November, 2014

From Fab to Flab in No Time Flat!


old-arnold-schwarzenegger“Best (& Worst) Beach Bodies of the Year”. That was the headline that grabbed my attention a while back as I stood in line at the grocery store.  And it wasn’t for the most obvious reason that a 30-something year old man might be tempted to take a peek. In contrast, this was much less of a temptation and much more like the experience of approaching road kill on the side of the interstate. You know you’ll regret looking at it, but as the mangled creature moves closer, you just can’t seem to keep your eyes off of it.

Undoubtedly part of “the worst” category, the beach body being burned into my retina was none other than the Governator himself, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The object of my disgust was standing there proudly in his Speedo, the magnificence of his former self but a mere memory. The former Mr. Olympia, 7-time world champion, and star of countless action movies, now looked as if he had never stepped foot in a gym in his entire life. A man who once boasted an incredibly low amount of body fat now looked as if he had traded bicep curls for cheese curls, and leg squats for tater tots. To put it bluntly, he was a lot less buffed up and a lot more A.Y.C.E. “buffet-ed” up.

I must admit that I was extremely saddened by the image on the magazine cover. I try to hit the gym about 2-3 times a week, or at the very least throw up a few push ups and sit-ups each morning as I get ready for the day. I had always hoped that one day I would get my body sculpted the way I liked it and then I could just lay back a little, take it easy, and coast into my latter years with a body that at the very least didn’t repulse my wife. However, in one fleeting moment at the grocery store check out line, my dream was effectively terminated (get it?). Arnold has indeed proven that regardless of your level of achievement, even if you’ve reached the pinnacle of success in your sport or industry, you can’t let up for even a moment…or you will lose it all. The fall to the bottom is certainly a lot faster than the climb to the top and in business, as inLottery-Mega-Millions exercise, the moment at which you stop giving it your all is the moment that you will certainly fail.

One of the biggest differences that I see between the “haves” and the “have-nots” is in their view of success. Poor or unsuccessful people are always waiting for some once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a strike of lightning, the invention of the century. They think that prosperity and wealth are achieved by winning some kind of “success lottery” and they’re always sitting around waiting to hit the lucky numbers. However, those that achieve greatness in life are those who understand that success is a process, not an event, and they commit themselves to that process until it produces their desired result.

I’m committed to the process.  How about you?  Let me know in the comment section below! And then write this on your mirror so it’s one of the first things you see every morning…“Success is a Journey, Not an Event!” Once that sinks into your mind and heart, you will be that much closer to achieving the life of your dreams.

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Distressed Homes Discount Averages 37 Percent in September


Distressed PropertyDistressed residential properties had a median sales price of 37 percent below the median sales price of non-distressed properties nationwide in September, according to Realty Trac’s Q3 2014 Residential and Foreclosure Sales Report released Tuesday.

The median price of distressed residential homes, which are those in foreclosure or owned by banks when sold, was reported at $130,000 nationwide for September, compared to the median price of $205,000 for non-distressed homes during the month, according to RealtyTrac.

“Even as the share of distressed sales decreases, the average discount on distressed properties continues to be substantial because the primary factors driving that discount are still in place,” RealtyTrac VP Daren Blomquist said. “Distressed properties are typically in poor condition and have a highly motivated seller — whether that seller is the distressed homeowner in foreclosure or the bank that has repossessed the property through foreclosure.”

The major metropolitan areas were distressed homes were most heavily discounted were Pittsburgh (67 percent), Milwaukee (67 percent), Cleveland (64 percent), and Memphis (59 percent), according to RealtyTrac.Increased

Overall, the median sales price of U.S. residential properties, both distressed and non-distressed combined, was $195,000 in September, according to RealtyTrac. This figure represented an increase of 1 percent from August and 15 percent from September 2013 – the largest year-over-year increase since October 2005. September 2014 was also the 30th consecutive month in which the median home price increased on a year-over-year basis.

“Median home prices nationally in September were boosted by a new low in the share of distressed sales during the third quarter, resulting in fewer home sales on the lower end,” Blomquist said. “The share of homes selling above $200,000 is up 7 percent from a year ago, and the share of homes selling above $500,000 is up 15 percent from a year ago.”

Posted By Brian Honea DSNews

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Underwater Rate Dips; Borrower Equity Jumps by $1 Trillion


Underwater_MortgagesThe nation’s negative equity rate dipped closer to single digits in the year’s second quarter, though nearly one in five borrowers remain poorly positioned, according to new data released Thursday.

Property information firm CoreLogic reported that nearly 946,000 homes returned to positive equity in the second quarter, meaning the mortgage holders owe less on their loan than the property’s worth. With the most recent quarterly increase, CoreLogic estimates the total number of mortgaged homes with equity across the country has surpassed 44 million.

In total, borrower equity increased year-over-year in Q2 by approximately $1 trillion nationwide—”evidence that things are moving solidly in the right direction,” said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist for CoreLogic.

“Borrower equity is important because home equity constitutes borrowers’ largest investment segment and, as a result, is driving forward the rise in wealth for the typical homeowner,” Khater said.

As of the end of June, the company estimates approximately 5.3 million homes (10.7 percent of all mortgaged houses) were still underwater, down from 6.3 million homes (12.7 percent) in the first quarter and 7.2 million homes (14.9 percent) last year.

The national aggregate value of all homes in negative equity status was $345.1 billion at the end of the quarter.

While the overall rise in equity marks another positive step forward for the housing market, it’s undercut by the fact that nearly 9 million homes are “under-equitied,” meaning the properties have less than 20 percent equity. Out of that group, 1.3 million have less than 5 percent equity, putting them just barely above water.refinance

With so little equity, CoreLogic explained under-equitied or near-negative borrowers may have a more difficult time refinancing their homes or obtaining the financing to sell and buy a new one.

Even worse, those borrowers with near-negative equity remain at risk of going back under if home prices fall even slightly.

At the same time, the bulk of positive equity is concentrated at the higher end of the housing market, leaving lower-priced homeowners—who need to trade up in order to open space for first-time buyers seeking affordable houses—still struggling.

Out of all 50 states, Nevada had the highest percentage of underwater properties in Q2, posting a negative equity rate of 26.3 percent. Following that were Florida (24.3 percent), Arizona (19.0 percent), Illinois (15.4 percent), and Rhode Island (14.8 percent). Together, those top five states account for nearly one-third of negative equity in the United States.

On the other end of the scale, Texas boasted the highest percentage of homes in a positive equity position, with 97.3 percent of properties above water. Alaska followed at 96.5 percent, with Montana (96.4 percent), North Dakota (96.0 percent), and Hawaii (96.0 percent) rounding out the top five.

Posted By Tory Barringer  DSNews

Other recent articles by the Professional Investors Guild:

Motivated Seller Gold Mine- Targeting Niches for a Higher R.O.I.

The Five Stages of Foreclosure Grieving

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How to Find Real Estate “Hot Spots”

Ask the Pig





I received a great question from Charles, one of our guild members, a few days ago…and I thought it was the perfect choice for this month’s “Ask the P.I.G.” video.  Charles wanted to know what is the best way to find real estate “hot spots”, or the highly desirable neighborhoods in your area where homes sell quickly.  That’s a great question, and an important thing for any investor to know, so that they can target their marketing or direct mail campaigns to the areas where they can find homes to flip rapidly.

The first piece of advice I would give you is to ask a local Realtor who is ACTIVE in the business.  Don’t ask just any old dope who has never sold a house and is a Realtor in name only.  The barrier to entry is extremely low to become a Realtor, so there are a lot of people out there brandishing a license who have no clue what they’re doing.  You want to find a high-octane realtor on steroids who’s out there beating the streets each week to make a living.  Those Realtors will have their pulse on the market, and will be able to guide you towards the neighborhoods or areas that are particularly desirable in today’s market.  They typically have information at their finger tips regarding the popular school districts, proximity to local hospitals and other services, which can be valuable in determining where buyers will want to logo 4

The second strategy is to ask a Realtor with access to the MLS, even if they’re not a top producer, to pull some hard data for you to confirm what the other agents or local industry experts have told you during your research.  We always want to “trust but verify” in business, so it’s important to get some numbers to back up what you’re hearing.  The key statistic you want to look at is the “Days on Market” or DOM for a particular neighborhood, which paints a pretty good picture of how desirable an area truly is.  If most of the homes sell in 30-60 days (or significantly less than the average DOM in your market), then you know it’s a “hot spot”.  However, if it’s taking much longer than that (over 180 days  or so), it may be a neighborhood you want to avoid.

***A WORD OF CAUTION***  Make sure you look carefully at the data behind any anomalies, where one house sells significantly faster or slower than other homes in the neighborhood. Check out the video above for more on anomalies, and what to look for to see if they’re a cause for concern or something to be discarded.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis understanding of “hot spots” and knowing what to look for has made myself and many other investors a great deal of money over the years.  In fact, there’s a neighborhood in my neck of the woods called Mirabelle that fits the “hot spot” criteria perfectly.  It’s not a particularly huge neighborhood (50 homes or so) and it’s not near a bunch of other residential neighborhoods. However, a unique  combination of price, quality, location, and neighborhood dynamics have made it extremely popular.  Most homes in the neighborhood sell in less than 30 days (even without being renovated) and the majority of the buyers pay CASH because the neighborhood appeals to an older demographic.  The last renovation we did in there sold after just ONE DAY on the market, for full price, to a cash buyer…and it wasn’t the least bit of a surprise.  Oddly enough, because of our market research before we purchased it, the result was somewhat expected.

What are your thoughts?  Do you have anything to add?  If so, let us know in the comments section below.  And don’t forget to grab your free investing resources, including our audio teaching on how to find motivated sellers with equity, and our free report entitled, “Top 10 Foreclosure Mistakes (and how to avoid them)”.  Just click here, fill out the form, and we will rush them to your e-mail box!

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