Who is getting mortgages in Las Vegas these days?

The candid truth about who can get a mortgage for Las Vegas real estate, and some things you may not know.

I have a friend who works as a loan officer for a pretty big mortgage lender in Las Vegas. He called me today to ask me what I wanted for my birthday (yes, today is my 41st).  I answered “dinner with Jennifer Anniston”.  Then I said, “As long as we’re being honest, tell me what is happening in the mortgage industry. Who is getting loans right now?”

Here is what he said – 

“The optimal person who is getting a loan right now is a person who does not own a house, (then he added) of course you know, everything is full doc1. There is not one stated income2 program around. If someone is calling a program ‘stated’, they’re lying. FHA loans have gone from 5% of our total pipeline3 to 50% of our total pipeline over the last year. A lot of buyers are going to FHA [loans] even though they have great credit scores or whatever, just because they are easier to close than conventional loans and you only need to have 3 1/2% down. If you have 20% down on a conventional loan, they’re lending on that; 25% down on investor properties, is going to be your best rate. We’re still lending a lot. I just did my pipeline report. I’ve got 5.5 million dollars in my pipe that is set to close before February. The sales manager that I work with, his pipeline is at 3.8 million dollars; so there are loans out there. There are definitely loans out there.”

Then he said

“If you own property right now, and you are upside down in it, and you want to buy another house, you have to be able to qualify [with proof of income] for both payments without using rental income from the one you are leaving.” [this is because people who are not behind yet, were buying a new homes, then ‘bailing’ on the one that they were upside down on. It did not take lenders long to get wise to this buy-n-bail scam]

Finally he said

“The other thing to be aware of the at the beginning of this year, the FHA loan limits in our market [Las Vegas] got changed to a maximum of $287,500 which is a purchase price of $295,000.  Conventional loans in Las Vegas are very difficult to get. The mortgage insurance companies don’t want to issue policies. So now you have a gap between the conventional loan limit, which is $417,000, which dramatically decreases the number of borrowers who can qualify. In [his] personal opinion over the next year, [he] think you’re going to see values of homes in that zone [between $295,000 and $417,000] degrade into an FHA loan. If you are going to list your house for $310,000, why wouldn’t you drop the price to $295,000, so you have a bigger pool of potential buyers. If you don’t, you’ll have fewer offers, and if you do get an offer and the buyer ‘falls out’ because they can’t get conventional financing, you may go ahead and drop the price to $295,000 so that you can sell it.”

That’s what he said, and he’s on the front lines of the Las Vegas mortage industry every day and has been for a few years.

1 – Full doc: Short for full documentation – in other words, prove you have money, prove you make money, and prove that it is all legitimate.

2 – Stated or Stated income: When people with excellent credit history are allowed to just state how much they earn

3 – Pipeline: Loans that are in process that are likely to be approved for funding

Are you ready to buy real estate in Las Vegas?  Visit www.MyFastEasySale.com, click the “Wholesale Buyers” link, and fill out the form.  Let’s get you going.

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The numbers don’t lie (or do they?)

What does the national real estate data tell us? Maybe nothing.

As many of you may know, yesterday the national real estate data came out for the month of December 2008.  What did the data say?  Existing home sales up 64%, median home price down 15.3% to $175,400 compared to December 2007 numbers.

Now I don’t have the December numbers for Las Vegas, yet, but in November, existing home sales were up 79.0%, median price $173,900, down 31.5% compared to November 2007.

Have Las Vegas homes really lost that much value?  Well, they certainly have lost that much perceived value.  What do I mean by that?  When the prices were rising astronomically, homes could not have truly gone up in value that quickly, but people perceived that that they did, so they paid the prices.  I remember seeing a map that showed that real estate in Summerlin, went up 73% in one year (I thought I still had that map somewhere, but can’t find it). Then prices came back to a reasonable value.  So what is the real value of the real estate in Las Vegas?  When will it stop declining here in Las Vegas?  Nationwide?  You might want to ask Barack Obama – I certainly don’t know.  What I do know, is that it will go back up, eventually, and when it does, if you bought some, you’ll be smiling! And if you bought right, you’ll be drinking umbrella drinks someplace warm and sunny, anytime you want.

So how do you buy real estate right in Las Vegas?  For starters, visit www.MyFastEasySale.com, click the “Wholesale Buyers” link, and fill out the form.  After that, I’ll show you some real values, and tell you why they are values.

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Short Sales vs. Bank Owned houses in Las Vegas

Currently, Short Sales: make up 31% of all Las Vegas real estate listings on the MLS, and Bank Owned listings make up 38%.  This means that Short sale and REO listings are just under 70% of total listings, but is one of those a better route than the other?  It depends.

Right now banks actually own more inventory than has hit MLS.  The houses that they have released into inventory they seem to be prepared to deal with now. The last 3 offers I have written on bank owned properties have all received a response within just a few days.  Offers on short sale properties seem to take much longer – often because of the owners of the property.  In order to submit your short sale offer to your bank, they need to see financials from you. Recent bank statements, pay stubs, a hardship letter and more.  Many homeowners are just not emotionally up to the task.  It’s quite draining to look down the barrel of financial hardship.  If you’ve never done it, I hope you never do, and if you have, then you understand.  These people aren’t just losing something, they are losing their home, the safest, most wonderful spot on planet earth.

There is certainly an upside to the short sales however; the condition of the property. Someone trying to short sale their home is trying to ‘do the right thing’, instead of just walking away.  Because of that mind set, the properties are often in pretty good overall condition.  This is often not the case with the REO homes. Many of the people who have been foreclosed on and evicted (even if they were at one time trying to ‘do the right thing’) felt abandoned, harassed or otherwise victimized and lashed out as they left; leaving their former house in very poor condition.

So what is my recommendation? To contact me so I can help you make the right decision for you on Las Vegas Real Estate. Visit www.MyFastEasySale.com, click the “Wholesale Buyers” link, and fill out the form so I can start helping you today!

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Make your log-ins MORE secure, while spending LESS time on them.

Anytime you can be more efficient, you’re better off, right?

As I was logging into WordPress to blog from a different computer today, I was struck by how much I love my little password tool.  Now, Internet Explorer will remember your usernames and passwords, but there have been so many security issues with IE over the years, I would never trust it with my private information.  I have several online accounts that have a log-in, as do most people.  Of course there are passwords I would never care if anyone learned (like sidestep.com or driver.com – great resources), but there are also passwords that are critical to me, (like my bank account and my dubli.com account).

And I know people who consistently use the SAME username and password everywhere they go on the internet. Are you one of those people?  Think about it, if you are, and someone knows ONE of your log-ins, then, they know ALL of your log-ins. 

In any case, almost a year ago, a friend told me about a VERY secure little tool called Roboform that resides on your computer, and remembers all of your passwords for you.  For your really important accounts, it can generate super secure passwords for you. If you’re like me, you’ve always stayed away from those because they were too hard to remember.

So how does Roboform help you when you are on a different computer?  There is a portable version that resides on your portable USB or U3 flash drive (often called a jump drive). Like the PC version, it can only be accessed with a master password, so it is secure, even if it is lost or stolen.  With all of my online accounts, and all of my DIFFERENT log-ins, I’ll bet this software saves me 2-3 hours per week, and increases the security of my online accounts.  To check it out for yourself, visit
www.MyFastEasyPasswords.com.  Roboform is even trusted by the Better Business Bureau.  I bet you’re going to tell all of your friends about it.  It’s just that great!

Now, back to the people who use the same log-ins (or even very similar ones) for all of your online accounts, I want you to make changes NOW (please). Identity theft is a very real problem, and I don’t want you to be the next victim. 

So, here is what I want you to do. 

 

  1. Go to MyFastEasyPasswords.com then download and install the software.  Use it free for 30 days.
  2. Go to an important web site that you use
  3. Log-in (Roboform will ask you if you want it to remember – go ahead and say yes)
  4. Change your password
  5. Write the new password down
  6. Log out
  7. Log back in with the new password
  8. Overwrite the old password with the new password in Roboform
  9. Go back to step #2 until you’re can’t remember any others

Have more than one log-in on a particular site?  For example, I have a business log-in and a personal log-in for my banking. When you save the log-in, you get the opportunity to name it.  Roboform offers you a name, based on the Title of the web page you are logging in on.  If it offers you ‘ABC Bank’, simply name it ‘ABC Bank – Personal’ 

Enough on that. ‘See’ you tomorrow!

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But what if we aren’t at the bottom in Las Vegas yet?

Don’t wait until the market hits bottom in Las Vegas to start buying real estate. Let someone else pay the bill while it continuies to decline, and cash in later.

I think the question I get most often is, “Jeff, what if Las Vegas Real Estate has not hit bottom? If I buy now, and it continues to decline in value, what do I do then?”

Great question, so let’s start by taking a look at a graph I got off of Zillow.com awhile back.  If you look at this, it certainly does not indicate that we have hit bottom.

Las Vegas Real Estate Prices

So let’s look at how we can be sure that won’t work against us.  I grew up in California, where I have seen the Real Estate markets swing radically every few years.  I remember I had a friend many years ago, who got divorced, and refinanced his home to give his former wife her her share of the divorce settlement. Shortly afterwards, the local market began to decline steeply and within a couple of years my friend was alarmed to discover that he owed more on his house than it was worth.  He asked me if I thought he should ‘walk away’ from it like many others were doing.  I first asked him if he could still afford it (of course this was long before exotic mortgages, and he had a 30 year fixed rate loan), and he stated that he could. I then asked him what he was going to do if he sold it, and he said he would rent a place for himself. The obvious solution was to continue paying the mortgage and live there, so he did.  Several years later, he was getting remarried and moved into his new wife’s home. When he went to sell that house, it sold for much more than he owed on it.

So what if you bought real estate, and someone else was paying the mortgage for you? Would it really bother you if it declined in value? For the first time since 1991, there are a lot of single family homes in Las Vegas that can rent for more than the mortgage payment (as well as the RE taxes, property insurance, maintenance and property management fees). When the property is producing positive cash flow, you can afford to wait for it to go back up in value! Think about it, your tenants will cover the expenses on the house, while it continues to decline in value, until it finally goes up!

So WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

Las Vegas real estate is ON SALE.
Get yours now!

To contact me so I can help you make great decisions on Las Vegas Real Estate, visit www.MyFastEasySale.com, click the “Wholesale Buyers” link, and fill out the form so I can start helping you today!

Even ‘The Donald’ is making adjustments in Las Vegas

High end Las Vegas rentals just became more available, but that is not a concern for the typical investor.

The Donald may be starting a new trend
Trump Tower Las Vegas

 I remember when I was still buying in Las Vegas before I stopped and then started again. (Did you follow that?) In other words, a couple of years ago.

When the Trump Tower Condo-tel project was announced, my partners and I looked into buying some of the units pre-construction. The initial thought was to buy 5 @ a price tag of roughly $600,000 each at pre-construction pricing. We would ‘flip’ 3 of them after completion and keep the other 2 luxury vacation rentals. Well, we did the math and it did not appear to be very lucrative, so we never went any further with it. (I still get emails once in awhile from the sales associate.) I remember that the first tower had nearly sold out and they began preparing to pre-sell the second tower.

Fast-forward to the present day.  Almost 400 of the 1,282 units have closed.  That’s it.  All of the other buyers have walked away and Trump has this enormous alligator on his hands, eating away at his cash.   The hotel rooms have been so underused, that when a friend of mine stayed in one of the condo-tel units this week, he simply asked if he could get a nicer room and they gave it to him.  Much nicer.  He paid less than a suite at Encore or Bellagio, and had a spectacular view of the ‘Strip’.

So, Trump is now listing all of his units for lease, including studios, one bedrooms, two bedrooms and even the penthouses.

The lowest price is $1,600 a month for a one-year lease on a studio. One bedrooms are as low as $2,600 and a three-bedroom penthouse is $6,500 for a one-year lease.  Those same units are $7,500 a month for those who only want it for three months and $7,200 a month for a six-month lease. Of course those are furnished nicely.

In the past few months, some staff members were let go and that reduced services. By bringing in more people as tenants, they should be able to increase jobs again.  So has ‘The Donald’ started another trend? Are the unsold units of the condo-tels around the country going to be leased as year-round rentals?  I’m certain that they will, and until the economy turns around, if you are in the market for a pretty high-end rental anyway, my guess is you’ll be able to get a significant upgrade in the short term.

The good news for me, is that these units are certainly not competing for any of the lower end rentals.  That market is still strong, as long as you know what neighborhoods to buy in.  If you have money and / or good credit and are ready to take advantage of the deeply discounted Las Vegas real estate market, please contact me.  I have deals coming out of my ears and all of the resources in place to help you get them repaired, rented and managed. In a few years, I’ll be happy to help you sell them for a very nice profit.

Las Vegas real estate is ON SALE.
Get yours now!

To contact me so I can help you make great decisions on Las Vegas Real Estate, visit www.MyFastEasySale.com, click the “Wholesale Buyers” link, and fill out the form so I can start helping you today!

The truth is, I love to ‘toot my own horn’.

Now is the time to invest in Las Vegas real estate.

Alright, I’ll admit I have let this blog get ‘stale’, but no more. I have a new motivation! I love being right! Since August, I have been blasting my email list telling them that they should come and invest with me in Las Vegas real estate. Why? Well a number of reasons come to mind. First of all, Las Vegas had the 2nd highest foreclosure rate in the country, it’s true. And most people will run away from that.  DON’T.

  • For more than 15 years, between 5,000 and 8,000 people have moved to Las Vegas – and the trend shows no signs of slowing.
  • The median home price in Las Vegas as reported by the Las Vegas Review Journal on 9-10-08 is only $210,000.
  • Wal-Mart is building a distribution Center just outside of Las Vegas and they require that EVERY vendor have a warehouse within 50 miles.
  • McCarran Airport can no longer handle the volume of traffic, so the city is going to build a second airport.
  • Single family homes can produce positive cashflow as a rental for the first time since 1991 – if you can buy an investment property that will cash flow, then it truly doesn’t matter how long it takes to appreciate, as long as it does (and boy, will it ever!)

Despite the fact that Las Vegas real estate has dropped an additional 28% in the past year, sales are up 15% year over year! This is the part where I tell you how I was right. Forbes Magazine and Forbes.com just released a list of the top 10 cities that you should be buying real estate in. #1? You guessed it! Las Vegas! For the other 9 cities, go to Forbes.com and search for the writer Matt Woolsey. I’m not hear to talk about #2. After all, second place is just the first loser, right?

So, what qualifies me to help you navigate Las Vegas real estate for the best deals?

  • I have purchased over 30 investment properties – I have made money on most yet lost money on others – I have skinned my knees and learned a lot of valuable lessons.
  • I lived in Las Vegas from 1993 to 2003 and am very familiar with the city. In fact I still own and help run a successful Las Vegas business. I have just returned for the sole purpose of investing in real estate.
  • I know the hot areas, I know the war zones.
  • I have solid connections with REO Brokers, contractors, Title companies and more.
  • I have access to a woman whose sole job is to find FREE money for down payments for First Time Homebuyers through local and state programs (if you are looking to live here or flip property she is invaluable).
  • I own the phone number 702-SELL-NOW and run ads to buy houses year ’round in Las Vegas.
  • I also know a secret about WHY Las Vegas will be so profitable over the next 5 years, but I will only share that with serious investors.

Are you a serious investor? Do you want to buy in the real estate market that is poised for maximum long term profit? Whether you are a cash buyer or ready to finance, contact me, and we’ll discuss how I can help you find great investment property in Las Vegas. 

To contact me so I can help you make great decisions on Las Vegas Real Estate, visit www.MyFastEasySale.com, click the “Wholesale Buyers” link, and fill out the form so I can start helping you today!