cash (16)


4359195806?profile=originalIn December 2014, national cash sales on single family homes made up for about 35% of the total of all home sales. WOW!!  However, if we turn the clock back a year we find the cash sales in December 2013 made up 38.5% of the share; so why is this figure falling and should we be worried by it? Now, I’m not saying that this # is the best gage of the real estate market, but we definitely should watch it. 

The percentage of cash sales on homes has been declining steadily since January 2013 and every month that follows the figure goes down a little more. Now, December 2014 was the 24th month on the bounce where cash sales – as a percentage of all home sales – were down. 

Usually the drop each month would only be around half a percentage point but because there are seasonal variations, the figures should be taken as a year-on-year representation rather than a month by month one. If you are a real estate agent, you definitely understand that.

So, why are we still seeing a decline in the amount of cash sales. Turn the clock back just a little to January 2011 and you’d be amazed to learn that cash sales made up 46.5% of all home sales. 

It has to be a strong possibility that mortgage lenders were tightening up and not loaning out to any Tom, Dick or Harry and that if you wanted to buy a home, you had to pay up, especially if you were a foreign buyer. 

If we turn the clock back even further to the days before the housing crisis started, you will see cash sale figures of just 25%! Astonishingly low, but consider that these were the days when mortgage lenders were falling all over one another to lend money for home purchases. After the housing crisis hit in 2008, lenders were ordered and compelled to tighten up mortgage lending, leaving the majority of those home buyers post-housing crisis to stump up the cash, rather than getting a mortgage. 

We are expecting the levels we saw in 2006 (approximately 25% cash sales of all home sales) to return again once more. We are not saying that irresponsible lending is likely to make any sort of quick return, (although look at Freddie Mac’s latest announcement of 3% downpayment loans back again), but we can expect the cash sales figures to dip back to somewhere around 25% over the next year or 2. - Real Estate REO Virtual Assistants

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Buying a Home with Cash

Pros and Cons of Cash Buying

All-cash home purchases hit a record in the first quarter of 2014, reaching 43 percent, according to RealtyTrac, which has been tracking cash-buying trends since 2011. Home-Cash-PurchasesThis latest figure represents a 19 percent rise from last year—a number industry watchers attribute to stricter mortgage qualification standards coupled with high buyer demand and competition. If you're thinking about buying your next home with cash, you might be wondering how this option stacks up against a mortgage—not to mention, how you'll come up with the money.

Why Cash? Pros & Cons

On the pro side, using cash lets you sidestep mortgage loan qualifications and much of the paperwork and administrative fees. This accelerates the buying process and makes you more attractive to sellers who are eager to close. You have better odds of out-competing other buyers and better leverage to negotiate a lower price. Finally, the prospect of not having to pay monthly mortgage obligations and interest is appealing.

On the other hand, the cash you tie up in your house won't be as readily available for emergency spending. This could place you in a position of needing to sell or mortgage your home in the event of an emergency, and convincing lenders to extend a mortgage or equity loan could be difficult if you lack a steady income, a situation many retirees face. One way to address this issue is opening a home-equity line of credit after you buy your home to make sure you have emergency funds available. A reverse mortgage can also help in a pinch.

Another issue is whether the amount you save on mortgage interest might be better invested. Buying a house with cash amounts to investing in a bond with an interest rate equivalent to what you would pay with a mortgage. Compare this interest rate with other investment options to evaluate how buying your home with cash affects your long-term savings.

Finding Funds

If you want to pay for your home with cash but don't have a lump sum handy, how do you find the money? Options include:

  • Realtor suggests a few strategies, including investing in a long-term CD, a method that can be combined with CD laddering if you don't want to lock up all your cash.
  • For current home owners, another option is refinancing your existing mortgage into a larger one, known as "cash-out refinancing." Zillow recommends weighing this option against others, such as home equity loans and lines of credit.
  • If you're receiving regular payments from an annuity or structured settlement, you may be able to sell all or a portion of your future payments to a financial services firm and put the money toward your home purchase.

What About Taxes?

Paying for your home in cash precludes the tax breaks you would get from your mortgage interest payments. Use the calculator at Mortgage101 to estimate the potential tax benefits of a mortgage so you can weigh this against buying with cash.

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How to properly evaluate a potential investment property

photo credit: Håkan Dahlström via photopin cc
photo credit: Håkan Dahlström via photopin cc

Life is full of sayings that seem contradictory at first.  Expressions like “a chain is only as strong as its weakest link” and a “team is only as good as its worst player” seem to make no sense until they have been analyzed and understood.  In flipping homes, you make your money when you buy.  Quite simply, if you buy a home at the proper discount then you have a much better chance of selling at a profit.  Here is a general outline to help you evaluate a potential home for investment.

First, Take a Casual Drive

It is a good idea to only consider homes that you can actually inspect.  Being able to drive by the home gives you a firsthand perspective. On your way to the home pay attention to the little details such as

  • condition of the roads; are there large potholes, pavement patches, adequate street signs?
  • local area; are there any schools, shopping, offices, or factories nearby?
  • Appearance of the actual street; how do the other homes on the block look?
  • The prospective home; what is your first impression when you see the place?

Second, take a Casual Stroll

Now that you have had the time to look at the home and surrounding area from the road, it is time to actually look at the property up close.  When you are in the home ignore things like carpeting and paint.  Take time to look over the roof, the foundation, the electrical box, the HVAC unit and any plumbing pipe that is easy to access.   Walk outside and see if the septic tank or well has any problem.  These are the areas that can cost major money to fix.  If there are any noticeable problems with these primary parts of the home you can use that to negotiate with the seller.

Third, crunch some numbers

Now that you have looked over the home and determined that it is a possible investment, it is time to do the math.  You need to have an idea of what the total repairs will cost along with how much the home should be worth after the repairs are completed.  Once you have these numbers you can make an offer to the seller.

When putting together your repair estimates it is always better to over price.  Trying to cut corners and dream that the kitchen can be remodeled for $2,000, or some other wishful hope, will cause you tremendous grief later on.

After you have looked at a few homes and talked with the same contractor a number of times you can start to get a feel for how much repairs will cost.  This one skill takes some time to master for those that are new to real estate investment.   Once you are comfortable estimating repair costs you will be much better at spotting a deal when it pops up.

Search for: Madison, WI Foreclosures for Sale

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If you have a home loan through Bank of America and you are currently concerned about making your payments or your home is worth less than you owe, you may qualify for a short sale incentive from BoA. They refer to it as an 'enhanced relocation assistance payment'. To qualifying home owners/sellers, this could mean a check given to you for up to $30,000 after a successful short sale closing! Trust me, this is no scam. Here is a recent email that was sent to Bank of America Short Sale Specialists, like myself.

BoA Short Sale Incentive at Closing Letter

My name is Michael Collinsreal estate agent and broker at Rock Realty. If you are currently considering a short sale in Wisconsin, I would be happy to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. I am certified as a Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource through the WRA.

Realtors® who have earned the SFR certification know how to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales as well as help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities. The certification program includes training on how to qualify sellers for short sales, negotiate with lenders, protect buyers, and limit risk. Call my cell at 608-921-8536 and we can see if you qualify for any of these incentives.

Is a Short Sale right for My Home?Also feel free to fill out our simple
Short Sale Home Evaluation Form

Additional Short Sale Information

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If you receive a letter from Chase Bank stating that you are eligible for a short sale incentive, please do not throw it away. It is not a scam. Distressed home owners have been receiving these letters for over a year now, and guess what? They are the real deal!

Real estate agents and Realtors® have been reporting that their clients are getting large checks cut to them at closing. In some cases, as much as $30,000! Yes, Chase Bank is not only forgiving the debt on a short sale, they are giving the current sellers/owners a check at closing. Don't believe it? See an example letter below:

Chase Short Sale Incentive Letter

My name is Michael Collins. If you are currently considering a short sale in Wisconsin, I would be happy to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. I am certified as a Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource through the WRA. REALTORS® who have earned the SFR certification know how to help sellers maneuver the complexities of short sales as well as help buyers pursue short sale and foreclosure opportunities. The certification program includes training on how to qualify sellers for short sales, negotiate with lenders, protect buyers, and limit risk. Call my cell at 608-921-8536 and we can see if you qualify for any of these incentives.

Original Post -
Chase Bank Short Sale Seller Incentive

Additional Short Sale Information


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Does BOA offer Cash 4 Keys?

I’ve had limited interaction with Bank of America. And what I have had has never been favorable.

I am aware of how Fannie handles posting of the KYO form and cash for keys documents.

I have a friend renting a local home, a letter came in the mail today stating that foreclosure proceedings have begun and will expect occupant to vacant the home prior to HUD taking the house over. (60 to 90 days)

Then the letter states that if HUD does not take it over there will be other options.

My question is will this tenant experience a knock on the door by an agent requesting cash for keys agreement?

Or if HUD does take the house over, will HUD offer a cash for keys?

Or will there be a cash for keys of any kind offered?

I thank you in advance.

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Homebuyers Can Use a FHA Loan to Purchase Property from an Investor

FHA MortgagesFHA has been the most popular mortgage used by Wisconsin residents looking to purchase their first home. The relaxed credit standards lower down payment requirement and higher debt ratios has allowed many people to purchase a home through this type of loan. However, investors who were in the business of buying a home to simply turn around and sell it for a profit, called flipping, always steered clear of FHA borrowers. FHA had a rule stating a home could not be sold a second time within 90 days of its last purchase. But that has all changed.

Original Intent

The primary reason for this “anti-flipping” rule was discourage fraud on mortgages. However, as time marched on it became apparent that deserving FHA buyers were being denied a home. Many homes have been bought after foreclosure by investors and repaired to make them ready for resell. The FHA ruling prevented the investors from selling and the market has struggled.

Some Rules to Keep in Mind

Although the FHA administration has decided to lift this rule, there are still other guidelines that must be followed when dealing with one of these investment homes.

  • The seller of the home and buyer cannot have any type of pre-existing relationship. This could be as simple as a relative selling to a family member or as complex as a business owner selling to a partner or employee.
  • In the event that the new sales price is 20% or more than the price paid at acquisition by the investor the loan may be inspected more closely to ensure the value of the property was not artificially raised.

Keep in mind that the original rule was put in place to prevent fraud. In addition, the original rule only came in to effect when a home was bought by an investor and then resold within 90 days. If the investor waits beyond the 90 day window to sell the home most of these issues will not be present.

Protection against Future Fraud

Most lenders are well aware of the abuse that has taken place in the mortgage industry over the past few years and have stepped up their lending standards to catch fraud and illegal practices. Because of the heightened scrutiny, many high ranking managers among the top lenders do not feel that this change in FHA rules will lead to a sudden burst of bad loans. The tighter appraisal restrictions, along with the general awareness of potential problems, should allow banks and mortgage companies to move forward with new FHA loans without falling victim to a scam artist.

Original Post - Using an FHA Loan to purchase from an Investor

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Today in the Mercury News there was a story about how first time home buyers who need to purchase with loans are getting beaten out by investor cash buyers who often offer less than traditional buyers for foreclosures.">

Has this happened to you? If so, I may have the answer, buy a short sale!

In a short sale the seller owes more than the property is worth and has to have the bank forgive the difference between what is owed and what the house is worth.  The seller decides who has given the best offer, signs it, and sends it to the bank for approval.  THE BANK DOES NOT DECIDE WHICH OF SEVERAL OFFERS IS THE ONE THEY WANT, JUST WHETHER OR NOT THEY WILL ACCEPT THE OFFER THAT IS PRESENTED TO THEM.

Most banks have said very specifically they want the highest offer, and do not think cash offers are more attractive than ones with loans. This is in direct conflict with what they seem to prefer on foreclosures.

Since most investors try to pay significantly below market value if you make a higher offer, which is closer to market value then your offer will have a much better chance of being accepted, especially if there are not issues which would make the house unlendable.

Sure you have to wait longer for an answer from the bank, and some will not close, but lenders re speeding up the process and you can be happily ensconced in your home usually in 2-6 months instead of still looking 18 months and 15 offers later.

So if you are looking for good deal (though probably not a steal) on a home and are tires of losing to all cash offers find a short sale and enjoy home ownership.

If you have any questions about buying or selling a short sale in Santa Clara or San Mateo Counties please feel free to contact me.

Marcy Moyer CDPE

Keller Williams Realty

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My Son is on Cash Cab Wed July 13th at 6:30

Set your DVRs! My son Dan and 3 other members of his theatre company are going to be on Cash Cab NY.  It was filmed last fall but finally will air tomorrow.  This is a not to missed show. I promise you all a great time.

It comes on at 6:30 on the east coast. Direct TV will show it at 3:30 and 6:30 on the west coast.


It is on the Discovery Channel for those of you living under a rock and have never heard of the show.


Marcy Moyer Keller Williams Realty Palo Alto, Ca. Specialist in Trust and Probate Sales

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Ohhhhh the Moratorium

Its been about 5 years since I started in this REO indurstry.  Progressively, the game has changed and things have become harder and harder to deal with on a small level.  I have 18 employees and 20 sales agents, so we get it all done here.  But now, during the same time every year, we have these 2-3 weeks of nothingness.  What I don't understand is why there is a moratorium?  Listen, I have a heart, and I understand people do fall onto bad times, but c'mon.  You took out a mortgage a few years ago, that you, your wife, your children, you parents, friends, etc all knew you couldn't afford.  But, it was the "american Dream" so you did it and never looked back, until you couldn't make a payment anymore!  IF you are a tenant of a foreclosed property, I truly feel for you, and I will do anything I can to help you out during these times.  I have tenants all the time who tell me they have been making their payments for 2 years and they cant understand how this happened.  You DESERVE CASH FOR KEYS.  


So now what, the banks out the 300k they gave you, your living in a house that you don't pay for, the bank is paying your taxes and utilities, and you cant even leave the house in good shape when you leave!  Show some pride and be amicable and get out when you stop paying!  There is no reason a bank should have to pay you a Cash for Keys of even a dollar!  You should just leave!  Lets think about this logically, I buy a car for 50,000.  I pay 5,000 up front and i'm left with a payment of about 1,000 a month.  If I stop paying for the car, does the car company come to my house and offer to give me THOUSANDS of dollars to give them the car back?  No, they hire a tow truck company, and come take the thing off my driveway!!


On top of all the ridiculousness of people living in houses that they cant afford, I am a born and bred New Yorker.  In this lovely state, we are referred to as an "Attorney State" and a "Landlord State".  So, on average, it takes about TWO YEARS, yes TWO YEARS, to get a foreclosure completed here.  So thats TWO YEARS of not making a payment to the bank, before they can even have the DEED for the property!!!  Then if I still don't want to leave, guess what?  I can usually stay another 1-3 years while the LANDLORD (The foreclosing bank) tried to EVICT me!!!  So in essence, I can live in a house, with NO EXPENSE, for 3-5 years!  Why on EARTH does it take this long?  And then, to top it all off, the banks are nice enough to stop "evicting" people during Thanksgiving, and this year between December 20th-January 3rd.  Now, although it seems like the "right thing to do", if the eviction of a homeowner happens to fall during that time, let them go live back home with their parents until they can afford to move out, OR use the past 3-5 years of mortgage, tax, utility payments that you have NOT made, and go rent a place you can ACTUALLY AFFORD!!!


I guess I would really just like to see the 7.5 million houses that are in the backlog (The gloomy shadow inventory) come to market.  Maybe we can actually stabalize the housing prices if we sell off the homes we need to in order for the market to correct itself.  :)



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New Moratorium

Well it seems that now some of the big banks are freezing foreclosure procedures due to their inavility to comply with local laws and regulations that protect the home owners or delay the foreclosure procedures, it seems that some lenders have rush the foreclosure procedures and broke the laws. First started wtih GMAC, then Chase, now Bank of America.

There are several issues with this new moratorium, first there will be more banks adding to this list, and this mess might not be sorted out until March or May of next year, that might be done on purpose because the GSE are pushing for the lender to take action on the late loans, see the news on Wells Fargo last week. Also the OCC ordered the Largest Servicers to review their foreclosure process. This might not affect us because they are liquidating their inventory little by little to avoid a really hard crash and decline of propery values, lets face it, with low prices, low interest and no one is buying, it is hard to say if it is because they are not lending or because there is very little confidence from buyers, but also at the end of the day we all need shelter, so it makes sense to purchase now, and I have seen several potential buyer not been able to qualify for a home mortgage loan.

The other problem I see is the rumble from lawyers and previouse owners, who will try to sue the lenders for not been in compliance with the federal and local laws and regulations of the foreclosure procedures, etc. I did a cash for key on Saturday, and the borrower just kept asking me if my client was following the right procedures, if they were going to join Bank of America and Chase with this issue, etc.

It is going to be interesting to follow this new moratorium, because of the political impact and the possible impact it might have in the business. I think if the foreclosure process was not done correctly, then what would they do, if the house is already sold, can the courts reverse the sales, etc, then we will have the issue of the current owner. Most likely this would be ratified with money, how much? morally the prevoius borrower was in default, but I am sure there could be damages, etc. Would the courts and the credit bureus wipe out the "Foreclosure" from their records so maybe if their finances have change they can get a loan, would the lender try to work something where they can put the previous owner with a new loan or similar loan to the previuos one in one of their houses.

As REO agents I think is important for us to do as many Cash for Keys as possible, this way the previous owner has agreed to relinquish his/her home to the bank, but I am sure there are some loopholes there too. Well maybe the new assignments from the bank would be more like deed in lieu with a lot of legal terms to protect the bank, and I hope we can have the right documents to protect ourselves just in case,

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What? But I thought Cash was King? That is what you are most likely saying to yourself right now?But, in this market it may not always be. You can't assume that Cash will always get the house, at least that is what I'm seeing.There are a lot of cash buyers bidding on homes in Las Vegas right now, and it seems (or you would think) that most of the time a cash buyer will get the home over a buyer who is financing, but, that is not always the case.I am currently working with a few cash buyers and one of them actually did not win a bid on a home they wanted, even when the bids were at asking price (which by the way was at the TOP of the price range for this area and home, it would be the new high comp), buyer was paying all closing cost and offering a 15 day close with inspections being the only contingency.Now, maybe this bank did actually get a higher offer from the fha/conventional buyer (even Cash buyers have a limit as to how much they are willing to pay), but the bank maybe running the risk that this home may not appraise at that higher offer and then they will be 2-3 weeks into the deal and have to lower their price anyway or ask the buyer to pay the difference.Or maybe, just maybe in that area we maybe seeing a turn around in prices for the better. Maybe they didn't believe me when I said, "No, they are not an investor, they want to retire in this home". That is a possibility as some lenders will actually favor a first time home buyer over what they think will be an investor. Maybe the other buyers agent worked for the same company. There are many variables and you just never know what a bank will do in this market and the sellers agent most likely will not let you know why your offer wasn't chosen, but your offer will most likely be in backup position with the other offers that came in.So, buyers in the Las Vegas area, get ready to make several offers on several homes before you actually get one.By the way, my buyers moved on and we have another home in escrow now
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Bad occupant, no cash!

I had to do three Cash for Keys today. And it's labor day. An REO agent's work is never done. The first one went smooth as silk. Exept that the guy didn't actually have the keys. A lot of that going around. "We never lock the doors, I don't know where the keys are." I believe it. That's how it is out here. Bucolic, like.Fortunately, I always bring my locksmith with me when I do my CFK. No keys, no problem, especially when the doors are at least unlocked.I had not actually been able to confirm with the second CFK that I'd be coming by. I'd been calling for a couple of days, but nobody had answered. Still, though, I had been in somewhat frequent communication with the occupant, and we were very clear that the CFK date was today, and he knew what was expected of him.The locksmith and I arrive at the second CFK - the front yard is just full of stuff: furniture, clothes, brick-a-brack. Fortunately, the house is indeed empty, as is the back yard. Unfortunately, the former owners had illegally converted the garage to living space and built an illegal unit in back and an illegal bathroom. Hate it when that happens. Anyway, I said hey, sorry, I can't really give you the money until all your stuff is gone. But do you mind if I have the locks changed now that all your stuff is out?They said sure, no problem, we're done. So I talked for about 30 minutes with the señora in Spanish, while the locksmith went about his business. We agreed I'd come back the next day once all the stuff was gone out of the front yard and I'd give them the check. They gave me six baskets of fresh picked blackberries from a local commercial blackberry grower. Last time they gave me raspberries. Nice folks.Next, on to Cash for Keys #3. This guy was one slippery character during the CFK negotiation. Although we were clear what his responsibilities were (e.g. to leave the place clean and with no debris, trash, or personal property left inside or outside the house) - what did I find? Well, he did a pretty good job on the inside. But the outside was still littered with stuff. Paint. PVC piping. Buckets. Garden tools. Tiles. You get the picture.A heated conversation ensued. Well, the heat was mostly on his end. He wanted me to show him the check. Yeah right! He said he'd sue me for not giving him the check. I said, "Go ahead, you won't get too far, you haven't held up your end of the deal." He said he'd finish cleaning it up today. Alas, the sun was already setting in the west, and I never do a CFK after dark, because it's easy to miss stuff. I told him I'd have to come back tomorrow.And so I shall. Tomorrow's going to be another busy day in the REO business. God bless it.
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Careful with that foreclosure notice!

Yesterday, I was assigned a new property out in the country. I drove out there after completing a Cash for Keys with a property closer in to town. I approached the subject property and parked outside the driveway. There was a big truck parked by the side of the house - but it was a commercial vehicle, not a personal vehicle. I went down and knocked on the door - nobody home, but by all appearances, someone was still living there.I went back to my car, grabbed my camara, and took a bunch of pictures. I got back in my car, and saw that a neighbor lady had come out of her house and was kind of standing by the side of the road, looking like she wanted to talk to me. I pulled up to her, opened my window, and said, "Hi!"She asked why I was taking the pictures? "I'm casing the joint," I deadpanned. Ha ha, no, just kidding - I'm a professional, not a comedian, and certainly not a professional comedian. No no, what I really said was, "Well, it looks like your neighbor here lost the house to foreclosure."Thereupon we embarked upon a little friendly conversation about the wave of foreclosures that is going on, how bad the economy is, how this particular neighbor had been having problems for a long time (divorce, apparently), etc. We spoke for a few minutes, and I gave her my card, and said not to worry, the house wouldn't be boarded up, it will probably be sold pretty quickly, and hopefully the property will be sold to some sold owners. I asked her to please call me if she sees anything funny going on over at the house.And with that, I drove away. As sometimes happens, though, I started to wonder - did I get the right house? What if I made a mistake, and that wasn't the right address? I would have just posted an occupancy check notice on the door of some house that wasn't foreclosed on, and told the nieghbor lady that the house had just been lost to foreclosure! D'oh!And then this morning, as I'm sipping my coffee, browsing my RSS New Reader, I see a story in the local newspaper:From [The Santa Cruz Sentinel - Oops! Foreclosure notice in error]Bob Richter was puzzled when a man rushed up to his home in Santa Cruz Gardens one Saturday and posted a foreclosure notice offering him cash to turn in his house keys. The man took a photo of the posted notice, then left.Richter and his wife bought the house in 1977, and the mortgage is paid.It turned out the posting was in error.I hate it when that happens! Actually, it's never happened to me - the occupant of the house did call me a few hours later, and we've already worked out a cash-for-keys deal, so as soon as the lender sends over the task to work it out, I'll reply immediately with the details and get the ball rolling on it. All in a day's work.Happy 4th of July everyone!
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Tales from a CFK Completion

The days on the calendar swirled by, and before you know it, two months and a week had passed, and it was time to do the actual Cash for Keys - get the keys from the former owners, and give him the keys, and everyone goes on their merry way.I don't know how it is with everyone else, but here's how my CFK goes. A day or two before, I call up the former owner and arrange a time to do the exchange. I go over the requirements again (that the place be clean, the appliances in place, etc.), and say OK, see you then. I then call the locksmith to reconfirm the time and address, and then at the appointed date and time, I meet the locksmith out at the property.Almost invariably, the former occupants are not ready to go. They are usually still packing up. I can't fork over the cash (a check, actually) until I see that everything is loaded up. So, I usually stand around, chat with the locksmith, the former owner, etc., while I take interior photos for the listing BPO.Yesterday,this is just what happened - I show up, the former owners aren't quite ready to go, so I stand around for an hour or so while they finish up and the locksmith goes about his business. I got to chatting with the former owner - a nice guy, too bad he lost the house and all. He's from Mexico, and he doesn't speak English, so, as with about 1/2 of these deals, we converse in Spanish.Kind of an interesting conversation. He said he hadn't made a mortgage payment in a year. "A year?!" I said. "Well, at least six months, maybe year." Wow, at $4K a month in mortgage payments, that's a lot of dough. And of course, he gets the CFK money, too - although he only asked for $500.I asked him what his plan was. They were going to rent, and then buy another house. It seems they had saved up quite a nest egg, not paying anything for rent or mortgage the past 6-12 months - enough for a down payment for sure, especially with this groovy new FHA financing they have out here, which he already knew a good deal about. There were a number of adults living there, and only one of them had been on title - plenty of un-affected credit reports out there. And now, home prices are 1/2 of what they were two years ago when this guy had bought - the perfect time to buy!I gave him my card (again) and said if he knows someone who wants to buy a house, please call me. And I do believe he will. Who'da thunk.
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Getting the ball rolling

Hi,I'm Seb Frey - the Real Estate Guy. Catchy, huh? :) I have a couple of blogs that I already maintain - one at my main web site, - the other is on ActiveRain, which I don't really post on too often - mostly, I just put my REO listings on there.I don't talk too much about the REO side of my business on my own blog on my main site. I kind of want that blog to be a general-purpose real estate blog for buyers and sellers. I do mention REOs and foreclosures and short sales quite a bit on that blog, but mostly in passing.I think it will be nice to have a 3rd blog set up which I can write just about the REO part of my business - which at this point is about 80% of what I am doing, and the other 20% seems to be working with buyers on short sales and REOs, since that's where the best deals are to be had these days, for the most part.I think I'll just use this as a space to kind of write about the ins and outs of my business, so you can see what kind of issues come up and how I handle them. Please, tell me what I'm doing wrong. :)Today, I got a new property assignment from my favorite A#1 client, PAS (Premiere Asset Services, the REO arm of Wells Fargo). It was for a house out in Aptos - in a pretty nice older subdivision. Unfortunately, this part of the subdivision is a bit close to the freeway so you get some road noise, but hey, how often do you come across an REO property that's really just perfect in every way?The property had recently been on the market, but was just withdrawn 2 days ago. It hadn't been marked as vacant, so I figured I would find someone home. I printed out a copy of the Affordable Housing Guide for Santa Cruz County, which lists a bunch of local government agencies that help people find affordable housing - not like this house was cheap, it had been bought a couple of years ago for around $900,000 (can you say "top of the market"?). The guide also has legal resources - so people can learn their rights as someone who's been foreclosed on and is facing eviction, and it also contains contact information for transitional housing and shelters, for people who have kids, for example, and are freaked out that they'll literally be put on the streets, which isn't quite the case.Nice enough house, the landscaping overgrown, of course. I knocked on the door, a ferocious sounding dog barked in reply, after a minute or so the door was opened by a big tall guy, clearly not the Mary who was listed as the owner.Turns out, it was her grown son, late 20's, I'd say. Apparently, mom had fled the scene, leaving him with the house. "She told me she worked something out with her old Realtor where I could stay here through the summer," he told me. Yeah, right. I told him I didn't know anything about that, but in any event, I'd be negotiating a cash for keys deal with him, and how soon could he be out?We'll see how it goes. That's the most interesting thing that happened in an otherwise slow news day - lots of phone calls, lots of administrativa for the dozen or so escrows I have going now. I'll write again soon.
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