Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ

Monthly Archives: March 2010

FHA May Lift 90 Day Rule – Use Real Estate Comps To See If Your Deal Qualifies

Call it three birds with one stone: The federal government hopes to help low-down-payment home buyers, investors who fix up foreclosures, and communities burdened with too many bank-owned and foreclosed homes – all with one potentially far-reaching policy change.

The Federal Housing Administration is considering a revision of its long-standing anti-flipping rules which just might score a hit with our investors. For years, the FHA has had a strict prohibition: It wouldn’t insure a mortgage on a house if the seller had owned it for less than 90 days. The ban was to protect against fraudulent quick flips of houses that inflated their values far beyond market worth.

Those flips often were pure cons: Buyer A would acquire a low-cost house in bad repair, make minor cosmetic changes (some times only to the exterior) and resell within days at a significantly higher price to Buyer B, who was also part of the scheme.

The end game usually went like this: Find a hapless purchaser for the flipped house who would apply for a low-down-payment FHA loan. Typically, that buyer defaulted quickly — leaving the FHA with a foreclosed house on its books and a loss to its insurance funds.

The FHA maintained its 90-day anti-flipping rule through much of the past decade. But now it is considering suspending the policy, at least for the next year. FHA Commissioner David H. Stevens said the agency is considering providing mortgage insurance for some purchases in which the seller had closed on the property less than 90 days earlier.

So what does that mean to you? The objective will be to speed up sales of renovated houses to first-time and other purchasers. With foreclosures at record levels — an estimated 2.8 million filings last year — many communities are faced with excesses of bank-owned properties sitting unsold, often in poor repair.

So get out there and start looking around, see if there are some deals out there you could quickly turnaround. If this passes, it is an excellent opportunity to get those first time home buyers a property before the $8,000 tax credit expires. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account and make sure the property is a deal. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean it is a deal. Always do your due diligence!

High Property Taxes? Use Real Estate Comps To Get Them Lowered

Home prices are still far below their highs just a few years ago. One bittersweet perk for homeowners is that property taxes should be lower too.

If your home’s value has tumbled, you may be able to slash hundreds of dollars from your tax bill by appealing its assessed value. That’s because local governments generally don’t reassess homes every year, meaning the values they use to levy property taxes may be outdated. Use your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps in your neighborhood to determine your property value.

Just how much you could save depends on your real estate market. But nationally, home prices are still about 30 percent below their peak in 2006.

The appeal process varies depending on your area, but below, and for this entire week, I will be sharing a few steps that could help you get your taxes lowered.

STEP 1: TRACK DOWN THE PAPERWORK

Property taxes are assessed on a local level. Most homes are only assessed by one jurisdiction, whether it’s a town, city or county. But if your home has more than one assessment — for example, if you live in a village within a town — you need to file appeals with both jurisdictions since they operate independently.

You can start by searching for your assessor’s Web site, where you’ll find the form to file an appeal. It will probably be a page or two, and ask for basic information and your home’s parcel or lot number. The latter should be listed on your mortgage or property tax bill, or you might be able to look it up on the assessor’s Web site.

The fees for filing an appeal vary; it could be free, or it may be a flat fee of about $15.

Deadlines for appealing an assessment are often in the spring, so get moving if you’re seriously considering it.

Stay tuned Wednesday, because I will be giving you some insight to the appeal process… from first hand experience! Wait until you hear my success story!

Real Estate Comps Help Investors Take Advantage of Rising Prices

San Diego and Riverside county home values rose in February compared with February 2009, real estate specialist announced Tuesday. Thanks to good real estate comps and the valuation support we provide at InvestorCompsOnline, many of my investors were well aware of this long before the announcement came Tuesday.

San Diego County home prices rose to $322,000, up 13 percent from the previous February, though total home sales were down 0.3 percent to 2,465. Riverside County home prices rose to $197,000, up 3.7 percent from February 2009. Sales in Riverside fell 6.5 percent to 3,199.

Real estate agents in both counties said a lack of inventory is driving up prices on lower-value homes in both markets. Our investors have been seeing this trend in their real estate comps search in ICO and have adjusted their acquisition price and exit strategies accordingly. This is just another example how InvestorCompsOnline is keeping our members ahead of other players in the market with my “appraiser’s secrets for investors”.

Can Having Good Real Estate Comps Make Foreclosed Homes A Bargain?

Better Business Bureau officials say buying a foreclosed home may not always be a bargain.

“Bargain-hunters see foreclosures as a chance to buy prime properties for below-market prices,” said Kim States, BBB President. “While the purchase price may be lower, buyers need to be prepared for the unexpected, especially if they buy the properties at an auction,” said States.

BBB leaders warn that properties sold through a foreclosure auction may not be available for inspection ahead of time.

Sometimes the property address is made available giving potential bidders a chance to view the exterior before the auction. But some buyers have purchased homes that have been stripped of plumbing pipes, light fixtures, etc.

The BBB says buyers have better luck purchasing houses put on the market by the homeowner who was facing foreclosure before the lender completed the process.

But, don’t let the BBB scare you off from investing in foreclosed properties. We know that having the good real estate comps and valuation support we provide at Investor Comps Online puts our investors ahead of the game. Using the data and the training we provide will allow you to analyze the deal before the auction and determine if it is a “deal” or a “dud”.

I suggest the following tips when determining whether to invest in a foreclosed property:

* Know your options. Pre-foreclosure sales allow you to purchase a house directly from the homeowner before it goes into bank foreclosure. Lenders may also sell properties they have taken over using an agent who specializes in such properties. At auctions, you bid against other buyers at the courthouse or other locations.

* Conduct a title search. This process, usually conducted at a county courthouse, will show whether the property has a second mortgage or lien against it. If it does, you may be responsible for paying off the initial mortgage, any second mortgage loans and any liens on the property before you can take ownership.

* Properties sold at auctions are usually sold “as is.”

* Obtain help if you need it. Talk to realtors, contractors, and other investors in your market. Pull the report in ICO on the property. Determine the acquisition price as well as the After Repair Value. Remember you make your profit when you buy, so review the data provided by ICO carefully to purchase the property at the best price.

* Determine what will be your best exit strategy and begin putting the steps into place as soon as you purchase the property.

* Consider the costs of cleanup or repairs if the home isn’t in good condition.

I think the BBB has expressed some valid concerns for investors, but, I know with the training and real estate comps InvestorCompsOnline provides; these concerns can be overcome and foreclosed homes can be great investments.

Tell Foreclosed and Bank Owned Properties Apart Using Real Estate Comps

Today, I want to help you tell foreclosed and bank owned properties apart using real estate comps.

Many of our members continue to be lured by the potential of foreclosed and bank owned properties as property investments. However, there are times that some people confuse these two different concepts. Here is an idea on how to draw the distinct line between these concepts.

One of the main differences between foreclosed and bank owned properties is that the latter is already done with the process of foreclosure. Also known as real estate owned properties or REOs, these homes did not get bids during a homeowner’s foreclosure sale. After failing to sell the properties, these homes were repossessed by banks, hence its name.

While homes in foreclosure can still be occupied by homeowners, bank owned properties have already been vacated by its previous owners and are likely to have been vacant for a long period of time. This means that most REO homes are available for inspections by real estate investors who are looking for a deal. REO GoldMiner features these undervalued properties that are ready for inspection. You can also consider contacting banks for property listings, this is less reliable and more time consuming than using REO GoldMiner as not all banks will provide lists and are typically very slow at responding to callers and inquiries about property lists. On the other hand, with REO GoldMiner you can search and valuate deals in seconds.

One of the notable differences that separate bank owned properties and their foreclosed counterparts is that the former is usually sold in its current state. Therefore, this kind of investment probably needs to be repaired or renovated depending on its condition. That is why many of our investors take a special interest in purchasing and reselling these properties. Of course this decision can not be made with out using your InvestorCompsOnline account to research the real estate comps. You must determine value in the property before purchase.

Another dominant characteristic of bank owned homes is that each property is cleared of all its liens and previous records. Therefore, you can get a new title for the home if you decide to purchase it after your research with InvestorCompsOnline. It also means that you as the new owner do not have to worry about the homes previous records.

In other words, I consider both foreclosed and REO homes to be potentially great deals. You just have to do the necessary research in InvestorCompsOnline and in the market area.

All the best,
MJ