If there’s one thing I learned from being a military officer for over 20 years, it’s this: Double-check everything. There is an old military adage that “soldiers do well only those things that the commander checks.” To which I will add a new maxim, apparently from Benjamin Franklin: “It is true that experience is the best teacher, but a fool will learn from no other.” So let’s learn from the experiences of Mr. Justin Pierce, who has generously shared the difficult lessons of his first real estate flip
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Read more about Tips for House Flippers
Any experienced fly fisherman will tell you: You have to figure out what lures are making the fish bite. Fish are fickle, and their preferences can change from week to week and day to day. Fortunately, the tastes of the average homebuyer are a little more stable. As a real estate investor, you want to deal in the fat part of the bell curve in your market.
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Read more about What Homebuyers Want
Today’s first tax question comes from SFC P, an active-duty National Guardsman who came up to me on a .50-caliber qualification range today and asked: “I know there is a way to exempt my home from capital gains taxes if I’ve been living in it for two out of the last five years and if I’ve owned it for long enough. I spent the last year in Afghanistan, though, and now I have to move again. Are there any special rules for military who’ve been deployed?
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Read more about Tax Rules
President Obama has nominated longtime Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the organization responsible for administering Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Watt has long been an advocate for various affordable housing initiatives in Congress. DeMarco, who had been the agency’s acting director since 2009, had been coming under increasing fire from Democrats for resisting calls to cram down mortgage balances.
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Read more about Housing Finance Agency Pick Mel Watt
Real estate flippers operate businesses. But as a group, flippers are notoriously undisciplined about doing so. I would wager that outside of low-rent stockbrokers and part-time scented candlestick saleswomen, flippers have the worst market analysis disciplines and the sorriest set of books you’ll ever see. (Fess up in the comments if this is you, or share the tips you’ve developed if it isn’t!) The lack of discipline and organization is particularly damaging when you consider
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Read more about The SWOT Analysis
The stock market’s gone nowhere for years. Interest rates on bonds and mortgages alike are hovering near their record lows. With the more traditional asset classes going nowhere, it’s very tempting to look elsewhere for investment returns. And compared to a few years ago, real estate is on sale. Let’s take a look at some of your options when it comes to using 401(k) assets for real estate investing.
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Read more about Using 401(k) Assets for Real Estate Investing
The Obama administration has forwarded its 2014 budget request to Congress – two weeks late, and it has big ramifications for housing. The top line figures, including all on-budget federal spending, add up to $3.77 trillion in total spending. The deficit, according to the president’s own proposal, will add up to $744 billion. Boiling things down to the housing budget, the president is asking for $47.6 billion for the
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Read more about Obama’s 2014 HUD Budget
I live in South Florida – the closest thing to “ground zero” for the real estate mess. When I drive around, I hear the radio ads all the time: “South Florida is the best place in the country for real estate investors right now! We’re looking for a few good people to make substantial profit on every trade, without using any of your own money!” They then announce a seminar at a local hotel, “free if you sign up now, seating is limited!” Let me tell you – Florida is famous for seminar marketing – and we have no
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Read more about Traveling Seminars
The first question this week comes from Ali, who writes: “We bought a piece of land in 2006 for $75,000. We sold it this year for $50,000. However, we did an owner-financing: 30-year fixed with a balloon in 5 years. A payment of $214 a month with a $4000 check in the beginning. So how do I file this land sold. Very confused!”
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Read more about Installment Sales, Self-Directed IRAs and LLCs
The Federal Housing Finance Agency unveiled a new program last week that will enable Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac borrowers to lower their mortgage payments if they’ve fallen behind. The program, called the Streamlined Modification Initiative, will require all servicers whose borrowers are 90 days delinquent or more on their mortgages to offer them an easy way to lower their payments. The kicker: There will be no financial qualification requirements, and
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Read more about The Streamlined Modification Initiative