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Month: April 2011

Leaving Las Vegas – Million Dollar Mansions In Foreclosure

Leaving Las Vegas – Million Dollar Mansions In Foreclosure

Even the wealthy are considering strategic defaults on their million dollar mansions in Las Vegas.

As reported by Bloomberg.com:

April 26 (Bloomberg) — Nicolas Cage, the Oscar-winning star of “Leaving Las Vegas,” bought a seven-bedroom home with a panoramic view of the city’s casino-lined Strip in 2006 for $8.5 million. By January 2010, it was in foreclosure.

The next owner, who property records show paid $4.2 million, has put the house on the market for $7.9 million — an “unrealistic” price, according to Zar Zanganeh, the broker handling the listing.

On a side note – While many homeowners of high end Las Vegas homes may consider foreclosure as a strategic business decision when they’re upside down by several million dollars between what they owe the bank and what the property will sell for, Shelter Realty has been successful in negotiating short sale transactions on jumbo loans upwards of $1.5million.

And, if you’re considering purchasing a million dollar mansion, we have mortgage companies that are able to finance Jumbo loans in Las Vegas with as little as 25% – 30% down, depending on the purchase price, loan amount, and all other basic Mortgage 101 Qualifying Guidelines.

The following list of Clark County homes for sale that are currently in foreclosure, or bank owned:

Las Vegas Named In Top 10 Cities To Purchase Real Estate

Las Vegas has made several top 10 real estate and economy lists in the past few years, yet this is the first positive mention of our local market that I’ve seen in a while.

CNNMoney.com named Las Vegas as one of the 10 best cities for homebuyers due to the high occupancy rates of rentals, low cost of housing and popularity by cash investors.

Don’t worry, this is not just another post from a REALTOR on a real estate site about why it’s a good time to buy a home.

Actually, our Las Vegas investors and property management clients have known about the cash flow rental income opportunities in Las Vegas for a while.

And, most of our VA Loan Eligible buyers are already out looking at homes that are 60% – 80% less than the properties they lost to foreclosure as little as two years ago.

Home builders have also started scooping up vacant land at around a 50% discount from what they were paying per acre during the boom years.

However, the flip side to the “Buy Now” debate has some great points as well, especially since the Dodd-Frank mortgage reform bill may potentially hurt real estate values due to the tough qualifying requirements being imposed on lenders and first-time home buyers.

Either way, it’s nice to be mentioned on a positive real estate list for a change.

Getting The Most Bang for Your Buck

Getting The Most Bang for Your Buck When Buying A Home

If you’re one of the lucky ones out there with a steady job, a nice cushion in savings and an opportunity to buy a new home, you’re shopping in the best house-buying environment available.

In many areas where the prices were exorbitantly high, they are now reasonable and have been for some time.

In areas where prices only rose marginally, the prices are back down and with a huge surplus of homes still on the market, you can essentially have your choice of house when you’re shopping.

Some of the main differences between the best bargains on Las Vegas real estate depends on whether you’re purchasing an existing resell property, short sale, recent foreclosure (bank owned) or new construction. And, the actual home buying process between each of these types of purchase transactions varies as well.

There are definitely pros and cons between resell vs new construction, but I’ll cover a few of the top money saving tips in this article for either option you choose.

New Construction

There are still homes available that are being built from the ground up. In fact, you can walk into a builder’s office today and start the process of building your own home and likely walk out with a nice incentive or two. The builders have been hit substantially in the past few years and homes aren’t selling quickly. This means the builders are likely to try and draw you in with huge savings, freebies and specials. While absolutely enticing, these new construction homes might not be your best choice in the long run.

If a builder is offering $10,000 in free upgrades, for example, that’s enough to put in hardwood flooring and maybe buy a refrigerator depending on the quality of the floors and the size of your house. Yet even with beautiful floors and a shiny new refrigerator, you’re still looking at the costs of moving in, fixing things up and dealing with blank walls, empty rooms and absolutely no special touches. Those costs can’t often be fixed by dealer’s incentive and while you don’t have repairs to make with an older home, it doesn’t have any distinguishing characteristics either – it’s one plain white room after another – and that costs money to improve and make your own.

Existing Homes

Many argue that you’ll find the best deals in existing homes, and it’s easy to see their point. Sellers are anxious to move their existing homes. Even if the market is starting to stabilize, homes may still be sitting on the market for months holding up plans of the seller, making them almost desperate to sell. Almost all existing homes come with negotiable prices, but some are more negotiable than others. While most of the real estate market has fallen and is still considered sluggish, the most desirable neighborhoods saw only a bit of a slowdown.

If you’re hoping to pick up a foreclosure for pennies on the dollar, or grab up a hot bargain after an intense negotiation process, you’ll likely be looking in an area slightly away from the best neighborhoods. It’s not just the least desirable neighborhoods that have foreclosures and houses sitting on the market ripe for negotiation, but the closer you get to the best school districts or the center of the city’s lifestyle, the more you can expect prices to rise and stay there.

Of course there is added benefits to buying an existing home, even if you didn’t get a hugely discounted purchase price. The sellers of existing homes know that competition is fierce, and even if they aren’t willing to negotiate much on price, they are willing to work with you on other things, in many cases. You may be able to have the seller fix any and all problems with the home. You may be gaining a swimming pool, deck and hardwood floors as part of the price. The walls may already be painted a neutral color and any upgrades made to the house stay there, in most cases.

Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck

The best way to determine the true price of a new home is to make a list of all of the things you’ll be expected to buy as part of the deal. If you’re getting a new construction home, plan on the window treatments, wall paint and every upgrade you’ll need to make it feel like home.

If you’re considering an existing home, factor in the cost of repairs and additional benefits you may be getting that you’d otherwise have to pay for in the new construction. Buying a new home is intensely personal, but while picking out what suits you best, take your time and work the numbers – this is a great time to get an outstanding bargain.

Lone Mountain Las Vegas Single Family Homes For Sale Below $100,000

As of April 2, 2011, there are a few single family homes for sale under $100,000 in the Lone Mountain area of Las Vegas, NV.

Notable for the beautiful desert mountain range that can be seen just under the glowing evening sunsets, multiple neighborhood parks and walking trails, the Lone Mountain housing community is an excellent area for Las Vegas First-Time Home Buyers or Investors to check out for affordable housing.

I have lived in NW Las Vegas for the past 7 years, and I love the quiet natural landscape, wildlife and small town feel.

With the 215 / Summerlin Parkway and the 95 freeways within a 5-10 drive from the base of the mountains, the Lone Mountain area is still a convenient drive to other parts of Las Vegas.

Most of the single family residences for sale in the 89129 zip code under $100,000 are fairly new properties (5-10 years old), and range from 1300 – 1700 SQ FT.

While most of the homes in that lower price range have smaller lots, mainly due to the mini housing boom between 2003-2006, it is not uncommon to find great property deals that have upgraded cabinets, granite and other amenities.

Some of these properties were selling for over $300,000 during the height of the market.

And, if you push your purchase price level to just under $150,000, there are some amazing homes available.

Below, I’ve listed a few related property searches, a list of all the local businesses, an updated feed of homes under $100,000, a graph to show how prices have dropped over the past few years, as well as a photo slideshow of a hiker who climbed Lone Mountain with his pet duck.

Related Lone Mountain Property Searches:

12 Steps To Getting Your Las Vegas Rental Property “Rent Ready”

Our new Las Vegas landlord property management clients are generally overwhelmed at the amount of effort and detail that goes into preparing a rental property for new tenants.

Simply cleaning up a property so that is shows well at listing appointments is only part of process.

However, turning a rental into a home that a tenant can live in requires a lot of extra steps that most new landlords haven’t considered.

While most seasoned real estate investors may have perfected their own “Rent Ready” systems, the following 12 steps are the basics that all landlords should pay attention to:

1. Locks Re-Keyed –

The front door and garage entry are two obvious locks to change.

However, you’d be amazed at how many landlord forget all of the other locks that are tied to a property, such as – mailboxes, side gate, garage door openers re-programmed, house alarm code changed, outdoor sheds…

It’s also a good idea to make sure you have a complete inventory of any HOA gate remotes and keys, community pool or fitness center, as well as any special gate codes.

2. Professional Carpet Cleaning –

We recommend the type of carpet cleaning that doesn’t leave any residue. So, a full steam cleaning and “shampoo” would be better than a chemical / solution overlay.

Las Vegas carpet cleaning costs can range from $99 – $400 for a 1500 – 2800 SQ FT property.

3. Landscaping –

Cut the grass, trim the bushes, prune the trees, pull all of the weeds, fix the broken sprinkler heads, replace dead or dying shrubbery, add a few new flowering plants if the season is right and spray the dirt out of the cracks in the sidewalks and patio.

Rent Ready landscaping also involves removing any pots, yard furniture or decorative garden gnomes.

4. Changing The Air Filters –

In addition to changing the air filters, cleaning the vents and surrounding ceiling area goes a long way to impress a potential tenant.

I’m not talking about a full air duct cleaning, which wouldn’t be a bad idea, I’m simply referring to the visible area where the dust and dirt builds up.

And, if you have the reusable air filters that have to be manually cleaned every month, take them home with you and trade them out for a fresh new disposable option.

5. Professional Rent Ready Cleaning –

Even if you or your past tenants happen to be extremely clean, a professional crew will probably still be necessary in order to give your rental property that industrial strength detail that your new tenants will expect.

The rent ready cleaning companies that we work with in Las Vegas literally go over every square inch of the property cleaning drawers, cabinets, baseboards, blinds, door arches, lite switch covers, the scuff marks at the bottoms of doors, and the insides of your fridge, washer and dryer.

6. Let There Be Light –

It isn’t necessary to change out all of the light bulbs, but you could change a few to a different wattage or replace with an energy saving alternative to conserve power.

Also, simply replacing bulbs may not be enough if the light covers of outside lamps or inside ceiling fans are so dirty that they only produce a dim glow.

7. Ceiling Fans –

Major dust collectors that definitely require special attention, especially if they have been installed in a property for a few years.

8. Outside Cobwebs –

At least clean up the spiderwebs that are hanging over the entryway or covering the front lights on either side of the garage.

9. Window And Sliding Door Tracks –

It only takes a few months with the Las Vegas wind for dust, dirt and dead bugs to build up inside of the window or sliding glass door tracks.

This is an important Rent Ready step that Shelter Realty requires for the rental properties that we’re managing.

10. Remove All Personal Items –

This includes lawn furniture, yard tools, couches, cleaning equipment, chemicals…..

The only exception would be a small sample of paint that matches the inside and outside walls. A few pieces of tile are acceptable as well, but that’s about it.

If the new tenant happens to see some old items that they wanted, then it would probably be acceptable to include them in the original lease agreement with terms of ownership.

11. Replace Torn Screens –

Torn or bent screens and screen doors need to be replaced. If you have a large house with minor wear and tear on these items, then it’s probably a decision you’ll have to consult with your property manager about.

12. Pest Spray –

It’s better to have the property sprayed a few times, or set up on a regular schedule. Either way, you’ll definitely want to hire a professional pest company to give your property a full treatment for all of the common bugs in the Las Vegas Valley.

Based on just these 12 steps alone, getting a Las Vegas rental property ready for new tenants or the initial listing / marketing is a big process.

Please feel free to contact our Las Vegas property management division at Shelter Realty if you have specific questions what services our company and vendors handle for new landlord clients.