Archive for category Miscellaneous

Teenage Girl Buys House for $12,000

NPR reported a wonderful story about a fourteen year old girl in Florida.  Willow Tufano began her career by selling items on Craigslist that were left behind in foreclosed houses.  Before long she was making $500 a month.  She saved her money and when a property came up for auction for $12,000 that had been worth $100, 000 at it’s peak, she went in halves with her mother to buy the property.  After a significant clean up and some renovation, Willow was able to rent out the house to a couple for $700 a month.   Have we discovered the next generation’s Trump?

We are all familiar with the unfortunate suffering that many have been subjected to with the housing bubble and collapse in areas like Florida.  This was such a great silver lining story about an up and coming entrepreneur of the next generation.  Read the original NPR article or this report from the Huffington Post which includes before and after pictures of the home.

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Donald Trump Echoes Buffett Saying Buy a House

Donald Trump was interviewed on CNBC this morning.  Repeating what Warren Buffett and he both said a few weeks ago, Trump stated that now is a amazing time to buy real estate.  Trump’s primary reason was a little different than Buffett’s however.  Buffett was looking at the value of houses where the prices are a third off of their highs coupled with record low mortgage rates.  The Donald, on the other hand, was suggesting real estate because he is expecting hyper inflation at some point in the future.  Real Estate would be expected to serve as an effective hedge against inflation.  Nassim Taleb, author of the book “The Black Swan” was also on TV today and mentioned real estate (along with stocks) as necessary investments against the future hyper-inflation that he is predicting.

Trump brought up one interesting thought regarding REO, or bank owned properties for sale.  He suggested that if you are buying a property from a bank, they may be more willing to give someone a mortgage if it is to take one of their own properties off of their hands.  I am not sure if this is true or not, but it does make some sense.  Click here to hear Trump’s interview.

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Warren Buffett Says Buy Single Family Homes

This morning the Sage from Omaha, Warren Buffett, sang music to many homeowners (and Realtors) ears during an interview on CNBC.  When the legendary value investor was asked what investments he thought were attractive, Buffett said that he recommends buying single family homes.  With prices off a third from their highs and record low interest rates, Buffett feels that with a 30 year mortgage, homes are a great value now.  Watch the full interview below!

Warren Buffett Says Buy Single Family Homes

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Offered at the Rock Bottom Price of $18mm!

While foreclosures of million+ dollar properties only make up a small percentage of the marketplace, they do exist.  It is less than 2% of the foreclosures, but even this low figure is higher than normal.  CNN Money put together a slideshow of eight exceptional multi-million dollar homes currently in foreclosure that I thought I would share.  Click here to see these deals.

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NYC Beats out Los Angeles as the Least Affordable Rental Market

John Burns Real Estate Consulting conducted a study of 40 US metropolitan areas where they compared rental rates with median incomes.  Six of the ten least affordable are here in California.  The six and their rent to income ratios are as follows:

10.  Riverside – San Bernardino    25%

9.  San Jose    25%

8.  Orange County    26%

7.  San Diego    28%

3.  San Francisco    33%

2.  Los Angeles    36%

Leading the country with the least affordable rental market was New York City with a rent to income ratio at a whopping 52%.  When my husband first moved from NYC to San Francisco a realtor told him that she loved working with New Yorkers because they were the only clients that didn’t get sticker shock.  Now we know why.

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JPMorgan Chase Exec Declares Housing is at a Bottom

Frank Bisignano, the Chief Administrative Officer for JPMorgan Chase responsible for fixing their mortgage business, explained in an interview why he feels that the housing market is at or “darn close” to a bottom.  You can listen to his reasons in the interview here.

His opinion makes sense and he certainly has his finger on the pulse of the market in his position.  I also agree with what he stated in the end of the interview.  The market may have bottomed, but there is still a lot of shadow inventory to work through before you might see prices take off on a national level.  The net result is a stable market as I discussed in a prior post.  This means be strategic, think locally and be realistic.  This is not 2005 nor is it 2009.  In other words, rationally optimistic is the phrase of the season.

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Market Bear Says Rental Properties Make Great Investments Now

Marc Faber, famed stock market bear and editor of the Gloom Boom & Doom Report was on CNBC this morning sharing his thoughts.  It’s not often that you hear Faber bullish on anything so it was noteworthy this morning when he singled out housing as an attractive investment right now.  His reasons can be read here.

I have to agree with Faber.  Rents have been rising while home prices have not.  Combine this with the interest rates being so low still, it makes investing in income properties more competitive and attractive versus different asset classes.  And as Faber points out, this is an area where the small nimble investor can outperform large firms that have to put billions of dollars to work.

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