What is the Most Important Job Skill?

Job Skills

This question was posed to me this weekend when my son asked me how I do my job.  Working in real estate I work with people from all walks of life.  More recently I engaged services with graduate student name Maria (hiding her real identity).  Maria is a full time working professionals seeking a graduate degrees through night school and online learning classes.  Maria was very concerned about how the deferral of her student loans would impact her affording a new home.  This is not uncommon.  The government has reported student loan debt well into the trillions of dollars (https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2017/02/21/student-loan-debt-statistics-2017/).  When I asked about her plan to pay off her loans she answered that; “…hopefully when I graduate I will be able to apply for a higher paying job.”  This leant me to think about my conversation with my son.  In the 80’s an important job skill was resume writing.  In the 90’s job interviewing.  In the early 2000’s it was networking.  Although these all have importance I am learning that financially independent people learn how to creatively financially engineer every aspect of their lives.  New technologies with crowdsourcing in order to finance real estate, movie, even business acquisition and start up projects is only one example of creative financing.  Let’s also not overlook job skills as a fair “trade” to acquire a service or asset.  One example would be to take an equity position in the purchase of a house in exchange for providing services to remodel and oversee the construction of the house.  One partner buys the house and provides funding for the rehab costs while the other does all the work.  This is a strategy I recently used for a house purchase of a single-family remodeling project in southern California.  With my skills in sourcing materials and labor, my partner can focus on finding funding sources that ensure this project can be completed.  Over the next two weeks I will be discussing additional creative solutions to financially engineer real estate transactions.

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What This Single Mom Did To Keep Her House

House

You arrive home tired and exhausted from a long day at work only to find the house is empty and very quiet.  An envelope addressed to you is left in the usual place where you usually place your things when you arrive home.  Opening the letter you find a one page note:

I’M SORRY BUT I JUST CAN’T HERE ANY LONGER.  I’M MOVING BACK HOME TO SORT THINGS OUT.  TELL THE KIDS I LOVE THEM.

Can you imagine coming home from a long day at work to this letter?!?!  Neither can I!

But for Norah this is exactly what happened.  This was a serious problem.  The spouse, father and income-contributor of the family had just deserted a family that very much depended on him.  Norah had to make some hard choices over the next few weeks.  Because she had made the purchased the home she was living in prior to getting married, her primary residence was in her name only.  After sorting out her situation Norah had approached my colleague with the idea of selling the house for $375,000.  She would then downsize into a less expensive apartment that she and her 2 young children could start over.  Norah felt she had enough equity to cover two years of rent but still had sizable monthly bills.  One of the largest bills was her automobile loan, a stiff $400/month.  Norah still owed $9000.00 on the auto loan so the debt wasn’t going away anytime soon.  After learning about Norah’s circumstance my colleague could see she was in a tough position. Not just because of her bills, but because of her life circumstance.  Loosing the financial and emotional support of her spouse, uprooting her 2 young children, selling the house, moving into new surroundings and into a new apartment.  This would be a lot.  My colleague sat down with Norah and looked at her monthly budget.  There was no question that she earned a good living, but the auto loan was expensive.  Looking deeper into the details my colleague found that Norah had the money to cover the mortgage.  She just didn’t have much left over after paying all her bills.  To provide a solution she suggested that she would be willing to buy the house from Norah with a 5 year option.  As part of her down payment, which would be non-refundable she paid off the car note to the bank.  She then originated a promissory note with Norah in which Norah would pay her $137/month for the next 5 years.  My colleague agreed to reduced the auto loan by $1000 and then deduct it against the Option purchase price she offered.  This would keep the monthly auto payment down.  Even better, she told Norah that if during or at the end of the 5 years she wanted to buy out the option from my colleague, she could purchase the house back at a price they would agree to, or a 10% increase whichever was less.  They agreed to the deal.  Norah had to agree to not miss any payments on auto loan and maintain the property(repairs), taxes and insurance.  So what did this accomplish for both parties?

-Norah was able to continue to live in her house and keep the children in the same school district.

-Norah was able to sell her house at $375,000 without hassle by accepting the option.

-For the next 5 years Norah can sort out her financial goals without the pressure of moving and starting all over again.

-Norah will still be paying down her mortgage debt so if she sells the house in 5 years she will still have received 5 years of mortgage interest deductions on her taxes.

-For the next 5 years if Norah’s financial situation improves she may buy out the option and repurchase the house – thus never moving.

-Norah reduced her monthly expenses by refinancing the auto-loan with the Option buyer at a more affordable payment which will leave her with more money in her pocket at the end of the month.

– The buyer’s option guaranteed a minimum of a 10% increase on the purchase price if Norah were to buy out the option.  A 32% return on investment after paying $9000 to pay off the original auto loan.

-Even if Norah doesn’t buy out the option she agreed to continue to maintain the property (repairs), pay the mortgage, taxes and insurance so the buyer has zero property management issues to deal with.

Although Norah could have sold her home, this solution gave Norah favorable options in which to stabilize her life circumstances to give her the confidence to face her financial challenges from a position of strength.

Don’t overlook WIN-WIN scenarios.  The obvious isn’t always the best solution.

Contact me if your looking for solutions to your housing needs!

buyorrentmyhomes@hotmail.com

 

Closing Delays on the Rise

Closing times are lengthening. The time-to-close averaged 40.5 days from November 2015 to November 2016 compared to 36.7 days the year before, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR called the longer times in closing “unexpected” in a recent blog post.

Read moreNew Closing Rules Remain a Challenge

NAR began tracking closing delays following the implementation in 2015 of new mortgage disclosure rules, known as TRID or Know Before You Owe. The new mortgage rules changed the settlement process by adding new closing documents and timelines. Closing times have remained elevated since the implementation of the new rules.

Continue here—>http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/12/16/better-watch-out-closing-delays-rise

Mortgage Giant Expands 3% Down Loans

mtg-giant

Wow big news from Fannie Mae.  This could be a political move as we go into the election if mortgage applications have been drying up as of late.  Fannie Mae announced this week that it would expand its HomeReady program, which includes 3 percent down payment loans. It is extending the 3 percent down mortgage to eligible refinancers who have loans already owned by Fannie Mae.  Fannie Mae’s previous maximum allowable loan-to-value ratio for refinancers was 95 percent. Now, it will be up to 97 percent, under the new guidelines.  Read more here—>

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/10/27/mortgage-giant-expands-3-down-loans#sf40116106

Lower Rents Ahead?

Renters may soon get some relief. In the third quarter, apartment rents in some of the most expensive markets in the U.S. showed a decline. This marks a notable turn from the six-year boom streak occurring in the rental market, according to a new report released by MPF Research, an apartment tracker firm. MPF says a flood of new units hitting the market is one main reason behind the slowing of rents in some high-priced markets.  http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2016/10/06/rental-market-shows-signs-cooling#sf38067327

 

A Taste of the East Side

I thought this was great coverage for NY and New England homes.  Amazing how far your money will go, especially in the suburbs compared to California Real Estate.  See More Here—>http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/02/realestate/homes-that-sold-for-around-750000.html?smid=tw-nytrealestate&smtyp=cur

kitchen

Would You Make this Purchase???

Everyone wants to own a home.  But if you don’t BUY RIGHT Home ownership can be blinding!!!   I don’t know WHO advised the buyer of this deal recently.  Take a closer look at the deal points:

3 Bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, purchased recently for $500K.  The median house price for this zip code is $450K.  This house is not remodeled and has an ugly old kitchen.  Good bones, but there is nothing new about the house.  Another words this house is already over median.

The buyer put down 5%.  Financed the balance so they now owe PMI (personal mortgage insurance).  Property tax will be 1% of purchase price in LA, so $5000 per year with 2% increases annually.

Since the borrower opted for a 30 year mortgage and put a minimum down payment into the deal, they were assessed an additional 0.85% charge.  The APR of 3.13% with the assessed addition is now 3.98%.  This all looks great, right?

The buyer believes the house will appreciate 5% for the next 3 years, to $578.8K.  That’ a whopping $78K PROFIT RIGHT???  WATCH THIS:

Borrowed Amount: $475K

Down:  $25K

Interest to be Paid in 3 Years:  $55.2K

Property Tax to be paid in 3 Years: $15.3K

Property Insurance to be paid in 3 Years:  $1K

Total Paid by Buyer in 3 Years:  $71K

The buyer after 3 years has put $571K into the house, even though they paid down part of the loan, they have still effectively PAID $571K.  How much profit?  $7.8K hopefully.  WHY?  because the buyer assumed a 5% increase for 3 straight years.

If the buyer is wrong in 1 out of the 3 years the profit is….ZERO!!!

So again I ask, would you have made this purchase???