Friday, February 27, 2009

Foreclosure Expert Ward Hanigan #111

Bruce Norris is joined once again by California trustee sale and foreclosure expert and educator, Ward Hanigan.

Bruce talks about Ward’s reputation that is so important in this business. Ward talks about why it’s so important to stay on top of current trends and how his students help him do that.

Bruce talks about the foreclosure problem and all the new “solutions” the government is throwing at the issue. Bruce brings up SB1137. Ward says this bill just delayed the inevitable and now they are coming back on the market. Bruce talks about fines being given out by the cities and how lenders are taking additional huge hits by way of code fines. Bruce met with a Southern California city that says they hired four employees that get paid only when they write code violations. He talks about a recent boot camp and a fine that was levied on the house for something silly. He sees fines upwards of $20,000 on some of these lender-owned California properties.

The quantity of foreclosures is making it difficult for lenders to handle it all. Bruce talks about the cities and counties that are now getting money. Ward likes the programs because a fair amount of the money is going towards the first time buyer assistance programs which help us. There’s also an $8,000 tax credit for certain buyers.

Ward’s view on the new Foreclosure Prevention Act won’t do much as there are plenty of investments that it won’t help. Ward talks about a large number of non-owner occupied homes that will be let go from speculators. Bruce asks where those stats come from because when he looks at County Records Research, Bruce finds that around 70% are owner occupied and 100% financed. Ward says some people coming to him say they were able to finance investments 100%.

Bruce talks about how quickly people went from a positive equity position to negative. Bruce asks Ward how he prepared for the downturn. Ward said he lined up lines of credit in 2006 but did not borrow on them. He owned several homes free and clear. He did a little spec building that worked out well at the peak. Now he’s in a great position.

Bruce asks Ward what he tells people who are having start over. Ward tells them to be a survivor and not a victim. They got caught up in the euphoria, don’t blame yourself, pick yourself up and start over. You have to get over it and get started on something new.

Bruce hears every quarter that now is the best time to buy real estate. Ward says as Option ARMs adjust it will only get better. Ward likes to eat every day and he feels the same way about investing. He makes money in all times of markets. It’s about the deal considering the market you in. Trying to time bottom is not important.

Bruce asks Ward how important it is to him to have his basic needs being taken care of automatic pilot. Ward’s “Dingbat Retirement” program has made him very happy. It’s important for him to have his keepers paying him every month. He has retirement section 8 that’s done quite well. Putting himself in this position allows him to make much more calm and wise decisions.

Ward rents to a very unique group of people. Ward rents to retired individuals. Ward learned early on he wanted to rent to those in their last 20 years of life. He wants people with no job and people who were settled. Retirees want peace and quite, individual units away from other people, don’t have to have a garage, no need for a yard, and overall just want something that’s simple to maintain and is cheap. Bruce asks what the age of these homes are and he says they are typically from the 20s.

Bruce asks about neighborhood safety. Ward says that it’s not too important. They want level ground for safety reasons and they, of course, don’t want heavy crime areas.

Bruce asks how Ward advertises his homes and gets the right people there. The inventory he has helps with that. Ward’s average turnover is 17 years. Ward is looking forward to picking up more.

Bruce and Ward talk about Fannie Mae raising their loans to investor back to 10. Bruce talks about the confusion between speculator and true investors. Investors need to be part of the market. We will need more than 10.

Ward Hanigan is a full-time foreclosure specialist and trainer in San Diego County. He brings you over 37 years of real estate experience, with a degree in Economics and a Doctorate in Law. He has worked in California's foreclosure market exclusively since 1982, and as a consequence he has extensive experience finding cash, researching title, handling evictions, rehabbing, reselling, consulting, and is a "one-on-one" trainer and mentor to some of the most successful foreclosure practitioners in the Western United States.

Next week is Tony Alvarez.

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