Archive for October, 2011

Everyone want to move up to better housing accommodations. Years ago I toured the Tijuana subdivisions of URBI. One of the homes was a 288 SF single family detached home. When I asked one of our guides who bought such a place, he beamed with pride and said they were generally people moving out of shanties. They were thankful to have working plumbing, solid walls, and climate control. That tiny home was a huge improvement over what they moved out of. My wife recently had a conversation with a woman who was lamenting her plight. Her family was outgrowing their Shady Canyon home. With three children, their 4.000 SF 5 bedroom house no longer met their needs. She wasn't bragging…[READ MORE]

Money won't buy happiness, but it can provide the finest forms of misery. Everyone wants money. If given the chance to do nothing and obtain money, most people would take it. Such was the lure of the housing bubble. People only had to do two things to obtain copious amounts of cash. First, they needed to buy a house. Then they needed to find a lender who would give them money for signing some paperwork. That's it. No work, no skills, no risk, no sacrifice, nothing. Buy a house, sign some papers, and anyone could obtain hundreds of thousands of dollars. It shouldn't be surprising that kool aid intoxication is so strong. Who wants to give up on that deal?…[READ MORE]

Lenders and loan owners have problems. Lenders made loans their borrowers can't repay, and now both parties to the deal are turning to the US taxpayer for a bailout. Somehow, these two groups have convinced themselves they deserve some of my money. I was not a participant in their transaction. I did not sign on to the risks and rewards of the deal they made, yet both groups feel I should be compelled to bail them out. Screw them both. Their problem is not my problem. There is a problem here: excessive debt. There is also a solution in the system: foreclosure and bankruptcy. Both parties to this private financial transaction want to avoid the consequences of foreclosure and bankruptcy…[READ MORE]

Most people who leave their houses behind under duress believe they have no liability. Even the ones who suspect they might will generally duck their lender's calls and letters and hope the problem goes away on its own. It won't. California recently passed legislation barring lenders from seeking collection on deficiencies after a short sale. Of course, this has merely contributed to the already slow pace of short sale approvals. California borrowers already had non-recourse protections on purchase-money mortgages, and there are statutory limits on collecting debts severed from the property in foreclosure. I think these are good policies in California. Perhaps lenders will be more cautious next time when they want to extend stupid loans to California Ponzis. Although,…[READ MORE]

Strategic default: the abandonment of mortgage and property. A financial explosion. Most buyers of property were seeking riches from appreciation. They all enjoyed the synchronized movements of the market when everyone was clamoring for more┬áproperty. Trees don't grow to the sky, and no matter how close prices get to heaven, nirvana is always out of reach. Strategic Defaults Threaten All Major U.S. Housing Markets Posted by Keith Jurow 09/30/10 8:00 AM EST In my last article, we examined the shadow inventory to determine how many distressed properties (not on MLS) were almost certain to be forced onto the market in the not-to-distant future. For a sensible follow up, let's take an in-depth look at so-called "strategic defaults" to see how…[READ MORE]

Shadow inventory can not be absorbed by first-time buyers. There are simply not enough owner-occupants to absorb the inventory due to come to the market over the next several years. Real estate cashflow investors are needed to stabilize the housing market. These investors are the only other source of demand available. There are investment holdings companies that buy and hold rentals, and they will be part of the solution. I have recently formed Radiant Homes for this purpose. However, due to the practical problems with managing many properties over diverse geographies, it will still fall to individual investors to buy and hold the remaining properties on the market. I have recently made a change to the business plan of my…[READ MORE]