Keller Williams Dallas Metro North Sold ALMOST 2/3 OF A BILLION IN REAL ESTATE



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NOW is the Time to Invest in Real Estate

The Question: Based on what I know about my personal situation, how can I design my life today, such that I can build a stream of residual income that can fund my ‘Financial Freedom’ for myself and my family?”

The Answer:  Use real estate as your vehicle to Financial Freedom!

Why Now Mortgage rates are lower; rental rates are higher; distressed property can mean foreclosure, short sale, divorce or many other; population forecasts show our area growing dramatically in the next 20 years; stock market is uncertain and interest rates you can earn are lower; Gen Y’ers will arrive at their peak earning years in 2020 – 2025….expect another real estate BOOM!  When you analyze the facts and the situation – real estate is a great investment choice and the time to buy is NOW!

Distressed Properties: Know the Basics

You hear the phrases in the news daily right now:  distressed properties, foreclosures, REO, etc. But do you know what they mean?  If you are a real estate professional, are you using the “lingo” correctly?   An experienced Realtor can take the stress out of distressed property transactions by knowing the systems that work, but everyone can benefit from knowing the basics.

A compilation of user-friendly definitions that can help you navigate the process: 

Short Sale is when a homeowner and mortgage lender agree to sell a home for less than the amount owed on the home.  Mortgage lenders usually require evidence of hardship before approving a short sale.

Pre-Foreclosure means the homeowner has received notification that they are not making adequate payments and the mortgage lender is beginning the steps necessary to foreclose on the home.

Foreclosure is the legal process by which a borrower who has not made adequate payments  is deprived of their ownership interest in the property. 

Real estate owned (or REO) is a real estate asset owned by the lender that has been taken back during the foreclosure process.

A servicing agent is hired by the lender to service the loan or is an investor, such as a private investor or government-sponsored enterprise, like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. They are often subject to guidelines. (You can?t always find out who the investor of the loan is.)

Portfolio loan is an asset owned and controlled by the lender. The decision maker on the loan is in-house.  A portfolio loan can be easier to navigate in a short sale process because a servicing agent may have limited authority.  This is a great question to ask up front to set realistic expectations for the transaction.

Foreclosure Freeze Best-Case Scenario

Gregor Watson, a principal with McKinley Partners, a development company that buys foreclosed homes, told listeners on a Citi home-builder conference call that there were three potential outcomes from the foreclosure fiasco:

Best case: These are technical issues that can be resolved quickly so the foreclosure process can continue and the glut of foreclosed homes is cleared from the market.

Medium case: There is significant litigation that takes years to sort out and this slows the troubled housing market even further.

Worst case: The market grinds to a halt and title insurers refuse to insure mortgages involving foreclosed homes. “It would be devastating for the resale market if this robo-signer issue spiraled out of control,” Watson says.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Dawn Wotapka (10/12/2010)

Luxury Homes – Bargains?

As you are considering your investment moves, please do not forget the luxury home market.  It was a fact, in our not-too-distant past, that foreclosures of homes valued at over $1,000,000 were very rare.  Certainly few luxury homeowners were faced with the possibility of a short sale because of the large downpayments that were typical of these luxury buyers.  However, in today’s economy and today’s world, luxury foreclosures or luxury short sales can be a wonderful option for investors.  There is a robust luxury rental market, with many companies encouraging employees to rent rather than own if their assignment is expected to last 3 years or less.  And while most professionals would never recommend “flipping” at this price point, it is certainly possible to find a home that needs improvements.  As with all price ranges, some properties have fallen into disrepair or have not been updated due to the financial woes of the owners – and certainly this is true in the luxury market.  While many luxury homeowners are well-entrenched and stable, there are many whose family situation, employment situation or general outlook have changed…and that can mean opportunity for you if you are considering luxury home investments.  Remember, luxury foreclosures aren’t just the “McMansions” that proliferated in many upscale suburban communities, which many people believe were overpriced anyway. These luxury foreclosures now can be waterfront, in exclusive gated communities, or historically significant properties.  Open your mind to the possibilities!

Risk of Home Prices Falling? It All Depends on Your Point Of View.

PMI, Inc., the provider of the nation’s Private Mortgage Insurance, has come out with their quarterly Risk Index of the largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas for the 2nd quarter of 2010.  The Risk Index uses economic, housing, employment and mortgage market factors to determine the probability of home prices falling in the next 12 months, per specific area.  There is much good news if you live in our own north Texas! 

During the first quarter of 2010, risk decreased in 40 of the nation’s 50 most populated (Top-50) MSAs and  the average national risk score has dropped for 3 consecutive quarters now.

And for North Texas, the good news gets better: 

  • The city with the least risk and lowest probability of home prices declining is listed as Columbus, Ohio.  *The Ft Worth-Arlington MSA remains a low risk and comes in at #8 least risky.  Dallas-Plano-Irving MSA comes in at #9 with a low risk of home prices declining.  
  • Miami, FL and Las Vegas, NV remain the markets most likely to experience price declines with a 99.9% chance, using the indexing factors.

Today’s real estate market in North Texas, with stable prices and low mortgage rates should encourage

Homebuyers – whether they are personal home buyers or investors.   It’s a great time and a great place to purchase real estate!

Win With Foreclosures

All eyes continue to be on real estate and with interest rates low, there are many people considering real estate as a large part of their future investment portfolio.  Keller Williams leads the way in helping their agents provide expert service to their clients, makes it easy for agents to lead generate, remains at the forefront of agent education and expertise….and now they are doing it again.  If you are a Keller Williams agent, be sure you check out the tool kit called “Winning With Foreclosures.”  It contains a great presentation along with detailed ideas for having a terrific seminar for your sphere and those interested parties in your area.  It seems everyone today is interested in knowing about foreclosures or short sales and the possibility of making a great buy…..if you’re an agent with KW, why not take advantage of that?  If you’re a possible investor, why not call on the best in the business & in the area & in the investment segment of the market – call one of our trained KW agents today.