Author Archive: Irvine Renter

Some foreclosure and eviction cases can be heartbreaking. However, we live by rule of law in this country, and unless we want to start giving away real estate to those with the saddest story, these evictions must take place. Property evictions cause severe emotional pain for the dispossessed. People develop strong emotional attachments to the place they call home, and losing that attachment suddenly is so painful that many well-meaning people believe evictions should be banned. People who support prohibiting evictions do not understand that evictions are essential to the operation of our housing system. Eviction is both a threat and a consequence. People are only evicted from their homes if they fail to make the required payments. Renters are…[READ MORE]

Paying off debt early is a far superior long-term financial plan than continually adding to mortgage debt to support an extravagant lifestyle. Most people believe they achieve the American Dream when they buy a house, but most often they only buy 3.5% to 20% of a house, not the whole thing. Although it feels like it's their house, it's not. If they quit paying the mortgage, the bank can take it from them, as millions found out during the housing bust. Real home ownership is only achieved when the debt is retired, and the shortest route to success is to pay off a mortgage early. Pay off mortgage debt early? Am I crazy? Why would anyone do that in an…[READ MORE]

Land installment contracts provide a viable path to homeownership, but they are fraught with abuse. In yesterday's post, Three calculations every real estate investor must know, I discussed my personal criteria for buying rental investment properties. Everyone who actively invests has their own criteria, but nearly everyone has some criteria they use to filter out properties with problems they don't want to deal with. Have you ever wondered what happens to those properties that fail to meet anyone's criteria? What is the fate of those properties that are so far gone that it doesn't pay to renovate them and bring them up to a salable standard? Many might think these homes are demolished, and in places like Detroit, this does…[READ MORE]

The three main measures of financial performance for rental real estate are capitalization rate, cash-on-cash return, and internal rate of return. When people buy a personal residence, they often solace themselves that the high prices is warranted because the property is a "good investment". Novices generally assume that anything they sell for more than they paid is a good investment without any understanding of what a good investment really is. It’s not enough to merely make a profit, the amount of profit relative to the amount of money spent matters. If someone brags that they made $100,000 on a resale home investment, it's much more impressive if their initial investment was $100,000 than it is if they invested $1,000,000. It's…[READ MORE]

Analysts working for homebuilders see a flat market with weak sales as the likely future for OC Homebuilders. At first low MLS inventory was a boon to homebuilders, but housing market manipulations give homebuilders false signals, so Orange County homebuilders oversupplied the market, and as it turned out, reflating the housing bubble hurts homebuilders, rather than helps them. It wasn’t until early 2013 that homebuilding bounced off its five-year long malaise at 60-year lows. Homebuilding is still 40% below the average of the last 60 years, and with high prices and weak job growth, some are wondering when the industry will ever recover. Homebuilder's demand comes from financially stable households with sufficient savings, good credit, and a desire to own…[READ MORE]

Most borrowers don't realize the hidden benefits of using FHA financing they can use to game the system to their advantage. Most first-time homebuyers use FHA financing because they lack better alternatives. FHA insured loans carry weak qualification standards (they accept FICO scores down to 580), they don't limit debt-to-income ratios, and they only require the borrower to put 3.5% down. Most would-be homeowners know the FHA loans are easy to qualify for and require little savings, so the primary reasons for using FHA loans are not a secret. These loans also carry significant costs and fees that make them less attractive to buyers with sufficient resources to put 20% down; however, there are five secret reasons everyone should consider…[READ MORE]

Reducing the number of homes for sale was the essential ingredient to bail out bankers and loanowners whose foolish behavior caused the housing bubble. From early in the housing bust, I knew that how the banking cartel disposed of their REO would determine the fate of the housing market. Since lenders modify loans, hold non-performing loans on their books, and allow delinquent borrowers to squat, they control the flow of properties through the foreclosure process. Also, they control the approval of short sales; therefore, they control the flow of properties through the short sale process. Since distressed sales of foreclosure properties and short sales flooded the market during the bust, lenders controlled the bulk of the supply on the market. At the time,…[READ MORE]

The housing bubble in San Francisco is the fourth unsustainable price rally in the last 45 years. The only question is when the correction will happen and how deep it will go. In the ashes of the first technology bubble, the term web 2.0 was coined to describe the new and improved mania gripping Silicon Valley today. Adding the term "2.0" is now synonymous with any resurgent industry in the aftermath of a near total collapse. Some would like to call the housing bubble inflating in San Francisco today housing bubble 2.0, but that wouldn't be accurate: We're on housing bubble 4.0. Housing bubbles 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 The first housing bubble in California inflated shortly after the passage of…[READ MORE]

Investors move out of stocks and into safe investments like government-backed mortgages, lowering rates and increasing housing demand. For the last several years, the real estate market observers awaited the imminent rise in mortgage rates sure to trigger a price crash. While the spike from 3.5% to 4.5% in a six-week period in mid 2013 certainly removed the strong backwind from real estate, it didn't signal the beginning of the end. On the contrary, since then mortgage rates have pushed back down near record lows, and despite high prices, housing is very payment affordable again. Since mortgage rates are near record lows, the consensus opinion is that mortgage rates will eventually rise again. It's very unlikely that 3.5% mortgage rates…[READ MORE]

Do you want free money?  If you buy a home from a homebuilder without an agent, you pay full price. If you buy a home with us as your agent, you get 1.5% back. Same house, but 1.5% of the purchase price refunded back to you. It’s free money! Take it!  As a bonus, you get full agent representation. Did you know many items in a builder’s sale contract are negotiable? Do you know which options are better installed by the builder and which ones are better done by others later? In addition to helping negotiate a better price, we also prepare detailed reports showing the cost of ownership of your new home. Why put yourself at the mercy of…[READ MORE]

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In Memoriam: Tony Bliss 1966-2012
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