Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Survived Real Estate 2008 part 3 #85

Part three of “I Survived Real Estate 2008” picks up with Bruce Norris introducing Philip Tirone who is author of the “7 Steps to a 720 Credit Score” and President of the Mortgage Equity Group. Philip brings to the table experience from the lending and consumer side of the equations.

Philip talks about people still wanting stated income and how much harder consumers are have to work to get financing. Banks are going after co-borrowers more aggressively and doing much more background checking.

Philip discusses the issue of consumers that owe much more on their home as a similar home in the same neighborhood because of the market at the desire to buy the new one and foreclosure on the current home. Philip says that lenders are catching on to this practice and has revised lending policy accordingly. As of August 1st, if a consumer wants to buy a home in the same neighborhood, it needs to make logical sense that the consumer needs the new home due to extra bedroom, more space, etc. And if the consumer has less than 30% equity, the consumer cannot accept rental income on previous home and must have 6 months reserves.

Philip discusses the top three lending strategies for investors. Many investors that have purchased for cash want to refinance. The best financing is available within the first 60 days. If buying in an LLC, Philip says a single member LLC will get an investor a better rate. Philip also says to go to portfolio lenders for loans. They don’t have the limitations that Fannie and Freddie currently have in place.

For sellers, Philip discusses the natural inclination for sellers to drop price if a property is not selling. Instead of dropping price, Philip thinks sellers should consider buying down the buyer’s interest rate. This could save the consumer a great deal of money and also support prices in the area. Philip also addresses buyers that don’t qualify because lack of down payment. If buyers don’t have down payment, FHA allows gifts for down payments. Philip says that although there is a seasoning rule for FHA, investors should make sure all due diligence is done up front so at the 90 day mark the loan will fund quickly.

Philip also says consumers and investors should manage their credit actively. 80% of people have an error on their credit report that could possibly hinder them from getting a loan. Philip says credit is really easy to manage and scores can swing 100 points. Using credit to your advantage isn’t as hard as many people think.

Bruce then introduces Annemaria Allen who is President of the Compliance Group who specializes in loan complains and is the representative for the California Mortgage Bankers Association.

Annemaria talks about the lending industry yesterday being full of unsophisticated borrows, greedy lenders, minimal loan compliance, and inflated home prices. Today, a complete overhaul is taking place. Lending has somewhat stabilized because subprime is gone and full document loans are back. She calls it “back to the basics” of underwriting. Annemaria says automatic underwriting isn’t used as much and lenders are doing much more due diligence.

Annemaria thinks home prices still are too high and that we haven’t seen the worst of it. The adjustable rate mortgages will cause more problems in the next year. HERA (Housing Economic Recovery Act) was signed into law by Bush in July. The Safe Act that passed seeks to protect consumers by requiring loan originators, lenders, and brokers will have to register with the system. Some of these news acts are several hundred pages long and are still being reviewed.

Regulation Z means more disclosures to consumers. It is supposed to capture all subprime and Alt-A loans. There will be more advertising restrictions and more disclosures.

California has 30 bills in legislature to help with current issues. Foreclosure prevention laws are being passed nationwide along with loan modification and servicing laws. The Non-Traditional Mortgage Guidelines are being adopted nationawide.

Annemaria feels it’s a little too late but the biggest solution moving forward will be consumers being more educated and for the industry to prevent fraud. Annemaria feels stronger standards in compliance and safety will prevent this from happening in the future.

Bruce then brings forward the CEO of the California Builders Industry Association of the Southern California, Richard Lambros.

Richard discusses real estate as a speculative investment and the cycles. Richard warns us not to think of it as a cycle because that means we can have no influence over the outcome. Total new home production is down and will produce the lowest number of homes in history. In the building industry, they say it’s a building depression. In three years, production has been cut by one third.

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I Survived Real Estate 2008 part 2 #84

The airing of I Survived Real Estate 2008 continues to air. Video is also available on

Part two picks up with Bruce Norris introducing Christopher Thornberg who represents the economics part of the equation. Christopher is a self proclaimed bear and was one of the few that predicted the downturn was coming. Christopher discusses employment, housing starts and how they can only go to zero, consumer sales, exports, his thought on recession and the varying views that exist, if the worst is yet to come, and where he stands.

Christopher talks about the housing market and the false indicator of increases in home sales. Christopher says homes prices got too ridiculous and that prices did not match what people were making. Increases in incomes did not keep up with home price appreciation. The only reason prices got that high was of the crazy financing that took place.

Christopher says the pace of home price declines look to be around 30% per year and the mix of foreclosures to home sales is not looking good. Christopher addresses how far prices will fall.

Christopher believes financial losses will total over $1 trillion and that several institutions will fail because of overexposure. The leverage of some institutions is 100 to 1 such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Christopher reviews some of the new features of the newly passed housing bill and how little it will actually accomplish. With the money that the government will release to California alone, doing the math it means California will only be able to purchase around 4,000 homes which is a very small piece of the large REO pie. Allowing banks to revise certain consumers loans. The government actually foots the bill. $140 billion lent to banks but they are still a big mess.

Christopher talks about the tax rebate and how it didn’t increase spending enough. He says the consumers are dealing with two bubbles. Savings rates have gone from 8% to 0% and that a great amount of net wealth disappear. Consumers will be forced to save for the first time and will also be bad for the short run. With contraction in spending, it means a slow down in retail and other consumer-driven sectors. Cocktail statement: Keep you’re eye on 2010.

Bruce introduces Rick Sharga who is the VP of marketing for RealtyTrac. Rick talks about foreclosures and the implication of the current glut on the market. Rick talks about the media obsession with foreclosures and the huge interest in foreclosure data.

Rick talks about how we got into the position we’re in; lending. What drove some of the behavior was Fed policy and that money became practically free. People who should never have been able to get a loan got one in the boom. Wall Street securitized these loans and had a voracious appetite to do so. Due diligence was practically thrown out the window. Bankers went from buy and hold strategy to buy, package and sell and do it again.
RealtyTrac captures foreclosure data from 2,200 counties nationwide. 1.2 million foreclosure filings occurred in 2006 and over 2.3 million in 2007. In California the numbers were much worse as a percentage compared to other states. 2008 will be far worse. Rick discusses the areas hit the hardest. He mentions 7 of the top 12 markets hit hardest are in California. In Stockton, 1 in 25 receives a foreclosure notice. Foreclosure homes are outselling the resale of homes at this point. Existing homes sales aren’t increasing like most would think. The resets for subprime will continue. 32 months of foreclosure data increases thus far with no end in sight. Alt A and Option Arms will cause more problems in 2009.

While the market is sure to continue its decline, Rick points out there will be plenty of opportunities for investors in the coming years.

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I Survived Real Estate 2008 part 1 #83

For the next several weeks we’ll be taking a break from our regular interviews to air the I Survived Real Estate 2008 event over the radio. The event took place August 23, 2008 at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda California. The event proceeds went to benefit the Orange County Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Over 400 attended the live event, many more online via Proxibid who aired the entire event nationwide online over the Internet, and many more will watch the videos online.

This event was about solutions for our ailing real estate industry and to help an important cause. Eight industry experts from different real estate sectors converged to discuss how we got here, where we're going, and how we move forward together and prosper in the coming years. This is a rare opportunity to hear how leadership from the Realtors, builders, investors, mortgage industry, auctioneers and service providers each would approach and solve issues in the current real estate market.

If you’ve been listening to the past 8 shows on the radio, you’ve been introduced to the panelists one by one. The event officially kicked off on June 21st with the first interview prepping the audience for the live event. Video of the live event is also available at under free resources.

This first radio segment starts of the show with Aaron Norris introducing the event, introducing the amazing Platinum Sponsors, introducing the speaker from the Orange County Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the introduction of Bruce Norris, Bruce talking about the importance of this event, the introduction of Christopher Thornberg, Christopher’s presentation on the current state of the real estate downturn and what we should expect in the coming year.

Special thanks to the following partners and sponsors without whom the event would not have been possible:

Platinum Sponsors:
The San Diego Creative Investors Association (SDCIA):
Investors Workshops:
Frye Wiles:
White House Catering:
MVT Productions:
Pechanga Resort and Casino:
The Denver Nuggets: nuggets
The Chicago Bulls: bulls
The Cleveland Cavaliers: cavaliers

Gold Sponsors:
7 Steps to a 720 Credit Score and Philip X. Tirone -
Chicago Title -
Elite Auctions -
Foreclosure Trackers -
Investors Resource Center of America LA and Steve and Robyn Love -
Las Brisas Escrow -
National Club of Real Estate Investors and Sam Saddat -
Northern California Real Estate Investors Association (Norcalreia) and David Granzella -
North San Diego Real Estate Investors and Linda Wessels -
RealtyTrac -
RE Ventures and Michael Pines -
Real Estate Investors Club of Los Angeles and Phyllis Rockower -
Real Wealth Investor and Scott Whaley -
Saddleback Valley Communities -
Silverstar Finance and Janet French -
Sunset Hills Memorial Park and Mortuary -
The Mission Inn -
The Mortgage Equity Group - http:
The Naked Real Estate Investor Club - Rosie Nieto -
The Short Sale Processor and Nick Manfredi -
Virtual Real Estate Tour and Layla Tusko -
Wholesale Capital Corporation -

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bruce Norris #82

This week we shake things up as Carl Angeloff, a radio celebrity in his own right, interviews Bruce Norris (President and CEO of The Norris Group) in preparation for “I Survived Real Estate 2008” where Bruce will act as investor representative and moderator.

Bruce and Carl discuss how Bruce got started in the business, Bruce’s first foreclosure experience, Bruce’s “California Crash” report written in January 2006, why Bruce wrote the report, Bruce’s mid-90s report called “The California Comeback” predicting the boom, HR3221 and his view of the solutions it presents, what the potential consequences are from HR3221, California being a non recourse state, when Bruce thinks this downturn will end, what things he looks for when predicting a boom, Bruce’s prediction for the remainder of 2008-2009, the percent increase in foreclosure numbers, what 2010 will hold, why this downturn happen so quickly, this downturn compared the 90s downturn, why the inexperienced got surprised, what The Norris Group does today, purchasing California REO properties, the bank taking 31% of what they were owed, what skills are needed, who the typical buyer is in this California market, the good points of HR3221, what kind of house The Norris Group likes in a downturn, why inventory preferences changes depending on the California real estate market, how The Norris Group fixes the houses, why condition and price are important, why cities need inventors to fix properties, what inventory Bruce dislikes, why Bruce doesn’t like corner houses, what we can do now to help solve the problems, the thought behind I Survived Real Estate 2008,

Bruce Norris is an active investor, hard money lender, and real estate educator with over 25 years experience. Bruce has been involved in over 2,000 real estate transactions as a buyer, seller and money partner. Renowned for his ability to forecast long-term real estate market trends and timing, the release of The California Comeback in 1997 gained him much notoriety and its accuracy of the extensive report led many California investors to financial freedom. His January 2006 release, The California Crash, is an in-depth look into the California market correction and the statistics behind Bruce's predictions.

Bruce speaks and debates throughout California and has been a guest speaker at the California Builders Industry Association, Appraisal Institute, Learning Annex, Real Wealth Expo,, several local and national investment clubs, and Realtor associations.

Bruce has contributed articles to many real estate magazines and newsletters including RealtyTrac's Foreclosure Newsletter, Creative Real Estate Magazine, AOA Magazine, and the Daily Commerce. He has also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, Mortgage Banker Magazine, Money Magazine, The Orange County Register, and numerous others.

Bruce is now host of his own radio show on KTIE 590am where he interviews real estate industry leaders. Guests have included Frank Nothaft with Freddie Mac, Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital, Leslie Appleton-Young with C.A.R., Alan Nevin with the CBIA, RealtyTrac, PIMCO, PMI Group, REDC, HUD, National Auctioneers Association, and the Center for Responsible Lending to name a few.

Bruce is currently on the Board of Advisors at Chapman University’s Roger C. Hobbs Institute for Real Estate, Law and Environmental Studies.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Tommy Williams with the National Auctioneers Association #81

Bruce Norris is joined this week by President of the National Auctioneers Association, co-founder of the Williams and Williams Auction Company, and panelist for I Survived Real Estate 2008, Tommy Williams. Bruce and Tommy discuss the extremely volatile past 5 months, the possibility for more unknowns in the coming year, what caused this to happen, innovative financing, homeownership levels, what buyers should have to bring to the table in order to own a home, what would happen if deposits weren’t required at auctions, people taking advantage of government system, HR3221 and some of the benefits, the unintended consequences of HR3221, valuation of properties and how auctions are part of that process, a correct version of an auction and how it brings out true value, overbids during a boom market, why auctioneers get frustrated because they are typically only considered during a downturn, builders releasing phases via auction and the benefits, if Realtors view auctions as partners or competition, how auctions work with Realtors, why auctions aren’t in the MLS, the task force between NAR and NAA, if Tommy can tell from auctions which areas are in trouble, NAA as a vast resource of statistics, how quality holds much more weight than price, if California is getting worse, the two states with the worst declines, ignoring true affordability, how we can do better in the near future,

Thomas L. Williams is a graduate of Penn State University (B.S. Animal Science) and the Certified Auctioneers Institute (CAI). Representing the third generation of Williams family auctioneers dating back to the mid-1800s, Williams is also a graduate of the historic Reppert School of Auctioneering. He has over 40 years experience in real estate auctions, land development and real estate investment. He currently serves as President of the National Auctioneers Association.

A founding partner of Williams & Williams, Williams served as president from 1986-2000, and became board chairman in 2001. He also co-founded and served as managing partner of Lowderman & Williams Auctioneers from 1965-85. He has conducted over 10,000 auctions in all 48 of the contiguous United States and Canada, and is an advisor to auctions conducted throughout Western Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

An avid cattleman, Williams also owned and operated Bradmar Angus Farms from 1965-85, after which he continued to serve as a herd and genetics consultant for many of the nation's premier Angus cattle breeders.

Williams is a licensed auctioneer and real estate broker in over 20 states, and an active member of the National Association of Realtors.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Richard Lambros with the Building Industry Association #80

Bruce Norris is joined this week by CEO of the Builders Industry Association of Southern California and panelist for I Survived Real Estate 2008, Richard Lambros. Richard and Bruce discuss the current market, when the slow down was anticipated, how much worse it’s been than expected, percentage off in building permits in Southern California, how this downturn differs from the past downturns, the speed of deceleration, the leading factors causing the problem, the credit market getting tight really causing problems, light at the end of the tunnel, HR3221 and how it will change and help the market, stabilizing credit markets, helping the foreclosure issue, how HR3221 will help builders directly, FHA and the new loan limits, why it’s so important that limits have changed, median home prices, supply shortage of housing, homeownership levels and how California compares to other states, affordability, misconceptions that builders make huge returns on projects, cities adding fees during a boom, cities focusing on product that produce taxes and creating fees for product that does not, how some cities are actually helping by differing fees in this down market, if a big budget deficit is a concern for the building industry, some cities actually putting together incentive packages to stimulate building but a deficit causing a decline, Prop 13 and concerns, the Builders Industry Association and legislation and how the BIA is involved, how builders are highly regulated, green building and zero net energy homes, the BIA’s stance on green, how California already builds some of the most energy efficient homes in the nation, construction loans in the current market and lenders willingness to lend for building, land prices in the current market, how builders took bad outlooks in a booming market, the statistics builders watch that will suggest a comeback,

Richard Lambros is the Chief Executive Officer of the Building Industry Association of Southern California (BIA/SC), a non-profit trade association representing over 2,200 member companies involved in all aspects of the building industry in the six-county Los Angeles metropolitan area. The 38,000-square-mile region is home to over 16-million residents.

Richard is responsible for the day-to-day management of the sixth largest local homebuilding trade association in the nation and the largest local association in the state. He works with BIA/SC’s Board of Directors, six chapters and twelve councils to craft and implement strategies that will grow the size and strength of the association, provide valuable member services, advance industry causes and create a pro-housing climate that is conducive to sustained housing growth in Southern California. At BIA/SC, Richard has utilized his wealth of political, business and association management experience to help the association reestablish itself as the leading regional voice for the homebuilding industry. His efforts and skills were recognized nationally in 2004 when he won the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) “Executive Officer of the Year Award.”

After nearly winning an election in 1996 to represent California’s 56th Assembly District, Richard served a two-year term as Executive Director for the California Republican Party, where he managed the administrative and political activities for the largest state Republican Party in the nation.

Prior to his political post, Richard spent over 10 years representing the interests and efforts of the housing industry. He served as the Vice President and Director of Public Affairs for the Apartment Association of Orange County (AAOC) and as Director of Governmental Relations for the Rancho Los Cerritos Association of REALTORS©. His years of service and contributions to the housing industry earned him special recognition in 1996 as the Alliance of Real Estate Associations’ “Legislative Advocate of the Year.”

A second-generation California native, Richard was born in Los Angeles and raised in Downey, California. He attended the University of Southern California, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Richard is married and lives with his wife, Colleen, and four children in Fullerton.

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