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Category Archive: ‘Real Estate Investing’

Selling a Tenant-Occupied Property

realtor assualt

Back in the day when things used to be civil, you could sell a home that was occupied by a tenant.

But in today’s environment, it is better to wait until they vacate, and then put the house on the market.  Here’s why:

  1.  The elevated urgency of today’s market causes a whirlwind of activity during the first week.  A rash of showing requests and realtors stopping by without appointments shuts down any tenant cooperation quickly.
  2.  Then the tenants start looking around for a replacement home, and realize how hard and how expensive the next move will be. They are mad, and want to blame the sellers.
  3.  By the time they leave, the condition of the home isn’t what it could have been either, if they had left happily.

Staging is a critical component too, and unhappy tenants aren’t going to leave the home in great condition for the few showings that do take place.

Fewer or lower-quality showings means fewer offers, which isn’t good for the seller.

Our policy today is to vacate the property first, make it look spectacular, and then put it on the open market.

Posted by on May 10, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Listing Agent Practices, Market Conditions, Real Estate Investing | 4 comments

Build Your Own

2016-05-09 18.16.08

Can’t find the perfect home?  Have you thought about building your own?

Hearty thanks to Josh for answering the basic questions about his project, and building your own custom home!  And financing is available!

P.S. I use the term ‘stinking’ with great affection.  Buying a tract house is by far the best solution for the vast majority of busy, hard-working Americans!

Posted by on May 9, 2016 in Bubbleinfo TV, Dirt Sales, Real Estate Investing, Thinking of Building? | 0 comments

Property Management Fraud

2016-04-08 11.43.29

More Team 10 coverage on the fraud being perpetrated by Kelley Zaun and Carousel Properties.  Zaun claims that the reason she hasn’t forwarded any of the rents she collected to the rightful homeowners is because she got sick, then had a software snafu.

In the story below, Zaun is making it sound like innocent mistakes were made and it will all get sorted out.

But she has done a couple of things that don’t appear so innocent.

In the case I know, the tenant complained to her that the landscaping wasn’t being maintained.  She told him that landscaping is an additional charge of $200 per month, which he starting paying.  But she never told the homeowner……and never sent a landscaper!

She also finally sent the three-months’ worth of rent owed to the homeowner, but two days later the bank reversed all charges.

The victim I know still hasn’t received any money.

http://www.10news.com/news/police-investigating-carlsbad-property-management-company-050516

Carlsbad police are investigating a North County property management company after numerous homeowners complained the company took their money.

Team 10 first reported on Carousel Properties in April. Homeowners told Team 10 that the company and the owner, Kelley Zaun, collected money from their tenants, but never gave it to the homeowners.

A Carlsbad police spokesperson confirmed a case has been filed with their department, but did not go into specifics.

Rinda White hired Carousel Properties to manage her Vista home. She said the company owes her $1,800.

“We haven’t been able to travel to see the grandkids, we haven’t been able to buy things for our home that we normally buy. We’ve just been operating with gas and groceries,” White said via Skype from Texas.

Martin Benowitz said Carousel Properties owes him about $8,000.

“I was more than a little bit irritated,” Benowitz said.

Zaun has not spoken to Team 10 and her lawyer has not returned Team 10’s phone calls and emails.

Homeowners, however, showed Team 10 an email dated Wednesday that said Zaun is getting “additional help in all areas of my business; most notably, my bookkeeping.”

The email goes on to say she has an offer to join another company and feels it’s the “best possible system” for the homeowners.

Posted by on May 6, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Real Estate Investing | 1 comment

New Limit Proposed on 1031 Exchanges

1031x

Hat tip to GM for pointing this out – did you know that the Obama Administration has been trying to modify the 1031 exchange rules?

Potential sellers of investment properties are already paralyzed by the thought of the excessive taxation by federal and state governments.  The 1031 exchange allows properties to be sold and the excessive taxation be deferred – any limiting of the 1031 rules will cause fewer transactions.

If this change is implemented, it will apply to 1031-exchanges that are completed after this year.  If you want to upgrade your investment portfolio, let’s move!

More here:

http://www.1031taxreform.com/legislation/treasury/

Excerpt:

The proposal would limit the amount of capital gain deferred under section 1031 to $1 million (indexed for inflation) per taxpayer per taxable year. The proposal limits the amount of capital gain that qualifies for deferral while preserving the ability of small businesses to generally continue current practices and maintain their investment in capital. In addition, art and collectibles would no longer be eligible for like-kind exchanges. Treasury would be granted regulatory authority necessary to implement the provision, including rules for aggregating multiple properties exchanged by related parties.

The provision would be effective for like-kind exchanges completed after December 31, 2016.

Other existing rules:

1031 rules

Posted by on Apr 29, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Real Estate Investing, Shadow Inventory | 0 comments

Property Manager Embezzlement

2016-04-08 11.43.29

I know one of the victims, and she was told by the owner that she would be paid in full today.  We’ll see….

http://www.10news.com/news/team-10-homeowners-say-property-management-company-owes-them-thousands

Homeowners in the North County say a local property management company owes them thousands of dollars.

Carousel Properties is based in Carlsbad.

Martin Benowitz says he hired Carousel Properties to manage is Oceanside condo. He’s known the owner, Kelley Zaun, for about 15 years.

But the recent missing money has changed their friendship.

“I’m out $6,000. How much are we going to stay friends?” Benowitz said.

Benowitz said he recently received a lien on his property because the HOA fees were not being paid—something the property management company was supposed to take care of. He also says he’s missing the rent money owed to him from the last two months, even though his tenant has paid.

He is not alone.

“There’s no reason or excuse,” said Rinda White who lives in Texas.

She hired Carousel Properties to manage her Vista home. She is also missing thousands of dollars.

“We’re on a limited income. My husband and I are both retired,” White said.

Team 10 obtained emails, which the homeowners say are from Zaun. In the emails, she admitted she “made several errors.” She also claimed she was dealing with health issues.

When Team 10 approached her Carlsbad office, she told Team 10 to contact her lawyer and shut the door.

Some homeowners want to pursue criminal charges.

Team 10 called her attorney, but have not heard back.

Posted by on Apr 13, 2016 in Carlsbad, Jim's Take on the Market, Real Estate Investing | 3 comments

Vacant Home Occupied by Squatters

id

Hat tip to Susie for sending in this story from Potato Land!

The list price for the house was $134,900, and the photos on Zillow made it obvious that the house was vacant:

http://www.ktvb.com/news/local/couple-fights-to-evict-stranger-from-nampa-home/128686427

CALDWELL — A Canyon County couple is back to the drawing board after a judge ruled against allowing them to fast-track the eviction of a stranger who moved into their house without permission.

Brian and Renae Prindle discovered last month that someone was living inside the home at 37 South Westwood they had put up for sale.

The pair said they checked on the vacant property multiple times a month. Brian Prindle testified Monday that he stopped by the house March 25 after his wife noticed rocking chairs in front of the home had been moved.

Inside the home were several people, including a woman who told Prindle she lived there and had a lease.

Read More

Posted by on Apr 12, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Real Estate Investing | 8 comments

Landlord Woes

prince

http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-0323-saudi-party-animal-20160323-story.html

Over the years, neighbors accused Danny Fitzgerald of leasing his Hollywood Hills homes for loud parties. He said they had nothing better to do and suggested they “go to Palmdale where they belong.”

Then Fitzgerald had a brush with royalty.

This week he filed a lawsuit against a Saudi prince he accused of partying so hard — with drugs and strippers — that it caused more than $80,000 in property damage to one of his homes. Including other problems, such as not being able to lease the home out while it was being repaired, damages totaled more than $300,000, according to the complaint.

“It was horrible,” Fitzgerald said. “The guy just took full abuse of my home.”

Fitzgerald said his homes were only a source of trouble from 2012 to 2014, when he said a realtor had control over two of them and rented them out to everyone. He said there hadn’t been any problems since then — until the prince showed up.

“The only mistake I’ve made in the last two and a half years was this prince rental,” Fitzgerald said. “Here I am putting my reputation back together and then he just destroys it in one month.”

Fitzgerald said the trouble began after Saudi Prince Aziz al Saud leased one of his homes. He said the prince had one of his workers sign the lease agreement on Weidlake Drive in August. Fitzgerald said he and the prince had agreed that he would have only one party.

But throughout the one-month lease, according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Monday, the prince ransacked the home, threw all-night parties and caused near daily disturbances to the neighborhood.

Then there was the graduation party.

“It sounds innocent, a graduation party,” Fitzgerald said. “Doesn’t it?”

There were supposed to be no more than 150 guests at the Aug. 16 party, he said. They were there to celebrate the prince’s graduation from Pepperdine University, the complaint states.

Instead, according to the complaint, more than 800 people showed up, with guests doing drugs, including smoking marijuana, and strippers dancing on kitchen countertops.

Fitzgerald said there was damage to furniture and walls and that hardwood floors buckled because of spilled drinks. His invoice for the damage totaled $86,379. In the complaint, Fitzgerald alleges that the defendants — who include two of the prince’s employees — have not paid for any damages.

“Incredibly, after this August 16 party, Prince Aziz continued to have nightly parties until the early mornings and continued to leave piles of trash on the street,” the complaint read. “Guests of the Prince were seen urinating on Plaintiff’s neighbors’ properties.”

Posted by on Mar 23, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Real Estate Investing | 2 comments

Reasons Why Parents Should Buy for Kids

house

Do you worry about your kids’ future, and this crazy world in which we live? What can you do?

REASONS WHY PARENTS SHOULD BUY A HOUSE FOR THEIR KIDS

A way to distribute the inheritance while you are alive to see it.

Senior care – You might need them to take care of you some day!

Affordability – If prices stay strong, buying a house could get out of reach for most. A salary of $100,000 can barely buy a $600,000 house with 20% down today – and you have to go to an outlying area to find a decent house for that money.

Appreciation – Even if price didn’t go up much, paying down the mortgage builds equity.

Rental income – Pay cash or low-leverage a house purchase and hand over to a property manager.  The resulting positive cash flow will help pay their expenses while searching for a high-paying job.

Help to establish an investment portfolio, and to diversify their holdings.

Create a cap on kids’ housing expense.

Safety Net for emergencies – Ill-liquid, but that ensures it’s only used for catastrophic events.

Help the kids grow up. Owning real estate is for adults, and it inflicts responsibility.

Relieve pressure on kids from having to marry rich.

Help determine where the grandkids grow up.

Ensures they live in a quality area with good schools.

Taking care of the kids and grandkids makes grandma happy.

If Grandma ain’t happy, then nobody’s happy!

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Market Conditions, Real Estate Investing, Thinking of Buying? | 9 comments

Communal House Flipping

flippers

The building of the next bubble won’t look the same as the last one, but a common thread will be lenders who are hands-off. Hat tip to daytrip for sending in this story about crowdfunding for flippers:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-crowdfunding-house-flippers-20160214-story.html

An excerpt:

Although data providers don’t track the number or dollar-volume of loans going to house flippers as opposed to developers of larger projects, more than a dozen real-estate-focused platforms offer loans to them. And a handful of Southern California start-ups specialize in the market.

Patch of Land in West Los Angeles made about $61 million in loans last year, mostly to house flippers, and PeerStreet in Manhattan Beach made $40 million, almost entirely to them.

“There’s a crowdfunder popping up once a month now, and the low-hanging fruit is the fix and flips,” said Jonathan Lee, a principal at George Smith Partners, a Century City real-estate-financing firm.

Like hard-money lenders, crowdfunding platforms guard against risk by securing the loans to the property and lending for less than its full value.

If a borrower goes bust, the lender takes title to the property, which, in theory, can be sold for more than the loan principal. PeerStreet, for instance, typically will lend only about 75% of a home’s value.

“They don’t look at income or tax returns. They’re looking at the property and the project. Is there profit to be made?” said Christian Fuentes, a Pomona real estate agent and house flipper.

Patch of Land can issue a check in just a couple of weeks, assuming that a loan meets its underwriting standards. The loan is then offered up to the 17,000 investors signed up on its site.

Golden Bee in November bought a two-bedroom house on Greenfield Avenue in West L.A., not far from the Westside Pavilion. The company paid about $1.2 million, with $1 million coming from Patch of Land at an annual interest rate of 12%.

Berneman is planning a $750,000 renovation that will add more than 1,500 square feet of space, along with new plumbing and wiring. He estimates that the house, built in the 1930s, hasn’t been renovated in 50 years.

“We’ll be knocking some of it down to the studs,” he said.

Berneman hopes to sell the house for as much as $2.5 million once it’s back on the market this fall. Golden Bee would stand to make $575,000, not including the cost of financing.

Posted by on Feb 13, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Mortgage News, Real Estate Investing, Remodel Projects | 1 comment