Friday, October 3, 2008

I Survived Real Estate 2008 part 6 #88

Part six of “I Survived Real Estate 2008” picks up with review from last week. Since this is the solution portion it’s very important. Later in the interview the Q&A with all panelists begins.

Bruce shows the audience a list of 20 homes The Norris Group purchased in the past 45 days through auction or out of the MLS and the huge price hits lenders are taking. On 20 transactions, the banks took a $4.6 million dollar loss. Bruce says he’s worried about the domino effect. Too many people owe more than their property is worth.

Bruce says there are three ways to solve a vacancy. We can tear down houses and create an artificial housing shortage. We can leave it vacant and wait for till household formation catches up with supply. Or, we could make it possible for investors to have financing to hold them.

Four solutions that are needed to get us back on track. The 203k loan program from FHA should be made available to investors. It was available to investors until 1996 and then FHA discontinued because it had done its job of getting rid of foreclosures. FHA doesn’t have a ton of foreclosures because they didn’t make a ton of loans. However, the loan program needs to be made available for investors to expedite the foreclosure problem.

Fannie and Freddie need to increase the number of loans they will give to investors. Both want to open offices in California to help unload inventory more quickly and investors are likely candidates. At the same time, they are cutting back on financing available. Both are in a dire situation. Fannie and Freddie hold a huge amount of the foreclosures.

Option Arms are the next wave and these loans represent 50% of Fannie and Freddie losses. Bruce shows the Option Arm reset chart. The chart shows the expected resets and what’s currently happening now. A huge number of these Option Arm loan holders are making teaser payments. Once the loan balance hits a certain percentage, the loan resets. 90% of the borrowers of these loans made the minimum payment. Many won’t walk until the reset because the payment is cheaper than rent.

The foreclosure process is now taking longer because the banks are so slammed but because of the new regulations as well. The bulk of these are set to land in 2009. The loan amounts were typically more than subprime and the lenders will have to recalculate what they made because of how they were writing things off.

Bruce says a due on sale moratorium would make it possible for investors to buy properties that would undoubtedly become foreclosures, it would allow Realtors and auctioneers to make commission on properties with no equity but favorable financing, allow a consumer to move on with credit intact, and improve liquidity in the system.

In the 1980s, foreclosures exploded but price deterioration wasn’t bad. Assumptions of loans saved the market. When interest rates were 17%, people were able to assume better financing. Bringing back the simple assumption could really help.

Bruce also suggests the 90 day seasoning period on properties to be removed so investors can fix houses and sell them more quickly. Bruce shows the audience the picture of one of The Norris Group’s fixed up properties. Bruce describes why our fixed up inventory is so important for the market. The assumption that investors are committing fraud is completely wrong and is actually causing more problems. The creation of the two levels of comps is necessary to keep prices stable.

Bruce also wants to see long-term financing for investors so we can get the market cranking again.

Bruce then starts the second part of event. All eight guests appear on the stage to discuss the solutions brought forward.

Tommy Williams starts off by speaking on the point that there are some properties that should be bulldozed as some neighborhoods would actually be better off.

Christopher Thornberg brings up the political ramifications and complications of solutions and the difficulty of getting people to listen. Christopher also brings up the myth where some people renting must mean that person’s life is a complete wash. Christopher also brings up how investors were blamed for the current market.

Bruce brings up the fact that all the solutions he proposed are not new and that they had existed at one time in the past. It’s nothing new and they worked before.

Rick Sharga says the number of properties in foreclosure that are not owner occupied have not gone up that much. The myth that the investor caused it is not correct. Rick points out that many of the solutions would have to be implemented one piece at a time and it would take time. Rick also talks about non profits getting involved. Habitat for Humanity is taking REOs and rehabbing them instead of starting from scratch. Rick also talks about how numerous investors are coming in with large pools of money ready to take down portfolios of notes.

Bruce talks about how he gets called by Wall Street often and how they are putting together multi-million dollar pools to do that and they want to know when bottom is. Bruce is not excited about the thought that the very companies that helped get us into this mess will be the ones who also take advantage of the current situation. More to come.

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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