Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Way Cool Transit Information

Go here:


Register (it is free) at this site and you will have the ability to get an incredible amount of information on existing and proposed transit stations in terms of population and median income.  How do they know this stuff???

Here in Charlotte, you can select the station (example: Seventh Street Station), and find out how many residents or jobs are within .5 miles, or .25 miles. So you can compare which stations are most TOD friendly with real numbers. You can also do this for future lines in Charlotte.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Could The VUE Consider This?

Before I get into this, please note that this is just pure speculation.  I have not talked to any potential owners, and I have not talked to the developer or the sales team for The VUE.

That said, please go to this article:  Equity Sharing  It might be a vehicle that would allow someone to close on this property without the developer having to make pricing adjustments from the contract price to meet the current appraisal value.

In this situation, again this is just unsupported conjecture, a unit which went under contract for $1,000,000 with a $150,000 down payment might only appraise for $800,000.  A lender would in most cases only provide financing for $640,000, leaving a shortfall of $210,000.  The developer might choose to do an Equity Sharing agreement, taking that $210,000 as part ownership in the property. 

If as the developer says, the property will increase in value as we climb out of this recession, the developer may stand to make more long term profits on the property, if not, the developer will stand to recoup the investment upon the sale of the property. 

Sale prices will be maintained for appraisal value, and mortgages will be able to be obtained.

Not a perfect situation, but food for thought on a sunny October morning.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Freezing Foreclosure Action?

1. What is robo-signing and what all the fuss is about? The phrase robo-signing refers to what we’re now realizing has been a very common practice in the banks’ foreclosure document processing divisions, where one person was essentially given the job of signing as many 10,000 foreclosure documents per month, by hand. These individuals were supposed to be reviewing the files, making sure grounds for foreclosure actually existed, signing the docs in front of notaries. But because of the volume of documents, what they actually did was just sign thousands of documents at a time, without even reading them, and ship them off somewhere else to be notarized.

If you do the math on an 8 hour workday, you'll see that that only gives the staffer 1.5 minute to review each file and documents to make sure the foreclosure is warranted. That's not humanly possible, which is how these staffers got the nickname “robo-signers”

Government regulators are very concerned that the banks may have been taking people's homes without following the proper legal procedures. As a result, 40 states' attorneys general are teaming up to launch a multi-state investigation, and the federal Comptroller of the Currency and federal attorney general may also get involved in investigating this issue.

2. Will the freeze will make the banks cancel buyer contracts on REO properties? Currently, the freeze impacts bank-owned properties that are owned and/or serviced by Ally Financial/GMAC Mortgage, JP Morgan Chase, and some properties that were owned by Bank of America. Generally, contracts to buy these homes are being put on hold and extended for 30 days. As well, the banks are often reaching out directly to buyers and offering them the option to cancel their contracts and recoup their deposit money.

3. Is it safe to buy a foreclosed home? There's lots of talk right now about the "clouds" that this scandal will create on the titles to homes that were foreclosed by the banks' foreclosure mills. And that makes sense: if the home wasn't properly foreclosed on in the first place, then the legitimacy of the bank's resale can be called into question. Normally, don't worry about it, buyer - that's why you'll get title insurance! But last week, 3 of America's largest title company insurers declared that they will not offer title insurance on a number of the homes that may have been involved in this scandal.

In the vast majority of cases – when the foreclosure was justified and a bona fide purchaser, someone who was not involved in the bank’s wrongdoing, has purchased the home, courts will not reverse these foreclosures or their sale to buyers. But if you’re in the market for a foreclosure, get clear on which bank owns the place as soon as you can, and run the property past your title insurer before you get too far into the transaction to make sure they can write a policy of title insurance on the property before you spend too much money on inspections and appraisals.

4. How the foreclosure freeze will impact American home values, say after you buy. In the short term, these freezes might cause prices to stabilize, as we expect to see the supply of foreclosures for sale start to shrink. However, if these freezes stretch out for a long period of time, they could simply be delaying many inevitable foreclosures, which could delay the recovery of the housing market and home prices, over time.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fifth & Poplar Moves Distressed Properties

Fifth & Poplar located in the Fourth Ward has always been a wonderful location. The interior park is peaceful, and well maintained. An apartment conversion project, it sold out during the peak of the market back in 2005 - 2006. It was not uncommon to see square foot prices as high as $385!

Back then, lenders were both lending, and being creative with the types of loans available. Balloon mortgages were frequently the mortgage of choice, and many others got a mortgage and a second mortgage basically putting nothing down.

The beauty of this property was that it was chocked full of amenities, everything from a great pool, to a doggie park, to a concierge, etc. These things all cost money, and the HOA dues, based on square footage, was in the upper $300 range.

Due to maintanence issues and needing to develop a legal fund to potentially pay for legal action against the builder, the HOA fees have been increased by around $110 per unit per month! Yikes.

The recession cost many their jobs, or lead to transfers out of the city. As the market went down, the balloon payments became due, further strapping the abilty of some owners to meet their obligations. Foreclosure activity and Short Sales began to be the norm.

I have shown the building many times, and there are significant deals and values to be had there. The good news is that it is beginning to work. Since July 1, five (5) properties have sold, and another six (6) have gone under contract. The average selling price is under $200,000, and the average $ per square foot is at $200!

There are still properties available, and I would love to help you to secure one if you are motivated. Call me.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Interesting Times At The VUE

There have been some rumors going around that some of the people who have contracts to purchase at The VUE were considering walking away from their investment. There is a blog VueCharlotteBuyersBlog that has reported much of this, and describes the difficult wavering that some are experiencing.

There was a post on that blog from the developer MCL which links to a court order on a different property ruling in favor of the developer and instructing the buyer to go through with the purchase of the unit they contracted for.

Court Order

Stay tuned, more to come!