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A Checklist For You and Your Las Vegas Real Estate Agent

A Checklist For You and Your Las Vegas Real Estate Agent

BUYING A LAS VEGAS HOME

Before you even begin to search for your new Las Vegas Home, you and your family should prepare a checklist of wants and needs, a list that will analyze exactly what those absolute needs are, as opposed to your wants, such as a spare bedroom or home office, which would be nice but not absolutely necessary.

A list that is realistic, in accord with market conditions, and leaves room for compromise will help you to focus on the specifics of what your needs really are in a home, neighborhood, etc., and is helpful to your agent, who will know what to focus on as well.

A helpful list of needs and wants, emphasizing the importance of needs first, would consider the following, arranging individual needs and choices in order of most importance to you. For example:

  • Where in town do you prefer to live?
  • Older home (over five years) newer, or new construction?
  • How much house can you afford? What price range?
  • Have you been pre-approved by a lender?
  • Convenience of location: short commute, or close to public transportation, nearby to shopping, schools, etc. Which of those choices are the most important?
  • Neighborhood demographics: nicely kept homes on a quiet street, property located on a cul de sac, or corner lot, crime stats, quality of school district. Good schools add quality to a neighborhood and should be an important consideration.
  • Number of bedrooms, baths required
  • Single or two story construction. If anyone has a problem with climbing stairs, a one story is obviously the best choice.
  • Consider a short sale or foreclosure property if it is only one of very few in the neighborhood?
  • Have a professional home inspector check for problems and evaluate cost of repair.
  • Would you prefer to pay a little more for a house in perfect condition, or would you rather buy a house that is in need of some repair in order to pay less for the home?
  • How much renovation are you willing to do? Are you handy with tools and will be doing much of the repairs yourself, or would you need a contactor? Contactor fees would add to the costs which would impact your home buying budgetary expenses.
  • Before making a commitment on a particular piece of property, Investigate the noise factor and other aspects of the neighborhood for conditions that may or may not be a source of discomfort or annoyance by driving through the area at different times of the day and evening, during the week and on a weekend.
  • Large yard for the weekend gardener, romping room for the family dog, etc., or smaller yard for less maintenance.
  • Pool
  • Patio Deck
  • Two or three car garage
  • View
  • If the community is governed by a Home Owners Association (HOA) find out if the rules and regulations are compatible with your lifestyle and freedom of choice
  • Gated community with entry password security system, or gated with 24/7 on duty security guards

Let your Las Vegas Real Estate Agent know of any other special features or needs that your family may require.

If you are interested in purchasing a home in Las Vegas and have any questions about theLas Vegas Market or would like to set up a time to view properties, feel free to give us a call at 702.376.0088 or fill out the form below or to the right.

Forestalling the Las Vegas Foreclosure Process

Forestalling the Foreclosure Process

LENDER VS. HOMEOWNER

When a homeowner falls two or three months behind in mortgage payments, he is a homeowner in distress, or as the lender would consider it, in default. At this point the lender will notify the debtor of the default in writing, and request that payments be brought up to date.

In answer to the lender’s request, the debtor can either bring the mortgage payments up to date, if possible, or if unable to comply with the lender’s demand, request the lender to agree to a possible loan modification, or short sale.

If the lender agrees to a temporary loan modification, the debtor must prove his/her ability to pay the agreed upon reduced amount. Additionally, since the agreement would be for a limited time the homeowner must prove to the lender that his/her prospects are promising enough to renew original on -time mortgage payments upon the expiration of the loan modification agreement.

Another possible recourse for the homeowner in distress is to request the lender to agree to a short sale, whereas the house may be sold for less than the balance still owed on the mortgage.

In this case, the homeowner would be required to produce an offer to the lender from a qualified buyer. If the property is in foreclosure and scheduled for auction, the debtor’s attorney or Realtor will then contact the lender, advising of the offer and will attempt to convince the lender to postpone the auction, and accept a short sale.

Should the debtor file for bankruptcy, the court has the authority to issue an automatic stay, preventing all creditors, including the lender, from taking any further action or continuing any further proceedings –including an auction – from taking place.

The lender can request the court to lift the automatic stay, particularly if notice of default was filed prior to the bankruptcy filing.  However, if the trustee determines that there is nonexempt equity in the property, equity that can be liquidated to pay creditors, the lender’s request may be denied.

Homeowners in distress and facing loss of their property can find out if they are eligible to seek aid through the government’s Home Affordable Foreclosure  Alternatives (HAFA) and Home Affordable Modification program (HAMP.)

To prove eligible for HAFA you must apply to HAMP first and answer qualifying questions. Although there is too much detail in these programs to be included in this article, detailed information can be obtained from the following website:

The HAFA short sale program was put into effect on April 5, 2010, and is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012.

Certainly, there are some legal alternatives for distressed homeowners, but the best advice is to act before your lender knows you have a problem. Tell them that you foresee a problem in making payments as scheduled and perhaps you may be able to work things out, even on a temporary basis, by being upfront and showing good faith.

If you have any questions about the short sale process, feel free to give us a call at 702.376.0088 for a free consultation.

Investing in Las Vegas Real Estate – Negatives and Positives of Short Sales

Can short sale properties be a boon to buyers who are investing in a place to live, but a risky strategy for the profit oriented investor? Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to these questions, and each individual deal must be considered on its own merits.

In a simple case scenario, a short sale to a buyer who really loves the home, plans to live there for at least several years, and can purchase it at below or close to market price so there is some equity, has made a good deal. Certainly, if it is a nice piece of property in a stable, popular neighborhood, the home will build further equity over time.

A Las Vegas Real Estate Investor however, faces more complex issues when considering a short sale purchase then would a potential home owner, issues that may or may not prove worthy of the time or investment in a given property.

For example, is the property –under current market conditions-  considered to be “under water,”  meaning that the remaining balance on the mortgage, and/or a lien or liens of one sort or another are greater than the property’s fair market value?

In such a case, the investor would be looking at a property with no equity, so it would appear that there wouldn’t be any motivation to further pursue this deal.

Or would there be? If the investor is determined, the lien holder or holders might possibly be persuaded to release the lien or liens at less than face value. That could be one way of adding some positive equity to the property.

Of course, the lender would additionally have to agree to sell the property to the investor at a mutually agreeable price in order for that deal to make any sense to the investor.

Is a scenario such as this worth the investor’s time and effort, or should he/she be pursuing less complex and more promising deals?

Once again, there are no easy answers. Since there are so many variables to each and every deal, the investor, and his advisory team of Realtor, broker, attorney and CPA must evaluate every transaction on its own individual merits.

Although Las Vegas Short Sales are most often not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that some naive investors may think, there can be a decent profit potential in some short sale deals if all the right factors that are advantageous to the investor are in place.

Certainly, knowledgeable Realtors and investors are aware that the real estate “picture” will be constantly changing throughout the year, and no one knows when or what exactly will occur when lenders begin to release a new flood of REO properties to the marketplace before the year’s end.

One thing for sure, there is no doubt that the successful Las Vegas Real Estate Investor in these rapidly changing times will be the one who is flexible, observant, and able to adjust his/her goals to accommodate these changes.

If you have any questions about investing in Las Vegas Real Estate, feel free to give us a call at 702-376-0088.

How to Find Las Vegas Distressed Properties

No doubt, every investor in Las Vegas residential real estate is looking for the best of all deals; buy low and sell high properties. Obviously, most of the best deals will be found in distressed properties and motivated sellers.

There are many ways to locate these kinds of properties. Try the classified ads in your local newspaper, specialized publications, etc. Look at For Sale by Owner (FSBO) ads, pre-foreclosures, which would be listed under notices of default, foreclosures, (trustee sales,) and auction notices, (tax sale properties.)

Check public records at the county courthouse, where you can find leads through divorce records, real estate auctions, default notices, and probate properties.

Comprehensive internet property finding services can be a very time-saving and efficient way of locating the kinds of investments that best meet your criteria. Paying a monthly fee to these services can be a cost-effective way of finding properties. The web lists any number of these sites, so check them out and find the ones that best meet your needs.

Distressed properties such as pre-foreclosures, Tax sales, short sales, REO’s, probate, foreclosure and divorce properties are where you are most likely to find the hottest deals.

Check with lenders to find the agents who are handling their REOs, and/or www.reonetwork.com to locate bank owned real estate.

You , and the Realtor you work with, should maintain frequent contacts with bankruptcy, divorce  probate, and general real estate attorneys who can be excellent sources of information and leads to hot deals.

Properties up for auction can be located through various websites such as Realty Bid (www.realtybid.com) and Williams & Williams (www.williamsauction.com) among several others.

The Housing and Urban Development agency (HUD) is another source of finding distressed properties. Sign on to this website as an investor and you can bid on their listings.

Try the Veterans Administration (VA) listings as well. The county real estate tax authority, the Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service, and the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) are additional resources that can be more than useful in uncovering distressed properties.

The United States Marshals Service is charged with the responsibility of disposing of seized properties, and can be another possible source of finding low-priced homes.

There are many methods and sources of locating Las Vegas Distressed Properties and hot deals, including even driving around neighborhoods to locate properties, although that is not the most efficient method of finding good deals.

Certainly, do not forget that your real estate agent is a most valuable source of information as well, and can keep you updated on properties of interest. Your agent’s broker and attorney contacts, as well as interaction with other Realtors will provide you with a constant update of relevant data.

If you have any questions about distressed properties in Las Vegas Real Estate, feel free to give us a call at 702.376.0088.

Investing in Las Vegas Real Estate – Flipping Properties

The term of “flipping” generally applies to buyers who purchase a property or properties, and then immediately put the properties up for sale, looking for a fast turnaround and quick profit.

Some scenarios involve “finders,” people who work with investors. Their purpose is to find and investigate properties for sale that meet an investor’s criteria, similar to a broker or Realtor, but unlicensed, and in many states illegal.

Since “finders” are basically engaged in the business of bringing buyer and seller together, they are, in fact, acting as unlicensed brokers. Furthermore, investors, knowingly working with “finders” may be skirting the law as well.

In fact, most are untrained and do not have the skills or resources needed to properly evaluate the fair market value or profit potential of a given property, as would a licensed Las Vegas Real Estate Agent or broker.

Although no knowledgeable investor would associate or work with “finders” some naïve investors think that through these finders they can buy and immediately sell real estate (or “flip”) for a fast and easy profit. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Buying properties and immediately selling for a quick profit requires exceptional negotiating skills, and an in-depth market knowledge gained through long experience. In fact, it is a market strategy that only the most skilled and astute of real estate investors can consistently profit from.

The real estate crunch of the past few years has unfortunately created a false impression among naïve dreamers that anyone at any time can become an overnight real estate millionaire.

There has also been a proliferation of so-called real estate “Gurus” who write books and conduct expensive seminars, that propose to show how anyone can gain financial freedom through real estate, buy property with no money down, etc.  A few may offer good advice, but others are just money making schemes for the authors and seminar holders.

Additionally, many fraudulent real estate practices have been  associated with flipping, as get rich quick schemers have evolved practices designed to skirt the law, such as using false appraisals to alter the real fair market value of a property, kickbacks, falsified loan documentation, quick claim deed manipulation, and more.

In a market of zero price appreciation, legitimate flipping, for the most part, can make money only on rare occasions, and only if handled by the most skilled of investors. As housing prices begin to rise, flipping becomes a bit more advantageous.

It pays to remember that even when the market is good, and flippers can make a profit, consideration has to be given to the fact that the property may take a more than anticipated time to sell, and if so, did the buyer pay cash or will there be mortgage payments to consider until the property is sold?

If the property is a rehab, what about the costs involved in repair?

Approach any real estate deal with caution, and remember, if a deal looks too good to be true, beware!

If you have any questions about investing in Las Vegas Real Estate, feel free to give us a call at 702.376.0088.

Investing in Las Vegas Real Estate – The New Investor

If you are a new player in the Las Vegas Real Estate Investment game, one of the first steps you should take as part of an investment strategy – that you have hopefully planned out meticulously – is to find a good real estate agent to partner with you.

Find an agent who is in sync with your strategies (some agents prefer not to work with investors,) and has the experience and expertise to help you achieve your goals. You need an agent who can help you find and qualify the good deals, handle much of the details, and one who has worked with investors before.

Although word of mouth is one of the best ways to find a qualified agent with a solid track record of success and great references, Las Vegas Real Estate Investment Clubs are another source.

When discussing your plans with an agent you are considering partnering with and who is interested in working with you as well, be sure to explain exactly what kinds of properties you will interested in buying. Assure the agent that you will both make money from this partnership, and that you are a high-energy, aggressive and eager investor.

Another thing to keep in mind, is that if your buying strategies involve sending out a flood of low-ball offers in order to consistently close deals, some agents would rather not work with you.

That is why it is so important for the agent or agents you are interviewing to understand what your investment strategies and goals really are. You have to be as forthright and honest with them as you expect them to be with you.

Now, what about buyers? Certainly, your strategy for investing in Las Vegas Real Estate has included contingencies for dealing with willing buyers who are handicapped with marginal credit.

Many of your buyers may be able to acquire a mortgage on their own, but buyers with a passable, but not very impressive FICO score, probably would not qualify with most lenders.

This is where another very important member of your investment team, your mortgage broker, steps in. If you are closing on properties monthly, you are going to attract brokers willing to work with you. Find a broker who has the expertise and lender contacts to obtain mortgages for people with marginal credit.

Don’t expect miracles, however. A buyer must meet certain, even minimal standards of acceptance, but if those criteria are not met, obtaining a mortgage will not be possible.

If you are a quick-turnover investor, you will need a broker who can close deals quickly, and will be available when needed. Assure the broker, as you did your real estate agent, that you want everyone on your team to make money. Consistently closing deals will be all the assurance they need.

If you have any questions about investing in Las Vegas Real Estate, feel free to give us a call at 702.376.0088.

Renting vs Buying A Home

Buying a home versus renting is a big decision that takes careful consideration.

While there are several biased sources that can make arguments for or against owning a home, we’ve found that most home buyers base their ultimate decision on emotion.

Yes, there are some tax advantages of owning real estate, as well as the potential to earn equity or pay a mortgage note off after several years.

However, let’s address some of the more obvious topics of discussion first.

Benefits Of Renting:

Lower Acquisition Cost –

Unless you’re able to qualify for a mortgage loan with zero down and have your closing costs paid for by the seller, a typical investment to purchase a home is around 3.5% – 7% of the purchase price for down payment and closing costs on an FHA mortgage, and an average of 13% – 23% for a home secured by conventional financing.

Compared to the cost of about 1-3 month’s rent payment, it’s obvious that renting a home makes financial sense in the short-term.

Lower Qualifying Standards –

While the FHA and other Government Insured mortgage programs have flexible credit / qualifying guidelines than most traditional home loan programs, there is certainly a lot less paperwork and personal invasive probing required by most landlords and property management companies.

Generally proof of employment / income and a decent credit history (or a good explanation) is needed to rent a home.

Freedom To Move –

It’s easy to find a home through a reputable property management company, move in that weekend and then leave a year later when the rental contract expires.  Not being tied down by a long-term mortgage liability is ideal for people new to a community, in a career that keeps them on the go or for parents with children that prefer a certain school district.

Plus, if you’re planning on moving in the next 3-5 years, then it may become cost-prohibitive due to the amount of equity you’ll have to gain in the short-run just to cover the cost of paying an agent, buyer closing costs, transfer taxes…. so that you can at least break even at closing.

Less Maintenance and Cost –

If something breaks, a simple call to the property management company will generally solve the issue in 48 hours or less.  Plus, renters don’t have to carry expensive homeowners insurance, pay property taxes or worry about interest rates adjusting.

Benefits of Owning:

Pets Are Allowed –

Well, according to the rules and regulations of your county or neighborhood HOA, you can pretty much have as many domestic and exotic pets without having to pay extra deposits.

It may seem like a funny benefit to mention first, but the millions of dog and cat lovers would definitely rank this towards the top of their list.

Pink and Purple Walls –

Yep, you can paint the inside of your house any color you choose.  And depending on whether or not there is an HOA in place, you could probably do the same thing on the home’s exterior.  Landscaping, flooring, built-in shelving… it’s your property to renovate and grow in.

Peace-of-Mind and Security –

The only way you would be forced to move is if the bank forecloses on your property due to a default in mortgage payments.

So basically, you don’t have to worry about a landlord’s financial ability to make mortgage payments on time. Plus, you can stay in your own property as long as you wish.

Tax Benefits –

The US government has created certain tax incentives making it possible for many homeowners to exceed the standard yearly deduction.

*Disclosure – Check with your CPA or Tax Attorney to verify your own unique filing scenario*

The following three components of your home mortgage may be tax deductible:

a) Interest on your home mortgage
b) Property Taxes
c) Origination / Discount Points

Stability –

Remaining in one neighborhood for several years lets you and your family establish lasting friendships, as well as offers your children the benefit of educational continuity.

Appreciation of Property

Historically, even with other periods of declining value, home prices have exceeded consumer inflation. From 1972 through 2005, home prices increased on average 6.5%, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

Forced Saving –

The monthly payment helps in repayment of the principal amount. Also when you sell you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.

*Disclosure – Check with your CPA or Tax Attorney to verify your own unique filing scenario*

Increased Net Worth

Few things have a greater impact on net worth than owning a home. In a comparison of renters versus homeowners, the Federal Reserve Board of Consumer Finance found that the average net worth of renters was just $4,000 compared to homeowners at $184,400.

While the available tax advantages and potential for earned equity are generally highlighted by most industry professionals as the top reasons to own real estate, it’s important to remember that markets go through cycles.

However, owning real estate that appreciates more than the rate of inflation may help contribute towards your overall investment portfolio, provided your maintenance and mortgage costs are kept low.

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Related Articles – Home Buying Process:

What Do Appraisers Look For When Determining A Property’s Value?

What Do Appraisers Look For When Determining A Property’s Value?

Most people are surprised to learn what appraisers actually look at when determining the value of a real estate property. A common misconception homeowners generally have is that the value of their home is determined after the appraiser has completed their physical property inspection. However, the appraiser actually already has a good idea of the property’s value by the time they have scheduled an appointment to stop by the property. The good news is that you don’t have to worry so much about pushing back an appointment a few days just to “clean things up” in order to help influence the value of your property. While a clean house will certainly make it easier for the appraiser to notice improvements, the only time you should be concerned about “clutter” is if it is damaging to the dwelling.

The Key Components Addressed In An Appraisal

  1. The Site: Location, view, topography, lot size, utilities, zoning, external factors, highest and best use, landscaping features.
  2. Design: Quality of construction, finish work, fixed appliances and any defining features.
  3. Condition: Age, deterioration, renovations, upgrades, added features.
  4. Health & Safety: Structural integrity, code compliance.
  5. Size: Above grade and below grade improvements.
  6. Neighborhood: Is the property conforming to the neighborhood?
  7. Functional Utility: Is the property functional as built – style and use?
  8. Parking: Garages, Carports, Shops, etc..
  9. Other: Curb appeal, lot size, & conforming to the neighborhood are obvious to the appraiser when they drive down into the neighborhood pull up in front of your home.

Keep in mind that when an appraiser enters your home, they are going to look at the overall design, condition, finish work, upgrades, any defining features, functional utility, square footage, number of rooms and health and safety items. Be sure to have all carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in working condition. Since the appraisal provides half the weight in any credit decision involving the security of real estate, the appraisal should be done by a qualified, licensed appraiser whom is familiar with your neighborhood, and the type of home you are buying, selling or refinancing.

If you’re interested in what specifically appraisers are looking for, here is a copy of the blank 1040 URAR form that is used by every appraiser in the country.

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Related Appraisal Articles:

Preparing Your Las Vegas Home for Sale

Common sense will tell you that the nicer your home looks, the better your chances of selling at or close to the asking price. However, don’t go overboard and practically remodel the entire house before listing the property. Not only will a project of this scope cost you plenty, but you probably won’t recoup even half of your fix-up expenses.

Cosmetic upgrading and repair however should always be secondary to plumbing, heating/cooling and electrical repair. Roofing and structural repairs are an absolute must as well.

Certain upgrades and repairs designed to improve the property’s “eye appeal” include:

  • A fresh coat of paint, inside and out, is a most effective way of making the home look newer and more inviting. Neutral colors such as beige or off-white seem to work best.
  • If the interior of the home has wallpaper in some or all of the rooms, particularly if it has a worn look, strip it off and paint. Replacing the wallpaper with another design of your choice may not appeal to a prospective buyer, and could actually negatively influence a buyer’s decision.
  • If any of the rooms are carpeted, and the carpeting shows signs of wear or discoloration, replace it. Use neutral colors, and medium shades, not too light or too dark. Carpeting and painting are cost effective ways of sprucing up the home’s environment, and can help increase the price tag by much more than the cost of material and installation.
  • If the floors are hardwood, refinish if necessary.
  • Replace chipped or cracked tiles. It is equally important to repair or replace grouting. If the grouting is in good shape, be sure it has been scrubbed clean.
  • If you have Formica counter tops that are showing signs of wear, replace them with a do-it-yourself  kit, available at hardware stores, or if you are not inclined to tackle the job, which can be somewhat tricky, hire a competent handy man.
  • The appearance of the kitchen can be a huge influence on the overall impression of the home, and is the most important part of the house to revitalize, if needed.

Although kitchen remodeling can most often return 100% of investment, it can cost a ton of money. However many kitchens can look their best by a simple resurfacing of the cabinets, if needed, and perhaps the installation of a new sink and fixtures.

  • Replace or refurbish exterior siding.
  • Examine and repair/replace window and door caulking.
  • Replace doorknobs and locks if worn looking.
  • Repair, refurbish or replace the front door if necessary.
  • Fix or paint fences and backyard walls.
  • Replace any old, outdated kitchen and laundry room appliances

Include a home warranty package as a “throw-in” if the home is ten years old or more. It’s a nice gesture to offer a prospective buyer a “piece of mind” package, and will go a long way toward establishing amicable negotiations.

If you have any other questions about getting your Las Vegas Home ready to sell, feel fee to give us a call at 702.376.0088.

Investing in Las Vegas Real Estate – Pre-Foreclosures and Foreclosures Part II

The complexities involved in Las Vegas Distressed Property negations can be many, and an inexperienced investor without competent advisers might encounter major problems that could have many unpleasant consequences, including financial loss.

So, as a word of caution to the inexperienced, it cannot be said often enough that a thorough investigation and verification of all the factors involved in a purchase of this kind, by competent and trusted advisers, is the best assurance one can have of becoming a successful Las Vegas Distressed Property Investor.

In addition to a close and thorough inspection of the property by a licensed and experienced home inspector, other important issues must be investigated and resolved before committing to purchase a foreclosure or pre-foreclosure property.

Any additional encumbrances upon the property, in addition to monies owed to the lender, could cause unpleasant consequences for the buyer if a thorough title search and other investigations were not undertaken.

For example, the investor and advisers should have a thorough knowledge of all federal, state and county laws pertaining to the purchase of a distressed property from an owner, lender or government agency.

Outstanding utility bills, liens of any kind, and any title issues, such as the name or names appearing on the deed matching those on the title, etc., have to be examined and evaluated prior to any purchase commitment on the investor’s part

If a seller has declared bankruptcy, the seller no longer has the authority to deed the property to anyone. The proper filing through bankruptcy court and the disposition of the deed under the authority of the bankruptcy trustee is the final word on how a property is held or disposed of.

It is certainly advisable that the investor has satisfactorily checked out all of the above before making a purchase or no purchase decision. Use all of the safeguards at your disposal, (your advisory team, etc.) to protect yourself from any unforeseen consequences.

Buying REO properties at auction is one of the riskiest investment ventures a newcomer can choose to pursue. The dangers that a newcomer can face in the business of buying properties at auction, can easily be compared to jumping into a pool full of hungry sharks. The chances of survival are equally the same!

At auction you are bidding on “as is” properties, with no warranties or guarantees of any kind.  There could be liens or loans still pending.

There is always the possibility of a lawsuit by parties attempting to overturn the sale, there could be extensive repairs needed to get the property in saleable condition, etc.

Certainly, there are investors with a solid background of successful auction buying and selling, but if you are new to this phase of real estate investing, you most probably won’t be one of them.

If you have any questions about investing in Las Vegas Real Estate, feel free to give us a call at 702.376.0088.

Investing in Las Vegas Real Estate – Pre-Foreclosures and Foreclosures

Negotiating to buy distressed properties from a lender certainly shouldn’t trouble the conscience of an investor; however, some investors feel pangs of guilt when trying to negotiate a deal with a Las Vegas Homeowner in financial difficulty.

If you are a creative investor with a conscience, you are not trying to take unfair advantage of anybody. You are not a predator. Instead, you will be attempting to promote a win-win situation that relieves the homeowner of his/her burden, and creates a profitable deal for yourself. This can be done, and is frequently done.

Las Vegas Homeowners in financial difficulty, and who are in danger of losing their home, but are not as yet in a pre-foreclosure situation, would certainly welcome the opportunity to sell at a fair price, and the lender would equally be freed of the expense and difficulties involved in foreclosing and trying to recoup at least a part of their investment.

Seems only fair that the investor should earn a certain profit for his efforts and output of funds. Besides, depending upon the condition of the home, the investor may have additional expenditures for repairs and upgrades necessary to increase the property’s value.

If the homeowner is already in a foreclosure situation, the investor must contact the borrower first, and cannot approach the lender or learn details of the borrowers overall financial situation from the lender without written permission from the borrower.

Once the negotiation process has begun, the investor, regardless of whether dealing with a bank, private lender, or a government agency ( FHA, VA, etc.,) will no doubt have an exit strategy that will include contingency clauses in the proposal. These clauses basically gives the investor an “out” if, for example, the appraisal report is negative for one reason or another, or if a home inspection reveals certain serious problems, such as structural damage.

Additionally, the investor may -unless it is an all cash purchase- specify in the proposal agreement that the purchase is contingent upon the investor obtaining financing under specific terms and conditions.

We are only scraping the surface at this point, since there are many other factors to consider as an investor in foreclosure and pre-foreclosure property.  Since this type of real estate investing can be as complex as it is profitable, it probably should be avoided by a new player in the field, and left to the expertise of a more seasoned investor who conferences with advisers that have considerable experience in this specific area of real estate investment.

Negotiating the purchase of a pre-foreclosure, buying a property at a foreclosure auction, or purchasing the foreclosed property from a lender each take a different negotiating tactic which will be covered in brief in the second part of this article.

If you have any questions about investing in Las Vegas Real Estate, feel free to give us a call at 702.376.0088.

Choosing the Right Las Vegas Property and Location

Finding a Las Vegas Home and location that best fits your requirements will be a lot easier if you first understand that you should be clear in your own mind as to what your priorities are.

Sounds strange, but any Realtor can tell you that some people are not really sure of what they want in a property, and have decided they will just keep looking at homes until they find a property in their price range that seems to be “a good fit.”

By establishing some firm guidelines as to what really suits your needs, and discussing with your appointed real estate agent what those needs are, you will have increased your chances of finding your ideal new home in a shorter time, and with less frustration on both your part and your Las Vegas Realtor’s.

After setting a price range guideline, you should analyze and then list all the requirements in a home and neighborhood that are most important and most suitable to you and your family’s needs and lifestyle. For example:

  • One or two story construction
  • Square footage –interior and lot size
  • Number of bedrooms required
  • Spacious eat-in kitchen or breakfast nook adjoining family room
  • Formal dining room, or open floor plan dining room
  • Extra bedroom (guestroom) or den
  • Minimum number of bathrooms or half-baths
  • Fireplace
  • Garage size
  • Roomy backyard
  • Xeriscaped or lushly planted front yard
  • Fenced, walled or open property
  • Trees

Of course, some compromise will undoubtedly be necessary, but the guidelines you have established will certainly help in your decisions. Now, what about the Las Vegas Neighborhood?

The neighborhood has a direct influence on property values, so the area in which you choose to live is of equal importance to your choice of a home.

Again, you need to list in order of importance what neighborhood values are necessary and what compromises you and your family are able and/or willing to accept. For example:

  • Distance to work (driving time) and easy access to major thoroughfares and freeways
  • Availability of public transportation
  • Nearby schools and quality of the school district
  • Higher educational facilities within reasonable distance
  • Overall appearance of the neighborhood; regardless of income level, whether blue-collar, middle or upper class, neighborhood homes should have the appearance of being well –maintained and neatly landscaped
  • Any repeated sightings of neglected, or abandoned homes are a definite RED FLAG!
  • Check with your Realtor to get the neighborhood stats on short sales and foreclosures before you decide to make an offer on a home in the area.
  • Crime statistics are another vital piece of information you should have before committing to a property

So, without a real understanding of what would be a best home and neighborhood fit for you and your loved ones, you could wind up spending fruitless hours scanning MLS listings, to no avail, and driving your poor, dedicated Las Vegas Real Estate Agent crazy.