Bank Foreclosures Buying Rental Property Avoid Seller S Tricks Home Equity Scams For You
Bank foreclosure real estate, also referred to as REOs (Real Estate Owned), is foreclosed real estate that is owned by the bank due to an unsuccessful foreclosure auction. There are several reasons the home may have not sold at the auction. The most common reason is negative equity- the bank foreclosure real estate is worth less than the amount owed to the bank.Of course, the bank seeks to receive the outstanding balance of the original loan; therefore, the minimum bid for the bank foreclosure real estate is usually the amount of the outstanding balance of the original loan, plus interest and any additional fees. No smart investor or buyer will consider bidding on such a property.
Nevertheless, an unsuccessful sale will not stop the bank from trying to make an attempt to get the bank foreclosure real estate sold. The bank will consider removing some or all liens and fees on the bank foreclosure real estate in order to get it on the real estate market and resell it to the public. The resell process may be retrying an auction or working through a Realtor.
This is a hot market for real estate investors. Real Estate investors take an eager interest in bank foreclosure real estate property. The market of foreclosed homes may be large; but, not always suitable for some investors. The foreclosed property may not meet some important needs. Nowadays home buyers and investors alike are scrambling through the market of bank foreclosure real estate looking for better deals. Though, most bank foreclosure real estate property is in poor condition, the low sale price of the home highly compensates for the property poor condition.
Investing in bank foreclosure real estate property offers a great return for investors. Bank foreclosure real estate by far offers greater deals than typical foreclosed homes. As an investor you must consider all your options. Make sure you get the bank foreclosure real estate property at the best price. Hopefully, the bank foreclosure real estate that an investor chooses to invest in will give the investor rewards; such as a larger return in profit, either through renting the home out or through selling the home.
There are several ways to search for bank foreclosure real estate property. You can search the Internet, magazines, and newspaper listings. The Internet can lead you to thousands maybe millions of connections. Here you can view listing by state, banks, county, and much more.
You should also invest time in finding a good real estate agent. If they know what you are looking for, they can save you a lot of time and work. They can also help you determine the true market value of the home you are considering investing in.
Be careful when buying rental property. We stayed at a motel for a week one winter. The bill showed twice what it should have, but since I already paid the correct amount in cash, I thought nothing of it. When we noticed that the lobby and swimming pool were unheated, we thought it was frugality. Only a year later, when I read a news story about a new owner struggling to make the motel work, did I realize what was going on.
The owner had been planning to sell. To prepare, she was using the two most basic ways to inflate the appraised value: decrease expenses and increase reported income. By stopping repairs and quietly adding $100 in income every day, she may have shown $45,000 more net income for the year. At a .08 capitalization rate, that means the appraisal would come in $562,000 higher than it should have. Oops! The poor guy who overpaid!
Do you want to avoid a mistake like that when buying rental property? You need to watch for tricks like these. You also have to understand the basics of appraising income property.
It starts with the capitalization rate, or “cap rate.” If investors in an area expect a return of 8% on assets, the cap rate is .08. Net income before debt service is divided by this to arrive at the value of a property. I explain this further in another article, but the primary point here is to remember that every dollar of extra income shown will increase the appraised value by $12.50 with a cap rate of .08, or by $10, if the cap rate is .10.
Sellers Dirty Tricks
If sellers of rental properties increase the net by honest means, then the property should sell for more. Unfortunately, there are many dishonest ways, both legal and fraudulent, that are sometimes used. Unlike sellers of houses, who may cover foundation cracks with plaster, the tricks used by sellers of income properties aren’t about appearance. They are about income and expenses.
Income can be inflated by showing you the “pro forma,” or projected income, instead of the actual rents collected. Ask for the actual figures, and check to see that none of the apartments listed as occupied are actually vacant. Also, be sure that none of the income is from one time events, like the sale of something.
Income from vending machines is a gray area. Smart investors subtract this from the net income before applying the cap rate, then add back the value of the machines themselves. If laundry machines make $6,000, for example, that would add $75,000 to the appraised value (.08 cap rate), if included. Since they are easily replaceable, adding the $10,000 replacement cost instead makes more sense.
Hiding expenses is the most common of seller’s tricks. Paying for repairs off the books, or just avoiding necessary repairs for a year, can dramatically increase the net income. Demand an accounting of all expenditures. If a number in an expense category is suspicious, replace it with your own best guess.
Analyse each of the following, verifying the figures as much as possible, and substituting your own guesses if they are too suspect: vacancy rates, advertising, cleaning, maintenance, repairs, management fees, supplies, taxes, insurance, utilities, commissions, legal fees and any other expenses. This is how you make buying rental property safe.
A home is the most expensive investment most people will ever own. For cash-strapped homeowners a home equity loan is a temptingly easy way to get cash. However, some home equity lenders are dishonest, and gullible consumers are at risk of losing their biggest asset. Borrowers should be wary of unscrupulous lenders and their scams to avoid losing their homes.
Financially unsophisticated homeowners, such as the elderly, members of minority groups and people with poor credit ratings, are often targeted by unscrupulous lenders using unethical lending practices.
One tactic used is called “equity stripping”. In this instance, cash-strapped prospective borrowers who the lender knows cannot met the monthly payments are encouraged to exaggerate their income on the application form to help get the loan approved. As soon as the borrower fails to meet the monthly payment, the lender forecloses, stripping the borrower of all the equity in the home. Low-income homeowners should beware of lenders who encourage them to accept loans which they cannot afford to repay.
Another tactic is the balloon payment. A borrower who is falling behind in mortgage payments is offered mortgage refinancing at a lower monthly payment. However, the payments are lower because they cover only the loan interest. At the end of the loan term, the principal -that is, the entire amount of the loan -is due in one lump sum called a balloon payment. If the borrowers cannot make the balloon payment or refinance, the home is foreclosed.
Loan flipping is another deceptive practice. The company holding a homeowner’s mortgage offers to refinance in order to give the homeowner extra cash, but charges high points and fees for doing so. The extra cash received may be less than the additional costs and fees charged for the refinancing; moreover, interest must be paid on the extra charges.
Home improvement scams are very common. A contractor offers to install a new roof or remodel a kitchen at a price that sounds reasonable, and offers financing through a lender he knows. Sometimes the contractor even attempts to get the homeowner to sign blank contract forms with the promise they will be filled in later when the contractor is “less busy”. Often, the rates offered are not competitive, and as soon as the contractor has been paid by the lender, he has no interest in completing the job to the homeowner’s satisfaction. The homeowner is left with unfinished or shoddy work and a large loan to pay off.
Credit Insurance Packing is the charging of extra fees at the closing of a mortgage. A homeowner and a lender come to an agreement on a mortgage, but at closing, the lender tacks on charges for credit insurance or other “benefits” that the borrower did not ask for and did not discuss. The lender hopes the borrower won’t notice this, and just sign the loan papers with the extra charges included. If the borrower questions the last minute charges, the lender may state that the charges are standard policy for all loans, and if objections continue, the lender will claim that it will take several days to draw up a new contract, or that the bank manager may reconsider the loan altogether. Due to these last-minute pressure tactics, the loan may wind up costing considerably more than initially stated. Borrowers who agree to buy the insurance are paying extra for a product they may not want or need.
Mortgage Servicing Abuses occur after the mortgage has been closed. Borrowers get bills from mortgage companies for payments such as escrow for taxes and insurance even though the homeowner agreed beforehand with the lender to pay those items themselves. Bills arrive for late fees, even though payments were made on time. Or a message may arrive saying that the homeowner failed to maintain required property insurance and the lender is buying more costly insurance at the homeowner’s expense. Other unexplained charges such as legal fees are added to the amount owing, increasing the monthly payments or the amount owing at the end of the loan term. The lender does not provide an accurate or complete account of these charges. When homeowners get tired of these tactics and ask for a payoff statement in order to refinance with another lender, they receive inaccurate or incomplete statements. The lender makes it almost impossible to determine how much has been paid and how much is still owing on the loan.
Homeowners should avoid signing over the deed to their properties to lenders under any circumstances. If a borrower is in danger of foreclosure, a second “lender” may offer to help prevent the loss of the home, if only the homeowner will sign over the property as a “temporary” measure. The promised refinancing never arrives, and the lender now owns the property. Once the lender has the deed to your property, he can treat it as his own. He may borrow against it or even sell it to someone else. The borrower no longer owns the home, and will receive no money when it is sold. The lender can treat the borrower as a tenant and the mortgage payments as rent. If the “rent” payments are late, the borrower can be evicted.
To protect against unethical lending practices, homeowners should never agree to loans beyond the means of their monthly income; sign any documents before reading the fine print; or let any lender pressure them into signing immediately. Never allow the promise of extra cash or lower monthly payments get in the way of good financial judgment. If a loan sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Always ask specifically if credit insurance is required as a condition of the loan. If the added security of credit insurance is desired, shop around for the best rates. Keep careful records of all payments, including billing statements and canceled checks. Challenge any inaccurate charges; many companies hope that borrowers will simply not be bothered.
Hire contractors only after checking their references, and get more than one estimate for any job.
Borrowers who are financially inexperienced should consider consulting with an accountant or an attorney before signing a loan..
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