanta HUD home.

 

Step 5:

 

Now, wait for HUD Atlanta officials to accept your bid. Once accepted, then a Georgia closing agent will be assigned to wrap up the sale. However, in the meantime, be aware that you will have to quickly pay a deposit and get ready to buy the house in full at the closing.

 

Step 6:

 

It is very important to protect your property interests in HUD homes in Atlanta once you have completed the sale. The way this is done is by getting a deed from HUD and then filing it in the county recorder’s office where the property is located. So if your property is in Fulton County, you would file there. Otherwise, you would file in DeKalb County or whichever other county your Atlanta-area home is located.

 

Sources:

 

HUD Home Listings

Selling Your Own Home to Save Real Estate Fee can be Risky

The following is a guest post from Nigerian real estate developer Michael Chudi Ejekam.

Contract

Sellers have to remember that a written contract for the sale of a property is binding. The clauses contained therein can have serious implications. Awareness and knowledge are critical. There are buyers who like to target For Sale by Owners (FSBO) in order to get the best deal possible. These buyers are often more experienced than the seller and can skew the contract to their benefit.

Selling Price

Unless the seller has access to current market information, pricing may be off the mark. If it is too low, there will be a loss and if it is too high there may not be a sale. Nevertheless, the seller selects what he perceives to be a market value price and hopes to make a gain because he doesn’t have to pay out a real estate fee.

Sounds like a good plan. Then a buyer comes along and makes an offer that is lower than the asking price BECAUSE the sale will not incur a real estate fee!

Both parties are trying to save the real estate fee. Often the seller gets short changed.

Advertising

When selling a home, exposure is a must. Advertising is required. This generally consists of a lawn sign, some newspaper ads and, especially, internet exposure. More and more buyers do their initial searches on the internet. Marketing skills and ad writing abilities are a plus. Photos will also be required. All these items have costs attached.

Showings

Availability for calls and appointments are a priority. If employed, showings will be limited to after hours and weekends. People could also knock on the front door without an appointment. This may create a problem if school children get home before the parents.

Pre-Screening & Follow Ups

Pre-screening calls and asking questions about mortgage eligibility is helpful. This could eliminate those who are qualified to buy from those who are not. Similarly, it is ideal if contact information can be obtained for follow-up. This is sometimes difficult for the seller to acquire. Any feedback that is obtained could also be somewhat biased so as not to offend the seller.

Risks

Without pre-screening of any kind, there can be risks in inviting potential buyers to view the home. They are total strangers! Are they serious about buying? Do they have other reasons for wanting to see the home? Should they go through the home without being escorted? If so, are valuables removed for security reasons? Is the medication in a safe place? Or, should the potential buyers be accompanied on their walk through the home? Will they be reluctant to ask questions or make comments because the home is being shown by the owner? Showings are often a dilemma for the seller.

Solution

Hire a real estate agent! In the long run, such a professional can often net the seller the same amount of dollars- and sometimes even more. They know their markets and they have the skills- especially negotiating skills. Peace of mind results from knowing that the real estate agent has the expertise and is looking after the interests of the seller.

Interview two or three experienced agents and select one that is a good fit and in whom there is sufficient confidence.

Why is Renters Property Insurance so Essential?: Renters Contents Insurance is Not the Landlord’s Responsibility

The following is an article by Natural Resources Management president Tracy Suttles, a figurehead in the Houston, Texas real estate development scene.

Renters property insurance is like any other form of coverage, it only seems important when it becomes necessary to make a claim. Whilst paying for a policy cannot be considered an enjoyable activity, it is a lot better than facing the consequences of liability for injury or replacing all personal possessions in the event of theft. For those on a fixed budget, the cost of home renters insurance can be reduced by increasing the deductible so that only the most troublesome financial problems are covered.

Protect Items of Value with Renters Property Insurance

There is a high probability that something bad will eventually happen to someone’s personal property. Renters home insurance typically offers two alternatives: the ‘replacement cost coverage’ or ‘actual cash value’ (ACV). A policy offering the ‘actual cash value’ will only provide a payment equivalent to its current replacement cost. However, ‘replacement cost coverage’ will pay the insured a sum of money that will cover the full cost of it being replaced. Although more expensive, the latter option is more comprehensive.

Renters Home Insurance Provides Liability Protection

If an individual were to sustain any sort of injury whilst in the insured’s apartment, the policy (subject to any limit in-place) would provide a payment equivalent to the cost of damages and medical expenses. Court costs (if applicable) would also be covered. Without this protection in place, a tenant could find himself owing tens of thousands of dollars. It could even bankrupt them. However, insurance for renters can help to manage this risk and provide genuine peace-of-mind for the tenant and his/her guests.

Renters Insurance Coverage and Unlivable Premises

A renters property insurance policy provides assistance when a property can no longer be lived in due to damage, a rebuild or relocation. This means that if the insured has no choice but to move out because it is unlivable, the policy will cover the cost of living in a comparably priced house, condo or apartment. The limit is typically limited to 30-40% the policy value. Thus, someone insured for $150,000 would have an additional living expenses limit of between $45,000 and $60,000. Other providers allow the insured to claim for a maximum of up to 12 months or for a “reasonable length of time.” Each policy document should be checked for the specifics.

The Value of Renters Property Insurance

Life can be very unpredictable, but renters home insurance provides a way of underwriting that risk. Although it isn’t a legal requirement, it is important to appreciate that the landlord is not responsible for a tenant’s possessions or what happens to visitors at that property. Insurance for renters not only covers home contents, it also provides protection should something happen to a visitor. It is essential for anyone who lacks sufficient financial resources to cover such costs or liabilities.

Tracy Suttles can be reached on Twitter at @tracydsuttles.

Agent Representation in the Home Selling Game

Agent Representation One important item that needs to be understood is the manner in which an offer is being made. Is it verbally? In writing? From a seller’s agent? From a buyer’s agent? What’s the difference, anyway? You have done all the work, shown the property to the customer, then all of a sudden an agent, whom you made no prior commission agreement with, shows up at your doorstep, claiming to represent you, with an offer and a commission agreement. The buyer sought out their service (or was suckered in to it) yet they claim to represent you. Further more, they want you to pay for their services. An even more frightening scenario is when this unknown agent show up representing the buyer and still wanting you to pay for their services. Don’t laugh, this happens all the time and creates a huge dilemma.

Probably what happened was that this buyer ran in to the agent at an open house, or visiting a house that this agent had listed. The unsuspecting buyer may have mentioned to the agent that he was going to make an offer on a FSBO (probably in an effort to ditch the pushy agent). The agent, in turn, offers to “protect” him and get him the “best deal”. “Not to worry” says the agent, “you won’t have to pay me a thing…my service is free to you”. Hook, line and sinker, this buyer just got reeled in to letting this agent benefit by stepping into the sale, late in the game, and basically getting a commission for work done by the buyer and seller. this happens all the time.

If a real estate agent, that has not made a prior agreement with you, shows up at your door claiming to represent you yet solicited by the buyer, question their true motivation. I seriously doubt that an interested buyer went to this agent and said “I want to buy a FSBO, but I want you to help the seller get the best possible deal from me. Please represent the seller’s best interest, not mine.” Ask the agent if the buyer was promised he would not have to pay for the services. The agent will probably respond by telling you that the seller always pays the commission. The fact of the matter is that the seller only is required to pay a commission or fee when an agreement is made with a broker. In a case such as this you would be well within your rights to question who this agent is really representing. I would be reluctant to rush and pay their fees. On the contrary, you might do well to suggest that the buyer pay the fees, as they appear to be the actual client. When the agent realizes he may well be out of the loop he will probably get out of the picture. It is an awkward situation to be in, and all too common, unfortunately.

Rent vs. Buy Analysis: Real Estate Investment Analysis View

Many investors don’t think about the rent vs. buy analysis that a consumer should be focusing on before they consider buying a home. This analysis varies across neighborhoods. In places like New York City, it could cost a consumer 1.5x or even 2.0x as much to buy a home on a monthly basis as it would cost to rent that same home. Conversely, in a city like Detroit, it might be it might cost 2.0x or even 3.0x to rent a home on a monthly basis in comparison to purchasing that same home. So what does that have to do with an investor?

Real Estate Trends

It’s simple: investors need to watch the trends. Regardless of the absolute number, as it gets cheaper to rent a home or buy a home, consumers will move, one way or the other. While most consumers will not sit down and do the actual analysis, media, real estate advertising and other sources of information serve to shape the consumers’ opinion of value. Investors can use this leading indicator to better understand where the price of their investment property will trend.

Consider the real estate market in 2007. In 2007 many housing markets reached historical high prices, while rents grew modestly over that same time period. The gap between rents and mortgage payments grew to an all-time high in many markets. Smart investors watching this gap could only expect reversion of either home prices or rents. If economic growth and prosperity were driving the increase in housing prices, investors would have expected rents to increase as well. If low interest rates and irrational consumption were driving the growth in the housing market, investors could expect housing prices to decline at some point.

Real Estate Prices

Savvy investors were using this data as a warning sign to sell their single family home investments. Assuming low interest rates and irrational consumption would lead to a decline in housing prices, investors should not have assumed that rental rates would increase. To the contrary, the housing market growth drove consumption and the sudden halt put the economy on very shaky footing.

Smart investors should have sold and simply waited. Real estate is one of the few investment classes that simply allow an investor ample time to get in and out of the market. Market movements take months or even years, so investors could have seen the warning signs in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Real estate is cyclical, so investors will get another chance to make the right choice. Watch out for home prices declining to the point where they are on par with their historical relationship to rents. That will be the time to buy.

Appreciation and Cash Flow Today: Falling Interest Rates, Declining Prices, Increasing Rents

Today’s market offers investors a very interesting opportunity. With hot markets experiencing a double digit decline in prices and rents holding steady or facing a slight decline, investors now have the opportunity to buy cash flowing properties with the prospects of strong appreciation.

Real Estate Markets

The dynamics in many hot markets are rapidly moving into a good place for investors. Markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago are experiencing double digit declines in growth. Additionally, second tier markets like many in Florida and Las Vegas have experienced more than 30% decline in value.

Over the same time period, rents have experienced a much more modest decline, if any. Renting and owning is a zero sum game. People have to live somewhere and either they rent or they own. During the housing boom renters were becoming owners at a very heavy clip. Home ownership rates in the US and Canada skyrocketed. For owners of multifamily product or single family home renters that boom meant less demand for their product. The lighter demand muted rent growth for the past three or four years.

Rental Market

The tables appear to be turning. With owners choosing to return to renting or being forced to return, demand for rentals is beginning to pick up. Expect this trend to continue. The depressed housing market is creating a greater supply of rentals as homeowners, who can’t sell their properties, turn them into rentals. Despite this trend, rents don’t face the same decline in many markets as home value do.

In addition to the lower prices of homes and the steady rents, interest rates remain historically low. Although investors need to produce a 20% down payment and have stellar credit, they can secure a fixed monthly payment for the next 30 years. These low rates present buyers the opportunity to secure more expensive properties with relatively lower monthly payments. Putting these dynamics together affords buyers of investment properties the rare opportunity to secure cash flowing rental properties in areas with strong expected future appreciation.

These opportunities only come along in a down market. At some point, home prices will reverse their declines. Landlords might experience a significant increase in rents before that time however, as the economy recovers. Don’t expect these opportunities to persist forever. Investors are savvy and will be snapping up these properties quickly. The process will be slowed by the current tight lending standards, so investors with capital should use this to their advantage. Buy cash flowing properties in strong neighborhoods today.

The Value of a Real Estate Agent: A rebuttal to ‘$60,000 in real estate commissions down the drain’

Recently a letter was published in the Toronto Star that was misleading about many things Realtors do. It also alluded to the fact that the writer did not believe Realtors earned their commissions. The reality is that what a sales representative does is very detail-oriented work that often begins well before your home is listed.

Before most agents walk out the door to go to an initial listing appointment they have already done between 10 to 15 hours of preparation for the appointment. The home’s sales history is brought up. Neighbouring properties are researched to see if comparable homes have been sold, expired or are currently listed. This doesn’t even include the daily tracking of local statistics to stay on top of the ever- evolving real estate marketplace.

Once this preliminary work is completed, the agent meets with the potential client. This takes anywhere from 4 to 15 hours depending on the home and the client. This consultation usually involves measuring the home and itemizing the type of service the client can expect. The service is essentially the blueprint the agent uses to help sell your home. Before leaving, the agent will likely schedule a time to follow up for second appointment, because agents are in competition for listings in most cases.

This means more work back at the office. Expect your agent to take your information and compare it to other comparable properties in your area. This takes between 4 and 8 hours to compile what is known as a Current Market Analysis. Through this process your agent will have determined an appropriate price range in which to list your home.

Following this fact-finding mission, the realtor heads out to meet with the client for a second time. This time the agent will discuss the conclusions of the Current Market Analysis of your home. At this point the agent had worked for between 18 to 38 hours without any compensation whatsoever. The average agent lists approximately 1 in 5 listings. A good agent will list 3 in 5 listings, meaning that almost half of the time a realtor does all of this work and never receives any payment.

Once a property has been listed with the agent, a listing file needs to be prepared. This is the information that concerns surveys, current property taxes, statements concerning the condition of the property and compiling listing documentation. In addition to this the property is photographed for the MLS and for any advertising. All this takes between 10 to 15 hours.

Next the agent needs to promote and market the property. The agent will invest a couple hundred dollars to several thousand dollars to promote and market a specific property. The average showing takes 1 hour. An open house takes 2 hours, with 3 to 5 hours of preparation. With all this the agent has put in somewhere around 30 to 35 hours without ever receiving a penny from the vendor, and has likely spent around $500 to $1000 dollars to market the property.

Having said all this it is clear that the agent has made a substantial investment of time as well as money on a property that may or may not sell.

Now, hopefully an offer will come in that will turn into a sale. Your agent will invest the time and energy to explain the offer and help with the negotiation process to get you the most money possible for your home. This process can take only 2 hours or it can stretch out to days in some of the more difficult negotiating scenarios.

When it is all said and done, the vendor and the agent have both taken a risk that has hopefully paid off. Agents depend on listings to generate buyer leads and additional business. Vendors need their home to sell for a variety of reasons and the guidance they receive from their sales agent is invaluable in most cases. The agent has put their own time and money on the line in order to support the vendor and to assist them throughout the sales process.

People Who Should Avoid Real Estate Investing: Bull Market Geniuses, Risk Averse Investors, and Cash Poor People

Buying real estate as an investment is a dream many have. The idea of renting a piece of property to someone else while equity builds and debt reduces can be great. And it is, but these aspects of property ownership do not stand alone.

Owning a rental property has expenses, and they can be unpredictable. While simple wear and tear will happen, more expensive problems can occur like old wiring falling out of code and drainage pipes eroding. For the latter reasons, people who should not invest in property are:

  • Bull market geniuses
  • Risk averse investors
  • Cash poor people

Bull Market Geniuses Should not Invest in Real Estate

A bull market genius is a person who makes money when everyone is making money, and finds it to be a testament of his or her investment savvy. In the late 1990’s the buying market was full of these people. In early 2001, many of them were getting washed away by the fiscal tsunami that came with favored stocks like Enron and WorldCom sinking like stones.

Shortly after that debacle, more of these investors were found to have been caught in the rush of rising homes values. The result of being so house rich and cash poor may have led them to refinance, pulling out a hundred-thousand dollars to invest elsewhere. After all, they made all that money on their home; they must know what they’re doing.

The Risk Averse Investors Should Avoid Real Estate

Risk is relative. While some invest in real estate because they are risk averse, others feel that property is too risky. This could be because they don’t know enough about what they are investing in (making them very smart to avoid what they don’t understand) or from a bad past experience.

Either way, if buying piece of property is going to shorten one’s life due to stress, it is best to avoid it. For those who need the security of knowing their money will be there tomorrow, even if it isn’t going to grow tremendously, there are low risk investments that will still bring a fair return.

Real Estate Requires Cash

The whole point of investing is to make money, not spend it. While this is true, it also takes money to make money, and someone who has no money cannot make money with money unless it is someone else’s.

Now, this is entirely possible with the purchase of a property via mortgage, and the building of equity by way of rent, but the remaining necessary cash is going to have to come from one’s own pockets at times.

For example, let’s say a property owner has a single family home with a renter. Suddenly, holes are forming in the yard. Upon further inspection, it is due to eroding drainage lines, and the problem cannot be ignored, but to the detriment of the property. Unfortunately, getting to the person in one’s local government who can solve this problem can be challenging for such an issue, and in the end, the problem may not be theirs to handle. Such a repair can cost more than $10,000.

Owning property can be a great endeavor. There are incredible tax benefits and the opportunity for great growth, but for any of the above people, it should be avoided.

Invest in Real Estate Today: Risks and Rewards to Buying Now

Right now good real estate investors have a competitive advantage. For the most part, the real estate market has been in a tailspin, investors have either been on the sidelines or actively fighting with lenders to rescue some of their fallen capital. Owners that have a choice about buying or selling are choosing to stay put and those that have to sell face serious sharks in the water that smell blood.

Why Not Invest in Real Estate Today?

So what is the down to being a shark in the water? First, investors really need to do their homework. Just because something seems like a great deal does not mean that it is. Understanding the risks of the deal is important, particularly with new construction. With the high number of homebuilders shutting their doors or facing foreclosure, buying a new home might leave you holding a very bad bag. In this market, every property should be inspected thoroughly. The incentive to cut corners when building and running out of cash is extremely high. Before considering any purchase, be extremely thorough in your due diligence.

No one wants to catch a falling knife. Maybe if you buy something today, real estate prices decline another 10%, 20% or even 50%? Lets think about what would have to happen in the economy to see real estate prices fall 30% over the next 3-5 years. First, there would have to be no inflation. Inflation would be a sign of economy recovery. Rapid deflation might do it, but the likelihood of that is minimal. Second, we would have to see an increase in the current levels of inventory. Again, though some will disagree, this is also not likely. There is already a tremendous amount of unsold property on the market, builders stopped at least a year ago, some by choice and some by way of court ordered bankruptcy liquidation. So where is the additional 10-20% inventory increase going to come from? An economic recover means higher real estate prices.

Real Estate will Recover

What if interest rates go down? Again, this would imply a significant economic set back, which does not seem to be in the cards. The government has done everything within its power to keep the economy from disaster and for the most part it worked. It’s a safe bet that they will not let their work be undone. Expect the recovery to continue at a slow to moderate pace and real estate values to begin a slow climb to normalcy.